Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I dispose of most of the pelts from the animals I capture on my trap line each season either by selling them directly to the itinerant fur buyer who runs a route several times each year through my area; or, I take them to a drop off point where a representative from North American Fur Auctions stops to pick up pelts which will eventually be sold at auction.

Could you guess what is in these bundles?
At the end of the season there always seems to be a small pile of pelts which, for one reason or another, didn’t make it into the normal distribution stream. Those I bundle up and mail to a NAFA depot.

There are regulations in effect by the U.S. Postal Service detailing items which are not permitted to be sent through the mail. No doubt some of these are reasonable, others, somewhat dubious; and no doubt, a few that are obscure to most postal customers.

I’ve never been a good “guesser” of what’s inside a wrapped package. Christmas is always a source of surprise for me. Perhaps one of the qualifications to be a Postmaster is a requirement to be a good guesser. At least the Postmasters in the two Post Offices nearest me are that way.

I don’t know exactly what I’d “guess” was inside the bundle I hauled into the post office, if I’d not packed it myself. I stack the pelts tightly in a large, “plastic-burlap” sack, then roll up the bundle, securing it with bands of duct tape. They could be crafts, an old army cot, a couple of those pop-open canvas lawn chairs or probably a hundred other things.

So I was completely caught off guard when I stepped up to the window and the Postmaster points at my bundle and says, “You don’t have any dead animals in there, do you?”

Not knowing the regulations, I quickly surmised that being completely truthful could lead to problems. So I was evasive. “You’ve got my number, don’t you Marty!” That was 2011.

Yesterday, I went to a different post office. Postmaster (don’t call me Post-mistress) Amy was at the counter. She sized up my bundles and said, “Do I really want to know what’s in those packages?”

Busted two years in a row!  How do they know?

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