Nearly gone by the 20th century, beavers were reintroduced in the state in the 1930s and spread across the counties. They are a gnawing concern to the timber industry, but a boon to Paul Dobbins of Princeton, one of the state's last full-time trappers.
Fur buyer E. G. Dupree has found a lucrative career in purchasing and selling furs. Trappers bring Dupree muskrat, mink, beaver, raccoon, otter, fox, nutria, bobcat, and other fur-bearing animals which he then sells to buyers in New York.
Eleven species of fur animals are trapped legally in North Carolina each year. The muskrat, raccoon, mink, and opossum are the animals taken in the largest numbers. Wilson describes the people who trap for a living, the best time for trapping, and areas of the state where trapping is done. Tabulations for the fur harvest in 1950-1951 are included.
Q. J. Stephenson is one of the best and most knowledgeable trappers in the country, and for over fifty years has tended his traplines in the Occoneechee section of the Roanoke River. In this Carolina Profile he talks about his life along the river, reflecting on his outdoor experiences and what the lands and resources mean to him.
Kenneth A. Wilson was one of the first wildlife biologists hired by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission in 1947. He was the state's first expert on furbearing animals and trapping. His research, writing, teaching, and other public contacts laid the groundwork for other wildlife scientists who would follow him. He retired in 1970.
Trapping is a controversial and frequent target of animal rights organizations. Emotional photographs of trapped animals are often used to sway public opinions. A new argument of economic gain has recently been cited as another reason for banning trapping.
Within the McKinley family, everyone had a purpose; fishermen and hunters provided and were basket weavers for fish traps, someone learned to play music, and other person acted as the family doctor for minor injuries. Basket making had been passed down through the family for generations but with changing time and practices, the art of basket weaving is being lost.