Arizona Trappers Association April-May 2010 Report

President — Rick Van Horn, 4185 N. Irving Street, Kingman, AZ 86409; phone: (928)757-3860; e-mail: rgvan@npgcable.com

Vice President — Mike Burris, 5452 E. Farmdale Avenue, Mesa AZ, 85206; phone: 480-654-1411; e-mail: bda30@cox.net

Recording Secretary — Mike Huffer, P.O. Box 11474, Scottsdale, AZ 85271; phone: 480-970-5904; e-mail: mjwildlife1@yahoo.com

Treasurer — Mike Hull, P.O. Box 3355, Chinle, AZ 86503; phone: (928)674-9542; e-mail: trapper7772003@yahoo.com

Membership Secretary — Amanda Prosser, P.O. Box 4111, Chino Valley, AZ 86323; phone: 928-499-2114; e-mail: atamembershipsecretary@yahoo.com.

Fur Auction manager — Mike Huffer, P.O. Box 11474, Scottsdale, AZ 85271; phone: 480-970-5904; e-mail: mjwildlife1@yahoo.com

NTA Director — Cindy Seff, P.O. Box 762, Seligman, AZ 86337; phone: 480-390-0723; e-mail: AzTrappers@hughes.net

Scent Post — Winter/Duncan Davis, P.O. Box 86783, Phoenix, AZ, 85080; phone: 623-466-6799; e-mail: dunksdonk@yahoo.com

Membership Options:

• Adult membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $30
• Junior (under 16) with subscription — $20
• Family membership with subscription — $35
• Oldtimer membership with subscription — $75
• Lifetime membership with subscription — $275

Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:

ATA, Membership Secretary
Amanda Prosser
P.O. Box 4111, Chino Valley, AZ 86323
Phone: 928-499-2114

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hello everyone, my name is Tony Miller and I am the new ATA president as of August 2009. So that being said, let me first apologize for not introducing myself earlier. Fact is I am not a great writer and not good with essay deadlines as proved by my long ago high school grades. Let me get started by catching everyone up a little, Rick Van Horn reluctantly had to step down as president at the beginning of 2009 due to serious medical issues. Mike Burris stepped in as president, but as a varmint caller, not a trapper, he did not feel comfortable being president and at the convention I stepped up and was voted into the president position. Mike Huffer has taken on the position as fur manager after Bill Strauss stepped down after the cancellation of the 2009 fur auction.

Now I know a lot of fingers have been pointed, but that is the past and we need now to move on and move forward. In August, we had a good successful convention which Mike Hull took on as chairman and did a wonderful job, which I believe was the first step to the ATA recovering from the canceled fur sale. The second step was our 2010 fur sale, as many of you who know me know, I have always wanted to put on a live auction. I got board approval and Mike Huffer and I proceeded to plan a great auction. Due to advertising a live auction, Mike was able to secure two new buyers in addition to three buyers we have had in the past. Mike also worked diligently to get as many sellers as possible. I was able to secure a great auctioneer, who put on a great show.

Changing from the 25-year tradition of silent auctions to a live auction venue was a huge gamble, but in turn, paid off. We had 908 furs consigned, five buyers, great prices and not one piece of fur went without a bid. This year, we had 217 bobcats consigned averaging $168.40 with top ’cats at $450. We saw a lot of $230-$400 furs. We had 222 coyotes consigned averaging $6.26 with top furs selling for $22. There were 431 gray foxes consigned averaging $15.68 with top furs at $20. Mind you, I said we had great prices this year, but our averages are low. As you will recall, I also said we had a bid on every piece of fur consigned, meaning a lot of mishandled, poor quality fur got real low bids. After checking in a lot of the fur, I realized we had a lot of new inexperienced trappers who need help! I have talked with Joe Melton and he has agreed to do a fur handling demo. Anyone else who would like to help and put on a demo at the convention please contact me. I plan to up our averages next year and need all the help I can get.

Now, on to the subject of the convention. The dates are July 30 and 31. Anyone who wants to do a demo, please contact me or Mike Hull. We also need donations and anyone who can set up a booth please let us know. It will be free to set up booths. Remember, the more we have for people to do, the more fun it will be for all. And the more fun everyone has, the more they will talk to their friends and their friends will hopefully want to come next year. Anyhow, I will try to keep everyone informed from now on, but if you don’t see an article from me, don’t worry. I didn’t quit. I just most likely didn’t make the deadline. Well, I hope to see everyone and anyone in August at the convention who is reading this.

Once again, thank you to all the buyers and sellers for coming out and supporting the ATA. Remember we are only strong in numbers. One more thanks to my wonderful wife Terri for running the auction computer, and checking in the fur at the door. As well as a big thanks to everyone who volunteered their time to help with the sale.

— Tony Miller

TREASURER’S REPORT

Hello to all,

I want to congratulate our president, Tony Miller, and fur manager, Mike Huffer, for organizing an outstanding fur sale. I was pleased with the prices I got for my ’cats and foxes. I would like to thank all the fur buyers that came to and supported our auction. The dates for the summer convention are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31 and Aug. 1. Speakers and activities will be announced the closer we get to convention. If anyone has a suggestion for a speaker or an activity at the convention, please contact me and we will see what we can do to make it happen.

Regardless of your politics, pray for our troops.

— Mike Hull

FUR AUCTION MANAGER’S REPORT

Fur sellers,

I have talked to a handful of you and most were very happy with the live auction. They were impressed by how the auction was so well organized and how fast things sold. Thank You Joe, Earnest, Scott, Terri and Tony for the great job you did running our auction.

The bobcats and foxes sold well and the prices were good, but I was disappointed in coyote prices and am looking into making some changes so we can try to not have a repeat of what happened. I have some ideas and will bring them up at our next meeting. Thanks again for all you guys that helped at the auction and for everybody who brought your fur to sell.

— Mike Huffer

NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT

I would like to thank everyone that does their part to support NTA.

NTA Fundraisers are doing well. We have now netted almost $21,500 on the Cash Calendars. The Holiday Mailing 2009 Fundraiser is over $10,000 net income on this project to this point. The membership response to this fundraiser has received 308 new or extended memberships.
Our next fundraiser will be called “Born to Trap.” The incentives for this fundraiser will include can huggies and caps with the special “Born to Trap” logo on them.

NTA has written the grant application for special funding from IFTF. Last year, we received $35,000 from this grant. This year, we are awaiting word from IFTF on how much, if any, money is going to be available for grants before finalizing our application.

The appeal process in ME is moving along. AWI has until the middle of the month to file their briefs. Gary Leistico is deeply involved and working with Jim Lister, the USSA (FTA) attorney and the ME Attorney General’s office to defend our position and the previous court ruling.
The NTA is staying in close contact with the Maryland Fur Trappers and offering them our assistance. The MD DNR cancelled their furbearer program. This could end up causing problems down the road regarding trapping in that state. Hopefully another state agency will be able to assist and get this valuable program reinstated.

On Jan. 20, Karola Owen provided testimony before the NH Fish, Game & Marine Subcommittee regarding HB 1514. This bill would make it unlawful for any person to sell, give away, buy, possess, accept as a gift, offer for transportation or transport raw skins or un-skinned carcasses of any fur-bearing animal in the state of NH. The NTA worked with the NH Trappers and also the legislative liaison in writing and providing this testimony. Karola did an excellent job with the presentation. Now it is a waiting game to see if the committee allows the bill to move on or if they vote to kill this bill. The way NH operates their assembly allows for the sponsor to bring the bill directly to the floor, but we’ll need to see how things progress.

The U.S. Furbearer Conservation Technical Work Group (TWG) of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) held their winter meeting Jan. 26-29 at the Rockefeller Refuge near Lake Charles, Louisiana. The purpose of this annual meeting is to report on Best Management Practices (BMPs) progress and prioritize further research needs with funds that have been authorized by congress to meet needs identified in international trade agreements.

The trapping community is traditionally represented in the TWG winter meeting with representatives from Fur Takers of America and the National Trappers Association. Representing FTA this year was Gary Jepson and Dave Hastings. Representing NTA was Jim Curran, Sam Smith and Tom Krause. All travel costs for participants are paid for with reimbursements from the AFWA.

Federal oversight was provided by Mike Fall (USDA/APHIS/ADC) and Don MacLaughlin (AFWA). Bryant White attended as AFWA staff.
Other attendees were biologists as follows: Edmond Mouton (LA), Gordon Batcheller, chair, (NY), Jay Butifiloski (SC), John Olson (WI), John Erb (MN), Kim Royar (VT), Philip Milburn (OR), Greg Waters (GA), and Nathan Roberts (Cornell University).

FTA reported their organization has committed $45,000 to pro-trapping ads that will appear on a syndicated sportsman show this year.

Gordon Batcheller and others reported on a Joint Management Committee (JMC) meeting held recently in Moscow, Russia. The JMC includes representation from Canada, the European Union, Russia and the United States (as a Permanent Observer). It was noted the Russian duma (congress) had last June finally ratified the International Agreement between Canada and the EU, which the U.S. has only memorialized in a “Side Letter” essentially agreeing to research, progress and other criteria noted in the side letter.

The JMC meets annually to report progress towards the International Agreement. In addition to Batcheller, other U.S. representatives at this meeting included Don MacLaughlin, John Olson and Bryant White.

The reports of the U.S. delegation were well-accepted and there is considerable interest in the U.S. BMP approach towards trapping betterment, especially in the Russian and EU delegations. The E.U. situation, in particular, has changed and become a great deal more complicated in recent years as the number of E.U. countries has grown from 13 to 31 (later this year). Major concerns of the E.U. are now global warming, wind power, pollution, etc., and due to the needs and complexities of more E.U. member states, it is likely trapping issues are much less important to them than in the past. Regardless, the E.U. and Russian delegations to the JMC are interested and pleased with the U.S. approach via BMPs.
Concerning the International Agreement, it was noted no enforcement procedure is in place for infractions, and the reality is some countries might not be concerned with enforcement of the IA.

The next meeting of the JMC will be hosted by the U.S. next October in Charleston, SC.

The CITES Convention of the Parties (COP 15) will meet March 13-26 this spring. At this time, there is “an uphill fight” to attempt to downlist the bobcat from Appendix II to Appendix III (which translates into a no detriment finding would not be required). Due to our own political climate under the new administration, it is not known whether or not the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will support an effort to downlist our bobcats. If in fact the U.S. does propose to downlist the bobcat, this will be the third attempt. If a third attempt is unsuccessful, it is unlikely the attempt will be made again in the foreseeable future.

Because river otters might appear to be similar to sea otters, there is no interest is attempting to downlist the river otter from Appendix II. It was stated we were really close to eliminating FWS issued CITES tags for bobcats and river otters, due to cost and no requirements under the CITES rules, but the new FWS Director appointed by the Obama administration prefers to wait until the COP 15 meeting in March. If successful, individual tagging of river otter and bobcat pelts will not occur in 2011 (unless the FWS reneges, which is also possible).

It was announced a Web-based interactive trapper education program was being finalized by D.J. Case & Associates. This program will be launched from the AFWA Web site, and will contain 17 required chapters to be completed and tested with an 80 percent minimum requirement. There is an effort to coordinate with the states and attempt reciprocity between states where a trapping ed program is required. Still to be completed is agency directed field components, and this program is scheduled to be launched on their Web site within a month (see www.fishwildlife.org/html).

John Olson raised the question of whether or not trapper education actually “works.” There was no consensus on how to measure this.
It was noted a technical bulletin concerning use of bodygripping traps seemed to be stalled, and John Olson agreed to chair, with co-chair John Erb, to discover if committee members as assigned before were still willing to serve on a committee to present a draft document. The focus is to make a brochure that will benefit trap users, and a draft is targeted for presentation in one year. Dave Hastings and Tom Krause will serve on this committee.

It was determined a part-time employee could be used under the supervision of Bryant White to index approved traps and redesign the BMP Web site to be friendlier to users. It was also determined this person could be used to begin to compile national furbearer harvest data, since that has not occurred the past five years.

An attempt was made to discover a method to approve of traps that are “similar” to traps that were tested and approved under BMPs. It is possible some brands not tested perform as well or even better than traps tested and approved, or not, even though appearances might be much the same. There is also an issue that some traps might be unfairly promoted with marketing advantages for the approved traps, and conversely, there are considerable costs associated with testing every new trap appearing in the markets. After considerable discussion of the merits, no decision was made on how to best address the problem.

Concerning BMP progress, three new BMPs could be completed in 2010. They include: swift/kit foxes, ringtails and lynx. Jim Curran will represent NTA in ad hoc groups for swift/kit fox, and ringtail. Tom Krause will represent NTA in the lynx BMP.

Scheduled for BMP completion in 2011 are badgers, arctic foxes, wolverines and gray wolves.

Considering research priorities for 2010, there were many proposals. After discussions, four items were agreed upon as high priority for this year.

They are:

• Finding or training at least one more certified wildlife veterinary pathologist to assist in ongoing necropsy work (animal autopsies);

• Forwarding the lynx research

• Developing infra-red camera technology to view animal behavior and times to apparent irreversible unconsciousness (death) in trapping events as computer models and compound testing do not include all species of concern

• Compile a literature review of trap research as has been published in the various wildlife management journals

The infra-red camera technology development (with motion detectors and timers) was a recommendation of NTA. We have a need to discover whether the Canadian-made computer models of trap performance are in fact valid; there is no trap testing compound in the U.S. and is unlikely to occur due to animal welfare committee concerns; we have no required data on some species with times to death in bodygripping traps; and we need to be able to support and prove our trap performance discoveries with an economical approach.

The TWG meetings with trapper representation are informal, friendly and beneficial to all concerned.

The dates and locations for the Leadership Conferences are as follows:

Mid West — March 13, 2010 Signature Inn, 101 Southern Veterans Parkway Normal IL 61761 Ph: 309-454-4044, cutoff date for reservations Feb. 12,2010

Western— March 27,2010 Super 8 Motel, 4250 Koval Ln. Las Vegas NV 89109 Ph: 702-794-0888, cutoff date for reservations March 16,2010
South East — April 9,2010 La Quinta Inn 150 Cracker Barrel Dr. Calhoun GA Ph: 706- 629-2559. The meeting will be held at the fairgrounds conference room.

North East — April 17, 2010 Fairfield Inn & Suites Saratoga-Malta 101 Saratoga Village BLVD Malta NY 12020 Ph: 518-899-6900, cutoff date for reservations March 16, 2010

2010 Conventions —The NTA’s 7th Annual Southeast Regional Convention will be held on April 9 through 11, 2010 in Calhoun, Georgia. The NTA’s Annual Northeast Regional Convention will be held May 21st through 23rd, 2010 in Greenwich, New York. The NTA’s Annual Western Regional Convention will be held on June 18th through 20th in Rock Springs, Wyoming. The 51st National Convention will be held in Marshfield, Wisconsin Aug. 5th through 8th, 2010. Refer to the NTA’s Web site for more information on these events. Anyone interested in vendor booth space and/or sponsoring a building, demo area, volunteer t-shirts or trap setting plaques, please contact our Convention Coordinator Dan Skurski.

The BOD was provided with a ballot to approve the NTA entering into a contract with Dave Linkhart Group to act as the NTA Director of National and International Affairs. This agreement was voted on and passed by the BOD and the NTA is looking forward to working with the Linkharts.

Don’t forget about making nominations for the NTA Awards given each year. Here is a summary of the Awards to help you out:
Trapper of the Year — Two of these awards are presented each year, one to an Eastern trapper and one to a Western trapper. This award is typically presented to an individual whose efforts have benefited a lot of trappers. Examples of this include someone who had worked on a project that benefited all trappers in a state, such as getting a snaring season opened, getting a trapper education program started, etc. Or possibly someone who has worked to benefit trappers over a multi-state area such as working on BMP’s for trapping, a national/regional school education program, etc.

Benefactor Award — This award is generally presented for financial and/or promotional support of the NTA. Over the past several years, this award has been presented to individuals, state trapping associations, businesses involved with trappers and trapping magazines.

Pioneer Award — This award is not awarded to someone because they are elderly; historically it has been given to those who have spent many years working for the betterment and benefit of trappers and trappers rights. Take a moment to reflect on those trappers who have worked day in and day out for years, working unselfishly for the good of all. These types of individuals have dedicated much of their lives to traps, trappers and trapping. They deserve our recognition, so please send in their names.

Leadership Award — Can go to an individual, individuals working together or an Association or Organization. This can be awarded for work in the education field, establishing trapper education program, establishing trapping organization, revitalization of an existing trapping organization or similar accomplishment. Once again, think about the activities of the past year, has anything taken place that might require recognition by the awarding of the NTA leadership award.

Director of the Year — This award is for the affiliate NTA director that promotes the NTA within their respective trapping association and builds or strengthens the bond between their affiliate and the NTA. The director fulfills the criteria of this award by communicating to the affiliate what the NTA is doing and makes sure that the NTA is aware of their affiliates’ concerns and opinions. The director also sets up an NTA booth at the affiliates’ convention, fur sale and other similar functions where they promote the NTA, sell NTA memberships and merchandise. They take the time to help neighboring NTA directors at other conventions, attend the National conventions, sit in meetings and volunteer to work the NTA booth at the National convention, these are just a few of the things that your NTA Director accomplishes on your behalf.

Affiliate of the Year — This award is probably deserved by most all affiliates, as just the act of affiliation with the NTA benefits all trappers. Take a moment and list the things that your association or organization has accomplished this past year to promote or benefit the NTA such as; cash donations, prizes for sweepstakes, merchandise for auctions, provided the NTA booth space at conventions, outdoor shows, state/county fairs. These are just a few examples.

Congressional Merit Award — This award is just like it sounds. It is given to a Senator, Congressman or other political person who has worked for the benefit of traps, trapping and trappers while serving as a legislator. It can be given for behind-the-scenes efforts or right-out-in-front leadership on conservation or other related issues that benefit our industry.

Conservationist of the Year Award — This award is given out to an individual who works on behalf of sound wildlife management programs. This can be done at many different levels: through organizations, state or federal agencies or associations. Promoting traps, trappers and trapping.

Also, if you are not a member or need to renew, you can do so on the Web site or by sending $30 for one year to: National Trappers Association, 2815 Washington Avenue Bedford, Indiana 47421.

Or for questions call Headquarters at 812-277-9670.

If there is ever anything I can do to assist you or answer questions, please call. If I don’t know the answer, I will get it. Remember, I am only a phone call away — 480-390-0723.

Catch ya next Time.

— Cindy Seff

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