President — Mike Gragert, 511 S. 5th St., New Douglas, IL 62074; 618-637-9061; firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President — Carroll Williams, RR4 Box 135, Fairfield, IL 62837; 618-516-2275; Carroll.Williams@gmail.com
Secretary — Wes Johnson, 26704 N. 3360 East Road, Chenoa, IL 61726; 815-419-5204; Coonhunter1963@yahoo.com
Treasurer — Bill Paulsen, 2443 Penn Blvd., Lake Villa, IL 60046
Membership Director — Cody Champ, 9530 E. Meadows Road, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
NTA Director — Angela Billings, RR 1 Box 127, Stronghurst, IL 61480; 309-221-1593; Yotetrapper@gmail.com
• Individual membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:
Bill Paulsen, 2443 Penn Blvd.
Lake Villa, IL 60046
The ITA fur auctions are the next events that are coming up the month of January, with the first sale in Odell at the community building on Jan. 12th, 2013. The Next sale will be in Fairfield on Jan.26th, 2013 at the Wayne county fairgrounds. We are selling lot numbers this year in order to assure the sales run smoother, and quicker than they have in the past. Trappers are required to purchase their lot number before the sale, and may do so by send their $10.00 to Bill Paulsen at 2443 Penn Blvd. Lindenhurst, IL. 60046. Please send name, address, phone number, trapping license number, and what sale you plan on attending. The cutoff date for lot number is Jan 5th, 2013 for Odell, and Jan 19th, 2013 for Fairfield. We are hoping to secure at least 40 lots per sale, so please make plan now to attend the sale.
The fall legislative veto session has been going on, and by the time this goes to print will be over with. The bit of good news coming from that is the DNR has managed to secure some funding for the first time in years. Senate Bill 1566 was the IDNR sustainability bill is designed to get dedicated funds for the DNR in order to help several programs and state parks across our state. Now the big challenge will be keeping the remainder of general revenue funds they now have to operate with now. We can only hope that the bleeding of funds from our outdoor programs and state parks ends at some point, and the legislators in Springfield see how much of an asset these programs and state parks are to their constituents.
I have been getting reports of several trappers having success in the taking of otters this season, and I want to thank those that have been keeping updated on this information. I know a few people had problems right at first when trying to purchase CITES tags, but that had to do more with operator error at the point sale location. Please understand that your otters must have a tag in place before they may be sold or shipped. Just because you have purchased your otter tag does not mean you can sell it, the tag must be in place first. We do not want people getting in trouble selling or shipping these pelts without the proper tags in place, so please understand the regulations that are in place.
Fur numbers across the state seem off this year, and with such a large and latter harvest last year, and a prolonged drought this summer one could only see the writing on the wall. Prices should be up as well, and this means more trappers in the field than we have seen in a long time. This can be very good for us, but also brings in a certain element to light that we all hate to see as trappers. Trap and fur thief seem to go hand in hand with fur prices. There are always a certain number of people that feel this is appropriate behavior and is acceptable, but we all know what this leads to in the long run. Fur and trap thieves should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and receive no mercy from the courts for their actions. This is not the type of behavior good moral trappers represent, and should not be tolerated by any trapper or sportsmen. Trappers are far better than common thieves!!!
This time of year brings back memories of trap lines long ago, and the time I spent during the holidays running line while out of school for Christmas break. I had some of my best times in my life during those Christmas breaks, and the lessons I learned running those holiday lines help me become not only a better trapper, but a better person as well. I hope everyone has a chance to find themselves out on the trap line this season, and that may you and your family enjoy it to the extent that my family have over the years. May your holiday season is blessed and joyous, and may all your traps be full of holiday fur. Merry Christmas, and a happy and joyous new year. God Bless. — Mike Gragert