Florida Trappers & Fur Hunters Association August 2009 Report

President — John Whitfield, P.O. Box 1989, Keystone Heights, FL 32656; phone: 352-475-1904; e-mail: huntfishwriter@aol.com

  Vice President — Dane Dwyer, 426 East End Rd., San Mateo, FL 32187, phone: 386-325-9642; e-mail: fortdwyer@hotmail.com

Secretary/Treasurer — Carol Lokken, 7047 Spinnaker Blvd. Englewood, FL 34224; phone: 941-475-1206; e-mail: beachbum5253@comcast.net

NTA Director ­— George Dykhuizen, 8110 Casa De Meadows Dr., Englewood, FL 34224; phone: 941-697-7634; e-mail: principal1@embarqmail.com

Membership Options
• Family membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Lifetime membership: Contact one of the officers above — $100

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
Carol Lokken
7047 Spinnaker Blvd., Englewood, FL 34224

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Florida Summer

 Baby… is it ever hot outside! At this writing, we’re hitting over 100 degrees all over the state with no let up in sight. I’m guessing even our nuisance animal professionals are backing it off right now. It’s just too hot and humid to breathe out there. Even so, I now have a neighborhood armadillo occasionally rooting through my lawn about once a week. I’ve been after this guy for about a year. I did catch one previously, but this second guy has been quite elusive. I’ve been like Bill Murray chasing the gophers. I’ll get him – saga to continue!

Rendezvous Planning

Things are moving well on our great 30 Year Celebration Fall Rendezvous, scheduled for this Sept. 26 near Chipley, FL. Dave, Terry and the panhandle boys are hard after it, pulling together some great demos for our attendees. Just look at this demo schedule, setting up for Saturday: Ron Braxton on “Snare Manufacture and Adjustment,” Bo Carlton on “Cage Trapping,” John Dunlap on “Wildlife Diseases,” Mike Townson on “Gang Sets and Blending Traps,” Randy Engleman on “Hog Snaring” and Joe Everett on “Nuisance Wildlife and Public Relations.”

A great agenda, coupled with our free noon time lunch on Saturday, the auction, a bonfire, a chili cook off, the raffle winners announced, the campfire tales, camping, tall tale telling and a band playing Saturday night around the bonfire. It will be great fun for the whole family, some of us coming for three days!

Accommodations and directions are outlined on the Web site and you can call or e-mail me, Carol, Terry, George or any of our directors with your questions. We are really looking forward to seeing our members and their families this year. For those early arrivers on Friday, there will be some youth demos and lots of instruction for the novice and anyone interested in trapping in Florida.

 Please go ahead and mark your calendar and shoot us an e-mail as soon as you are committed and we’ll plan on seeing you there. Stay tuned for more detail as we get closer to September.

Florida Wildlife Law Changes

There are a number of new rules and regs rolling out, even as we speak. The FWC has been meeting this past two weeks over the proposed turtle laws and, by the time you read this, it is likely that commercial harvest of freshwater turtles will be banned. Early notice was that this is a done deal and that no more commercial harvest would be allowed, but that individuals would still be able to catch one turtle daily. Some species would be off limits entirely.

Please check the rules on the Florida Wildlife Commission Web site at www.myfwc.com before harvesting any turtles. An obvious over-harvesting of the Florida Softshell for southeastern Asian markets clearly prompted this action. Thousands of pounds of these turtles were being shipped out weekly and then, according to the Florida Times Union, an unlicensed longliner commercial turtle harvesting group was discovered last year “with five miles of heavyweight fishing line and 4,900 hooks strung across a section of the St. Johns River in Brevard County.”

Also, effective Aug. 1, to fish from the shore in saltwater in Florida, you will need a shoreline license, which is available for $7.50, plus any dealer fee. And, about a half dozen hunting license fees and categories are going up in 2010. Stay tuned.

 And, finally, the Captive Wildlife rule went into effect and there were many changes. Check ‘em all out. Things are changing fast in Florida.

Web Site

We’re getting new members regularly from our Web site. Owen has added some great features, including a forum where you can post your thoughts and discuss trapping, etc. Go to www.FloridaTrappers.org and check us out.

Enjoy your summer. Stay cool and we’ll see you next month.

— John Whitfield

SECRETARY’S REPORT

Summer is here. And this is usually a quiet time for a lot of organizations. We are taking the time to build our membership, organize our Web site and prepare for our Rendezvous and 30th Year Anniversary Celebration. I’m sure most of you are enjoying summer vacations and dreaming of the upcoming sportsmans’ seasons of hunting and trapping. It’s a great time to prepare.

Our membership stands at 93 dedicated folks. A big thank you to those of you who have requested membership applications. I’m keeping track of the members you sign up and will be contacting you about the much earned gift cards you will be receiving. For those who are new, we have a year-long membership sign-up incentive. Sign up four members and we’ll get you a $25 gift card (of your choice), seven members – $50, and 10 members – $100. Anyone wanting blank membership applications can contact me through e-mail, snail mail or phone.

Our members all got our quarterly newsletter earlier this month. I also sent out 180 copies of that newsletter along with an introduction to the FL Trapper’s Association to most of our state’s nuisance wildlife trappers. We did that about five years ago and got a fairly good response. I’m hopeful this will generate some new members. Potential members can be found in your local telephone yellow pages. Please take that step and let them know about us.

I hope you’ve all had the chance to check out our Web site at www.floridatrappers.org. We have added a couple of new features along with a forum. The forum allows members to read and post comments, thoughts and ideas. It’s a great place to share. Please take a moment to sign up and join in.

We have a great variety of logo-ed items for sale, featuring a bobcat. These include embroidered caps and emblems, printed t-shirts and coffee mugs and two different styles of window decals. We also have imprinted rabbit pelts. And, hopefully, we will have a new item available soon. I don’t want to let this cat out of the bag before I’ve secured all the details.

Raffle tickets are available! Our first prize is a Dunn Small Skinner knife, second prize is one of our hats and a t-shirt, third prize is a coffee mug and embroidered patch. Contact me for tickets: 1 ticket – $5, 5 tickets – $10, and 20 tickets – $20. The drawing will be held at the Rendezvous and winners need not be present to win.

And I surely hope y’all are planning on joining the festivities at our Rendezvous. Plans are well underway, with demonstrations, entertainments, food and some of the best fellowship on this earth.
Again, if you need details about memberships, items or raffle tickets, my contact information is provided.

In the meantime, everyone have a safe, happy and healthy summer. Stay cool!

— Carol Lokken

NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT

In 1957, a group of dedicated Michigan trappers assembled to determine whether or not a national organization of trappers was a viable concept. Within two years, that same group had evolved into the National Trappers Association, or NTA, with affliates in all 50 states and a membership approaching 10,000 individuals. Now, 50 years later, the NTA is celebrating its golden anniversary at its convention in Lima, Ohio. NTA officers and state directors are meeting at Lima’s Holiday Inn during July 27-29 to conduct Association business, and after that, from July 30-Aug. 2, the gates to Lima’s Allen County Fairgrounds will be open to the public, including trappers from all over the world.

While at the convention, I plan to document news and information of interest to Florida trappers. This will be passed along to all of you in the next applicable column of the T&PC magazine. In addition, all Florida trappers attending the convention are urged to solicit door prizes and auction items from the many vendors who will be displaying their merchandise at the convention.

Material received will be used at our Rendezvous, which is being held this year at Dave Enfinger’s farm in Chipley on Saturday, Sept. 26. Our Rendezvous this year marks the 30th anniversary of our own Florida Trappers Association. What a memorable year for us!

— George Dykhuizen

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