Arkansas Trappers Association January 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


I want to start this report with a big Thank You! to everyone that helped make this year’s Trapper Education Workshop, a huge success. Not only was this our biggest turnout ever, but there were more “first timers” than ever before. There are a lot of hard working members and spouses volunteering their time and energy to make it all possible, and I want them to know that their efforts are greatly appreciated! I’ve received letters from some of the students praising the instructors, as well as the cooks. In fact, all of the students I spoke with had only positive comments on the workshop. If you weren’t able to attend this year, be sure and get your applications in early next year. I expect to see another full house. I’ll be sure and let you know when and where to send them when the time comes.

I hope everyone’s season is going well, and there’s lots of fur at our annual fur sale. In case you don’t know, our sale will be at the Pope County Fairgrounds in Russellville, AR. on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009. We’ll open the doors at 6:30 a.m. for those that didn’t reserve a lot number, and start the auction at 8 a.m. In order for members to obtain your reserved lot number, send your name, address, phone number and hunting license number along with a $10 check or money order made payable to Arkansas Trappers Association to:

Randy Davis
1350 Hwy 70 E
DeQueen, AR 71832

Your reservation must be received no later than Dec. 31, 2008.

When you sell your fur, this non-refundable deposit will be subtracted from the commission you owe. If you choose not to send the reservation fee to reserve a number, when you arrive at the sale you will be given the next available lot number after you pay your $10 deposit. You must pay this deposit in order to receive a number.
We will have a random drawing after Dec. 31 to assign the lot numbers. As soon as the numbers are drawn, you will receive a postcard in the mail advising you of your assigned number. For additional information, contact Fur Sale Manager Randy Davis @ 870-642-3674 or Gary Helms @ 870-772-3834. Please plan on volunteering to help out before or after your fur is sold. There’s plenty to be done, from helping pull fur to cleaning up. Just ask at the Secretary’s table. Thanks!

The Host Hotel is Quality Inn, 3019 E. Parkway Dr., I-40 & Exit 84, Russellville, AR. For Reservations call 479-967-7500. For a group rate, let them know you are with the ATA. (This is the same hotel we’ve been using for years, they’ve just changed their name). We’ll have our Board Of Directors meeting at 7 p.m. on Friday night at the hotel in the meeting room near the front desk.

Remember, if you get a chance, take an interested friend, co-worker or relative along on a trap run. You could be introducing them to a whole new lifestyle! You just never know.

— Gary Helms


Opening day of trapping season was rather uncomfortable with a brisk north wind, making it feel like mid-winter. I was out there putting in a few sets and hoping for the best. Five days have gone by and I keep adding a few sets each day. I have had a little fur to work up each day and that makes me happy. At my age, I just feel blessed to be able to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors, especially the trapping.

We are seeing a big drop in the muskrat population nationwide. The population here on Spring River has remained stable until this year, but this season it is really down. We had the big flood in early April that probably wiped out a lot of them, but you would think that they would have bounced back by now, being so prolific at turning out little ones. Of course, there is always a chance that a disease may have also occurred.

I keep hoping that the fur market will remain stable, however, most of the world is experiencing an economy downturn so we will just have to wait and see. The recent letter that I received from the Wild Fur Shippers Council gave an indication that they were looking forward to a good season. If it will just be as good as last season, that would be great.

I haven’t heard from any of the trapping chapters so this report will be a bit short this month. Our chapter, The White River Toe Pinchers did meet on the first Thursday in November and most of the discussion was centered on the economy and the Presidential election. Of course, everyone was happy that the gas prices were coming down. Currently, here in town, the price is set at $1.67 9/10. I did not think that we would ever see it that low again. Just having affordable fuel certainly helps our economy. This helps everyone and we can all be thankful for that on this Thanksgiving Holiday. I hope that all of you have a happy Thanksgiving and all of your traps are full on that day.

— Bill Fields

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