Vice President — Bill Crowder, P.O. Box 510, Madison, FL 32341; phone: 850-973-6540; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary/Treasurer — Carol Lokken, 7047 Spinnaker Blvd., Englewood, FL 34224; phone: 941-475-1206; e-mail: email@example.com
NTA Director — George Dykhuizen, 8110 Casa De Meadows Dr., Englewood, FL 34224; phone: 941-697-7634; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Family membership, including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Associate membership (without magazine) — $15
• Lifetime membership (without magazine) — $100
• Lifetime membership with two year subscription — $125
Complete membership application on first page of association section, and send dues to:
7047 Spinnaker Blvd.
Englewood, FL 34224
Hello fellow trappers! As spring is coming on, I hope everyone made it through this rough winter safely and did well with their trapping. It seems like the fur markets are going to make a comeback relatively quickly. The sale results I have seen lately are looking much better than I had expected for the year.
In last month’s article, I spoke about a meeting on the status of the coyote and fox run pens in Florida. We went to support the fox hunters and their right to own and use these pens. The pens are also the only outlet for our worthless Florida coyotes! Our state Fish and Wildlife board of commissioners put on a public forum to discuss the status of the rules and regulations on the pens. There were about 200 people there in support of the pen owners, and about 30 who were against it. Sixty people signed up to speak their mind on this issue, most were pen owners or fox hunters. The usual nuts were there to say the same lies they say everywhere they go.
I thought the hunters presented their cause in a very clear and professional manner. In the end, the chairman of the board stated there was no hard evidence of any cruelty going on in the pens, but he and three other members of the board were still all for closing the pens permanently. Two of the six commissioners were for leaving them open, while clarifying and putting into law the proper regulations to ensure safe operation for both the public and the users. The board voted to allow the pens to operate until the end of February, and then they will all be shut down until June when a final hearing will be made. I would like to send a special thank you to Kirk Dekalb, who took time out of his busy schedule to drive down to speak on our behalf.
We are moving forward with our plans for a trapper training course for Florida trappers. We have the places lined up. Now we are working on putting together our courses we plan on offering. This is where our members come in. The surveys that were sent out with the newsletter are what we are using to put together our demos for the convention and the training courses. I have received 16 out of the 110 that were sent out. Please send the rest in as soon as possible!
To those of you who have sent furs up to auction, I hope it does as well as you hope for. I will be putting a few in the mail soon myself. Please remember to support all other sportsmen who enjoy our outdoor lifestyle. Stay safe and happy trapping!
— Cody Sikes
VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Bill Crowder sends his warm regards. He’s been battling the flu for a couple of weeks. He asked us to remind everyone to complete the membership surveys and send them back. Even if you are a “supporting” member and not an active trapper, we still need to know about you and your experiences and ideas.
— Bill Crowder
Spring has sprung? As I’m writing this at the end of February, I am anticipating warmer, spring weather. We certainly have had “a winter” in Florida this year. If nothing else, the colder temperatures will help with fur qualities. But I think it’s safe to say that we’re all ready for it to warm up.
To our new members, a very warm welcome is extended. We encourage you and all our members to get involved and stay involved with the association. If you have not returned the membership survey we sent out with the last newsletter, please take the time to do so. Regardless of whether you are an active trapper or not, we need the information requested. If you’ve misplaced your survey, contact me for a copy.
Are you helping us grow? Do you have our business card in your wallet? Do you have a copy of a membership application? Are you displaying the FL Trappers window decal or license plate? If not, why not? With huge movements in the anti’s camps, we must remain strong and vigilant.
Do we have your current e-mail address on file? We get e-mails from the US Sportmens’ Alliance and Wildlife Pro and have been forwarding them on to all our members who have provided us with an e-mail address. Not getting these e-mails? E-mail me so I can either put you on our list or update your contact info.
Please get involved. Help us with trapper training seminars. Write letters to your governmental representatives and let them know how you want them to vote with respect to preserving our passions. Contact the FWC and let them know as well. Participate in activities that promote sportsmen and women and all the activities we are involved in. Promote our association!
We are working hard to conserve, preserve and pass on.
— Carol Lokken
NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT
A recent report from NTA headquarters contains some cautionary advice that Florida trappers need to be mindful of. The report warns that photos and/or videos of trapping scenes placed on YouTube or other public visual forums can be used against trappers. The report goes on to say, “Once these items are posted, they become a public commodity. Although these items are of great interest to trappers, they can or may offend members of the general public…these items are now showing up on the antis’ websites or being viewed with terribly negative comments being posted. Some of the stuff being posted has other sportsmen disgusted and we need to be more thoughtful before we put things out there that could give trappers a black eye.”
— George Dykhuizen