Florida Trappers & Fur Hunters Association February 2010 Report

President — Cody Sikes, 27020 Old Trilby Rd., Brooksville, FL 34602; phone: 352-398-5945; e-mail: southernlandservices01@yahoo.com
 

Vice President — Bill Crowder, P.O. Box 510, Madison, FL 32341; phone: 850-973-6540; e-mail: wildbillc@shareinet.net

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

www.FloridaTrappers.org

Membership Options

• 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:

Carol Lokken
7047 Spinnaker Blvd.
Englewood, FL 34224

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hello fellow trappers. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years. From how the weather reports look, most of the trappers up north have been getting a pile of snow. I have never trapped in the snow, but it looks a lot harder than trapping down here! Our bobcat and otter season starts on the first of January, and I am looking to pick up a few of both as soon as it starts. I am waiting for deer season on public land to end, then I will be running snares for ’cats and otters.

As the New Year gets started, our association is gearing up to start the long hard road to getting our trapping rights restored. Our vice president, Bill Crowder, and I will be attending a meeting of our Fish and Wildlife Commission to let our opinions be heard on the issue of our fox and coyote run pens. A few months ago, there were a group of folks, trappers and pen owners both, that were arrested. Since the rules on the pens are still a grey area, we think it is time to stand up and push for laws that make it much easier on both the pen owners, and the trappers supplying the animals. Trappers down here are not allowed to keep any foxes caught in our cages. I have looked up the state records on confirmed rabid fox and raccoon attacks on humans, and they are increasing rapidly year to year. It is a well-known fact that overpopulation has a large impact on the amount of rabid animals, and I hope to use these statistics to help further our cause. If we can use logic and science to prove our point, hopefully we will be able to get some of our rights back. If anyone reading this has any information or research they would be willing to share in this area, please contact me. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Our past president, John Whitfield, has been working with a Boy Scout camp down here, doing demonstrations and answering questions on trapping in Florida. These boys might be too young to vote to support trapping right now, but at least they will understand why it is necessary for animal and human health. I have plans to attend a sportsmans cook out here in Brooksville, just to let the hunters and fishermen know that trappers are sportsman as well. We are planning to join our state cattleman’s association to educate them on the amount of help trappers can provide in reducing the amount of calf loss in our state every year with predator control. The coyotes are a large problem in this area, with thousands of dollars worth of livestock lost each year. Cattle operations are still big business all over Florida, and we hope by informing cattlemen of the help trappers can provide, they will use their influence to help in changing the laws on the use of foothold traps as a humane and effective tool for predator control.

I hope everyone is having a safe and productive season so far with all the snow the country has been having. Stay safe and good luck at the sales!

— Cody L. Sikes

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hello Fellow Trappers. Hope everyone had a wonderful New Years holiday. Now it’s time to get down to some hard work. There are a lot of changes that we should all be aware of. Our hunting season dates will be changing for the 2010-2011 season. The fate of the fox pens in the state of Florida will be addressed on Feb. 17 and 18 at the commission meeting in Appalachicola. Cody Sikes and I plan to attend this meeting. Also at this time there is a moratorium on permits and licenses of these establishments. This could impact the issuance of Class II wildlife licenses pertaining to canines. Just something for everyone to think about. We will know more about all this at a later date. I will keep you posted of any further developments as they become available.

 In the meantime, Rosa and I have been very busy on the trapline. We have caught coyotes, bobcats and ’coons. We are about to start up another trapline geared especially for ’coons. We have even made up a recipe for our own bait and it seems to be working out well. We will see how it goes. These two different traplines are wildlife nuisance removal contracts. This seems to be the direction in which trapping in the state of Florida is headed. Until next time, HAPPY TRAPPING.

— Bill Crowder

SECRETARY/TREASURER’S REPORT

Hi folks,

With trapping season in full swing here in Florida, we hope everyone’s trapline is productive.

Our membership stands at 106, but we are always looking to increase those numbers. If you’re reading this column, are interested in trapping in Florida and not a member of the FL Trapper’s Association, please take a moment to fill in the application located in this publication and send it to me. Cost to join for a year, which includes a year’s subscription to the Trapper & Predator Caller Magazine, is $25. We put out five newsletters during the year, filled with news and information for our members.

Please take a moment to check out our Web site at www.floridatrappers.org. We have added new pictures to the photo gallery and we have a recap of our fall Rendezvous. Our association forum is still experiencing log-in issues, but we are working on that.

Nuisance wildlife trapping is fast becoming the mainstay of our Florida trappers. With fur prices becoming more dismal, our trappers are turning to removal of nuisance species as a way to generate income and to stay involved with their passion. If anyone is interested in nuisance wildlife trapping in Florida please feel free to contact our officers who will gladly provide you with information and contacts in your area.
We have a variety of promotional items for sale that feature our bobcat logo. Hats, window decals and license plates are available. Please contact me for prices and shipping information (pictures are available by email).

— Carol Lokken

NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT

The NTA TRAPPING HANDBOOK contains a lot of good material. The following is a message that is timeless in its content:
 “Trapping is a responsibility and teaches responsibility. There are laws to follow, private landowner permissions to seek, the rights of others to honor, fair chase rules and laws to observe, and certainly, there is a responsibility to the species to provide reasonable and beneficial harvests in the best ways possible. Traplines provide new problems, challenges, responsibilities, opportunities, and lessons that all contribute to positive character development.”

 If you’d like to learn more about trapping and trapping techniques, why not order a copy of the NTA TRAPPING HANDBOOK for yourself or someone that you feel might be interested. The books are available at a cost of $17.95 from: National Trappers Association, 2815 Washington Ave., Bedford, IN 47421.

— George Dykhuizen

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