Illinois Trappers Association August 2012 Report

President — Mike Gragert, 511 S. 5th St., New Douglas, IL 62074; 618-637-9061;

Vice President — Carroll Williams, RR4 Box 135, Fairfield, IL 62837; 618-516-2275;

Secretary — Wes Johnson, 700 East Locust St. #25, Fairbury, IL 61739; 815-674-8004;

Treasurer — Bill Paulsen, 2443 Penn Blvd., Lake Villa, IL 60046

Membership Director — Cody Champ, 9530 E. Meadows Road, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864


Membership Options:

• Individual membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $20


Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:

ITA, Treasurer

Bill Paulsen, 2443 Penn Blvd.

Lake Villa, IL 60046



I would like to take this chance to apologize to the membership for not having a report the last two issues. I was working mostly out of town at the time and the access to a computer was not always at hand for me to fulfill my duties with. The I.T.A will be having our 50TH anniversary convention in Lincoln on October 5-6 at the Logan county fairgrounds. We have a lot of events planned for this year for the whole family, and we are looking for a large turn out by the membership this year. We will have contest and events for adults and kids as well, and I know Rex Cameron from Carlinville has been working on some special events for the kids this year. If anyone that would like to help with this year’s convention please feel free to contact me, or Paul Kelley, or Neal Graves. We would love to have everyone involved in the event this year to help use celebrate 50 years of the I.T.A working for the trappers of Illinois.

We will now have an otter season starting this fall of the 2012-2013 seasons. The DNR has informed me that the regulations will be listed in the 2012-2013 regulations digest that comes out about the time of the state fair. The USFWS approved the tags and they are waiting on the DNR to run the ad rule before they issue the tags to the state. The ad rule was introduced on May 17th. And no problems are expected during this process according to the DNR. The ad rule will also include the new extended muskrat and mink season that will extend the season for these species until Feb. 15th. I ask everyone to look over the new regulations digest that will be coming out soon; because the new regulations have certain requirements that must be followed by use trappers. The big requirement I see facing trappers is the purchasing of ones otter tag within 48 hours of capture of an otter. The reason for this requirement was the need of the DNR to still monitor the harvest throughout the season, so they may have a better understanding of where and when we are catching otters. The tags will be able to be purchased at any store or location that currently sells trapping, hunting, fishing license, with the cost of $5.00 per tag. The next big requirement is the use of body grip traps only for muskrat and mink after the close of the regular raccoon season. This regulation will not affect the use of footholds for the use of beaver trapping, just sets made for the taking of muskrats and mink. I ask that everyone please pick up a copy of the regulations digest when it comes out, and please read and pass all this information on to other trappers you might know. We all need to work together to make sure everyone has all the information they need before heading to the field this next season.

The 2102 ITA youth camp will take place Sept. 14-16 at the Lotus camp ground in the Coles creek access area at Carlyle Lake. This event has grown every year since we have started it, and I hope the growth continues. We are making some changes this year that we hope will improve the overall experience of the camp, and give us more time with the youth in the field. We will require everyone taking the trappers education course to take the online portion of the course first before arriving at camp. The reason behind this was to give use more time in the field with the youth, so we might be able to drive home some of the important key issues facing trappers today. We are always looking for those willing to help with this camp, and if anyone that knows of a young and upcoming trapper that would like to attend this camp, please have them contact me, or Paul Kelley.

These past several months we have attended several events, and have been trying to spread the word to all the benefits of trapping. These events are important part of the overall mission of the I.T.A into conveying this message over the years. The first of these events was the Deer & Turkey classic in Peoria this last March. Neal Graves, Joe McCall and several other directors and members helped make this event possible this year, and in the process signed up a total of something like 48 new members on one weekend. Thank you for a job well done by all those that attended and helped with this event. The next event was Earth Day at Carlyle Lake this past April. The day started out wet and cold and stayed that way, but we still had a chance to talk to two groups of kids that day. In all we talked to about 85 kids that day, and passed out that many N.T.A coloring books as well. This event was done by me and my wife Susan this year, and was a real treat to see some of the same teachers we have seen in the past bring a whole new group of kids to have us speak to them. It makes one feel good to see that there are people out there that understand and find value in what we have to offer our youth of today. The last event was Links to the future at Wolf Creek state park on Lake Shelbyville. This event is something we have been involved with in the past, but was the first time for me. The event was open to the general public, but the Boy Scouts turned out for this event in full force. They camp overnight and the number attending this event was in the hundreds, so this is the perfect fit for use to contact those that have outdoor interest already, and introduce them to trapping. I would like to thank John Clutter and his sweetheart of a daughter Tashina for helping with this event. You should have seen some of those Boy Scouts light up when Tashina was talking trapping with them, funny how kids will listen to another kid sometime better than an adult. John and Tashina thank you for a job well done.

The next event we will be involved in is the fishing for freedom event, or the wounded warrior fishing tournament some may all it on June 2-3rd. We once again sponsored a boat for this tournament, and Joe McCall and Jaime Larrea were in attendance at this event. This is a way for our association to honor those that have served our country, and a way for our membership to show its appreciation. This event I feel needs more attention by the membership than it gets and I hope in the future the membership will choose to play a bigger part in this event. I would like to thank Joe and Jaime for attending this event, and making time for those that have served their country.

After the last board meeting it was agreed upon to make several new change to this year’s upcoming fur auctions. Lot numbers will be now limited to 40 per sale, and trappers will have to purchase lot numbers for the price of $10.00 each before each sale. There will be a time period for these lot numbers to go on sale, and money will have to be paid ahead of time to reserve a lot number. There will be nobody grading fur anymore, so all fur will be graded by the trappers themselves (Trapper graded lots) The hope is that everyone has their fur graded and bundled at home before showing up at the sale, this should move the sale along at a faster rate than what has been the case in the past several years. We will also start the sale sooner in the day to try and get everyone home at a respectable time. I would also like to point out to everyone that this year at the convention two lot numbers will be auctioned off at our white elephant auction, so your first chance at a lot number will be at the convention. Paul Kelley is now Director of fur sale operations, so look for more to come about the fur auction from Paul in the future. We are trying to make these sales as smooth and pleasant as we can for everyone that attends them.

We will have several other event in the upcoming months, IFOR youth camp, Bond county youth outdoor days, national hunting and fishing days these are all events we hope to be able to attend this year. The association needs the help of the membership to make all this happen, so I am asking anyone that would like to help with any of these events to please contact me. We are also looking for those that feel they would like to make a bigger commitment to the I.T.A by serving as a member of the board of directors. The position of director requires one to attend five board meetings a year, and to help with the general business and special events of the I.T.A. To be a part of any of these upcoming events or if interested in serving on the board of directors please feel free to contact me for more information.

Summer is now in full swing, so get outside and enjoy what our state has to offer. Take a kid fishing, or just out scouting your trap line for this fall, anything that will get them into the outdoors. Their happiness will be seen on their faces, and those memories held forever in their hearts. Please check in on the website to stay current on events and news and updates on events. I hope to see everyone in Lincoln this fall, so stay safe and cool this summer. — Mike Gragert




I’m hoping that this doesn’t end up duplicating everything that Mike might have in his column, but I have a couple of things to be brought to all ITA members attention.

Some might not remember Daryl Nichols as our treasurer but most will have known him from the 16 years he sat at the ITA table and renewed your memberships etc.

Daryl, retired from Caterpillar in 1996, Then stepped down from his position as treasurer later in 1997 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He remained on the board for several more years or until about 2005-6. As his battle with Parkinson’s progressed he ended up in Maple Lawn Nursing Home in Eureka for short of the past two years. Daryl was one of the first 100 members in the ITA, and sat on the Board or was an Officer for 40+ years. He also was a Hall of Fame recipient among his many other awards and accomplishments. I honestly didn’t know Daryl until around 1980, but we became close friends in pursuit of similar interest, such as ginseng digging, trapping, fishing, squirrel hunting and traveling. My point being made is that we have lost a friend with Daryl’s passing. Daryl died May 23 at the nursing home, after falling and breaking his upper arm earlier in the month. It sure seems that broken bones and retention of fluids contribute more to ones demise than we would think. One week ahead of his death my wife and I paid a visit not thinking that the end would be so soon. His funeral was in Eureka on May 26, 2012 with his wishes being made before hand that donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Peoria in his name. To all that stood to shoot the bull and make friendships with Daryl at conventions, think about his wishes for St. Jude.

Topic #2 Help from the membership with the convention. Anyone wishing to volunteer in any way to celebrate 50 years of the ITA should contact MIke Gragert at 618-637-9061. There will be many tasks that will require willing hands to make this event successful. As they say “Stand and be counted”

One of the things I suggested that we take a picture of all the present and past board members that have sat on the board through out this half century. If you were at one time an officer or board member, see if you can attend for the picture on Friday Oct. 5.

I’m still waiting on the first nomination return for Hall of Fame. I actually thought that by giving the membership the opportunity to be involved with the picking of the recipient would have ignited the flame for nominations. Not even a smolder at present.

Remember $1000 scholarships (two) in number. Applications available at my address, Paul Kelley PO Box 75 Hudson, IL. 61748 Deadline to have them back to me is August 1

Most of this is repetitive from last month, but I’m doing this as a reminder

Till next time, stay safe and LOOK UP. — Paul Kelley



At our last board meeting, Mike Gragert told the board that he would have to step aside with the fur auctions due to becoming a Fur Harvesters agent. Discussion continued on the fact of ending the sales or reworking how they will be handled in the future.

It comes down to differences with the grading. To eliminate the squabbles over this, the way to solve the problem is to not do any grading at all. In the future we will try this in this way, the number of lots will be the number “40” lots per each sale, and that’s the limit. Lot numbers will be purchased for $10 per lot number. Fur will come into the barn in trapper graded lots, graded as the individual see’s his or her fur.

This will eliminate the long time of grading and waiting for it to be done. Pelt counts will be placed on the lot tag that follows the fur until sold. Payment will stay as it has been since we started. 4% commission on sales to members and 10% for non-members.

Rules and regulations will be worked out before our convention so everyone is one the same page. I have stepped up to try to continue to make the sales work for everyone, both seller and buyer. I will have further information on the sales as things progress. The second Saturday of January will be sale day in Odell. The fourth

Saturday of January will be sale day in Fairfield. The sale sites have not changed, and most things will stay as they were with the exception of lot numbers and our grading the fur. We will try this system to see if it eliminates finger pointing, and expedites the sales. The first two lot numbers will be auctioned at the convention, one of Friday the other the next day. This should give everyone an equal chance . Stay tuned for further information on our fur sales.

Till next time, Stay Safe and God Bless.— Paul Kelley 309-726-1443

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