Florida Trappers & Fur Hunters Association April-May 2009

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

It’s a Fish Fry — hosted by our Northwest Region trappers — to be held on Saturday, April 18, at Dave Enfinger’s farm near Chipley, FL. All are invited. Florida Trappers will be organizing committees and planning for our Fall Rendezvous. This year, we will be having our 30th Year Celebration Fall Rendezvous, also at Dave’s, on the last Saturday of September, the 26th. Please mark your calendars now and start planning on attending. You don’t want to miss this one.

If you can make the planning fish fry, please contact Dave at 850-638-7669, Ron Braxton at 850 548-5433 or Terry Mayne at 850 234-3491. Just let them know that you are coming. The meal will be around noon. See you there.

Our regular season for Florida Trapping wrapped up around March 1 with the end of bobcat and otter season. We received some good reports from a few of our trappers, including George Dykhuizen, who using only six live traps reported a total of 65 ’coons, four bobcats and five otters. Randy Engleman rounded up 18 beaver and also 18 coyotes. And, the most harvests, reported by one trapper so far, was Cody Sikes, with a total of 63 ’coons, 40 possums, six foxes, five coyotes and over 50 wild hogs. Congratulations all! A great year for sure.

Coyotes: We are still hearing of reports all across the state about coyote problems. Hardly a week goes by without coyotes attacking livestock or pets or of them getting into neighborhoods. There is an opportunity here for the Nuisance Animal Removers among us to get out there and get after these yotes.

There are also a couple of other markets out there for us. Skulls Unlimited receives skulls from trappers (contact them before shipping out your stuff) and Mepp’s Sheldon’s still receives squirrel tails to use in making fishing lures. Add some meat markets and there is hope for more profit to our fur harvesting efforts. Please let us know of your ideas for fully utilizing the catch.

And, if you are a Captive Wildlife holder in the State of Florida, there are several new rules and regulations being discussed. Bill Crowder and I recently attended a FWC workshop in Gainesville, where FWC introduced the proposed rule changes, which are likely to be coming out soon. For example, there is going to be more record keeping required, if you are into any type of captive breeding — anything from birds to geckos to snakes, etc. You might want to go to the Florida Wildlife Web site and check all the particulars.

Hope your trapping efforts were fun and also profitable this season. It will soon be time to go to market. And, starting later in March, many of us here in Florida will be out in the woods every morning getting after one of the most exciting critters in the woods — the Florida Wild Osceola Turkey. After chasing fur for three months, it’s a good break to chase after some feathers (and the fastest thing in Florida that walks on two drumsticks!). Good luck.
All the best this Spring. See you at the Fish Fry!

— John Whitfield

NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Since the National Trappers Association was incorporated in 1969, it has grown into a national organization with all state trappers association’s delegates comprising the NTA Board of Directors. Each state NTA Director is appointed by the president of that state’s trapper association. In the case of our Florida Trappers organization, President John Whitfield reappointed me at our organizational meeting in Ocala, Florida last April. All state NTA directors have an opportunity to become acquainted with current NTA affairs by participating in regional Leadership Conferences. This year’s conference for the Southeast Region was scheduled to be held on April 18 and 19 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Unfortunately, this conflicted with the Florida Trappers fish fry and planning session held at Dave Enfinger’s farm in Chipley, which I attended. The next opportunity to get updated on NTA activity will be at NTA’s 50th anniversary convention being held in Lima, Ohio in late July. More about this important event as the time approaches.

— George Dykhuizen

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