President — Gary Helms, 1092 Vanderbilt Rd., Texarkana, AR 71854; phone: 870-772-3834; e-mail: Arkansastrappers@aol.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
• 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:
1350 Hwy 70 E, DeQueen, AR 71832
In case you haven’t heard, the Fur Sale location has been changed. The National Guard Armory notified us on Jan. 26 that they were going to be using the building on Feb. 20. Randy Davis was able to secure the Fairgrounds building and talked the Armory into loaning us some tables and chairs. We’ll be at the same place as last year. The address is Pope County Fairground, 517 South Knoxville, in Russellville, AR.
The Armory is an excellent facility for our Fur Sale, but there’s always a chance that we’ll get “bumped” at the last minute. That’s what happened this year. I realize many of you will not receive this edition of the Trapper before the Fur Sale (I usually get mine on the 22nd), but I’m posting this for those that might possibly get theirs in time.
We’ll have Fur Sale results in next month’s report.
— Gary Helms
As I write this report, there are only six days of January left so not much of the trapping season remains. The month of January has been rather wet. Spring River has been up and down. So much fluctuation has made the water trapping more difficult than usual. I suspect that a lot of the rest of the state has had similar problems. It has been a challenge to keep the traps in working order long enough to be very successful. Of course, I, like a lot of others, haven’t hit it as hard as I usually do, but have enjoyed it immensely. I certainly hope the rest of you have had as much fun as I have had. Just being out there means a lot to me. The ’rats haven’t rebounded to their previous numbers after the big flood yet, but their numbers are a little better than last season. I think that the no. 1 factor that is keeping their numbers down is the main food source. The big flood just about wiped out the vegetation from the stream bottom. It will take at least another year before it will be near as good as it was before the flood.
It is sounding like the fur market just might have reached its bottom and is getting ready to advance a little. Of course, we have all been hoping for this, but to be honest with you, I didn’t expect it this soon. Russia and China are certainly experiencing a terribly cold winter and they are among the biggest users of our wild fur. I remain rather anxious for the May sale at NAFA. I will not have a great number of furs up there, but, like others, I hope to show some profit for my labor. I do have some really nice beavers to ship this time and have taken a lot of care in the handling of the pelts. Working up fur is a labor of love for me and I try to do the best possible job that I can on them.
I hope that everyone read our President’s report in the February issue of The Trapper. He had an outstanding report with a lot of good information for the trappers of our state. I, like him, believe that we all should trap during the low price years as same as the good with the checks we receive being just a bonus for the time spent out there and the enjoyment that we have had.
I haven’t heard from the other chapters across the state to find out how they are doing. Our chapter, the Toe Pinchers, elected a couple of new officers. Jill Easton agreed to take the Vice President’s position and we have a newer member, B.J. Goings, who accepted the NTA Director’s position for our chapter. We had our monthly meeting on the second Thursday in the month instead of the first because of inclement weather. We welcome these new people aboard and appreciate them taking on the responsibility of these posts. We had only seven people present at our meeting, but got some things accomplished.
I am winding down this report to get it sent and we have sleet and snow in the forecast for tonight and tommorrow — 8-10 inches possible.
— Bill Fields