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
CORRESPONDENCE SECRETARY’S REPORT
It is often pointed out that a small percentage of the U.S. population either hunts, fishes or traps and a similar small segment of the population actually opposes these activities. The largest segment of the population, by far, neither participates nor opposes these activities. This segment therefore actually represents the controlling power of whether or not our outdoor traditions continue into the future. Positively influenced by those who participate and their unspoken approval continues while on the other hand if they encounter unethical or illegal behavior they might well become outspoken opponents of our outdoor pursuits.
Here is a great example of how positive role models can have an impact on the non-hunting/fishing/trapping public. While at the GA Trappers Convention, my wife and I befriended a nice young man from Atlanta named Tom McMann. While riding in the back of a pick-up to check the trapline on Saturday morning, Tom revealed that this was his first experience with trapping. He and his wife share a dream of moving to Minnesota one day and pursuing a life closer to the land. The week before the Convention, he was looking for information on the Internet about trapping and came across the GTA Web site with the Convention information and decided to attend.
He was like a sponge soaking up information at every turn, asking questions, watching the demos, talking to other trappers, even participating in the auction bidding on items of interest.
Tom sent us an e-mail the other day telling about his return to work in downtown Atlanta the week after the convention and the discussions he’d had with his co-workers about their weekends. They, of course, were quite surprised that he had attended a trappers’ convention and were even surprised that folks still trapped let alone were organized and held conventions!
Questions were asked about why trapping was necessary, about the use of steel traps, about the impact of trapping on animal populations and what trappers do with the fur they harvest. Here is where Tom, a complete newcomer, exerted his positive influence by providing information he’d gained at the convention, by telling what he’d witnessed on the trapline he shed a completely new light on trapping to folks who before had only been influenced by the myths and half truths they’d been exposed to.
So often when we practice our craft, we deal with people who have requested a service or with other outdoorsmen who pretty much understand why we do what we do, only occasionally encountering the non-trapping public. Understanding that positively influencing this segment of the population keeps them on our side will go a long way to insuring the future of trapping.
Proud to be a trapper and Life Member of the GTA.
— Steve Rainey