Georgia Trappers Association September 2009 Report

Georgia Trappers AssociationPresident — Gene Pritchett, 107 Seaboard Road, Jesup, GA 31545; phone: 912-586-6905

Vice President — Gary Newman, 1182 Hwy 107, Denton, GA 31532; phone: 912-375-3795

Correspondence Secretary — Steve Rainey, 1923 Beattie Road, Albany, Ga 31707; phone: 229-449-9533

Membership Secretary/Treasurer — Tommy Key, P.O. Box 1005, Pine Mountain, GA 31822; phone: 706-628-4686

Legislative Director — Ted Gustin, 494 Eastside Drive, Thomaston, GA 30286; phone: 706-648-1951

NTA Director — Rusty Johnson, Rt. 1, Chula, GA 31733; phone: 229-382-2499

F.T.A. Director ­
— 92 Rocky Point Road, Covington, GA 30014; phone: 404-402-2207

Executive Director — Chris Johnson, 2448 U.S. Hwy 411 S.E., Fairmount, GA 30139, phone: 706-337-5608

General Organizer — Teresa Keys, 3158 East Fairview Road, McDonough, GA 30252; phone: 770-388-7951

Membership Options:

• Regular membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Lifetime membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $300

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
GTA, Membership Secretary/Treasurer
Tommy Key
P.O. Box 1005, Pine Mountain, GA 31822

SECRETARY’S REPORT

By the time you read this, the 2009 Georgia Trappers Association’s annual convention will be history. As I write this, we’re just 27 days away. As usual, a lot of hard work and planning have gone into assuring a successful convention, and we’re looking forward to a good turn out. After that, I reckon everyone will be getting ready for dove season and trapping, then bow season and trapping, then gun season and trapping, and by the time the trapping season opens, we’ll all be cocked and primed and roaring to go!

We’ve had something here this summer that we missed for the last three years — RAIN! It’s good to see the woods and fields green instead of brown. That ought to make it easier on the young of the year for all the wild critters.

Teresa Key, my wife and I attended a Georgia Wildlife Federation business meeting on July 25 as representatives of the GTA. We were well received and it was good to be among so many conservation-minded folks.

Some local folks here in Albany are grumbling about an endangered freshwater mussel holding up some repair work to a bridge. I say, if you have to ask what good is something (a mussel, a gnat, a snake, etc.) then you probably wouldn’t understand the answer!

My wife loves fried bream. We figured out the other day that in order to eat fish once a week throughout the winter I need to catch 528 bream! I better get to fishin’; time’s a wasting!

— Steve Rainey

LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Well folks, summer is here… it’s in the 90’s and HOT! Every year, as we get into the hottest period around July and August, things slow down and sort of meander along as we all anticipate the cooler temperatures Fall brings. This year’s Convention is going to be a good one, in case any of you didn’t know, it will be held in Barnesville Ga. not far from Interstate 75, exit 201. This is a nice area in the middle of the state and close to where I live.

I would like to encourage each of you to come out and enjoy the weekend swapping stories and learning about trapping. Plan to pick up some much needed supplies for this upcoming trapping season. The food will be good and lucky for us all, Barnesville is above the gnat line, so plan to attend, it’s sure to be a really good time. Barnesville is also the home of the late John W. Estes. Mr. Estes was a fine man and always came to our Conventions and supported the GTA. I will never forget our discussions and how nice it was to see him come regardless of where the Convention was to be held. The year before he passed away, he brought and donated for auction many of his old wood stretchers and some of his trapping supplies. I bought some of his wood stretchers and asked him to autograph one. I still have it and I must say it is an honor for me to have known him.

I would also like to encourage each of you to bring an item to donate for this years GTA Fundraising Auction and plan to attend. I know I’m still enjoying some of Wade and Teresa’s Hot Pickles I got into a bidding war over with Russ Carter. I believe I paid $22 for that jar of pickles so I only treat myself to one every great now and then and I have to admit “they were definitely worth every penny”… You missed out on that one Russ but I’d be honored to share one with you sometime!

There has been a lot in the news lately as the economy continues to suffer ripple effects of the worst recession most of us have ever seen. Our government is changing in a big way toward socialism with the proposed government healthcare, auto manufacturing and housing. It seems as though there is nothing going to stop it’s progression unless the people finally step up to the plate and say enough is enough. The State of Georgia recently was in the news as Governor Perdue is requesting a further 5 percent cut in State budgets across the board. This means we should anticipate even further cutbacks in the Georgia DNR. I understand it, don’t like it, but it is the reality of today and the world we live in. President Obama is in the process of placing an animal rights advocate in an official position as an animal rights “Czar.”

As I understand it, the official title of this office will be the OIRA, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This Office will have the power to block rules, especially those that protect hunting and conservation. The individuals name is Cass Sunstein. Mr. Sunstein has been quoted as saying “we might ban hunting altogether, at least if its sole purpose is human recreation”. Yes. There is lots of change, just as we were promised. It seems that our president is shaping America the way he thinks it should be and apparently his way does not include hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife management and responsible law enforcement. The future will be quite interesting as we progress over the next four years. City people do not know what it is to live in the country, to deal with wildlife and the issues many of us face. The concrete jungle severely limits the ability of people to understand nature and the environment.

There is one simple fact here that will prove interesting, once hunting and similar types of activities are banned, the animals will become so out of control within a short period it will necessitate action for controls. They don’t consider deer/car collisions, contaminated water systems due to beaver activity, washed out roads, the public health danger rabies, distemper and parvo will unleash on the public as diseased animals enter our neighborhoods. These items are only the beginning of the problems that would occur if citizens were no longer controlling wildlife. Then there’s the issue funding for state wildlife offices and the increase in personnel it would require to simply react to the critical situations, not to mention the absence of funds generated through license sales and taxes on sporting equipment which are at ridiculous levels.

You know, if they really want to mess things up good, they will ban hunting as Mr. Sunstein commented. Then we can all sit back and get a good chuckle out of next couple of years as they discover their mistake. CHANGE is really something, don’t you think? I can only pray that things don’t get to that point. There are many more issues happening on the State level, but the big picture at this time is more important to me. Whatever you do, hunting, trapping, fishing, etc… do it the best you can and make sure you’re legal. The Georgia DNR is searching for areas to cut funding and generate more revenue, we don’t need to draw their attention.

I lost a friend in Afghanistan recently, US Army SSG. John Beale. He left behind a son, a daughter and a loving wife. The media never mentioned it. I was wondering why. All of a sudden, it’s no big deal if we lose a soldier. Remember how when Pres. Bush was in office they would announce troop fatalities EVERY DAY and all day long? It truly saddens me to see how the media is such a driving force within our society and what they will do and won’t do to push their agenda. I guess I have given you a lot to think about. If you are a person that does not keep up with politics or the news, maybe it’s time to start, because it will take each one of us to make our voices heard when they decide we can’t hunt, trap or own a firearm anymore. I might be wrong, but to me, it is moving that direction very quickly. Get active!

The war in Afghanistan has just experienced its most deadly month, this month. My nephew, Brian Gustin, is being deployed there in the Marine Corps in a few weeks. Please keep him in your prayers so that he returns home safe and continue to pray for our sons and daughters abroad.
Hope to see you and yours at the convention!

— Ted Gustin

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