Florida Trappers & Fur Hunters Association June-July 2010 Report

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

Vice President — Bill Crowder, PO Box 510, Madison, FL 32341; phone: 850-973-4830;
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

Director — Dave Enfinger, 2381 Bonnett Pond Rd., Chipley, FL 32428; phone: 850-638-7669;e-mail: davidenfinger@bellsouth.net

Director — Randy Engleman, 1648 N.E. Triple Run Rd., Lake City, FL 32055; phone: 352-284-9975;e-mail : rlengleman@yahoo.com

Director — Bo Carlton, 8315 Bay Lake Rd., Groveland, FL 34736; phone: 352-429-2566;
e-mail: mcbc1963@aol.com

Director — John Whitfield, P.O. Box 1989, Keystone Heights, FL 32656; phone: 352-475-1481;e-mail: huntfishwriter@aol.com

Director — Bill Weeks, 12068 NE 22nd Ave., Okeechobee, FL 34972; phone: 863-634-1510

www.FloridaTrappers.org

Membership Options
• Family membership (includes subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller) — $25
• Associate membership (without magazine) — $15
• Lifetime membership (without magazine) — $100
• Lifetime membership (includes two-year subscription to T&PC) — $125

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

Make checks payable to FL Trappers Association

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Hello Florida trappers! I hope everyone had a safe and productive trapping season. I have a few raccoons put up to send to auction, and see how they do. I hope everyone else who puts up their fur has them ready to go; the last receiving dates are coming up quickly.
My wife and I just returned from the southeast regional NTA convention in Calhoun, Georgia. It was interesting to meet and get to talk to so many other trappers at one time. I picked up quite a bit of things I needed, as well as some I didn’t really need but wanted anyway! I met with the members of the Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama trappers associations and talked about some of the different issues facing trappers today.

We are moving forward with putting together a three-day trapper training seminar. It will cover nuisance work, as well as fur trapping and fur handling. If any of you have any ideas to add to our list, feel free to contact myself or Bill Crowder. We are loosely basing our training on the Fur Takers College; we will fine tune it to fit our three-day limit, as well as our Florida rules and regulations. Some of the classes offered will be classes on filling out the necessary paperwork for foothold permits, damage control work and successful business tips on managing a trapping business. Look for dates and details in future columns or feel free to give us a call.

I want to thank everyone who returned our membership survey. We are also interested in any ideas our members have to help improve our association as well as increasing membership. I hope everyone who sent furs off this year gets a fair price on their furs! Happy trapping! — Cody Sikes

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Hello FTA members. I hope everyone is having a good year. The fur market has made a slight rebound. That is good news, but for how long is anyone’s guess.

The Florida Trappers Association has some exciting things coming forth this year. We plan to have a three-day intense hands-on training and trapping seminar geared toward nuisance animal control. This seminar will help us to provide a service to our affiliations and the public. There will be professional trapper instructors teaching the seminar. The seminar will be held in Madison, Florida. Dates, details and the cost of the seminar will be provided in future columns.

On another positive note, Rosa and me, along with Darrell, Ninan and Nathaniel Rogers manned the Florida Trapper’s booth at the Florida Farm Bureau days at the Civic Center in Tallahassee. We lured people over by using eye attractants such as different kinds of traps, a variety of pelts and two large alligator heads. These were all really BIG hits — eye appeal!! People were constantly coming by, asking questions on trapping nuisance animals that are around their homes. We had numerous inquiries on wild hogs and coyotes. We handed out a large amount of literature, cards and membership applications. Feedback was all positive. Nuisance animals are becoming a huge problem to home and landowners, and they want them removed.
Until next time be safe, happy, successful and catch lots of varmints. — Bill Crowder

SECRETARY’S REPORT
I hope everyone has warmed up and is enjoying our spring weather. I want to extend a warm welcome to our new members. And I hope everyone is excited about what’s in store this year.

As of this report, our membership stands at 108. Many thanks to our members who have helped our roster grow… Keep it up everyone.

If anyone has any questions about their membership, subscription, or anything else please give me a call or shoot me an e-mail. I’m available most evenings and if I miss you, please leave a message.

As you can see, we are gearing up for a busy year with lots going on and some changes. Get involved. Help us to preserve, conserve and protect. — Carol Lokken

DIRECTOR’S REPORTS
Coyotes are a Problem – Coyotes are an Opportunity

Hardly a week goes by without a report of a coyote problem somewhere in Florida. Recently documented as now officially being found in every one of Florida’s 67 counties, coyotes are gaining an ugly reputation as an animal that is very destructive, elusive and hard to trap or shoot.

Coyotes — like armadillos, pythons, primitive catfish, iguanas, Nile lizards etc.—are not native to Florida. And a coyote is very close to being an Apex predator. There certainly aren’t enough bears or Florida panthers to make a difference, and there are probably more coyotes killed by cars than by all hunters and trappers combined.

Destruction is occurring in virtually the entire Florida farming community — according to cattlemen, ranchers, goat and sheep farmers, watermelon farms and almost any livestock effort. Add to this the untold natural toll — deer fawns, turkeys, quail, rabbit, fox and now . . . even sea turtle eggs have been reported as being dug up on the beaches by coyotes.
 All of this leads us to an opportunity. Trapping. (Nuisance Animal Removal.)

The permit: It is important that each of our trappers knows the proper procedure and the rules for coyote permits. (You do not need a special permit to hunt/shoot coyotes or to catch them in a snare — only your regular hunting and/or trapping license.) For the FWC permit, however, the property owner and the trapper both need to jointly apply for the coyote removal permit. After approval, these permits are usually granted for about three months, and then a concluding report must be filed with FWC.

 A few inclusions in the permit are: steel traps are permitted for coyotes only, and these traps must have padded jaws. All non-target species must be released. And, of course, your traps must be checked every 24 hours.

Traps & Training: Snares can also be used, but always remember that snares are lethal, and a hunting dog or neighbor’s cat could accidentally be caught. Don’t use these in urban areas or neighborhoods.

The Florida Trappers Association highly recommends each person that wants to trap coyotes be trained by someone who knows how. If we are going to do a professional job out there, we need to know what we are doing. Contact us for training opportunities. Think PROFESSIONAL.

On my last coyote project, a 6,000-acre cattle ranch, I had 72 traps in the ground, and also ran about 10 snares — for 17 days. I caught 11 coyotes total — nine in traps and two in snares. The ranch manager was very happy to have these coyotes eliminated just before they reproduced this year’s pups.

Nuisance Animal Removal might be the largest part of our trapping future, in Florida. As professionals, we can earn some money, and we can also each do our part to remove these non native destructive animals, and give Florida’s native wildlife — and the farmer’s livestock — a better chance of survival. — John Whitfield

NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT

The 51st annual NTA Convention will be held from Thursday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 8 in Marshfield, Wisconsin. The previous three days will be devoted to meetings of the NTA Executive Council and the Board of Directors. The Convention is being held at the Marshfield Fairgrounds located at 513 East 17th Street. Camping is available on site. In addition, numerous motels are located nearby and can be located by Google. For reference, a couple of motels in the $50 price bracket are: ABBEY INN, 715-223-3332; HILLCREST MOTEL, 715-987-1234, and 7 STAR MOTEL, 715-387-2511.

Successful trapping techniques by expert trappers will be demonstrated throughout the convention and a wide variety of traps and supplies will be offered by numerous vendors. Several members of our Florida Trappers Association are planning to attend and will solicit donations from vendors for our upcoming Rendezvous. — George Dykhuizen

ASSOCIATION NEWS
Our Board of Directors Meeting was held Saturday, March 27 in Ocala. President Cody Sikes, Vice President Bill Crowder, Secretary Treasurer Carol Lokken, Directors Dave Enfinger, Randy Engleman and Bo Carlton were in attendance. NTA Director George Dykhuizen and Director Bill Weeks were unable to attend. Members Lenny Lokken and John Whitfield were present.

After brief financial and officers reports were given, the Directors spoke on their regional activities and duties. John Whitfield was nominated and elected to be a Director at Large. John has served us so well as President and is a great asset to the team. John was asked to continue to write articles for the newsletter and for national publications in our endeavors to educate, stay strong and grow.

It was decided that in spite of the cost increase of the magazine subscription that our annual membership cost would remain the same.

We discussed our new affiliations with the US Sportsmen’s Alliance, the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the Florida Farm Bureau. We currently run an ad in the FLORIDAGRICULTURE publication. We are looking into advertising in other affiliate and sports publications.

Changes to the website were discussed and as of this writing, we are attempting to make the site more user-friendly and contain more information. The forum has been eliminated for now due to technical difficulties. We are looking into having the Forum on a Facebook page. Please look for the changes: www.floridatrappers.org

The Board voted to send $500 to the NTA to help the national effort to preserve trapping in our country. We are going to donate $500 to Fur Takers of America for their Trapper College and promotional spots on the Outdoor Channel (http://www.furtakersofamerica.com/index.htm). A $50 donation was sent to Fur Bearers Unlimited for their annual raffle.
The Board of Directors voted to eliminate “and Fur Hunters” from our association name. With the focus changing to the removal of nuisance animals and predators, if was felt that our name should reflect that. We are also looking into updating our logo for the same reason. Look for these changes on our website and on our merchandise.

The Rendezvous will be held Saturday, Sept. 25 at Trimble Park in Mt. Dora. There will be a coffee, juice, and donuts at 8 a.m. Demos and talks will be held throughout the morning. A noontime meal of burger, beans, and dogs (compliments of the FL Trappers Assoc.) will be followed by an open forum/discussion. Our world famous auction will take place around 2 p.m. Please bring items to be auctioned. All donations are welcomed. The Rendezvous is open to all members and guests.

The drawing of the raffle prizes will follow the auction. At present we will be trying to secure the following items for prizes: 1st prize – Garmin E-Trex GPS, 2nd prize – Redhead Camo Duffle Bag, 3rd prize – Therma Cell Insect Repellant device w/ carry case, 4th prize – Buck Trio Pocket Knife, 5th prize – FL Trappers License plate and window decal, 6th prize – FL Trappers hat and window decal. Raffle tickets will be mailed to you in your June newsletter along with details about the Rendezvous. Mark your calendars please!

Much discussion was held about our Florida Trapper Training Seminars. Bill Crowder will be hosting the first event; details will be included in future columns. Our endeavor is to give our members all of the tools available to enhance their trapping abilities and businesses, focusing on proficiency and professionalism. Our aim is to be able to provide lists of qualified trappers throughout the state to those who require trapping services and nuisance animal and predator removal.

As members of the US Sportsmen’s Alliance, we receive e-mails on a regular basis which are shared with all who have provided us with their e-mail address. Frequently, we are asked to help address some of the issues that concern all sportsmen… specifically the “anti’s”. For those of you who have provided us with an e-mail address, you will be added to their Sentry e-mailing list and should be receiving information directly from USSA. Please take the time to read their publications.

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