Is there any money in Trapping?

Discussion in 'Michigan Trapping and Varmint Hunting' started by Gun Nut, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. I am a new member, so PLEASE don't take this question the wrong way.

    I want to know if there is any money in Trapping. Will I be able to recover the cost of buying traps, scents, boots, gloves, fleshing tools, and so on. I know it's a vague question, it will depend on what I catch and how many.

    I am very interested in getting into it. I know it will also provide me with a chance to spend more time with my 3 kids, which is priceless. It's just the fact there seems to be a large expence to get started, and I am like what seems to be a good portion of the state, unemployed.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!

  2. Is there any money in trapping?

    Well I will start by saying that trapping when compared to other outdoor ventures has a better chance to get you some return. Most trappers I know trap because they love it and a fur check is a bonus. Last season I spent 7 times as much on trapping as I got in return but that doesn't have to be the case.


    You can get a few inexpensive traps from suppliers, e-bay, trapping sites or the state convention. (Highly recommend the convention if your interested in trapping but I'll talk about that in a minute) You can target the easier to catch species at first to be sure you like it before you buy a bunch of stuff. If you have water you can target muskrats, mink and coons. If you want to go after k9's or beavers it may take more of an investment.

    Fur Handling

    You can sell your catch without finishing your fur but the return is usually less. This can save you money if you don't have to buy all of the finishing equipment. There are a few buyers that travel around the state to buy fur an they may take Whole animals, skinned but not fleshed furs, or finished furs. When finishing fur you have to figure there is a learning curve so the price you get for finished fur can be low at first due to damage.


    Sites like this one can really help you get started and can save you money. is another site that has alot of trapping info. If there is something that your thinking you need there may be someone on here that can let you know about their experiences with it. You may be able to find a trapper close to home that can give you some pointers and get you going in the right direction. Trappers are one of the best groups of people to get help from. The state convention has supplies, fur handling demos, trapping demos, and a great bunch of people to talk trapping with.

    Getting started

    One thing that I would recommend for a new trapper is the DNR's Trappers Education Program. Here is a link to the Trappers Education Page. You can read the entire Trappers Education Manual here.,1607,7-153-10363_10880_12399-174841--,00.html

    To get to your original question. Trapping is a great sport and lifestyle. It will not provide for a family but it can provide family memories and family fun.

    #2 Fur-minator, Jun 3, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  3. Thank you Fur-Minator. I appreciate all of the help. I will be at the convention this year, as long as I don't have to work :)

    I think I will start picking up odds and ends here & there. Just so the cost dosn't hit as hard up front. I am pumped about getting into this as are my kids. We live out in the country on a farm. There are alot of small lakes and streams all around us. I have permission to hit most of them on top of the state land that is in my back yard.
  4. Gun Nut

    My 7 yr old daughter didn't want to miss a minute of fur shed time last season. She wouldn't go eat supper until she finished watching me put up my muskrats. I hope to get her out setting more traps this year.

    If you have any question be sure to throw them out there. There are alot of great trappers on this site that are willing to help.
  5. Price out a set of golf clubs, golf bag, golf shoes, golf balls and the price to play 18 holes with a cart. Your return is a bar bill at the 19th hole. Trapping is a much better deal.
  6. I couldn't agree more! I just found a job today, working 7-10s. This should give me my trapp money :D. Hopefully I will be able to attend the convention.
  7. I don't live too far from you and would be willing to help. I'm no expert but have caught a few animals.
  8. Gun Nut,

    First off I will answer your initial question....yes money can be made trapping. For most though the time to commit to the trapline is to short to realize any real profits.

    Trapping can offer so much more then money for the pelts though. If it is in your blood you will know it in short order. It won't take long until you are stopping at every ditch that crosses the road, or stopping after a fresh snow to examine every set of tracks that crosses some desilate back road.

    Trapping can quickly turn into an addiction, some may even call it a disease. You may find yourself constantly examining every track you encounter, and even piles of droppings that they leave behind. When the smell of fall is in the air your thoughts will constantly turn to the trapline. You won't be able to walk by a trap without picking it up and setting it a few times. You will grow to like the smell of skunk in the air on a cool fall day. When you sit in the fur shed your mind will constantly wander on how you can improve your fur handling skills or invent/improve some peace of equipment to use on your line. The smells of the fur shed that would bring a wrinkled nose from those that don't understand the passion will bring back memories of every set and catch that year. You will quickly find yourself adjusting your other hobbies so that you can spend more time on the line enjoying the bounty that mother nature has put before us.

    There are a million other things I could probably list here. I've been at this for over 25 years now. Not once have I ever lost the desire to be on the line. It all started for me in a ditch behind my parents house with a muskrat caught by the tail in a #1 longspring set at the base of a root wad they were using for a feeding platform. I can close my eyes today and see myself standing there in that ditch wearing a pair of yellow knee boots that were 3 times to big for me to wear. Every year new memories are made, but the old ones are never replaced.

    So you see....there can be some money made in trapping, but the other benefits far out-weigh the price some buyer puts on the hide. I've made more long time friends from the trapping fraternity then I have anywhere else. You won't find a nicer group of people to associate with. So I guess what I'm trying to say is giving trapping a try. It will be a decision I gaurantee you won't regret.

  9. It is possible to truly make money trapping, but more, I think, in the longer term. For example, I sold 49 beaver for a $22 average this season- $1078. During that time, I also caught my ten muskrats and averaged about $7 for them.

    Now I used about $250 in gas to make that happen. (I live over 40 miles from my trap-line.)

    I bought a fur harvesters license- $12.75
    I buy some and make some lure- $24.00
    I used a roll of 11 gauge wire (I mostly use cables)- $5.50
    I lost a set of sidecutters- $6.50
    Replaced one pair of hip boots (they lasted 2 seasons)- $80/2= $40.00
    Replaced a pair of gauntlets- $30.00

    So far it look likes I made $779.25. Not bad.

    Now I had a variety of traps out during this time- MB-750s, #5DLs, 330s, and Megabears. My beaver footholds cost over $1000 and my bodygrippers, if purchased (I made some) would be more than $1000 as well. So now one could say I "lost" $1200 this season. However some of these traps are over 25 years old. Do you see where this is going?

    I try to cover all "incidental" costs and, over time, pay for the steel.

    As I've told my wife more than once, "I'm doing better than any duck hunter, any deer hunter, any grouse hunter, etc. At least I have a chance to cover my gas money!" LOL

    Start slow for the first season or two, build your 'line over time, and most of all- Have Fun! Welcome to a great sport!

  10. Well what everyone has said is real good info.

    There is one option however, that could be possible to put you on your way to financial freedom and bliss ... not to mention, make you a real chick magnet (even if you drive a pink car). Now, you have to understand that 99.999% of us can not fit into this role (I think it has to do with the look factor).

    And what is that 1:100,000 longshot, you ask?? ... That would be to become a Movie Star Trapper.:coolgleam
  11. Is there money in trapping?

    Only if your a supplier and even then I'm not convinced that your making enough to retire.
  12. I do appreciate everyones advice and openions. I will take all that I can get.

    Freeprop if you want to hook up, this fall, I am all for that! I will take all the help I can get.

    Thanks Everyone
  13. good lord man why you think all these knotheads run around the woods all winter? theres more money than a body can count. when ever I go to the furbuyer, I take two or three big gunny sacks to put the cash in. lots of money in trapping, yes sir.I myself have brought a couple new trucks, some boats,some nice things for the wife, put a couple kids threw collage,corse none of this stuff was for me.It was for supplers and lure and bait makers and videos and books and magazines. yes sir a ton of money, you just aint gonna see any of it...............but it sure is fun.
  14. LMAO!:lol::lol: Right On!! Right On!!!:lol::lol:
    $$$ are directly proportionate to your ability to perform!;)
  15. Very eloquent post Joe.

    Beaverhunter, I don't keep that good of records so I don't cry.

    Very true Gilgetter.

    Make sure you attend the convetion Gun Nut and we will get together this fall. I can show you sets, locations, skinning and fleshing. Just bring your walking shoes and some clothes that you can get bloody and greasy.

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