Salmon ‘Fur Sale’ Brings Out Bidders

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Interested buyers for the annual Idaho Fish and Game auction, known as the “Fur Sale,” started showing up at the regional office in Salmon before 8 a.m. on the first Saturday in May.

About 60 people gathered to drink coffee, talk and look over sale items before the bidding that started two hours later.

“Folks were surprised at the high prices that were paid for lions, wolves, and otters,” said Dave Silcock, regional conservation officer in charge of the sale.

Fish and Game holds the auction in a different region of the state every spring. Most of the items up for auction are furs and hides that have been found, confiscated or seized by an Idaho court during the previous year.

The first items auctioned were fishing poles, camp stoves, and other small items. Auctioneer Ron Andersen from Pocatello moved through some of the more common offerings, such as antlers and otters, leaving the more sought after items to the end.

A bighorn sheep hide and a full body mountain lion brought in the highest bids at $800 and $750. One large black bear sold for $400.

The auction ended with the first wolves to be auctioned off in Idaho. Both wolves were killed in vehicle collisions, one from the Clearwater Region and the other near Challis. The first wolf was small and the hide was in poor condition; it sold for $80. It took a $400 bid to buy a large, adult gray male wolf in prime condition.

When the bidding stopped at noon, bidders had paid out $14,238. Money from the sale supports Idaho Fish and Game programs.

“The logistics of bringing everything together in one place from the entire state required a lot of time, expense and effort,” Silcock said. “And the sale went better than the accumulation of all the parts.”