Illinois Trappers Association June-July 2009

President — Paul Kelley, P.O. Box 75, Hudson, IL 61748; phone: 309-726-1443; e-mail:

Vice President — Mike Gragert, Box 20, New Douglas, IL 62074; phone: 314-713-7976

Secretary — Dean Corgiat, 620 Clarksville Rd., Pittsfield, IL. 62363; phone: 217-285-4984; e-mail:

Treasurer — Timothy M. Kelley, 17458 Tice Rd., Petersburg, IL 62675; phone: 217-632-3521; e-mail:

Membership Options:
• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20

Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:
ITA, Treasurer
Tim Kelley, 17458 Tice Rd.
Petersburg, IL 62675


The last issue, I again failed to get a report included, only due to all the planning and work that’s involved with the Deer/Turkey Classic. The months that we have double issues always screws me up, but I apologize. To say the least, the D/T Classic was one of the best to date. Plenty of help at the booth, and it seems most sportsmen are not too concerned about the economy. We signed up several renewals and a number of new members over the weekend, plus informed many, many people about the need for trapping. Even with this being a sports show, we encounter many that think trapping expired with the dinosaurs.

Our new IDNR director Marc Miller stopped by our booth for a visit, but I was away at the moment so he chatted with the fellows for awhile, telling them he wanted to visit the otter situation. Bill Paulsen, Neal Graves, Roger Rhodes, Donnie Thompson, Bob Swearingin, Jaime Larrea, Wes Johnson, Leon Bilbrew, Tim Kelley and myself spent the three-day weekend tag teaming our ITA booth. With this number to help out, we have several at the booth and several out enjoying the rest of the show. Thanks to all that helped in any way.

March 28 found Lee Stewart, Vaughn Suhling, Bob Swearingin and myself at the NTA Mid-West Leadership Conference in Normal. Many things of interest were discussed during the day, but I will allow our new NTA director Vaughn Suhling to bring us up to date on some of the issues at hand.

If my memory serves me correctly, March 25 we attended the Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus at the IDNR building in Springfield. Leon Bilbrew, Dean Corgiat and Tim Kelley attended for the ITA. This is a place that you can always meet old friends and discuss topics of interest. This time, I was at the booth when Director Miller came by to chat. I expressed my concern to keep an open door as we have with each administration going back to Henry Barkhausen. Director Miller seemed more than interested with doing this and advised me to have his secretary set a meeting date for us. That being said, the very next morning I arranged for a meeting on April 16.

April 8, I attended the Fur Bearer Board meeting at Snake Den Hollow. We got to see some of the projects that our money has been spent on over several years. Several wetland areas have been developed for muskrats and other furbearers, but habitat for waterfowl and other wetland species. All proposed applications were approved, to the total of six.

April 15, Neal Graves and I attended the McLean County Conservation Day at the Interstate Center in Bloomington. Around 1,200 third graders were present to observe just a few of the nearly 40 learning stations provided. This year, I sat back and let Neal run the show, and an excellent job he did. Our tanned fur display is utilized as a learning tool for these third graders. They surely enjoyed our station. Thanks Neal for your support.

April 16, 10 members of our ITA board attended the IDNR/ITA . Director Miller took a very attentive stance with a couple issues brought to the table. One being the approved funding for a project from last year that our past governor ignored, by failing to release the money. With support from the new administration, I’m almost positive it will be accomplished this year. Details will follow later this summer. The otter/bobcat legislation is now only the otter legislation, at present and doubtful if it will be passed this session. Why not both? Answer was documented problems with otters statewide, but not enough scientific evidence to allow for the bobcat. Turkey hunters, where art thou? I want to thank the IDNR staff and my board for taking the time to meet with the new director, and bring forth several issues that I feel was addressed, maybe not fully to everyone’s satisfaction, but at least we have a friendly ear. Plans for future meeting will be following.

April 17, my daughter rode along to Carlyle for Earth Day at Lake Carlyle. This is one of the best events that we attend of this nature. Third to seventh graders attend and it’s done in a similar way as the one at the Interstate Center with the one thing, it’s all outside near the lake. Scott Hertel came over to help, so I put him in a sink or swim situation. I did the first one, and let him conduct the other five sessions. The kids as well as parents, teachers and all seemed to find things interesting. Scott, you do a great job ! Thank you.

April 18, Hudson Town Hall ITA board meeting. I was pleased to find 10 of our board to make the meeting even with all the previous weeks activity. Dates for the 2009 convention are Oct. 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the southern Illinois town of ANNA at the city park and fairgrounds. Contact Monte Russell for further info at or 618-748-9185 or call me at 309-726-1443.
Dates are set for our third Young Trappers Camp, which will again be at Lake Carlyle on Sept. 11, 12 and 13.

Any ??? call me or e-mail me at We have a trapper ed class that is drawn out into the full weekend with a lot of hands on activities, for 10-18-year-old youth. Contact me or Mike Gragert at 618-637-9061 for further details.

May 2, will find many of us in Alton at the IFOR banquet at the Alton Belle. This is for the enjoyment of the wives and the guys that make the many other activities and events successful. Wish us well.

Enough till next time. Stay safe.

— Paul Kelley

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