Hello Arkansas Trappers,
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has been concerned about the long-tailed weasel for a while, but since our weasels have little commercial value they are rarely trapped and we don’t really know where they are found or how they are doing in the state.
However, a few are caught accidentally each year in sets made for other species. If you happen to catch a weasel this trapping season, I would greatly appreciate it if you could put it in a plastic bag immediately (they sometimes have fleas, so you won’t want to wait to do this), freeze it, and let me know so that I could come pick it up or you could bring it to me at either of the Arkansas fur sales. Make a note of the date and exactly where you caught the animal (GPS coordinates would be great) and stick it in the bag with the weasel. These weasels will be turned over to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for deposit in their museum where they will be available for various studies and for educational purposes.
For those of you who are really interested in weasels and would like to volunteer some of your time and money in helping us learn about them, I am considering starting a statewide weasel survey. Although the details will depend on how many folks would like to participate, I would anticipate asking volunteers to construct 4-6 weasel traps (Victor rat trap in some sort of container baited with chicken liver) and run them at two sites for at least 5 days each this season. You would be asked to record data about the trap sites and results and would need to freeze any weasels that were caught so that I could get them later. Highly motivated volunteers who would like to run more traps and/or survey additional sites would be very welcome. Unfortunately, we have no funds for furbearer research so all expenses would come out of the pockets of the volunteers, but I would guess the out-of-pocket cost to be around $25 unless you want to make a lot of traps.
I’ll need to know soon whether there are enough potential volunteers to make this project worthwhile, so if would be interested in learning more, please let me know.
Thanks a lot.
Nongame Mammal/Furbearer Program Leader
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
213A Highway 89 South
Mayflower, AR 72106
Phone: 501-470-3650 extension 235