Florida Trappers Association January 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
Vice President’s Report
Secretary’s Report
NTA Director’s Report

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Dec. 1 opened up bobcat and otter season here in Florida (runs until March 1, 2009). And many of us are already after raccoons and varmints. We had an unusually cool spell in the last two weeks, with north central Florida having frosts on six out of eight days. I couldn’t wait any longer and set out my first sets the night before Thanksgiving. I set eight live traps, and, in five days, I had five ’coons and four possums, for starters. Got my trap shed set up, a skinning rack hung and all my gear in position. I scheduled my work where I can check my traps daily and get it all done. Nothing like a little “Trappin’ Fever” to get you going.

Our new Web site hit a couple of snags, but we are coming along. Hope to have a great site, when it’s all finished, being able to post your photos and stories. Thanks for your patience on the site development.

We’ve had several new members recently, especially folks who have moved to Florida from other states, where they trapped and ran the woods. Florida trapping is certainly different, from most other states, for sure; but there is plenty of action for the trapper who wants to get after the varmints and also some other hard–to–catch critters. One example is the Florida Armadillo.

The Nine Banded armadillo is not native to Florida and is very destructive, in lawns, gardens and anywhere they show up, including golf courses and in neighborhoods. They have been declared a nuisance animal and can be removed by any legal means. They cannot be released alive and, believe me, these guys are tough to catch!
Armadillos seldom go after bait at all, and they must be funneled into a live trap, on the sly. It is a great chase, however; and most of us have actually caught a few, after many unsuccessful attempts.

Future

We are looking forward to a great 2009 with Florida Trappers. Many of us are mentoring younger folks, and we are looking forward to working with our new members and assisting them in the rules and regs of Florida trapping. (Ex: bodygrips are not allowed at all, and regular legholds are only allowed with a special permit; so we use live traps and snares.) Nuisance Animal Removal is always needful in Florida, and, with the ever increasing population of people, there is always an animal in the wrong place, causing damage, etc. So, lots of opportunity for us.
We would like to invite any of our associational friends and fellow trapping family members to join in with us this next year. We’d love to have you on our team and we appreciate your support here in Florida.

I hope all our trappers have plenty of good luck this season. Let us hear of your successes and adventures. And always take a youngster with you when you can.

All the best for 2009! Good Trapping!

— John Whitfield

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hey folks,

Have been out of town the past few weeks. My brother and I went deer hunting in Kentucky and had a fine time ,brought back some venison and got to visit some fine folks. We hunted some near the Cumberland River and they say it’s the lowest it’s been in many years. I did note that the river would be a great trapping corridor if it was deep enough to run a motor. They say there is an abundance of ‘coon, beaver, some mink and muskrats, plus fox and coyote.

While there I saw a program called Kentucky Afield on TV one night. They usually show programs about hunting, fishing or how tos of those sports. Last week, they were featuring trapping. It was encouraging to see the host along with two trappers as they set steel traps for beaver. They explained how and where to make the sets as they laid out their line.

Next morning, the host and trappers checked the sets and pulled a good-sized beaver out of the water with a large double spring firmly attached to a rear leg. It made me proud that some states recognize our sport, hobby or passion whatever it is to you, and will ever highlight it on their weekly show for all the world to see. I doubt they would do such in my neck of the panhandle.

We are enjoying the cool weather and lack of pesky bugs. I’m sure the fur is priming up and many are looking forward to setting traps in December.

Went by to see David Enfinger this week. They are harvesting peanuts on his farm and I picked up a bucket full. We are boiling some tomorrow.

The flounder moved out of the bay and mullet are leaving for the gulf. The transition from fishing and warm weather has arrived and we are focusing more on hunting and trapping now. I’ve heard a few predictions that this will be a much colder winter than we’ve been having. So far that is coming true and I hope it continues.
John and Carol keep me updated on progress being made and seems like we are moving in the right direction.

— Terry Mayne

SECRETARY’S REPORT

Happy Holidays Everyone!

It’s hunting season, it’s almost trapping season and it’s the holiday season. What more could we want?
We are still trying to build our membership. And you might want to consider giving a membership to the Florida Trappers Association as a gift this year. You have until the end of this year to sign up new members and collect one of our Membership Incentive Gift cards. What a great way to reward yourself and help us grow! Please contact me for applications and details.

We have promotional items that would make good gifts as well. T-shirts, hats, emblems, mugs and window decals (all with our logo) are available. We are looking into adding other merchandise as well. Please contact John or me for details. Don’t wait until the last minute to have these items shipped.

We hope you have taken a look at our Web site. There have been a lot of new things added. And we plan more new and exciting things for it. Check us out at www.floridatrappers.org.

With our last newsletter, I included our business card. We hope that you are carrying that with you so you can easily share our contact information with your fellow outdoorsman. If you need more, just let me know.
As trapping season approaches, don’t forget to get your camera batteries charged up. We want pictures and stories of your trapline experiences. And don’t worry about having to write a “fancy” story, just give us the details and we’ll get it in print for you. The more we share, the stronger we grow!

We want to wish you and yours the most joyful, healthy and peaceful holiday season, filled with family and friends!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

— Carol Lokken

NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT

The NTA has an awards program that is designed to recognize individuals inside and outside of the trapping community for work that is done on behalf of trapping. The NTA also has award options for individuals who work at the legislative level on behalf of trapping. There is also a “Conservationist of the Year” award given in recognition of an individual who who shows outstanding leadership in protecting and conserving our natural resources.

This year, the NTA Awards Committee voted to give the “Conservationist of the Year” award to Governor Sara Pahlin. (Note: this was before she was selected to run as McCain’s running mate) Originally, the NTA Committee decided she would receive the “Congressional” award, but it was later decided that the “Conservationist” award would better reflect her efforts to protect the moose and caribou calving areas by implementing a wolf population control measure. This took courage and leadership in the face of strenuous opposition from groups that wanted to do away with controlling Alaska’s wolf population.

— George D. Dykhuizen

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