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Below is a review that appeared in Fur Taker Magazine:

Tim Hiller

Review 43, Video
Fur Taker Magazine
25 January 2010


Top Dollar Cat$$ (2010)
with Mercer Lawing

 California trappers have had more than their fair share of challenges over the years when it comes to harvesting furs, which really became evident to me on a recent business trip there.  Currently, recreational trappers in The Golden State cannot use “body-gripping” traps, which the state defined to include both foothold traps and Conibear-type traps.  Thankfully, California trappers are as ingenious as those anywhere, and they developed a cage-trapping system for species such as bobcats and fox.  Given the popularity and high initial investment in cage-trapping, it only makes sense to get the most out of your hard-earned bobcat pelts.

 In certain western regions, bobcats have been bringing $350 or more.  Size, color, and primeness are characteristics that trappers may have somewhat limited control over, but knowing what you can do may make a relatively large difference in your fur check.  Tips and tricks for increasing your bobcat fur check are the topics of Mercer Lawing’s new video, Top Dollar Cat$$.

 Mr. Lawing skillfully narrated and demonstrated how to skin, flesh, and stretch a bobcat, and how to locate and collect glands for lure making.  Of course, skinning is probably the least time-consuming aspect of fur handling to explain, and the host goes into great detail about fleshing, stretching, drying, and cleaning pelts.  He covers what you need to do to freeze skins, how to trim ear cartilage, and how to properly clean and dry bobcat pelts.  Being a predator caller, Mr. Lawing also knows how to deal with pelt damage and blood, and he describes what holes you should and should not repair, and how to best repair them.

 Getting the most out of your bobcat also includes proper stretching.  The Nevada-style stretch is not a big secret, but like anything else, and forgive the pun, there is more than one way to stretch a cat.  According to Mr. Lawing, and several others, the Nevada-style stretch (with the front legs forward) is the most profitable way to stretch a cat.  The logic behind this is simple: fur buyers are looking for long, wide bellies, and the Nevada-style stretch is the easiest to inspect.  As explained in this video, it’s largely about eye appeal; a well-handled fur needs to be looked at only once, and very quickly, by a fur buyer.  Mr. Lawing skillfully demonstrated how he likes to achieve this type of finished product.  During and after the drying process, however, there is a bit of work involved to make the best presentation of your fur to obtain top dollar.  Mr. Lawing stated that the cost of his video will quickly be returned to you in your next fur check, which is a claim that may be difficult to dispute for most of us.
Top Dollar Cat$$ was a very well-edited and informational 70-minute video that should be very useful to bobcat trappers and hunters, even if you only take a handful each season.  If you’re trapping bobcats and looking for some good tips on fur handling, contact Mercer Lawing by phone (760.497.1445), email (, or through his web site (  As with the video, the web site is particularly well done, and includes a photo gallery, video clips, and information on purchasing Camtrip Cages for bobcats and similar-sized critters.  As a reminder, check your state and federal regulations for tagging requirements for bobcats that you harvested.

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