Illinois Trappers Association June 2011 Report

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

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

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


Hello Trappers,

I would like to take this chance to apologize to the membership for not posting a report in the T&PC these last few months. I have been working on several things the last few months, and finding time has been hard for me since taking over as president. I have to admit the learning curve was bigger than I thought. The ITA has been very active this legislative session in Springfield, and I feel our efforts in that area have been fruitful. SB1704 was our first baptism into fire; this legislation was introduced by Sen. Dan Duffy from Barrington Illinois. The language in this bill would have stopped trapping on over 19 million acres of Illinois lands, and would have imposed regulations on body grips to set back distances of a ¼ mile from roads, parks, schools, golf courses, etc. The bill never made it out of committee before the deadline, but I don’t want everyone to think it is just going to go away. This bill could come at use this fall in the veto session, or again this session in the form of a shell bill. We will keep an eye open on it.

There has been movement on two bills that would pave the way for an otter season; they are SB1337 introduced by Sen. John Sullivan of Quincy, and HB1724 introduced by Rep. Patrick Verschoore from Rock Island. Both of these bills have been moving forward and I hope are law by the time you read is in the column. The ITA has been working with senators and representatives to try and make an otter season a reality in our state, and I would like to thank Tim Kelley and Dean Corgiat for their efforts putting the otter white paper together for our association. This was a very helpful tool when talking to legislators, plus it was done very professionally, thank you guys.

HB0006 by Rep John Cavaletto from Salem introduced a bill at first we were against, this bill called for the hunting of muskrats year round, but after working with Rep. Cavaletto and the folks in the DNR we now have a bill that might pave the way for a spring muskrat season. The spring muskrat season would run from the closing date of the raccoon season until Feb. 15th, and at this time you could only use body grips that would have to be submerged. I was worried when talking to the DNR that this would affect our beaver traps, but I was told by the DNR that this would not be the case, that the submerged part would only apply to rat traps. We will keep an eye open on this language as well.

I would like to announce that the ITA will have a newsletter, and this newsletter will come out twice a year. The first one will be this June, and another will come in December. The hope is that the ITA will have more communication with its membership, and this will help keep the membership informed about events, legislation, and opportunities for the membership to be involved. I would like to thank Cody & Alicia Champ for all the hard work putting this newsletter together, plus all the hard work keeping the website up and working. The website we have now is a great source of information for the membership, and I hope everyone gets a chance to check it out, Thank you Cody and Alicia.

This year’s convention will be in Henry Illinois at the Marshall -Putnam county fairgrounds on Sept. 30th, Oct. 1st, and Oct 2nd This is a wonderful fairground and is a great place for a convention in a great part of our state. For those that would like dealer spaces please contact Jaime Larrea at 217-652-9207 or Neal Graves at 309-912-6843 we will also be offering a trapper’s education course for those young trappers wanting to get their License for the first time. This will take place on Saturday Oct 1st at the fairgrounds, and the class will start at 8 am.

The only scheduled event for Sunday will be a church service at 8 am and then anyone wanting to help with cleanup my volunteer. I know this is a change from the way we have run things in the past, but the number of trappers that have participated on Sunday the last several year’s has not been good. This is why we started to incorporated more demos and actives into the Friday schedule. We hope this will also help those that have some travel distance to our convention also.

I would like to take this chance to thank all the trappers that made the trip to Springfield to help with the legislative issues we had this spring. It was great to see that many trappers in the capital building all at onetime, and we had great success talking to senators and representatives about our issues at hand. This I know was a learning experience for some and that was ok, because the best way to learn how our state government works is to be right there first hand. Thank you from the bottom of my heart trappers, till next time. God Bless.

— Mike Gragert


Hi all, just a quick note to you all to let you all know that Region #1 will be holding a region meeting June 18th in Adams County at Siloam Springs State Park.
We will have a meeting starting at 10am and a fish fry for lunch starting about noon we will have door prizes and raffles.

You do not have to live in Region #1 to come. All are welcome. We will have door prizes and raffles. We plan a just a fun day with trappers. All we ask is that you please contact Adam at 217-242-8048 or at or Neal Graves at 309-912-6843 or or Joe Maccall at 309-238-2155 so we can make plans. Thanks and we hope to see you all there.

— Neal Graves, Region #1 Dir.


Just a few words to express thanks to all the members that made the trips to Springfield fighting SB-1704.

This in many ways is the finest teaching lesson available. It allows one to see how legislation is passed or defeated. The many contacts upon legislators, be it , e-mail, phone call , letter or personal contact, did the job. SB -1704 was not called in Senate AG. Thank you one and all that took time to defend trapping with your opposition to SB-1704.

On another topic, don’t forget the Richard Daniel Memorial Scholarship, which has been bumped up to $1,000, for an Illinois resident studying wildlife management or related sciences. For applications contact Paul Kelley PO. Box 75 Hudson, IL. 61748 Applications are due by June 1.

Wes Johnson has a trapper education class scheduled for June 11 in Fairbury. Contact Wes at 815-419-5204 for more information.

See you all later, and God Bless!

— Paul Kelley

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