President — Aaron Hitchcock, 9331 Sister Lane, Mulberry, AR 72947; 479-997-5361;
Vice President — Charlie Bass, 6755 Bethesda Lane, Batesville, AR 72501; 870-698-1154;
Secretary/Treasurer — Gary Gray, PO Box 493, Arkadelphia, AR 71923; 870-403-2469;
NTA Director — Mike Fischer, 13823 Masoner Road, Lonsdale, AR 72087; 501-939-2325
Editor — Gary Helms, 1092 Vanderbilt Rd., Texarkana, AR 71854; 870-772-3834; TrapperGWH@aol.com
• Individual membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $22
• Family membership with subscription — $27
Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:
PO Box 493
Arkadelphia, AR 71923
Trapping season is over for most, and winding down for the die-hard Spring beaver and coyote trappers on March 31st. I hope everyone had a successful season. They say success is measured in different ways, and that is proven as much on the trapline as anywhere else. For some, a successful season is one where all trapping expenses were paid for with lots of extra cash left over. For others, it’s achieving a personal goal they set before the start of the season, and for some, it’s just being able to find the time to set a few traps and catch something…just being able to get to enjoy nature’s beauty on those frosty mornings while checking traps. Some enjoy the solitude, while others enjoy sharing the experience with family and friends. I expect for most of us, it’s some combination of all of these. However you choose to measure it, I truly hope your trapping season was a successful one with lot’s of great memories.
As the Districts continue to grow and organize, we’re seeing some new faces stepping forward and accepting more responsibility. Heath Shaw from District 5 volunteered to be the fur sale manager this year, and I for one thank him for the great job he did! Heath was totally new to the job and despite the slow start, figured things out pretty quickly and kept the sale running smoothly the rest of the day. My lot sold shortly after lunch, and Heath and his crew moved it through without a hitch and made it easy for me to pay attention and watch it sell. If you’d like to be more active in our association and help out with some of our events, just let your District Rep. know!
Everyone I talked to seemed pleased with this year’s fur sale prices. I saw some good looking fur sell for prices I haven’t seen in 30 years on some species! Averages, however, seemed to only be up slightly from last years prices. I read an article the other day that stated the fact that fur is in fashion, especially in China and Russia, and the long cold winter in China (coldest in nearly 30 years), with a record number of buyers at the Canadian Auctions, made for a “perfect storm” for this year’s trappers and fur producers. I’m not able to post the ATA fur sale results here. The results can be viewed on our website at www.arkansastrappers.org. When you go there, click on the link to download it. It’s five pages long and after printing it off and looking it over, I’m still confused by it, and I know the editor of this magazine is not going to let me post a five page report here. At our Board meeting Friday night before the sale, we were told by Sec./Treasurer Gary Gray that we were going to use a new computer program for our fur sale the next day. He stated that he had been working with the Oklahoma fur sale computer guy to develop a program for our sale. The Board will evaluate the program at our next meeting on May 11th. If you have any comments on it, let your District Rep. or one of the officers know. We also voted to have a moment of silence in honor of Joe Asher after lot #9 at the fur sale and award lot #10 to future Trapper Of The Year recipients in memory of Joe.
As stated, our Spring Board meeting is scheduled for May 11th. Our District plan states that at least two District meetings will be held each year. One District meeting no more than 30 days prior to the ATA Spring Directors meeting and another District meeting no more than 30 days prior to the ATA Convention Directors meeting. Additional meetings will be held at the discretion of the District Directors. Please try to attend these meetings to let your District Rep. know what concerns you have and issues you’d like to have brought up before the Board. This is YOUR ATA and this is your chance to have your voice heard. Contact your District Rep. and find out when your next meeting is. If you need their contact info, contact one of the officers listed above or find it on our website.
Until next time! — Gary Helms