A trapper in Illinois said the raccoon population is exploding because the market for raccoon fur is in decline.
Ron Scheller has been trapping animals for around 40 years and said the raccoon population is going through quite a boom. Scheller said 80 percent of the raccoons trapped in Illinois go to China and Russia for fur, however, the market is not what it used to be.
“The prices for these went down a dollar apiece last year. So all the guys who normally go raccoon hunting and fur trapping haven’t been in the woods for two years,” said Scheller.
In rural areas, there are around 40 to 50 raccoons per square mile, but in the cities, it is roughly 80 per square mile, he said.
It is not difficult for raccoons to get into attics. Once they get in, they can cause damage that can add up to thousands of dollars.
Their “cuteness” factor can sometimes make people hesitant to trap them, knowing Illinois state law says they must be destroyed.
To help reduce the raccoon population, Illinois has added a month to the upcoming fur trapping season, which starts in November.
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