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
Well, by the time this comes out, trapping season will be well under way and most folks will have traps in the ground. It looks like it’s going to be a wet winter. We had 2 inches of rain the last of November and, as I write this, a major storm system is approaching from the west. There was a flood watch warning in affect for the area this morning, but currently the sun is shining and it’s breezy and cool.
Speaking of rain and traplines, I got to thinking the other day about an unusual trapline experience I had. The year was 1968 and I was stationed near Danang, Vietnam. A friend and I had stumbled across a live trap in the battalion area and decided to see what we could catch. We took the trap to a remote area, baited it with C-ration ham and started running our Southeast Asia trapline. Talk about long lining and state hopping!
After a few checks, we finally made a catch, some little critter that looked like a cross between a skunk and a ’possum — a skunossum or a ’possunk? While we were skinning our catch, a Vietnamese man that worked in the area came by, saw us and said, “Number one chop chop,” meaning the little varmint was good to eat, so we gave him the carcass. My friend reported one day that he had seen a young Vietnamese woman with one of the same critters on a leash riding on her shoulder.
Somehow word got out about our trapline and we got word that the battalion chief Corpsman wanted to see us. We thought we were in trouble for misappropriating government property, but it turned out he wanted to recruit us to be the battalion rat trappers! There were huge rats that apparently posed a health hazard and our job, when we weren’t out on patrol, was to rid the area of these vermin. The Corpsman told us we’d be exempt from all working parties (adequate compensation in its own right!), and he’d send word to the chow hall to supply us with whatever bait we needed. He also provided us with several more live traps, so armed with a gallon can of peanut butter and our live traps, we set about to catch Vietnamese rats.
I don’t remember just how many rats we caught; as we trappers like to point out, it’s the experience that counts not the numbers, but we got to run our line and avoided working parties. Who could ask for more?
I also had my parents send me one of my #2 jump traps which I carried in my pack whenever we were out on patrol “just in case I ever needed it.”
An interesting situation also arose once on patrol when we found what at first looked like booby traps on a paddy dike but upon further examination I determined they were actually snares set by the locals to catch small critters running the paddy dikes! The Vietnamese were very resourceful people.
Merry Christmas everyone!
— Steve Rainey