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High Quality Fur in WV

 

West Virginia not only has an abundance of wildlife, but the quality of our animals is also among the best.  

Rich Rogers oversees furbearing critters for the West Virginia DNR.   He says the trained fur buyer will know the story of West Virginia‘s furs, especially beaver, and will be on the lookout for them.

The quality of the beaver began with a disaster.  During the late 1800’s beaver disappeared from the landscape of West Virginia.

"One of the myths is and the first thing you’ll read in any wildlife management book about the elimination of species will list unregulated hunting and habitat destruction," said Rogers on West Virginia Outdoors. "I would counter by saying habitat destruction was the number 1 cause because Lord knows we’ve tried to overharvest a number of animals in modern times and it’s impossible to do."

However, the combination of the over harvesting and the habitat destruction drove the beaver out of the Mountain State.    However, as that habitat improved, the DNR re-introduced beaver to the state and in doing so created a very vibrant brand of beaver.

"Most of them came from northern climates," explained Rogers. "Our beaver here genetically are very good, and the pelts are exceptional."

The average beaver in West Virginia weighs 30 to 35 pounds.   Rogers says he’s trapped some in the 50-pound range, but they are rare.  He also knows of one trapped in the eastern panhandle around 60-pounds.   Northern beavers are known to range up to 100 pounds.  

The quality of the West Virginia beaver hide is at times handicapped however.   Most fur buyers aren’t aware of the history of the beaver in West Virginia–therefore pelts are often handicapped by our neighbors.

"People go to sell, they generally get classed as being in this mid-Atlantic range and unless you send it off to somebody who knows what they’re doing, you could get ripped off," he said. "You don’t sell pelts by region, you sell them by quality and we have some high quality beaver here."

Rogers adds the raccoon in West Virginia is also of high quality as well.  The West Virginia coons are prized for their exceptional color among fur buyers world wide.

 





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