Illinois Trappers Association December 2009 Report

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

Vice President — Mike Gragert, 511 South 5th St., New Douglas, IL 62074; phone: 618-637-9061; e-mail:

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


Once again, as I sit down to write this report, we are within but a week of the beginning of another season.

Our convention in Anna was a great one, with weather and membership combining to bring about excellence. Monte Russell did a job unsurpassed by none with the chairmanship of this year’s convention.

Thanks Monte for a job well done. Greg Schroeder presented our association with a check for over $700 from NAFA. This being the rebate from furs sold at NAFA by people from Illinois. Thank you Greg and all the folks at North American Fur Auctions for this service. Greg also did fur handling for the attendees at this year’s convention as he has for many years. Our fish fry on Friday was handled by the Shriners, due to the forecast for rain for the evening. I want to thank Cody Champ and Alicia Champ, Carroll Williams, Jaime Larrea and Bob Swearingin for their part in making the fish fry successful. Mighty good eating!

I apologize for not being in attendance for the Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday night. I failed to take my diabetic meds at noon and by evening my blood sugar took a nose dive. I retired to the motel rather than fall on my face, but everything proceeded without a hitch. Mik Mohr was inducted to the Hall of Fame for the years of work he put into the ITA as an officer and board member for approximately 20 years during the ’70s and ’80s. Well deserved Mik!!

Last month, I spoke about Conservation Congress being revived by the IDNR. I attended three “Access” committee meetings, one in Springfield, Quincy and Bartlett to have input from different areas of the state.

Our committee brought four recommendations to Conservation Congress on the 24-25. The #1 recommendation from our group was to restore liability protection for private landowners who open their lands to recreation. #2 was to develop within the IDNR an access program to open up Public and private lands to outdoor recreation. #3 was to create a State Water Trail Plan and a Model Heritage Water Trail, and #4 was a recommendation to create StarParks in every Illinois State Park and/or recreational and/or conservation area.

The other committees’ were Youth recruitment and retention, and Funding. By the time the proposals were shared with some 140 people in breakout groups, the original ideas were sometimes somewhat less than we expected or completely changed. The results from this past weekend will be posted on the DNR web page soon. The one thing to take home from this action, is to stay involved and push for the actions that were voted in.

In the previous four out of five Conservation Congresses, I realized sharing ideas, networking with people that share very little in their wants, likes and dislikes, is probably the most reward for our efforts from this event. Can we continue to work together for the betterment for all outdoor pursuits or become narrow minded and just address our own? Go to the IDNR Web site in the near future and read the results of the process, which is just at the beginning of what will be needed to accomplish what has been recommended by this Conservation Congress.

Water, water everywhere. Most farmers are praying for some dry weather in order to accomplish this year’s harvest. We still have another day needed to complete soy beans, and haven’t even started on corn yet. As I stated last month, this could and will change many plans for the season with the remaining crops to be harvested and access to areas unharvested. Remember to respect the landowners rights, and stay out of those areas that are not yet harvested, unless he knows you are in there. You could lose more than a trap if one were to get into a combine. We lost about a half day when an old shank and cultivator sweep got picked up in the feeder house, which brought everything to an abrupt halt. Upon removal, everything worked fine, but the lost time would have nearly completed the soy bean harvest.

Remember our fur sale dates for January. Second Saturday and fourth Saturday of January which is the 9th and the 23rd. Odell on the 9th, and Fairfield on the 23rd. Can’t predict prices or what the market will or won’t do, but trap and have some fun while doing so. Until next time, stay safe and alert to things around you.

All people listed on the ballot were reelected. Vice-Presidential election was won by Carroll Williams.

— Paul Kelley


Greetings to All:

I hope this writing finds you all well! I imagine most folks reading this report have been out on the trapline for at least awhile by this time of year and hopefully finding it a productive early season. I’m going to devote most of this report to past events, specifically the ITA Annual Convention, which was held on Oct. 2 through 4 at the Anna City Park and Fairgrounds in Anna, Illinois.

First, I think it is imperative to note the significant contributions of our Convention Chairperson, Monte Russell. Monte handled the coordination of this event with the City of Anna and local Tourism Bureau in a very professional and efficient fashion. Without his efforts, I think it is safe to say the convention would not have turned out as well as it did. I also think the City of Anna, Tourism Bureau, and Oasis Shrine Chapter deserve a great deal of thanks for all their efforts. Although we typically have good relations with our host communities, rarely have we been extended the courtesies we experienced in Anna. Many thanks to all!

Next, I want to say a special thanks to Cody and Alicia Champ, who donated a significant amount of time prior to the event to make sure our Friday Night Fish Fry was a success. Turned out that the Oasis Shrine Chapter did us a big favor by cooking our fish (well, pretty much all of the meal, really…and for that, we are most grateful), but Alicia and Cody were primarily responsible for making sure all the preparations were in place before the convention. Thanks also to Carroll Williams for making and donating the fish breading. From my perspective, I believe all who attended were more than pleased with the meal!

Our lineup of demonstrators was impressive and I feel all who attended demos were happy with what they heard, saw and, most of all, learned. I want to thank all those who provided their expertise to conduct demos for the event. We had a limited number of folks who could not make the event to conduct their demos and special thanks must go to those who filled in for them.

I also want to thank all those who purchased sweepstakes tickets and merchandise prior to and during the event. Even in tough economic times, I believe our members and supporters did their utmost to back the Association in some of our most vital fundraisers of the year. The sweepstakes winners were as follows:

Stihl Model 260 Chain Saw (purchased from Fliginger’s Outdoor Power Equipment in Morton, Illinois) – Paul Kelley of Hudson, Illinois

Cash: $200 – Mark Luedke of Broadlands, Illinois

 $150 – Chad Schieler of Bloomington, Illinois

 $100 – Jerrod Vanderkooi of Mascoutah, Illinois

Remington Model 597 Rifle (B&B Shooter’s Supply of Danvers, Illinois) – Bill Willmann of Greenville, Illinois

Mossberg Model 835 Camo Combo Shotgun (B&B Shooter’s Supply of Danvers, Illinois) – G. P. Baumann, of Hinckley, Illinois

Thanks to all who participated in our sweepstakes drawings!

On Saturday evening, we held the 5th Annual ITA Hall of Fame Banquet and Auction. Again, the Oasis Shrine Chapter provided a delicious pork chop dinner, along with excellent desserts (I had two!). Mik Mohr of Springfield, Illinois was the sole inductee into the ITA Hall of Fame this year. Mik was a mainstay on the Board of Directors throughout the ’70s and ’80s and still gets out to some of our events, though chasing waterfowl is now his main passion. Congratulations, Mik!

Our auction was a lot of fun and resulted in a nice amount of money raised for the ITA Legal Defense Fund. Thanks to Mike Gragert who auctioneered and to Neal Graves who was an able (and hilarious) assistant! Many thanks are also due the Oasis Shrine Chapter, who purchased several of our highest-ticket items. Please don’t forget that the proceeds from our annual auction go to our Legal Defense Fund, which provides monetary support for any legal and/or legislative action that might be necessary on the Association’s behalf.

Therefore, this fundraising activity is extremely important and we truly appreciate all the support we receive.

Finally, and most importantly, I’d like to thank all the people who attended our convention. Without the support of the rank-and-file sportsmen, we could not continue to exist. Judging by the turnout and support we did receive, I think we’ll be around fighting for the rights of trappers for a long time to come!

Thanks and God Bless ‘til next time!

— Tim Kelley

P.S. Our next Board meeting will be held at the Rochester Community Building in Rochester, Illinois on Saturday, Dec. 12. The meeting will start at 9:30 a.m. and should conclude by 4 p.m. or so. All ITA members are welcome to attend, though only Board members can vote on any proposals.

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