Florida Trappers & Fur Hunters Association March 2009 Report

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

A hearty “Congrats” to a couple of our Florida Trappers who have done really well early in the season. Cody Sykes reported that he had already caught 46 ’coons, 35 possums, three coyotes and over 50 feral hogs, including a large boar of over 400 pounds (with two inch cutters!) and another boar hog, just 50 feet away, that went 275 pounds. Both wild hogs were snared. Way to go, Cody! That’s terrific.

 Also, George Dykhuizen, our recent past president, had a January plan of setting just six live traps per night for the month of January, and he also established a personal goal of harvesting two ’coons per night. As of Jan. 29, George had caught 58 ’coons, including once catching two in one trap! Great work, George.

Rendezvous Fish Fry & Planning: In looking ahead to our 30 Year Celebration, at this year’s Fall Rendezvous, on Sept. 26, there will be a fish fry and planning meeting on Saturday, April 18, at Dave Enfinger’s farm, same place the Rendezvous will be held. All of our Florida Trappers and Associates are invited to attend. Please contact either Dave Enfinger, at 850-638-7669, Ron Braxton at 850 548-5433 or Terry Mayne at 850 234-3491 and let them know you are coming. Meal will be at noon. This will be a terrific opportunity for us to plan together and start getting ready for a fantastic Fall Rendezvous.

Boy Scout Presentations: We have had excellent feedback from our presentation at Camp Shand’s Boy Scout Camp, near Melrose, FL, over the holidays. In addition to some great e-mails, inquiries and notes from parents, leaders and scouts, we have been invited to speak a total of 18 times this summer, in the Jacksonville, FL, area — making our “Trapping in Florida” presentation to hundreds of scouts.

We are happy to make a presentation to any youth group, church group, club, organization, hunting club or association. There is something for everyone, as we all work together for our common future. We are deeply committed to passing on our great American traditions of hunting, fishing, trapping and the great outdoors. And, in the continuing spirit of Teddy Roosevelt, and many other like-minded souls, we mentor, teach, train, preserve, conserve and pass it on at every opportunity.

 Be smart in the woods and on the waterways. And please let us hear of your successes on your trapline. Good luck on your trapping adventure.

— John Whitfield

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

We have been having some chilly weather, down in the 20s and 30s, which I really enjoy. November and early December in our area brought cold north winds and lower temps than we have had in years. Then the south winds returned and it warmed up again. My pear tree started blooming the first of January, mosquitoes and yellow jackets returned. Then it froze the middle of January, down to 24 degrees. That’s more like it.

One of my buddies called to ask if I would help some folks with a ’coon problem. I met with them and we worked out a deal. Some of the critters were jumbo size, well fed on store groceries. One of the workers was from Russia and he was interested in the fur. He has a relative in the old country that makes fur hats and asked if we could send the pelts directly to him. Hmm. Free enterprise, eliminate the middleman. Nice thought, but probably a bad idea. Doubt if they would make it through customs. Some critters were getting the bait and not tripping the traps. I sprinkled baby powder around and found one kitten ’coon track and some large rat tracks coming and going. Downsize the traps and solve the problem.

My wife works as a secretary for a construction company and they had a problem with rats in the building. I set some big rat traps for my wife to check and caught 10 rats and three mice in a few nights. Two of the rats were still alive. One was caught by its tail and was squeaking and making a fuss. Wife picked up a wrench, handed it to her boss and said, “Kill it.” His response was incantations to the deity. She gave it a whack and tossed it in the dumpster. If you can’t kill a rat, what will happen if you really need to defend yourself or family, or gather some food that doesn’t come from the store? One of my buddies says the gene pool is getting real low and another noted that the genes have been coming from the shallow end of the pool for some time now.

I have been trying to order reloading supplies and other ammo and most of the good stuff is back ordered or in short supply. Someone has armed the country just like when Clinton was elected. Back then it took months to get an order of primers so I could reload a little ammo. One of my relatives works with doing background checks for people who want to get a concealed carry permit. He said they averaged about 3,000 a month for a while, but as the election drew near that number rose till they could barley keep up with the demand and at one time they had as many as 14,000 plus per week. Interesting. Sure hope you belong to the NRA ‘cause without them the 2nd Amendment would have been toast long ago.

As far as I can tell, fur prices are still an unknown so try to have fun with it and enjoy the game if you can. Hope I’m wrong, but I think it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I remember Wiley Carrol used to make comments about what he thought was coming and it would be a good idea to have your vehicles in good working order plus a new set of tires ‘cause you may have a tough time getting those things. Bet he could have some good comments to make if he were around now.

— Terry Mayne

SECRETARY’S REPORT

Oh baby, it’s cold outside! Well, for Florida, it is! Down here in SW Florida, we’re expecting frost (as I’m writing this). I know y’all are laughing, but for us wimpy southerners, anything below 60 degrees is cold. The nice thing is these cold temps will help prime fur so the trappers are happy and I’ll quit fussing.

Our membership stands at 106. We still need to grow. If you are a Florida trapper and don’t belong to the Florida Trappers Association, please contact us for details. If you are not a member and your subscription to this magazine is about to expire, please consider renewing through us. We will handle all the details. Consider giving a membership as a gift.

There are many plans for this upcoming year. We have many passionate members who are working on your behalf to ensure that trapping stays alive in Florida. Their efforts reach out to government and community agencies. Please continue to help and support their efforts.

Though our Fall Rendezvous is months away, we need to start thinking about our fundraising raffle. In years past, we have raffled a trolling motor, a .22 rifle and a GPS. Seeing that this our 30th year, we are trying to make this an extraordinary raffle. To this point, we have a special knife that has been donated. We would like to have a total of three items for the raffle, a winner for each item. So, I am looking for suggestions. What would you be willing to purchase a chance on? Call me, write me, e-mail me and let me know. We will consider all suggestions and have things ready for our July newsletter mailing. We found it very successful to mail all of our members a set of raffle tickets for them to purchase or sell for us.

Do you have your Florida Trappers window decal? NO? Well, they are only $5. They feature a picture of a bobcat and are highly visible. Send me a check. I’ll put one in the mail for you.

I’d like to thank Robert Mains. He’s one of our Florida trappers, living in a neighboring town. He contacted me this past month, asking to purchase another cap and window decal. It seems his best friend “stole” his hat. And he decided once he got here that he needed to get an additional hat and decal for his friend. He said if his friend was going to wear the Florida Trappers cap, he should be displaying our window decal. Way to go Robert! And thanks again. It’s always great to see our members.

We are still working on our Web site. It’s very much up and running. We have plans to expand and add more photos, articles and stories. Visit us often at: www.floridatrappers.org and please share this site with friends and fellow trappers.

And once again, feel free to contact us for information or to share your pictures, ideas, comments and suggestions.

— Carol Lokken

NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Our Florida Trappers & Fur Hunters Association is an affiliate of the National Trappers Association (NTA). The NTA will celebrate its golden anniversary at the NTA convention in Lima, Ohio in July of this year. Actually, NTA was initiated more than 50 years ago when, in l957, a small group of trappers met in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to form a defense against legislative bills designed to ban the annual harvest of furbearers and predators or prevent the tools necessary to accomplish beneficial wildlife management objectives.

The “National Trappers Association of America” was declared operational on Jan. 1, l959, and “of America” was dropped from the name when incorporation occurred in February, 1969.

— George Dykhuizen

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