A random sample of 1,200 purchasers of the Illinois resident trapping license (2007-2008 series) was mailed a 5-page questionnaire between March and May 2008. We received 863 usable responses (74% response rate). Trapping license sales increased by 4.5% from 2006-2007 (3,660 licenses) to 2007-2008 (3,824 licenses). This represents a 56.5% total increase in license sales since the 2005-2006 season, a phenomenon likely related to the increase in the value of pelts, which increased a total of 74% in the same period of time. Trappers set an average of 23.9 traps for an average of 28.7 days/nights during the 2007-2008 season, and they harvested an estimated 181,631 furbearers (14% decrease from 210,395 furbearers harvested in 2006-2007). An estimated 88,784 raccoon (Procyon lotor) were taken by trappers in 2007-2008, more than any other furbearer species. Estimated harvest of other species included 35,461 common muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), 3,563 American mink (Neovison vison), 27,011 Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), 1,316 red fox (Vulpes vulpes), 191 gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), 9,394 American beaver (Castor canadensis), 6,558 striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), 53 least/long-tailed weasel (Mustela nivalis/M. frenata), 9,216 coyote (Canis latrans), and 84 American badger (Taxidea taxus). Sightings of North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) and bobcat (Lynx rufus) by trappers, and harvest of furbearers by hunting trappers, were also documented. Seventeen percent of respondents (n = 842) reported completion of a trapper’s education course. Thirty-four percent of respondents (n = 842) were unaware that trappers under the age of 18 are required to complete a formal trapper’s education course. Seventy-seven percent of respondents were unaware that students can fulfill part of the requirement for the course on the internet.
|Name||INHS Technical Report 2009 (13)|