President — 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
• Regular membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Lifetime membership with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $300
Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:
GTA, Membership Secretary/Treasurer
P.O. Box 1005, Pine Mountain, GA 31822
CORRESPONDENCE SECRETARY’S REPORT
It’s March already! Where did the trapping season go? And it’s a long time ’til “next year.” Hopefully, between now and then, economies around the world will start to recover and fur prices will recover as well.
I heard through the grape vine that Florida has closed down the running pens “while they determine if it’s a humane activity.” It sounds to me like Florida is on a very scary slippery slope. This could set a terrible precedent. First, you have to wonder just exactly who “they” are, and what are their criteria for making this decision. Then you have to wonder what’s next, bow hunting, fishing? The whole thing is an extremely unprofessional approach to wildlife management. While training as a wildlife biologist at the University of Georgia, we took lots of courses, absolutely none in “determining humane activities.”
I started out the door the other day and reached for an additional layer to turn the cold. As I pulled on the red and black plaid wool shirt, it occurred to me that that particular shirt had been around a long time and seen a lot of traplines. I had actually purchased that shirt at the PX at Camp Lejune in 1970! That makes it 40 years old. Forty years of traplines — lots of memories.
I can remember wearing that shirt when I was working for St. Joe Paper Company near Albany and had exclusive access to the 32,000 acres of Company land. That shirt and I hauled a lot of otters out of the Chickasawhatchee Swamp. Later, it kept me warm checking cold early morning lines while in school at UGA, where I first learned how to set #4s on a drowning rig for beavers, beavers that brought $3. I first caught lots of red foxes, beautiful red foxes that brought $55.00.
I wore that shirt while running a line for pine martens high in the Rockies in Southwest Montana, and also snared my first coyote there.
There was the year in South Georgia when I was fortunate enough to do nothing but trap and caught my first coyotes, lots of bobcats, another bunch of otters, a ton of ’coons in bodygrip buckets and one, just one, red fox — and watched the market plummet.
Then all the years since as we’ve witnessed highs and lows in the market, spent more time chasing land critters one year and water animals the next. The cuffs are a little frayed, some buttons have been replaced, one sleeve is held closed by a safety pin, but that shirt and I just keep doing what we do — trap.
Keep in mind the NTA gathering in North Georgia in April. It’s just around the corner now! Hope to see you there.
— Steve Rainey