President — John Whitfield, PO Box 1989, Keystone Heights, FL 32656; phone: 352-475-1904; e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President — Dane Dwyer, 426 East End Rd., San Mateo, FL 32187; phone: 386-325-9642, e-mail: email@example.com
Secretary/Treasurer — Carol Lokken, 7047 Spinnaker Blvd., Englewood, FL 34224; phone: 941-475-1206; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NTA Director — George Dykhuizen, 8110 Casa De Meadows Dr., Englewood, FL 34224; phone: 941-697-7634; e-mail: email@example.com
Web Site: www.FloridaTrappers.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
INCOMING PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Hello fellow trappers. My name is Cody Sikes and I am the new president of the Florida Trappers and Fur Hunters association. I am fairly new to fur trapping, as this will be my third year of putting up my fur. I have trapped raccoons for meat sales off and on for a few years out of my feral hog traps. The members of our association have been a great help teaching me how to run the snares and put up the fur, but I still have a lot of learning to do!
As the new president, I have a few goals in mind that I would like to see come to life. I plan to concentrate on educating the general public in order to try to get some of our trapping rights back. As some of you know, Florida trappers are restricted to cage traps and snares. We are allowed the use of padded foothold traps in nuisance situations, by permit only. These permits are getting harder to obtain in some districts than in others.
As an association, I believe we need to educate as many people as we can in order to win as many people over to our side as possible. Here in my home county, we have had numerous confirmed rabid fox attacks over the last year. Our state government spends a pile of money every February air dropping rabies vaccinations for the wild animals. I believe that a little education on the benefits of trapping would go a long way!
In closing, I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to help me as I continue learning this great tradition of trapping. Our association is growing, and we are starting to pick up some younger members. To all of the experienced trappers out there, please take a minute to help the younger trappers who want to get into trapping. They are truly our future, so let us all try to get as many of the younger generation into trapping. Stay safe and have a great season!
— Cody L Sikes
INCOMING VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT
I am honored and humbled to accept the position of Vice President of the Florida Trappers and Fur Hunters Association. I will work diligently to preserve our trapping heritage. There are many members who have put their faith and trust in me and I will do my very best not to let you or the organization down,
From what I am reading, the fur market is in the dumps this year. Our young trappers might look into nuisance wildlife removal. The pay is a lot better than putting up fur.
All you need is a trapping license, live traps and coon cuffs (they are dog- proof and can be purchased from most trapping catalogs). Nuisance wildlife in and around cities, big and small, is fast becoming a BIG problem. This creates a window of opportunity for a trapper to make a few bucks without relying on the unstable fur market. The good thing about nuisance removal is that it allows you to trap 12 months a year. Remember, before you start trapping, be sure to check FWC rules and regulations and local ordinances in the area in which you are trapping.
Anyone who is interested can contact some of our members who have been doing nuisance trapping for a long time or call me on some guidelines on how to get started.
Looking forward to a GREAT trapping season ahead.
— Bill Crowder
Happy Holidays Y’all!! It’s hard to believe how quickly this year has flown. And we’re gearing up for the new year, with new officers and new ideas. Watch us grow!
Our membership is at 115, with 36 of those being Lifetime Members. We will continue to offer the gift certificate incentive to bring in new members. If anyone needs membership applications, e-mail or call me.
If anyone is interested in purchasing any of our promotional items, contact me. I am pleased to announce that all of the remaining imprinted rabbit pelts have been donated to one of our Lifetime Members for an auction for Fur Bearers Unlimited. A HUGE thank you goes out to Joe Gaspar for his generosity! It’s wonderful to be able to be a part of something that’s bigger than we are.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing officers one more time. John Whitfield and Terry Mayne have been a pleasure to work with. We’ve laughed, we’ve shared a lot of fun, ideas, foolishness and business. They have made my job fun and easy. And I look forward to working with Cody Sikes, Bill Crowder and our NTA Director George Dykhuizen.
Again, if anyone needs information about membership, our members or our items or if you have ideas, stories or pictures you want to share, please contact us. Our Web site at www.floridatrappers.org will be updated soon.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
— Carol Lokken
NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT
The National Trappers Association helps trappers fight their battles on the local, state, national and international levels. However, it requires a lot of money to support lobbyists in D.C., and to send representatives to the Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) etc. That’s why NTA sponsors periodic fundraising programs. The current project is called CASH CALENDAR. For all participants, whether an NTA member or not, winners names are drawn 365 days a year and awarded a $25 prize, except on Fridays when $50 is given.
Additionally, $100 daily is awarded during the four days of the NTA Convention. And for 14 other special days, prizes ranging from $500 on the 4th of July to $100 on New Year’s eve are given to the individual whose name is drawn from the pot. It’s easy to participate in the CASH CALENDAR bonanza. Here’s all you have to do: Send a $10 check to NTA and earmark it for CASH CALENDAR. Be sure to include your name, phone number and complete mailing address. Make out your check to the National Trappers Association and send it to: National Trappers Association, 2815 Washington Ave., Bedford, IN 47421.
That’s all there is to it. Do it today. You could be a winner. And remember, each time you win, your name goes back into the pot so that you could be a repeat winner. GOOD LUCK!
— George Dykhuizen
COYOTES & NUISANCE ANIMALS REPORT
Coyotes: Coyotes continue to make headlines in Florida, with reports in many counties posting problems or incidents. Even The Gainesville Sun recently ran a front page, lead item story on the coyote problem in residential areas, where home owners had reported missing pets — primarily cats and small dogs. The article cited several recent pet losses and coyote sightings in neighborhoods. And the Florida Wildlife Commission has reported that coyotes have been documented in all of Florida’s 67 counties. A recent discussion was held regarding coyotes digging up sea turtle eggs on certain beaches.
Coyotes are not natural to Florida. These are non native animals and have caused many problems throughout the state affecting farmers (cows, sheep and goats), ranchers, home and property owners and hunters — with coyotes even grabbing fawns and turkeys as evidenced on several game cams.
All of this points to an opportunity for our Florida Nuisance Animal Trappers. Snares and Live Traps are legal in Florida, but footholds and bodygrippers are not without a permit. Permits can be obtained by contacting the FWC and going through the process in conjunction with the property owner. There are indeed hoops to jump through, but it can be done, and a nuisance trapper can earn some extra money and help solve a statewide problem in the process.
Nuisance Animal Removal: Many of our members are Nuisance Animal Removal specialists. We have at least three full-time pros in our membership. And, many of our trappers target a particular species regularly. Gary DePalma has gone over the 1,000 mark on catching armadillos — quite a feat, as those critters do not want to go into a live trap! Armadillos are not native to Florida either and are very destructive. Another opportunity. Check the laws in your area before trapping and removing any animal. Remember, non-native animals cannot be re-released into the wild.
Trapping Season: Bobcat and otter opens up statewide on Dec. 1 and runs through March 1, 2010. Many of us use these 90 days as our basic trapping season, depending on when the cold weather cranks up and the furs thicken up a bit. So, our time in the woods and on the water is right around the corner.
Get out there and have some fun. Take a kid, friend or new guy with you. AND pass it on — our future depends on it!
All the best.
— John Whitfield