North American Wild Fur Shippers Council
NAFA established the North American Wild Fur Shippers Council (NAWFSC) in the Fall of 1996 to enhance the working relationship between the company and our wild fur producers. The North American Wild Fur Shippers Council gives trappers a strong voice in NAFA’s operations. We’ve described our relationship with trappers as a partnership. The North American Wild Fur Shippers Council is a meaningful way of making that partnership even stronger.
Read more below and visit the NAWFSC website at nawfsc.com
NAFA established the North American Wild Fur Shippers Council (NAWFSC) in the Fall of 1996 to enhance the working relationship between the company and its wild fur producers. The North American Wild Fur Shippers Council gives trappers a strong voice in NAFA’s operations and is a meaningful way of making that partnership even stronger. Today, the North American Wild Fur Shippers Council leadership consists of an 8 member Board of Directors, collectively representing a vast amount of experience acquired through direct participation at every level with the trapping industry, from across North America.
On May 2, 2000 the 5,500 founding members of the North American Wild Fur Shippers Council purchased shares in NAFA. This historic step ensured trappers that they would always have an aggressive, professional marketing agency to sell and promote their fur.
You have the option of joining the North American Wild Fur Shippers Council. For a one-time payment of $100, you can become a Wild Fur Shippers Council member for fouryears.
The NAWFSC membership year runs from November 1 to October 31. Membership is optional.
The commission rate charged on your fur will be reduced by 2%. Currently the commission rate for all trappers is 11% but as a member of the NAWFSC you will pay only 9%.
NAWFSC members using NAFA’s collectors, depots or pick up services will also receive free freight in Canada or handling charges in the USA. Freight to the Depot or collector location is not covered.
Based on these two benefits alone, many trappers save the cost of membership in the first year.
In addition, the International Trapper Magazine is available, at a nominal charge, to trappers of North America who ship to NAFA!
The savings are real and they’re substantial. All Shippers benefit by shipping their fur to NAFA, whether they are members or not.
Every shipper is:
- Guaranteed the largest buyer attendance and the most competitive prices
- Guaranteed NAFA’s global promotion efforts will continue and expand
- Guaranteed access to world fur markets
- Guaranteed that your fur becomes part of the most respected wild fur collection in the world
- We believe we can get better prices now—and higher prices in the future—if more trappers join our partnership and send their furs to NAFA.
How can you join?
You can become a member of the NAWFSC by selecting Join Now! or by telephone:
Located in the USA? 800-872-3877
Located in Canada? 800-745-0693
We need to know your state or province in order to answer most questions.
In all emails and phone messages, please include your account number, mailing address and phone number.
For a list of depots where you can drop off your fur and pick-up schedules, visit our Auction tab on this website and look for your country. Our collectors can answer most shipping related questions.
The NAWFSC and NAFA believe that the future of wild fur prices should not be left to fate. We are working together to ensure that the auction room is full of buyers when your furs go on sale—now and in the future.
Give us a chance to prove how NAFA can work for you. Ship us some fur. Assess the results and decide for yourself. You will never look back.
Serge Lariviere PhD – Chairman, Independent Director
Serge Lariviere lives in Saint – Apollinaire in Quebec and is a second generation trapper alongside his father. Serge is a trained biologist with a Ph.D. in the ecology, management and conservation of fur-bearing animals. Throughout his career, he has served on various boards dealing with animal care issues, humane trap research and development and furbearer conservation in Canada and the U.S.
As a certified provincial trapping instructor for the province of Quebec and Affiliate Professor in Biology at the University of Quebec in Rimouski, Serge is always striving to teach others about trapping and hunting and fishing. He is the Director –General for the Cree Hunters and Trappers Income Security Board, an organization that helps to ensure that hunting and trapping is a viable way of life for the Cree people of James Bay, Quebec.
Jim Gibb – 1st Vice-Chairman, Director, Canada Region 1
I started trapping at 14 years old with my best friend, his father and uncle. I have trapped in the Timmins area for the last 35 years – having had a registered trap line since 1983.
I am a past president of the Timmins Fur Council which is one of the most active trapping councils in Ontario. I have been a certified trapping instructor since 1987, teaching courses in North Bay, Timmins, Bracebridge, Chapleau and Gogama. I have been involved with trapper training in Ontario, Yukon, North West Territories and Nunavut, holding numerous fur handling workshops.
I was heavily involved with FHA for twenty years sitting on the Board of Directors and worked as the Director of Public relations for 8 years. I am an active board member of the Fur Institute of Canada, presently 2nd vice chair and an active member of the TRDC (trap research and development committee). I was also the first trapper to chair the TRDC committee.
Andrew Hyde – 2nd Vice-Chairman, Director, United States Region D
Andrew Hyde is a dedicated trapper living in Pennsylvania and, throughout his trapping career has worked hard to promote and teach the fine art of trapping to young people interested in pursuing trapping as a career. He teaches at the Pennsylvania District Trapper’s Training school and is regularly called upon to teach children and adults about trapping, traps and the fur trade.
You can find Andrew at the NAFA booth conducting demonstrations at trapping conventions throughout the year. He is one of the founding directors of the NAWFSC.
Greg Spaulding – Secretary/Treasurer, Director United States Region B
I have been a trapper, fur buyer, and writer, enforced trapping regulations, instructed youth trappers and been involved with the fur trade for most of my 62 years.
I have a B.S. in wildlife science and a M.A in biology, am a recently retired Minnesota Conservation Officer from Northern Minnesota, a founding member of the NAWFSC, a proud member of the Minnesota Trappers Association, Colorado Trappers Association and the National Rifle Association. My furs were sold through NAFA and Dominion/Soudack for decades where I received numerous top lot awards. For me, the enjoyment of putting up fur is as rewarding as trapping the furbearers.
I would like to put my experience and education to work for Region B’s fur harvesting constituents.
Kirby Burtt – Director, Canada Region 3
Kirby Burtt lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick and has been a licensed trapper for over 30 years. He’s been involved with the NAWFSC since its inception and a supporter of all trapper-related associations locally along with the National Trappers Association.
Kirby is a graduate of the Maritime Forest Ranger School in New Brunswick and recently retired as a Parks Officer with the Provincial Department of Tourism, Parks Branch and the Ministry of Natural Resources. He was also instrumental in developing a trapper’s workshop in conjunction with the New Brunswick Trappers Conventions. He owns and operates a small trapping supply and fur buying business and is a nuisance wildlife control operator.
Yvan Charlebois – Director, Canada Region 4
I have been trapping for more than forty years and make use of NAFA’s services every year; I am also a founding member of the NAWFSC. Other trappers from my region and I were instrumental in setting up the Association des trappeurs de Montréal, Laval, Montérégie (Montreal, Laval and Montérégie Trappers Association), of which I was Treasurer for several years. I am a member of the Fédération des trappeurs gestionnaires de Québec (F.T.G.Q.) (Trapper-managers federation of Quebec).
I am also an instructor at the P.G.A.F. (furbearer trapping and management courses) and give demonstrations on how to prepare furs and explain trapping techniques. In recent years, I have participated in efforts to control rabies in raccoons in the Montérégie and the Eastern Townships areas.
Conrad Lanham – Director, United States Region A
Conrad Lanham was born in Kentucky, where he learned to trap at a young age. His first trapping memories are of catching nuisance raccoons on the family farm. Conrad has been shipping to NAFA for over a decade. He has done extensive research on wildlife law and law enforcement and holds a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Eastern Kentucky University. Conrad is employed by the largest municipal police department in Kentucky. He currently works in the Research and Development Unit, where he writes policy and conducts special research projects for the department.
Conrad is involved in local and national trapping organizations and traps many areas of his home state during the trapping season. During the summer months, he enjoys spending his time working on the farm.
Pete Wise – Director, Canada Region 2
Pete Wise lives in Coldstream BC. Pete has always had a passion for trapping and has over 50 years of experience in the field. Besides owning and operating a very busy Wildlife Control company Pete owns and runs a large wilderness remote trapline in South Central BC.
Pete is a BC Trapper Education instructor. He was one of the instructors that helped develop and instruct the BCTA Canid (wolf and coyote) trapping program in BC
Pete is very active in the community with over 40 years as a volunteer with the local Search and Rescue group and serves as the local groups President.
”From Flowage to Fashion” – Long Awaited Beaver DVD Released
The long awaited second DVD on fur handling, produced by the North American Wild Fur Shippers Council, will be available to members early this fall. This DVD, like the inaugural “From the Marsh to Main street” DVD, is free to current members of the NAWFSC and will be included with the fall issue of the” International Trapper”. The IT will also serve as a companion to the DVD with much of the referenced material available in the magazine
This second in the series focuses on beaver and is titled “From Flowage to Fashion”. It is 3½ hours in length and begins with the relationship of beaver to the very roots of the Fur Trade and the founding of our company North American Fur Auctions.
The DVD starts with pre-handling tips on the field care of your pelts, then takes an in depth look at several different skinning and fleshing techniques with an emphasis on helpful hints, proper equipment, their care and sharpening. It also covers drumming, proper boarding, sizing and drying. With a little side trip, it ventures into several value added techniques from beaver tails to correct handling and grading of castors to beaver as the newest gourmet interest.
The grading of beaver is often a confusing series of pelt breakdowns. The DVD follows each step in a simplified manner, and is designed for even the first time shipper to understand. It looks in detail at the mistakes trappers make in handling their pelts and imperfections that occur beyond the control of the fur handler. Buyers give a different perspective on the needs for their clients and the garments they create. The auction process is demystified and explained.
And finally a look at the end result:
- What drives the fur business?
- What is our part as harvesters in the final product?
- How can we relate to and understand all that goes into creating a piece of fur magic that captivates the consumer? After all, the interest and demand by the fashion conscious public is what keeps us on the flowages.
The DVD is by far the most extensive and detailed look at the entire chain of beaver in the fur industry. Its goal is to increase the fur handlers understanding of the process, his handling skills and the value of his product for everyone involved.
Reminder: As a benefit of membership, the DVD will be mailed, late this fall, to all paid members with their IT magazine subscription. Please make sure that your membership and IT subscription are up to date.
Distribution to members without an IT subscription and expiring members who have not yet renewed will be communicated later.
International Trapper is the official publication of the North American Wild Fur Shippers Council. Since 2006, International Trapper Magazine has been the main communication source for information about the NAWFSC and about current marketing activities of both the Shipper’s council and of NAFA.
Subscribing to IT Magazine is one of the best ways to stay informed and up-to-date on current markets. The magazine is published twice per year, in March and October, and the annual subscription fee for two issues is $10.00 (CAD and USD). All funds go to the NAWFSC for education (i.e. fur handling DVDs) and promotional activities in the international market. You can also purchase one or all of our special Anniversary Issues – a great gift for the trapping loved one in your life.
The publication also provides fur handling tips and information about how international auctions work, as well as a variety of popular features, such as:
- Ask a NAFA Fur Grader – a popular column in which our experienced fur graders answer commonly asked questions about grading and handling, such as “What is the most common trapper-caused problem with beaver skins?”, “How important are inspect windows on fur-in species?”, and “If one of my skins was graded select, does that mean my handling was perfect?”
- What’s this Fur For? – Have you ever wondered about the final use of the species that you harvest? In this column, we interview our in-house experts about how commonly trapped species are used in manufacturing and fashion.
- Ask a NAFA Marketing Expert – this feature addresses marketing and auction-business questions, such as “What happens after the fur is sold at auction?”, “What are the most important species sold at NAFA by volume or value?” or “What is a Private Treaty sale?”, and more.
In addition, each issue carries information about current market conditions and initiatives, profiles of NAWFSC Directors, and a variety of “how to” articles that cover everything from proper pelt handling, to tips on how to catch more fur, and more. The IT Magazine is also used to deliver WFSC Pelt Handling DVDs.
Available to NAFA Shippers only.