Arkansas Trappers Association January 2011 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


This year’s Trapper Education Workshop was great! The weather cooperated, The turnout was tremendous, and the volunteers that make it all possible did a fantastic job! We had a total of 75 students, and 47 of those were first timers. All of the students were very attentive at the demos, listened well, asked great questions, and hopefully gained lots of new information to help them be better trappers and catch more fur! I want to thank all of the volunteers for making the worksop run smoothly and be the “special” event that it is each year for so many people. We have some excellent trappers in Arkansas, and watching them give up their weekend to teach their trapping methods and share their secrets with new trappers is inspiring to me, and I’m sure, an inspiration to those attending as well. Thank You!!!

The older I get, the harder it becomes to work 12 hour shifts and run traps. I still can’t wait to see what I’ve caught each day though. I guess as long as that feeling of anticipation is there, I’ll continue to do it, and I hope that feeling never goes away! (You know what I’m talking about.)

Keep an eye on the Editor’s report for news on our upcoming Fur Sale at the National Guard Armory in Russellville on February 19th, 2011. News and updates will also be available on our website at

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Helms family!

— Gary Helms


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all North American Trappers and their families!

Arkansas weather finally took a turn for the cold. It’s hard to get motivated to run a line with temperatures in the 70’s and flies following you around. Gun deer season has come and gone. Haven’t seen any harvest data, but didn’t hear many gun shots or see many hunters in Western Arkansas. Maybe the weather, economy or who knows what kept people at home or work.
Information on the ATA Fur Sale was mailed out to ATA members in early December. If you didn’t get a flyer and would like fur sale information, check the website at It may be too late to get in on the lot # drawing, but there’s still plenty of time to plan to attend the February sale.

At the fur sale this year, beaver castor will be handled different than in past years. Castors frozen in a block of ice and/or not cleaned of meat, fat and oil glands may receive an extremely low price or no bids at all. The castors will be graded so they will need to be loosely packed in a container that allows the buyers to view and handle them. Paper sack, cardboard box, wide mouth plastic containers, etc can be used. Frozen castors should be thawed. Most buyers and auctions prefer castor that is dry to the touch, but not so dry that they snap went bent. A typical way to dry castors is hang on a string or wire for 3 days, turning a couple of times so the parts that touch can dry. Temperature and humidity can affect drying time. Green castors are ok if that is your personal preference or if beaver were recently harvested.

The Central Arkansas Trappers ATA chapter invites anyone in or around Perry County to attend their monthly meetings at 6:00pm, the third Thursday of the month, at the First Electric building in Perryville. There are no dues or officers, just a group of guys that get together to discuss sets, fur handling, traps, techniques, regulations, and anything involved in trapping. Feel free to drop in on a meeting, or for more information you can contact Dust’n Lunsford ph: 870.942.6944, email:

AGFC has been concerned about the long-tailed weasel for a while now and are looking for specimens that may be accidentally caught while trapping other species. They are also considering a statewide weasel survey. If you have a trapped weasel you would like to donate (freeze as soon as possible) or would like to participate in the weasel survey, contact Blake Sasse, Nongame Mammal/Furbearer Program Leader at AGFC in Little Rock.

November was a busy month on the ATA message board with 20 new members signing up, 65 new topics and 480 posts. Popular discussions are trap preparation, trapline firearms, bobcats, rats, and more. The address to the message board is Stop by and visit anytime. If you have any trouble getting registered, send an e-mail to and we’ll get you signed up.

— Mark Alexander

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