Illinois Trappers Association November 2010 Report

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

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

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

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

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


Convention time is upon us again!

By the time this is in print the 2010 ITA convention will be history. I think Mike Gragert has put together a very good list of people to do demo’s for this years convention. Now the thing that we need is for weather that will bring the farmers out of the fields for a day or two. So far predictions are for good weather all thru the weekend, so attendance will most likely be down. Pray for the best for all.

Our “Youth Camp” turned out to be very successful even with the reduced number of cabins. Several people brought their travel trailers, plus several tents, so everyone was at least under cover. They needed it because early Saturday morning it rained cats and dogs for a short time, at least long enough to get “Cave-Man” and his crew wet. They spent the rest of the night in the mess hall, sleeping the best they could on picnic tables and on the concrete floor. I think the final number of kids was around 21, plus a good number of parents that was in attendance. My thanks to Sue Gragert for her efforts put forth to feed the whole group. Sue did an excellent job feeding the group for the weekend. Thank you Sue! Mike Gragert, Brian Van der Kooi, Cody Champ, Rick Jenkins, Carroll Williams, and all others that put their hard work into making this camp a success, Thank you!

Following the weekend camp we had a trapping work shop for CPO’s at Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek state site. If my memory serves me correctly we had 22 CPO’s Wednesday. thru Friday. From the reports I think all found the work shop informative. Thanks to those on our board of directors for their help in this project. Neal Graves,Wes Johnson, Scott Hertel, Bob Swearingin, Dean Corgiat, Tim Kelley, thank you again.

Upon returning from the “Youth Camp”, I received notice from several people of Steve Balagna’s passing. Steve was a trapper and gentleman from Farmington, IL. He had done several beaver trapping demo’s at previous conventions, but I will fondly remember him best for helping with the Trailblazer program at Camp Ingersol several years ago. Steve was passing around the tanned furs to the over eager kids when they tore the tail off the red fox from our display. The look on Steve’s face will always remain as a fond memory of a good friend. Condolences to the Balagna family. He will be missed !!

Another note of sadness is the fact that one of our board members, Joe McCall was recently in the hospital suffering from a stroke. Joe is at home now recuperating. Best wishes Joe for a speedy recovery.

Enough for now. See you all at some later date.

— Paul Kelley


Attendance Report for NTA Executive, Committee and Director Representative (DR) Meetings, 1-4 August and Events of the 51st Annual NTA National Convention, 5-8 August, 2010 at Marshfield, WI

The NTA opened meetings with the executive council and staff on Sunday, 1 August at 1:00 PM and concluded executive meetings between 8:00AM – 5:00 PM, 2 August. NTA Director Representative registration with assignment of committees/meeting dates and times took place over 2-3 August.

I arrived at Marshfield on 2 August, checked into the Woodfield Inn & Suites, 1651 North Central Avenue (715-387-2233) by 4:30 PM and then drove to the host hotel, Clearwater Inn, 2700 South Roddis Ave (715-387-1761) to register and pick up meeting materials. The majority of the executive council, staff and BOD members by 7PM were at the host hotel restaurant eating, so I was able to get dinner and obtain more direction and current meeting information. Kraig Kaatz invited me to sit and eat with him and it was enjoyable to just sit back and listen to those I have mostly read about gathered around that table. They closed down the restaurant at about 10:30

BOD Meeting 3 and 4 August

August 3, at 8am, NTA President Kraig Kaatz opened the BOD meeting with a welcome to all the delegates. Virgil Schroeder, President of the Wisconsin Trappers Association (WTA) also presented a welcome and noted that it had been “17 years since the last Wisconsin convention.” He was followed by George Meyer, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, also known as the “Voice of Wisconsin” because of his radio presence, presented a brief report on the petition to de-list the grey wolf because the original goals set were now nine times the existing population.

President Kaatz reiterated the responsibilities of the DR’s to review the information in a written annual NTA and to share the contents with their states and regions. The voting credentials were then determined by Cindy Seff . Forty one voting members, a quorum, and several NTA member “observers” were tallied for sufficient voting credential.

The NTA staff members from Bedford, IN were introduced. They were Dave Roberts-Office Manager, Aimee Carlisle-Finance Manager, Jenny Hollars-Web and Graphic Design, Chris McAllistar – Sweepstakes Coordinator, and Jenny Kirk-Membership Manager.

Contracted employees were then introduced. They were Mike “Buddy” Marsyada-Editor, Dan Skurski-Convention Coordinator, Gary Leistico- Legal Services and recently added by a 31-0 NTA vote, Dave and Karen Linkhart (The Linkhart Group) –Director of National and International Affairs (DNIA).

Commentary was made that the Alan Probst All Outdoor Trapping Program is doing very well and soon will be hosted on In Country TV. Days or times for these shows have yet to be released.

A lengthy financial report was handed out before the meeting. The Financial Committee Chairman Charlie Rath and Office Manager Dave Roberts broke down the twelve page report and answered questions from the delegates. The audit report was reviewed together with Roberts comments on the auditor’s recommendations. There was further discussion on the Alan Probst Video Project. The advantages and disadvantages of holding the Northeast Regional and the Southeast Regional conferences on an annual basis to save money were discussed. After lengthy discussion, the initial question by John Daniels to ask for a motion to bring this topic to a vote was unsuccessful. The result was a 19-19 vote tie. The resulting 2011 budget was adopted. John Daniels also suggested using the NTA Cash calendars as recognition benefits for state affiliate members. Jim Buell stated that the Montana initiative 160 to ban all trapping on federal land in Montana failed to get the 24,000 signatures. The opposition collected 35,000 but only 20,000 were verified as legal. Montana is submitting legislation to add the word “trapping” along with hunting and fishing to existing written state law to insure that it can’t be eliminated by initiative.

I was asked to be part of a three man “teller” team chaired by parliamentarian Jeanette Williams to tally votes for new officers. The following people were certified as elected: Regional Director- Northwest, Chris McAllister, Board Representative to Executive Council, Sam Smith and Directors-at-Large, Charles Rath and Ken Stewart.

Committee chairman and members were selected and a list will be included in the next BOD mailing. I was notified that I was selected to be on the membership committee, chairman Craig Spoores and the publications committee as an editor of the American Trapper, Larry Kline, chairman. My duties will be to proof issues of the American Trapper before publication for appropriate content, political/legal liability errors, and readability.

Since the convention meetings, the following has been received as a “Summary of the Editor’s meeting:

Editors Report to the BOD 2010

Upon recommendations of the Publications Committee and the EC, more careful attention will be paid to the placement of advertising in the American Trapper (AT) Magazine so not to create a feeling of “all ads” by the reader.

Articles that are submitted but may be considered off topic or not specifically dedicated to trapping will be forwarded to the Publications Committee for opinion as to appropriate content for the AT.

The Editor will send a letter to “big name” industry writers requesting submissions and informing them that the AT will pay up to $175 per accepted article. The President and the Office Manager will be copied on all such correspondence.

A more obvious advertisement will be created and printed in the AT informing readers that the AT will now pay for accepted articles. Amounts will be determined based upon length, quality, content and photos.

The Editor will utilize chapters from his Trappers handbook or articles from back issues of the AT that the NTA owns the rights, to add quality to the content of the AT.

Basic editing items like spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, will be more carefully reviewed prior to sending the draft copies of the AT to the publications committee.

It is understood the primary function of the Publications Committee is not to correct spelling, punctuation or sentence structure but to provide oversight to protect the NTA from possible legal actions because of content.

A motion was adopted “To establish a new scholarship called “The Don Aycock Memorial Scholarship.”

FBU President Matt Lumley presented a report on FBU activities. The FBU is looking for a logo that they can use that more represents their activities.
There was information regarding the cooperation between the National trappers Association and Fur Takers of America. A cd, FTA Trapping Chronicles, was handed out by Charles Andres, President of FTA

The Linkhart Group presented a media and leadership seminar. Fur Wraps The Hill was discussed as an example of necessary caucus for getting the NTA message to our representatives. Live hands on demonstration for talking on, over and to the media were presented to the NTA body.

John Larkin presented information on the National Association of Sportsmen’s Caucuses. It was noted that there are presently 39 state legislative caucuses.

Several state affiliates, presented information about trapping, other state issues, and affiliates. Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri showcased their monthly membership magazines used to inform their members of activities.

Standing and special committees presented reports.

The site of the 2012 national convention has not yet been selected. The 2011 national convention will be held in Missouri.

Delaware unpaid NTA dues were suspended this year because of financial difficulty.

The Maine lawsuit will take place on 8 September in Boston with a 15 minute appeal presentation given by both sides.

NTA representatives are to insure that the span and date(s) of an event are communicated to NTA for insurance purposes. An NTA booth should be present at all these events.
All new directors were advised to attend a meeting detailing their duties and responsibilities. At the meeting, directors were asked to fill out a request for supplies to be sold at their NTA booth at State events. The NTA issued me NTA items for sale to trappers that have been billed to me in advance of sale (anything I don’t sell before the end of the year have to be communicated to the NTA board before the end of the year or I will be billed for them, about $500 worth). I attended some long meeting hours on definition of NTA expected duties for me and the ITA, was issued a complete rep kit with banner for all booths at ITA events and was asked and accepted to be an editor for commentary and proof prior to each publication for the American Trapper.

After the meeting, the NTA and the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce (?) hosted the Presidents Reception. This was a delicious evening meal at a park down the street from the host hotel with live music, appetizers and drinks with a pork and chicken dinner and all the trimmings. The homemade pie was to die for. I again had a great time wandering the tables and talking and mostly listening to more legends, greats, and storied individuals of our trapping fraternity. What a great evening!!

August 5, Convention Activities

Although the convention didn’t actually open till 8 AM, the tailgaters and booths were selling the evening of the 4th and at dawns early light on the 5th, I was able to pick up a used Hancock live trap for $100, and an ash pack basket and an ash fishing creel for a fantastic price. By 7 AM I was working in the NTA booth helping put out items to sell. After a short 15 minute walkabout at 9am to see the convention grounds, there was something there for everyone, I spent the rest of the morning selling NTA goods. At 1 PM, after collecting my own NTA goods for resale, I packed my truck and headed home.

I have hope to have seen you either at the National Hunting & Fishing days on 25 & 26 September or the ITA Convention on 1-3 October.

NTA Activities Report for ITA/NTA Director Representative (DR) at the National Hunting and Fishing Days, 25-26 September, Silver Springs State Park, Yorkville, IL
The turnout for the National Hunting and Fishing Days ITA sponsored booth was excellent. The public turned out in droves even though we had slight rain showers that helped push them in to the tent so Leon Bilbrew, Chris and I could talk to them. We actually sold three ITA memberships, a few ITA convention raffle tickets and some NTA Merchandise.

Notable was the interest of working and unemployed workers in state nuisance trapping requirements, the expected price for fur harvest, and talk about “I remember when I used to trap.” As usual, this did not translate directly in to becoming a member of any of the three memberships represented, NTA, FTA, or ITA. We were able to communicate to many youth that there would be two ITA Trappers Certification Classes held in October, one at the ITA convention 10/2/2010 and the other on 10/23/2010, 8 am – 5 pm at the Farm Bureau Building, 100 Manhattan Road, Joliet, IL.

NTA Activities Report for ITA/NTA Director Representative (DR) at the Illinois Trappers Association Convention, 1-3 October 2010, Macoupin County Fairground, Carlinville, IL
There was a good turnout of the ITA membership and the interested/curious public at the ITA convention. The steady stream of people stopping at the NTA booth to ask questions, look over NTA merchandise and some purchasing NTA merchandise or NTA memberships helped make the day go by fast. On Saturday, while conducting the ITA Trappers Certification Class, I appreciated the assistance from ITA BOD and ITA members that helped with the NTA booth. Thank You!! By the way, seven of seven of the certification class passed. The participants were also given a one year ITA membership plus a Trapper & Predator Caller magazine subscription courtesy of the ITA, a trapping DVD from Kaatz Bros., the book “ Water Trapping with Modern Methods” by the author Henry W. Clark, the “Wild Fur Pelt Handling Manual” and “Beaver Pattern” courtesy of NAFA, and a #1 long spring trap. Thank you all for your thoughtful consideration and donations to these young trappers.

— Bill Paulsen

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