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
Looks like my timing was off with the last report; I wasn’t anticipating the report coming out before our convention, but it did. At any rate, this gives me a second chance to report on the convention!
If you didn’t make it to the GTA 29th annual convention, you missed a great time! To begin with, I’d like to thank all of the officers and members of the GTA who had a hand in planning, preparing for and pulling off this convention. I’ve been knocking around the trapping scene for a long time and attended conventions in several different states and one NTA convention, and this was certainly the best I’ve been privileged to be part of. GREAT JOB EVERYONE!
There was something for everyone and competition was always good-natured. This year’s winners include: Adult multi-trap setting, 1st place Greg Waters, 2nd place Kris Pope and 3rd place Russ Carter. Adult speed setting, 1st place Randy Zerwig, 2nd place Greg Waters, 3rd place Tommy Key. In the Kid’s dirthole contest 1st place was claimed by Matthew McAlister, 2nd place Dale Crawford and 3rd place by Cody Zerwig.
Ted Gunstin had the unenviable job of judging the kid’s contest and with so many good looking sets that had to be a tough job! In the kid’s speed-setting contest, Cody Zerwig claimed 1st place, with Dustin Zerwig and Garrett Kiblinger claiming 2nd and 3rd places. Congratulations to all the winners! Watching the kid’s working diligently on their dirthole sets, one couldn’t help but be impressed and feel like the future of trapping is safe in those little hands.
One of the most interesting things about trapping conventions is the collective knowledge and experience represented by the young and old alike. Anyone who attends and pays attention is bound to learn something.
Sunday morning when we pulled into the first field and saw that big coyote standing there watching the approaching convoy I thought, “What a way to start the day!” Then he wheeled around and took off. He wasn’t even in a trap! That just added to the excitement. The trapline was laid out in beautiful middle Georgia rolling terrain and was one more piece of this very successful convention. Thanks Travis and Billy!
About this time of the year when the golden rod starts to bloom and the berries on the American beauty berry bushes turn purple, we get a light tropical-like rain that seems to wash the summer away — the turning of the page of an outdoorsman’s calendar. Time to get the firewood stacked, the food plots planted, the traps and supplies ready. So much to do and so little time!
The next GTA functions to keep in mind are the trapping competition coming up on the weekend of January 22, 2010, and the Southeast regional NTA convention held jointly with the Tennessee Trappers Association the second weekend in April in North Georgia. Mark your calendars and plan to attend.
— Steve Rainey
NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT
I bet everyone is looking forward to trapping season. I sure am! I just got back from the 50th NTA Convention held in Lima, Ohio and it was the best convention ever. There were so many venders and tailgaters there I couldn’t get around to see’em all in three days. Another GTA member tagged along on the 860-mile-one-way trip that had never been to a NTA Convention, Tommy Key. Can you believe it? I wish you could have seen him, looking around scratching his head not knowing where to start in all the traps, lures and supplies. More than a person could ever see in one place in just three short days. Special thanks to those boys in Ohio for all their hard work.
The week started off with meetings with the EC and directors. It went well, hearing updates from the states that are having lawsuits, region convention reports and also a guest speaker. The number one thing on everyone’s mind was the downward trend in membership. If your membership has lapsed or you are not a member of the NTA, I ask you to join. We need you now more than ever.
GA has a strong NTA membership and we have not slipped during these tough times. I thank you all! We have a goal set for us to have 15 new members by the end of the year (need 13 more). We need all of you to be members. Remember this, freedom isn’t free and neither is trapping anymore. Yes, you can set traps now, but will our kids be able to? Not without each and every trapper taking part.
One last thing, we will be hosting the 2010 Regional NTA Convention together with the Tennessee Fur Harvesters the second weekend in April 2010. This is a great time for GA Trappers to step up to the plate and really show that GA does support the NTA. I welcome each person that reads this article to come and be a part of this. It will take place in Calhoun, GA at the fairgrounds. More information will come later. I can already tell you that big name trappers, lure makers and supply dealers are already committing to come to GA.
— Rusty Johnson