Arkansas Trappers Association December 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


The good news is things are improving and I’m working six days a week. The bad news is, I’m having to work six days a week! I sure hate that I had to miss the Trapper Education Workshop this year, but the company I work for insisted that I spend that weekend with them.

Hopefully it will work out differently next year. I’ll try to get some news on the workshop from Wallace Funderburk, and have it in next month’s report.

I’m afraid I also have some sad news to report. The ATA has lost a valuable lifetime member. I received word that Howard Bohannon passed away on Oct. 6. Mr. Howard, as he was affectionately called by everyone, was a true treasure of this association. He possessed a wealth of knowledge, and gladly shared it with anyone interested in learning. We’ll all miss his demos at the workshops and conventions, and his well put up fur at the fur sales. I don’t believe I’ve ever known a finer gentleman than Mr. Howard.

Trapping season should be underway in Arkansas by the time you read this. Please be careful out there this year, and have a safe and enjoyable season. I look forward to seeing all of you at the fur sale on Feb. 20 in Russellville at the National Guard Armory. More info on that next month. Don’t forget to check out our Web site at All of the latest news is posted there, and you can ask questions and get answers on our Trapper Talk Forum.

Until next month!

— Gary Helms


A rather cold north wind is blowing this morning and fallen leaves cover the yard. We have received in the last 24 hours, enough rain to get Spring River up to spilling over its banks once again. This seems to be a common event a couple of times a month for the past several months in a row. I thank the LORD for it, but hope that it will slow down a bit and allow us water trappers a chance to harvest some fur without losing all of our traps.

I made a trip over to northwest Arkansas last weekend and sure saw a lot of road-killed ’coons and ’possums. Their numbers seem to be on a high scale. There is also a bumper crop of deer. I counted 14 in my yard at 6:30 in the evening about two weeks ago. We are not seeing a lot of horns though as there is a need to harvest some does, at least in this area where I live.

The fur market outlook hasn’t improved enough to be noticeable yet, but other things are finally pointing slightly up instead of down. This gives a slight chance of hope and I for one am going to be out there, perhaps with wet feet and cold hands, matching wits with the critters. I feel that trapping is just as much a part of me as my right arm. I have been hooked ever since my Grandpa Eubanks took me to check a few fox traps when I was a mere lad of 5 years old.

There is sadness in the trapping community these days, suffering over the loss of Howard Bohannon. Mr. Howard had the reputation of being an excellent trapper and a wonderful gentleman among all those that knew him. The term “Southern Gentleman” could have certainly been used to describe him. He was the real “McCoy” and we all are going to miss him greatly. He served as the President of the Steel Handler’s Chapter of the Arkansas Trappers Association for all the years that it has existed. Without a doubt, their chapter is the most successful chapter in the state and we can thank Mr. Howard for that. I feel that he was one of the Greats in GOD’S creation and I feel that GOD thought so too when he called him home. Mr. JM Slaten will serve as acting President of the chapter until the election of officers is held in February 2010.

The following is an Obituary for Howard Palmer Bohannon, Humphrey, Arkansas, submitted by Jim Spencer:

From it’s beginning in the 1970s until about 2005 when his health started to falter, Howard Bohannon never missed a single meeting of the Arkansas Trappers Association. He was there in good years and bad, in good weather and bad, always lending a helping hand, always ready to share either trapping information or a good story, and always with an ear-to-ear grin. If he ever had a bad day, or even a bad moment, nobody in the trapping fraternity ever knew it.

Now “Mister Howard” is gone. He died peacefully on Oct. 6, 2009. in Stuttgart, Arkansas. He was born at Bear Creek, Ark. on April 1, 1922, and after fighting in the Philippines and the South Pacific during World War II, he settled near Humphrey, Ark., and lived there the rest of his life as a farmer and trapper, targeting mink, ’coons, muskrats, beavers and otters in and around Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area. He and his wife Stella, who was also a constant fixture at ATA meetings, were married 63 years.

Howard served many terms as a board member of the Arkansas Trappers Association and was a long-time member of the NTA. He was the Steel Handlers Chapter of the ATA and was instrumental in the chapter’s long-running annual wild game supper fundraiser and social get-together. He was a good trapper and a good friend to trappers, and there are not enough like him in our industry. Now there is one fewer, but those of us that knew him will always be richer for the experience. We’ll miss you Mister Howard.

Thanks Jim for your submission.

— Bill Fields

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