Arkansas Trappers Association January 2010 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 Arkansas Trappers Association will hold its annual Fur Sale on Feb. 20, 2010, at the National Guard Armory, 1717 Airport Road in Russellville, Ark. To reserve your lot number, please send your name, address, e-mail and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission ID# (license # if no ID) along with a check or money order for $10 payable to ATA to:

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

Your deposit must be received by Jan. 15, 2010, to be entered in the drawing for reserved lot numbers. (This deposit will be applied to your commission after your fur is sold.) You will be notified by postcard or e-mail when the lot numbers are drawn. Any entries received after Jan. 15 will be assigned the next available lot number. If members traveling together need consecutive lot numbers, deposits must be mailed together in one envelope with each person’s information and the preferred order of lot assignments within the group.

The host hotel is the Quality Inn, 3019 E. Parkway Drive (I-40 Exit 84). For reservations, call 479-967-7500. Let them know you are with the Arkansas Trappers Association to get the agreed rate of $58.49. Get your deposits in the mail and your hotel reservations made now, before you forget! If you have any questions about the fur sale, contact Fur Sale Manager Randy Davis at 870-642-3674 or visit our Web site at and click on the fur sale link. You can also join us on our forum and ask questions there. Several good guys monitor the forum and are eager to help those in need.

I spoke with Wallace Funderburk about the workshop. He said there was a real good turnout, and about 85 to 90 percent of the students were first timers. That’s great to hear! Arkansas Game & Fish Commission has been very helpful with getting the word out to new people for us. The Internet and our Web site have helped as well. I was told everything went well, and everyone had a great time. My thanks to all of the volunteers, from the instructors to the kitchen workers, and those that stayed and helped clean up as well. These folks make it run like a well-oiled machine, but until you’ve been behind the scenes, you have no idea how much work goes into it. I’ve been there and appreciate every one of them.

That’s it for now. I’ve got traps to run! Put this magazine down and get some sets out yourself. See ya at the fur sale!

— Gary Helms


Trapping season has finally arrived and us trappers have been busy stringing steel. It looks good to have some fur hanging in the shed. Some of you are probably not hitting it as heavy as usual because of the market uncertainty, but I must say that we need to keep trapping. If we don’t and an overpopulation occurs, diseases can take the numbers down in a hurry. We as trappers need to take the best care possible of the fur resource.

Another thing that we need to do is keep our association strong by membership and attend the meeting and functions that our chapters have. The only way that we can remain strong is by numbers. We sure don’t want to lose our trapping rights like some of the other states have. Our chapter, The White River Toe Pinchers, currently is having trouble getting started up again after the summer pause in our meetings. We are going to try again for our scheduled meeting on the 3rd of December. I sure hope that we can get some to show up.

From what I have seen so far, fur quality seems to be good for such an early opening of the season. We often get in a rut thinking that it was too warm for the fur to be good when that is not the only determining factor for priming up the fur. The biggest one is the absence of daylight hours. If you will let your mind go back to two or three weeks before the opening date, you will remember there was a couple of weeks of damp and cloudy weather. I think that this helped with the priming. I picked up a couple of ’rats on the first check that will grade “winter rats.” Folks, this was Nov. 15. I catch quite a few ’rats and I don’t remember ever seeing this before this early in the season.

China’s economy is slowly improving and it is an indicator that should prove positive in our fur market. If Russia and China both have really cold winters, it will help a bunch, but there was so much hold-over fur from the last season, it will take a while to move all of it. This means we probably will not see much change in the depressed market this season, but I believe next season should show quite a bit of improvement. We have got to think positive and remember that it is a world market and there are cultures out there that love American wild fur and we are the dudes that can supply it.

All for now.

— Bill Fields

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