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FUR-FARMING IN CANADA   5

NOTES ON THE TABLE.—1. The increase in the price of pelts during the past twenty years has been general.

  1. All pelts, except those of skunk, have decreased in numbers during the past ten years.

  2. Pelts considered of little value twenty years ago are being hunted to the verge of extinction; e.g., fisher, lynx, marten, mink, cross fox, and even muskrat, show signs of failing.

  3. The increase in numbers of pelts fifteen years ago was caused by keener hunting. This was inspired by the rising values.

The extent to which these influences have diminished the number of furs marketed is well put in the Fur News Magazine, for November, 1912, which says:

"We present elsewhere in this issue a record of the collection of all fur skins centreing at London, and the majority are sent there, for the years 1911 and 1912, both secured under the terrific pressure of a strong demand and record-breaking prices which induced strenuous and persistent trapping to the limit—and past good business judgment.

"The figures are remarkably interesting, and definitely serious as showing the marked decrease in quantity straight down the column with rare and insignificant exceptions; in most instances the declines are very great and invite careful attention, particularly as it is perfectly true that every possible effort was made the country over to effect the opposite result, and which surely would have been noted if the fur-bearers were present in usual numbers in their customary haunts or new and unusual retreats. The few exceptions, where there is an increase instead of a decrease, include cross fox and fisher, both of which were so high in value that it paid better to catch one a week rather than waste time catching other animals twice a day every day; but the total increase for both is only thirty-two hundred for the entire year and country; wolf is the only other fur of moment showing an increase in catch over 1911, and the difference is due to a general impulse to effect extermination, and not to the fact that there were more wolves than in the preceding year. Not a few 1911 skins were held back and came forward in this year's sales.

"A study of the figures further shows the same general de-crease in collections of Russian, German, Japanese and Australian skins. Every fur skin caught anywhere this year will have a value and not a skin should be sacrificed."


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