Georgia Trappers Association February 2009 Report

President — Earl Thompson,5079 High Rock Rd., Pitts, GA 31072;phone: 229-648-6475; e-mail: thomp@sowega.net

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

Correspondence Secretary — C.R. Benson, 139 Waterway Court, Macon, GA 31220; phone: 478-935-2940; e-mail: johnrick@pstel.net

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

Legislative Director — Gene Pritchett., 107 Seaboard Rd., Jesup, GA 31545; phone: 912-586-6905

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

F.T.A. Director ­— C.R. Benson, 139 Waterway Court, Macon, GA 31220; phone: 478-935-2940; e-mail: johnrick@pstel.net

Executive Director — Wade Keys, 3158 East Fairview Rd., 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

CORRESPONDENCE SECRETARY’S REPORT

Well, another Christmas season has come and gone and we’re now into a new year. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and has a happy and prosperous New Year!

It’s been a long time since I can recall such a dismal outlook for the fur market. However, back in the late ’80s the market was strong and there would be a crowd at the buying and pick-up point. Then, the next year, the market crashed and I was the only person with fur to sell. I told the buyer that as long as I had a dollar for gas and a place to set I’d still be catching fur. So it goes, we go all out when the market is strong and back off in the lean times, but if you’re a real trapper you never just hang up the traps and quit.

While traveling across Alabama and Mississippi during the holidays and looking out the window at the beautiful countryside and daydreaming about trapping (I once missed an exit off I–185 at night daydreaming about trapping otters in the creeks under the interstate and had to drive miles to backtrack). I got to thinking about how fortunate trappers are to have access to so much property that they get to treat virtually as their own and how many lasting relationships are forged with landowners. My wife has frequently commented on how many nice people I’ve met while trapping their property. People who invite you back to fish their ponds or just drive around and enjoy the place. We are indeed a fortunate lot.

With that good fortune comes an obligation and responsibility to treat the land and the landowner with respect and to show our appreciation for the use of their property.

One of the things I started doing for landowners a long time ago was either asking permission to put up bluebird houses on fence posts or presenting them with a bluebird house after I trapped their property. I haven’t met a landowner in 40 years who didn’t appreciate the gesture and it provides you with other opportunities to frequent the property as you make your rounds checking boxes, cleaning out boxes and of course always scouting for fur sign.

Don’t let the current downturn in the fur market keep you from starting the New Year off by doing the one thing you love most — setting traps. And don’t forget to show your appreciation to the folks who make it all possible — the landowners!

Good trapping!

— Steve Rainey

TRAPPING AT THE PERRY, GA FAIR

This is some great news. Trapping in Georgia was actually recognized at the national fair in Perry and to top it all off, the project won a first place ribbon. How great is that?

While trapping on a piece of property in McDonough, I had the pleasure of meeting a young, enthusiastic 10th grader from Union Grove High School, James Thomas. He had been deer hunting the property I was trapping for coyote. He was actually the reason the land owner had asked me to trap. All they had on his trail cam for the year was a coyote. The second night I trapped the property we had his coyote and James was hooked. He wanted to get some traps and he asked a million questions . He wanted to go with me every chance that he wasn’t in school. I told him he could go with me any time he wanted, all I asked is that he join the GA Trappers Association. James spent the next several weekends with me and soaked it all in.

This past spring, James called and wanted some of the pictures we took so he could use them in a SAE competition for school, well he won the school project and his agricultural science teacher, Mrs. Crown asked if she could put it in the Perry fair competition. They revised the project to fit the space available and he received a first place blue ribbon. I’ve been told that the project will now go on to other competitions.

I felt inclined to acknowledge this fine young man for such a great accomplishment. It’s not every day trapping gets this kind of recognition. We should all take the time to instill this great pastime into as many young people as we possibly can. They are the future of our sport.

— Travis Lemay

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