New Hampshire is fortunate to have a group of sportsmen and women who are passionate about wildlife, conservation and their sport like no other group I have known in three decades as a wildlife biologist in the Granite State. They are this state’s trappers.
After successful fundraising efforts from a dedicated group of local hunters, the NH Wildlife Heritage Foundation secured funding for a comprehensive study to investigate distemper (CDV) impacts on New Hampshire’s furbearers last year. The department initially requested turn-in of carcasses from grey foxes hunted or trapped during the legal hunting and trapping seasons. This year, that study has now expanded to include a desire for carcasses from both Red and Grey Fox, as well as Fisher.
The new study, which has been conducted periodically since 1995, says most people across the nation support hunting, trapping, fishing and sport shooting activities. The study cautions that approval tends to ebb and flow based on the motivations of those who engage in these activities.
When it came to the embodiment of the rural New England yankee persona - ol’ Harris Ilsley, of Weare, New Hampshire, was pure quill. Given that he rarely ventured far from the family property, Harris managed many accomplishments around his fur handling and local lore.
A few years ago I was asked how I thought we could get more people interested in conserving land and water, and my answer was simple. Teach them to hunt, fish, and trap. Give people an activity which intimately connects them to these resources, and then give them a place to do it.