Arkansas Trappers Association April-May 2009

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


As I mentioned in last month’s report, our annual fur sale was much smaller than previous years. I’ve posted the results below. For comparison, you can go to our Web site, click on Fur Sale and look at the results from our past three auctions. I was able to attend the Malvern fur sale hosted by Southwestern Arkansas Fur Takers on Feb. 14. I haven’t seen the results from that sale, but my personal observation was that the prices were slightly better than the ATA sale this year. One of the fur buyers told me that there was an International auction in between our two state auction dates and the prices and amount of interest in furs at that sale gave them a better gauge to go by. Some prices increased slightly. At our Russellville sale, they were more or less flying blind and hoping they came out ahead.

Here are the results from our Jan. 31, 2009, Russellville Fur Sale (listed be species, # offered, #sold, percent sold, high, low and average):

BEAVER — 101, 96, 95, $14, $0.50, $6.70
BOBCAT — 48, 47, 97.9, $25, $5.50, $21.72
CASTOR — 7, 7, 100, $19, $16, $18.57
COYOTE — 26, 26, 100, $6, $0.50, $3.86
FOX – gray — 52, 52, 100, $18, $5, $15.04
FOX – red — 1, 1, 100, $16, $16, $16
MINK — 14, 14, 100, $10, $5, $6.64
MUSKRAT — 32, 32, 100, $3.50, $0.10, $2.71
OPOSSUM — 99, 99, 100, $2.50, $0.25, $1.87
OTTER — 9, 9, 100, $36, $31, $35.11
RACCOON — 636, 521, 81.9, $15.50, $1, $7
SKUNK — 2, 2, 100, $4.50, $4.50, $4.50
SQUIRREL TAILS — 7, 7, 100, $0.10, $0.10, $0.10
BEAVER — 469, 459, 97.9, $9, $2, $5.99
BOBCAT — 90, 85, 94.4, $45, $1, $17.06
CASTOR — 40.5, 40.5, 100, $16.25, $8, $13.74
COYOTE — 37, 33, 89.2, $21, $1, $4.31
FOX – gray — 119, 119, 100, $17.50, $6.50, $14.65
FOX – red — 6, 6, 100, $14, $8.50, $10.58
MINK — 15, 15, 100, $9.50, $7, $7.37
MUSKRAT — 29, 29, 100, $2.50, $2.50, $2.50
OIL GLAND — 4, 0, 0, $0, $0, $0
OPOSSUM — 208, 208, 100, $1.25, $0.50, $0.67
OTTER — 64, 64, 100, $37.50, $2.50, $24.16
RACCOON — 835, 656, 78.6, $12, $0.25, $2.41
SQUIRREL — 67, 67, 100, $0.75, $0.50, $0.75

Total Sales $17,244.15
Our Association doesn’t have much going on this time of year, but it’s not too early to start thinking about the upcoming conventions later on. The Fur Takers of America national convention is in Mena, Arkansas this year, June 11 to 14. The Southwestern Arkansas Fur Takers are hosting this event, and would appreciate all the help they can get. The contact person is Don Hoyle at 870-385-7917. If you would like to help out, or need more info, please give Don a call. The NTA South East regional convention is May 1 to 3 in Williamston, NC and the 50th annual NTA national convention is July 30 to Aug. 2 in Lima, Ohio. For info on these go to Our ATA convention will be Sept. 11 to 12 at Petit Jean State Park near Morrilton.

We haven’t chosen a convention coordinator yet. We’ll do that at our Spring Board Of Directors meeting May 2 at Gander Mountain in North Little Rock. That meeting starts at 9 a.m. If anyone has suggestions for improving our convention, let me know. Is there a certain demo you’d like to see? Is there a particular person you’d like to see give a demo? Are burgers and hot dogs OK on Friday evening? Are you tired of ham on Saturday? Got any ideas for games and activities? Let me know! Would you like to volunteer to help? Can you supply us with food for our Friday cookout like Robert Stone did last year, or for lunch on Saturday? Can you donate items for our auction or help us come up with a good fundraiser? Let me know! I’ll present your ideas and suggestions at the board meeting.

Karen Davis is trying to get e-mail addresses from all of the members that have them. Not only would it be faster to contact everyone, but it would also save the association a lot of money on postage. Please send your e-mail address to her at

Thank you!

— Gary Helms


I hope that all of you have had an enjoyable season. I guess that about all are through trapping by now. I used to try to trap a few rats and beavers in March and finally gave it up because I found too many pelts had so many holes that they weren’t worth the effort of skinning. I am sure glad that the love making of us humans is not that violent.

I still have a lot of debris to clean up and some repairing that has to be completed. There is over $2,000 on the car and $5,200 on garage and the rest of the property. The ice storm hit me pretty good. I am sure that some of the rest of you have damage too. Mother nature can use a pretty strong hand at times. If there are any turkeys left, the hens have lots of good places to hide their nests now with all the branches and treetops on the ground. There will also be an increase in the prey species for the canines and felines and other larger animals that feed on them. This means that we should see an increase in at least some of our furbearers for the next couple of years or so; the only blessing that I can see coming out of all this.

The Toe Pinchers had their monthly meeting on the second Thursday in February because there were still some people without power on the first Thursday. Charlie was the only one that showed up on that night. He and I did some calling and got the guys together on the second week. Most of our discussion was about the recent ice storm and it’s damage to our area. Most everyone had some damage.

I had not heard from the Steel Handlers Chapter in quite a while and I suspected that there was a reason for no word from them. Hilda Reichstadt, their secretary has been good at letting me know what the chapter has been up to. It turns out that she went in for a checkup the day after Thanksgiving and they scheduled her for a biopsy. She received sad news that she had breast cancer. Immediate surgery was scheduled and performed. They removed that cancer and 15 lymph nodes, nine of which were solid cancerous. They scheduled her for the heaviest chemo that you can take for six months and then every day for six weeks. Folks, this wonderful lady is going through a lot and she needs all of our prayers.

After giving the update on her health, she gave me an update on what the Chapter has been doing for the past three months. They met in December to finalize the plans for the upcoming Annual Wildlife Supper and auction. There were 26 people present at the meeting. Their meeting included a potluck supper and the exchanging of Christmas gifts. The Wildlife Supper was held on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009, and there were 142 people present. Some things on the menu; grilled bear, elk roast, wild turkey and dressing, beaver meatballs, quail and, of course, venison. There were also lots of side dishes and desserts.

They were honored to have the states #1 Flint knapper as their guest. Mr. Darnell Mc Gee gave a demo of his making arrowheads and all thought it was “awesome.” The next meeting of the Steel handlers was scheduled for March 10, 2009, at the home of J.M. and Debbie Slaten in Humphrey. This is all of the news that I have for now.

 — Bill Fields

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