Arkansas, Procyon lotor, harvest management, pelt quality


Trapping seasons in the United States are generally set around the time of the year when pelts are in “prime” condition and are in their most valuable state. In order to assess whether the start of the Arkansas trapping season is at an appropriate date 122 raccoons were captured during the month of November in 2014 and 2015. Based on the evaluation of experienced fur dealers, the percentage of pelts in prime condition was then assessed on weekly and half-monthly basis. This study indicates that starting the trapping season in the last half of the month may maximize the percentage of pelts that are in prime condition early in the season, especially in the southern region of the state.