President — Charlie Rath, 1501 Shelby Forest Lane, Chelsea, AL 35043; phone: 205-678-6146
Vice President — Scott Wilson, 16291 Evans Road, Athens, AL 35611; phone: 256-565-4451; e-mail: Scott_wilson68@yahoo.com
Secretary/Treasurer — Bob Crane, 15295 Gainsville Road, Ralph, AL 35480; phone: 205-339-0081
Recording Secretary — Mike Flohr, 297 Kingfisher Road, Greensboro, AL 36744; phone: 334-507-2537
NTA Director — Jackie Malone, 11153 Crocker Dr., Tuscaloosa, AL 35405; phone: 205-366-9604
• Family membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Lifetime membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $300
Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:
15295 Gainsville Road
Ralph, AL 35480
By the time you read this article, the Alabama trapping season will be about over for another year. Hopefully fur prices will show improvement from the preseason predictions.
NAFA announced on their Web site on Dec. 14, 2009, that the January 2010 fur auction has been cancelled. The following is quoted from their Web site: “Due to the limited quantities of wild fur expected for our January 11, 2010 auction, NAFA decided today to cancel this auction sale.” The next scheduled sale dates are March 12–18, 2010. Hopefully the increased volume of wild fur that will be offered will attract more buyers.
On a positive note, State Representative “Jimmy” Martin has again sponsored a bill in the Alabama House of Representatives to change the trap tagging requirements. The pre-filled bill number for the 2010 legislative session that started on Jan. 12, 2010 is HB52. The bill contains the same language as last year’s proposal. You can track the progress of the bill via the Internet by going to www.legislature.state.al.us and clicking on the “bills” Quick Links on the lefthand side of the screen. I am also working with Senator Erwin to sponsor the same bill in the Senate.
Two dates to put on your 2010 calendar: ATPCA Spring Meeting March 27, 2010, Steve Phillips house and Sept. 23-25, 2010, ATPCA Fall Rendezvous, Fosters, Alabama. Details will be announced in the T&PC and fliers sent to current ATPCA members.
The National Trappers Association Southeast Regional Convention will be held in Calhoun, GA on April 8–11, 2010. Full details are posted at the NTA Web site. The ATPCA will be having a booth at this convention. If you attend the event, please stop by the ATPCA booth.
Membership renewal reminder, please mail the two copies of your renewal notice along with your money as soon as you receive it. If you procrastinate, you could miss an issue of the T&PC. Also, please send the materials to Bob Crane, ATPCA Treasurer at the address listed in the T&PC magazine.
— Charlie Rath
NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT
The Al. association just held in conjunction with the Al. DNR our first kids furbearer workshop for the season and it was a huge success. The weather didn’t cooperate, but the students still managed to catch some animals despite the muddy conditions thanks mostly to the experienced instructors they had. I wish I would have had all that knowledge to help me when I first started out. The total catch of the class was one red fox, one coyote, one ’rat, one beaver, one ’coon and more than enough ’possums for them to practice their skinning skills on. Door prizes were given out and every student was a winner thanks to our many donors who always seem to rush to support these workshops.
I’d like to thank each and every one of you. Gander Mountain even donated blaze orange hats and vests for all students this year thanks to the efforts of a co-worker of mine who got out on his own and rounded up even more donations. So the next time you’re around a Gander Mountain, be sure to drop them some of your business. The first night was all classroom stuff. DTM was shown as well as several other DVDs that have been made in recent years teaching about traps as well as the importance trapping has on wildlife of all sorts, not just furbearers. Ethics, history of trapping as well as regulations were also taught.
The next morning, I gave my usual presentation on the many different traps as well as their parts and what they are called. Doesn’t do much good to tell a kid to turn the ears up on his traps so the jaws don’t get jerked out by a hard-fighting coyote if the kid has no clue what an “ear” on a trap is. Lures and baits were gone over also as well as trapline hardware.
Then it was outside for some hands-on training so the kids could learn how to set a trap on their own. After that, lunch was provided by the DNR and then we split up into groups to go out and actually let the kids set traps. A cold, strong wind blew the entire time, but the kids all seemed to not notice that, they were on an adventure!
The next morning, we arrived back at the district office bright and early before the sun came up and each group headed out to check their traps. The catch was brought back and instructors went over the proper way to handle the catch from skinning and scraping to putting the fur on the stretcher. I even somehow got stuck doing the skinning demonstration on the coyote as some buddies of mine know coyotes are the last thing on my list I wish to skin. Always some sort of hijinx going on wherever I’m at it seems. After a lot of thank yous and more door prizes, everyone returned home. I imagine all of the kids had a memory that will last them the rest of their life and hopefully trapping has some new recruits for the future.
Our next workshop will be held Jan. 8-10 at the fish farm center in Greensboro, Al. Two more workshops are scheduled for the remaining part of the season. The next one in January is already overbooked so these workshops are becoming real popular as word spreads about them. If any of you reading this would like to become an instructor, we could sure use you, especially at the last two workshops being held in south Alabama.
One will be near Greenville and the other one is in Coosa County. If you live in or near one of these areas and would like to help teach a kid how to trap this winter, contact me. Like last year, every kid 15 and under who attended was given a free Junior NTA Membership thanks to the many sponsors who wish to see young trappers start out in the sport and also support their national association. Thank each of you who sponsor these kids each winter, you all know who you are.
I signed up 16 at this past event and had one older trapper who is just starting out also join for a year. Recruitment in our associations is important and I hope each of you think of ways to increase our membership’s all over, both locally and nationally. Without strong associations, none of us would be able to continue to enjoy this great sport of ours. Here’s hoping each of you a very Happy New Year.
— Jackie Malone