Arkansas Trappers Association October 2009 Report

President — Gary Helms, 1092 Vanderbilt Rd., Texarkana, AR 71854; phone: 870-772-3834; e-mail:

Vice President — Aaron Hitchcock, 9331 Sister Ln., Mulberry, AR 72947; phone: 479-997-8401

Secretary/Treasurer — Karen Davis, 1350 Hwy 70 E, DeQueen, AR 71832; phone: 870-642-3674

NTA Director — Mike Fischer, 13823 Masoner Rd., Lonsdale, AR 72087; phone: 501-939-2325

Editor — Bill Fields, 543 Riverbend Rd., Mammoth Spring, AR 72554; phone: 870-625-7457; e-mail:

Membership Options:

• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Family membership with subscription — $25

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

ATA, Secretary/Treasurer
Karen Davis
1350 Hwy 70 E, DeQueen, AR 71832


Another National Trappers Association convention is over and in the history books. This was their 50th anniversary, and everyone went all out to make it one to remember. The Ohio Trappers Association did a great job of hosting the event, and are to be commended. Arkansas was well represented with a good number of trappers and their families making the long trip to Lima, Ohio, and back.

Besides the usual reasons for attending the big convention, several of us also wanted to be present when Mike and Virgie Fischer received the Pioneer Award at this year’s NTA Awards Banquet. This is the description of the award given at the ceremony: “The Pioneer 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 trapping. Taking a moment to reflect on those trappers who have worked day in and day out for years, working unselfishly for the good of all and having dedicated much of their lives to traps, trappers and trapping. Mike and Virgie surpass all expectations and deserve our recognition.”

If you know Mike and Virgie, then you’ll agree that no one is more deserving of this award. They received the largest standing ovation of the night from their peers and loved ones. It was a proud and special moment for all of us. Be sure and congratulate them the next time you see them, and thank them for their many years of hard work and dedication to trapping.

This is your last reminder before the registration deadline for this year’s Trapper Education Workshop. You can visit our Web site at for info or give Wallace Funderburk a call at 870-867-2642. (See the Calendar of Events section of this magazine). Get signed up before Oct. 5!

 Next month’s report will cover our ATA convention at Petit Jean. Hope you were able to attend. Till next time.

— Gary Helms


The Arkansas Trappers Association will hold their 2009 Convention on Sept. 11 and 12 at Petit Jean State Park. Contact Terry Funderburk 501-984-5994 or Willard Watson 870-554-2376.
We will conduct a trappers workshop Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 at Camp Clearfork between Hot Springs and Mt. Ida just off highway 270. Contact Wallace Funderburk 870-867-2642.

You can also visit for information on both events.

Thank you.

— Karen Davis


Although it is late August, it seems more like late September. The nights have really cooled off for the last few days and the forecast is for it to continue for a while at least. I have seen more smiling faces as of late. The cooling effect makes us all feel better and therefore we smile more. That is until we watch the news on TV and realize our national economy has improved very little. To my way of thinking, it would probably help if we limited ourselves to watching the news just once a week.

I have been getting behind with my fishing and I intend to take off a day from “honey do’s” around the house and go fishing. With the abundant rain that we have had this summer, fishing has certainly been good. The moisture has been beneficial to all the wildlife. Our nut bearing trees’ crops are a bit spotty, but with all the other forage that the abundant moisture has helped to produce, I feel that we are in pretty good shape. I am forecasting early frost, followed by a lot of snow this winter, for the northern half of Arkansas. This is based on the low percentage, chances of rain that have produced throughout the summer.

There hasn’t been much change in the fur market to report except that China’s economy seems to have improved just a mite. Just maybe they will be looking for some fresh goods, but with almost no competition bidding against them, what they buy will remain cheap. I figure that muskrats will be a good article for the upcoming season, but they have gotten to be kind of a scarce over most of Arkansas. The ’possums that I shipped last season averaged $2.50 and I feel that was a pretty good price. Those grinners bought a lot of gas. All you have to do to catch them is put something smelly on the ground and set a trap in front of it. They are everywhere.

If you have a local chapter of the Arkansas Trappers Association and you haven’t joined them, you are missing out on a lot of fun. The Toe Pinchers will be having their fall picnic on Sept. 5 and we always have a great time.

We meet, talk trapping, have good food and have a small auction of things that members donate. The auction usually brings in $100 or more. The money is used to help the Association stay strong.

— Bill Fields

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