President — John Whitfield, P.O. 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
• 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:
7047 Spinnaker Blvd., Englewood, FL 34224
All the great cold weather we experienced in early and mid November, gave way to an uncharacteristically warm December and early January over most of Florida. Our trappers were just cranking it up when weeks of 80-degree days dampened the mood somewhat. It was unseasonably warm.
However, some early reports came in with good success. Jim Terwilliger of the Orlando area, reported catching 10 raccoons in one night and that’s a pretty good outing. Congrats, Jim. Hope you had some help skinning those guys out!
And young Daniel Whitfield, 13, who assists his dad and brother in Nuisance Animal Removal, near Jacksonville, recently got after some feral hogs that were tearing up a neighborhood. Daniel, his brother and dad all set up an ambush for these hogs on a three-acre parcel adjacent to the neighborhood. Right before dark, Daniel heard something coming and saw a big hog step out of the thicket. He arrowed a big, 100-pound sow and removed the ring leader of the feral hog herd that was causing the damage. The neighbors all came out and congratulated Daniel. They were so happy to have this destructive animal removed. Good shot, Daniel. Keep after ’em. Feral hogs and other non native nuisance animals, coyotes, armadillos, etc. are a major problem in Florida.
In the last week of December, I had the privilege and opportunity of speaking at a winter Boy Scout camp, held at Camp Shands, near Melrose, FL, under the leadership and direction of Mr. Patrick Wright, who, incidentally, just renewed his membership with us. Welcome Pat.
For the event, my daughter, Jessie, assisted me in making a one-hour presentation on “Trapping in Florida” to nearly 100 Boy Scouts, parents and leaders, on Tuesday night, Dec. 30, all attending the Second Annual Winter Blast at Camp Shands on Baden Powell Rd.
We covered Nuisance Animal trapping, animal identification, rules and regulations, non-native invasive animals, predators, skinning and putting up fur — and we reviewed what equipment and gear to use in running a trapline. Then, I concluded my comments by telling the boys my “famous” Osceola turkey hunting story — The Shock Gobbler — which was well received and also scared the living daylights out of a kid on the front row who thought the turkey booger had grabbed him! Got a lot of laughs out of that one. It was a fun night.
We also had dozens of questions — we tried to answer them all and we gave out an information packet, including a fact sheet on “Trapping in Florida,” a membership application to FT and FHA, a trapping brochure and other related literature. We also gave away five books as rewards to scouts who answered a question correctly. We also sold over $150 worth of our logo’d merchandise and the litho-printed rabbit pelts, done by member, Joe Gaspar.
It was a great evening and the Boy Scouts presented us with a beautiful “Certificate of Commendation” before we left. Thank you Scouts!
Our desire and purpose is that many of these young men will catch the spirit of the woods and join us in the adventure of trapping and fur hunting that we all enjoy.
Teach, train, mentor and pass it on. That’s our heritage.
Let us hear of your successes. Best of luck to each of you on your trapping and fur hunting adventure.
— John Whitfield
Happy New Year y’all. We hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season. And our wishes for this new year are for yours to be filled with joy, peace and healthful times.
As we start this year, I want to encourage everyone to continue mentoring and sharing our trapping experiences and heritage with the generations after ours. They need your ideas, your wisdom and your encouragement to help keep fur trapping viable in this country.
Our membership incentive is still in place. Sign up new members during this year and get a gift card. Originally, we were offering Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Gift Cards. We are now including a gift card from any store or gas station of your choice. Sign up four new members, get a $25 gift card, seven new members, get a $50 card; and 10 new members, get $100 gift card. Our membership applications have a place for new members to put in the referral names. I will gladly mail or e-mail applications to anyone who wants them.
We have promotional products available: hats, patches, mugs, t-shirts and two different window decals. Please contact me or John for prices and shipping arrangements. We hope that every member, at the very least, has a window decal to display. They are $5 each and I will gladly include them with the newsletter mailing. Shoot me an e-mail so we can work out the details.
I received a letter from Tom Luba, at F&W Publications. It seems there was a slight mix up in renewal coupons sent out in November for the February 2009 subscriptions. Some of you might have gotten two different coupons with your renewals. Please send both of the copies back with your renewal and I can keep them sorted on my end.
Please check out the pictures on our Web site! These can be viewed at www.floridatrappers.org. After a couple of initial hiccups, the Web site now has a lot of valuable information. We are still working on its growth and development and we encourage you to check it often.
I want to welcome three new lifetime members to our association: Kevin Crown, Samuel Jones and Curtis Mitchell. That brings our Lifer List to 32!
I also want to thank a very generous father. I got a call from a man in North Carolina. He said he has read our column in the magazine and it was his wish to give his son a Lifetime Membership in our association. He was touched and inspired by our passions. He also purchased a hat and requested that I send all of this to his son with a “Do Not Open ’Til Christmas” written on the box. His request contained a handwritten label with his son’s name and address on it. I packaged up the hat, along with a Lifetime Member coffee mug, a window decal and a letter and sent it along to his son who lives here in Florida. For all intents and purposes, his son would be think it came directly from his father. I cannot think of a more touching and wonderful gift! Many thanks!
Finally, it’s trapping season. And I know many of you are in the throes of it all. Please be mindful of our laws, our landowners and our responsibilities of conservatorship of this great state. Trapping will forever be, as long as we work hard to keep it!
Do you have ideas, suggestions, pictures, stories, experiences to share? Give us a call, shoot us an e-mail, send us what you have and we will share them with our members.
Again, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
— Carol Lokken
NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT
The National Trappers Association is a “behind the scenes” supporter of numerous organizations which serve the interest of trappers everywhere. One of the most influential of these organizations is a coalition known simply as: “FUR wRAPS THE HILL.” It is a coalition of the U.S. fur industry. It is comprised of trappers, mink ranchers, fur auction houses, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers who makeup the entire U.S. distribution chain.
Members of the “FUR wRAPS THE HILL” coalition consists of thousands of trappers and wildlife management professionals in 49 states, more than 400 mink farming families on over 300 farms located in 28 states, marketing cooperatives/auction houses and merchants who bring fur and fur products to market and more than 100 manufacturers of fur-containing apparel, and nearly 1,400 retail outlets of finished natural fiber fur garments.
Florida trappers who belong to the National Trappers Association can be proud of the role they play in helping to maintain “FUR wRAPS THE HILL” and other organizations that the NTA supports with their funds and expertise.
— George D. Dykhuizen