After a couple years of lower prices, the Thompson fur tables bounced back in 2017 by handing out $348,507 to northern trappers, which is more than double the amount paid out in 2016.
According to a Jan. 9 press release from the City of Thompson, the 38th iteration of this event, which took place Dec. 15–16 at St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, is also noteworthy for the sheer amount of furs that were sold on site.
A timely seasonal freeze is partly responsibly for increasing the overall yield to 4,426 pelts, with individual marten furs alone toppling 2016’s total of 3,194 pelts.
The release also said that last year’s event set a record harvest for wolverine fur with 24 pelts being brought in, the highest volume since the fur tables first began back in 1978. Arctic fox fur also made a strong showing, with 156 pelts crossing the table at $30 a pop.
Outside of these big numbers, the fur market seems to be in a much healthier place in terms of overall value, since the most popular pelt type, marten, sold for an $92 a unit, compared to its $60 a unit selling price back in 2016.
Mayor Dennis Fenske said the Thompson fur tables serve an important purpose beyond simply embodying “the culture and soul of traditional northern life.”
“Not only do they help bring the traditional practice of trapping to the world, but they represent the integral partnership between the economy of Thompson, and our neighbours in the outlying communities,” Fenske said in the press release. “The City of Thompson is excited to see good fortune return to trappers in the North, and is proud to continue supporting this annual event.”