Arkansas Trappers Association November 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


Despite the rainy weather and low fur prices, I thought we had a really good turnout for this year’s convention at Petit Jean State Park on Sept. 12. The rain held off until after lunch, allowing us to get our demos in and kept everyone inside for our general membership meeting and fundraising auction. If you didn’t make it up on the mountain this year to join us, you missed out on a good convention. Make plans to join us next year! It’s always held on the second Saturday in September.

 As most of you know, these things don’t put themselves on, and there are lots of people to thank afterwards. I want to thank Willard and Charlotte Watson for handling the fish fry on Friday evening. It was either very good, or I was very hungry. It might have been a little of both. We had a good, productive Board of Directors meeting after the fish fry. I want to thank all of the Board members for attending. It’s been a pleasure working with these guys the past few years.

I want to thank Jim Spencer, Jill Easton and Mike Fischer for doing the demos this year. I was too busy to see them, but heard they all did an excellent job. They’re all very knowledgeable and enjoy sharing their trapping tips and secrets with our members. Thanks go to Terry Funderburk for the demo lineup this year. I want to thank Karen Davis for all she does as Secretary/Treasurer. She reminds me every chance she gets, how hard her job is. Although, her husband, Randy and I relieved her for a while at the Secretary’s table on Saturday, and we didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Ha ha. (I’m just kidding, Karen. I know what a thankless job it is, and how much time and work go into it. I also want you to know how much I appreciate everything you do for this association).

 We had three Director positions up for election this year. Randy Davis retained his seat on the Board, and will be joined by Gary Gray and Charlie Bass. Congratulations guys! I’ll see y’all at the next Board meeting! Officer elections are held every two years, and will take place next year. Congratulations to Sterlen and Jules Kirschman for receiving the Mr. & Mrs. Trapper award. I was surprised, and humbled, with the Trapper of the Year award.

There are many people who work as hard as I do, and are just as deserving. It does mean a great deal to me, and I thank everyone who had a hand in my receiving this award. I thank Don Wilcox for taking care of the awards every year. He’s the guy that receives all of the nominations and makes sure the plaques are ready in time for the convention. Thanks go out to everyone that brought a dish or desert for lunch on Saturday. We sure have some fine cooks in our association. I’ve never seen such a variety of food at one of these conventions before. There was lots to choose from, and plenty of it. If you left Petit Jean hungry, it’s your own fault!

I want to thank all of the people for their generous donations for our fundraising auction. We collected donations from several dealers at the NTA convention, and quite a few members remembered to bring something from home to donate. Thanks to everyone’s generosity, we raised over $1,500 at this year’s auction and had a good time doing it. I also want to thank all of the dealers that attended our convention. Besides donating items for our auction, they also bring loads of supplies to help us prepare for the upcoming season.

Last, but not least, I want to thank the people who hung around at the end of the day and helped with cleaning and closing down the building and loading all of the supplies into the ATA trailer. The more people you have pitching in, the easier it is on everyone. I’m sure I’m forgetting to thank someone for something, so I’ll say THANK YOU ALL for making it a great convention!

 We’ve decided to have our fur sale at the end of trapping season this year. The scheduled date is Feb. 20, 2010 at the National Guard Armory in Russellville. I’ll give you more details later, but mark your calendars now.

Don’t forget that you need a trapper’s permit to trap in Arkansas. It’s free and can be obtained at or by calling (800) 364-4263, ext. 6359. If you get a survey in the mail, please be sure and send it back in. There were about 3,000 permits issued last year, but survey results showed about 1,500 trappers in Arkansas. We need accurate information for best results.

Trapping season is only about a month away. Hope you have your gear ready!

— Gary Helms


For those who didn’t make to our convention this fall, you really missed a good one. We had 184 registered attendants and I feel assured that there were some that failed to register. It seemed to me like we had more folks on Friday night than we usually do. A fish fry with all of the trimmings was enjoyed by all that were there on Friday night with a lot of visiting thrown in and a Directors meeting after the meal.

There were several vendors set up in the building and they seemed to have moved a lot of merchandize; at least it looked that way to me. 45 Memberships were processed with 13 of those being new members and we certainly welcome the new members aboard. The auction brought in $1,521.05 with chances donated on the Dunn knife another $262.

I would like to personally thank Karen Davis, our secretary, on the fine job that she is doing. I know that it is not an easy job keeping track of everything that we do across the state and with our affiliation with the NTA. Karen, I am sure that I can speak for all of us: Thanks.
There were three Directors slots open and the Association nominated five people for those slots. Those selected by voting process were Randy Davis, Charlie Bass and Gary Gray.

Congratulations guys. “Trapper of The Year” award winner is Gary Helms and “Mr. and Mrs. Trapper of The Year” is Sterlen and Julianne Kirschman. I am sure that we can all agree that these are well-deserved awards and we send our gratitude and congratulations to them. Thanks guys and gal for your contribution to our organization.

Bob Stone came through again with the donation of 25 pounds of “home-grown” ground beef. It was decided to use it at the Trapper’s Workshop. It will come in handy there and we certainly thank Bob for his generosity. As I have said before many times, we have some wonderful people in our trapping community. Another bit of generosity from the “Toe Pinchers Chapter”; I mailed a check to Karen, our Secretary, in the amount of $120 to help offset the amount that is contributed to the NTA. We of the “Toe Pinchers Chapter” challenge the other chapters to do likewise.

As I write this report, the month of September is almost over and I must say that it has been the wettest September that I can remember in my 72 years of living on this earth. Of course, all of those years haven’t been spent in Arkansas. We have certainly been blessed with moisture during this past year and we all need to thank the LORD for giving us such a wonderful year.

The Toe Pinchers Fall Picnic Was held on Sept. 5 and we had a really good one with 24 people present. The weather cooperated and Charlie and Cindy Bass treated us to a fish fry with fish that their family had caught. They were delicious. We were surprised by a couple of guests that showed up. Willard Watson and his lovely wife were in Mountain View for a music show and remembered our picnic and came by. There was a bit of a sad note on that day though. Charlie received a call that his brother had collapsed ad they were rushing him to the hospital. Charlie called me later to let me know that the medical people were not able to revive him. Charlie, our prayers go out to you and your family. Charlie and I have become good friends over the years and he asked me to assist him with a Trapper Awareness program on the 26th of Sept, two days away at Jonesboro. All that I have at this time.

— Bill Fields

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