Canine trapping has always been the driving force of my life, and I’ve been around long enough to try a variety of lures in the past 31 years of serious coyote and fox trapping. I remember well the very first bottle I tried from the Fur Country Lures line. I was attending the Montana Trappers Assoc. Rendezvous in September of 1984, and I met Gary Jepson there. I told him that I was looking for an all around ‘cat and canine lure, to use on my Wyoming and Montana fur trap lines that winter, and he wholeheartedly suggested that I try BONANZA MILD. He described it as a food/curiosity type lure, and I can still smell that initial whiff of a truly great lure. It was totally unlike anything that I’ve ever smelled, and I couldn’t wait to get a chance to use it later that fall. To make a long story short, I used it on October fox and coyotes, and when bobcat season opened in Wyoming in mid-November, I was smearing it on bones and down dirt hole sets and racking up the ‘cats. I used BONANZA MILD and SUPER BONANZA for the next several years, and when I started using M-44’s for predator control purposes, I found it to be a very valuable lure in that application too. I started using more and more fresh gland lure as time went by, rather than the aged and altered gland lure variations. I usually started the season with pints of DECEPTION every year.
When I bought Fur Country Lures from Gary Jepson in 1996, I already had a fairly thorough knowledge of what the lure line consisted of, because I’d used some of them in five different states already. When I bought the lure line, I already had some experience and knowledge of lures, since I had talked lure and formulas with some of the best canine trappers in the West over the years.
I slowly added on some more lures, as I saw some needs for variations. My knowledge and resources grew, and I was trapping professionally for a large part of those early years, so I got to see what worked, and all the when and how’s were answered. My customer base has grown EVERY year, and the fact that we have some of our first customers still depending on our lure after all this time does say something for our lures’ quality.
One question that I hear fairly often is “do you make your own lures?” The answer is YES, and for several reasons. First, quality and consistency is our top priority, and we simply would not trust anyone to pay attention to detail like I do. Second, we use top quality bases and ingredients in all of our lures, and the cost is so high to produce some that we HAVE to build and bottle our own lures, to see any kind of profit, especially in our more expensive lures to produce. The bottom line is this: We are grinding glands, squeezing oil sacs, drying castor, and all the 1001 other things that you have to do to make truly great lures, throughout the entire year. We don’t get some vaseline, add skunk and/or mint, and call it a ‘cat lure. That just isn’t how we do business.
With very few exceptions, virtually all of our lures are bottled in wide mouth bottles, for a reason. They are simply too thick, and made on very natural and effective bases to be simply poured into the common Boston Round type bottles, with the narrow neck. Take a look at our gland lures, such as DECEPTION (coyote gland), or ENTICER (red fox gland). Better yet, compare a bottle of our BOBCAT GLAND lure against pretty much any other lure on the market. The percentage of glands used is very evident when you compare them. Some lures have less than 10% gland, some urine, and some glycerine. The ‘gland’ works it way to the top of the bottle, due to density usually, and you can see what you are buying: urine and some glycerine at $5 a bottle! Our glands are collected by a variety of people, and it’s not at all uncommon for me to thaw out 5 gallons of gland and then put on a pair of gloves and sort through them to take out the stray partial dropping, fat, or anything else that doesn’t ‘Make the Cut’. My idea of good quality glands doesn’t include some of the ‘filler’ that makes its way into glands at times. Every year, I turn down glands that I can’t use, and they get bought by SOMEBODY. I’ve built up a network of people to cut good glands every year, and I’m always in the market for more. I think that is why I’ve always been able to produce top quality gland lures, since I have ACCESS to them. I have customers that are the top producers of fur in some states, and I have a lot of colleagues in the predator control field that cut glands in trade for lure/bait every year. And, I cut my own glands almost daily throughout the year. I carry gloves and bags in my pack, and cut anals and bladders from the majority of what we take. My son, Tristan (he’s 16 and loves the skinning machine) does virtually all of our coyote skinning, and he’s been cutting glands since he was 10 years old. He doesn’t cut ‘filler,’ and I have no problem using what he cuts on a weekly basis through the winter months.
Our bases are ‘natural’, and therefore more effective than some of the other bases used in todays lure industry. Natural bases, good glands, TOP quality ingredients, and a lot of care and work, make good, consistent canine lures. When you are talking trapping with successful trappers, Fur Country Lures will often come up, and for a good reason. They are used with confidence by trappers all over North America. If you haven’t had a chance to use some of our lures yet, I urge you to give them an honest try. I’m confident that you will like the outcome. - John