Illinois Trappers Association November 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
Trapping season is upon us, and I hope everyone has a chance to make it to the field this season. The convention in Henry was great this year, but it did seem the number of trappers attending was down from previous years. I feel this is just a sign of the times, and folks just do not have a lot of extra disposable income right now to spend on things at this time.

Even with the lower numbers we had a great convention, and it was nice to see old friends, and meet some of the new trappers as well. I sure hope things like conventions never go out of style, because they mean way more to me than an opportunity to buy supplies for the upcoming season. I enjoy setting around the camp fire talking about anything and everything with friends, and I love the idea of trappers coming together to share ideas and thoughts on matters that are important to trapping as a whole. This yearly exchange and fellowship with trappers is what conventions are all about. I would like to thank all those that helped this year at our convention, and I would also like to thank all the dealers for attending , and for helping support our organization.
The awards banquet was a little on the light side also this year,but we still had a great evening with good food, and we got to honor some very deserving trappers for there service to the ITA. Dave Stain was inducted into the hall of fame this year, and we had the pleasure of having Dave and his family at this years banquet to help him celebrate this honor. Dave has been a director and vice president over the years while and way before I was even a member of this association. Thank you Dave for all you have done for the trappers of this sate you sir are well deserving of this honor.
The trapper of the year went to Bryan Vanderkooie from Mascoutah, and we were also pleased to have his family present at the banquet as well. Bryan has be involved in everything from legislation to youth camp, wounded warrior fishing tournament, trapper education, etc. I have to say if there is something going on in the ITA Bryan wants to know what, how and when. Bryan is what we call a 20 dollar member, and by that I mean he does not set on the board of directors nor is he an officer. He is just like the majority of our members, but the difference is he chooses to be active and involved. Bryan I wish I had a thousand like you, thanks.
I would like to remind everyone about our upcoming fur auctions that will take place in January of 2012. The first one will be in Odell on Jan. 14th, 2012 and the other sale in Fairfield on Jan. 28th ,2012. at the Wayne county fair grounds. Save a little fur and come spend the day with some good friends, and see how everyone else’s season went.

This is also a great chance to bring the kids in to see all the fur that we trappers take over the season. I love to see the looks on their faces while they are looking at all the fur, priceless.
I would just like to remind everyone we do not have an otter season this year, so please do not think we can go and harvest them yet. I would hate to see someone get pinched for this thinking the season was already in place for this year.

The process for the CITES tags is moving forward at this time, and is now in the hands of the feds. We will have to see what comes back from the feds as to the matter of the CITES tags, and things like this take time when dealing with the feds. the extended muskrat season will also not be in place until next year, and the reason for that is the DNR still needs to make an add rule change before it is in place. They were also not able to get it put into the regulations digest for this year,because the legislation was signed so late in the year.
I have listed the winners of the sweepstakes items at this years convention below:
MS 270 Stihl chainsaw – Randy Keener of Metamora
Mossberg Ultra Mag Shotgun -Larry Mattingly of Pontiac
Stevens 22-250 we/ scope – Mark Kirksey of Metropolis
Cash winners
!st place $200.00 – Max Jones of Greenup
2nd place $150.00 – Jim Peters of Earlville
Special thanks to Jim for donating his winnings back to the ITA,thanks Jim.
3rd place $100.00 – Gayle Kirchner of Ashkum
A special thanks to Bill with B&B shooters supply in Danvers, and to Buchheits fram store in Greenville for helping with this years prizes,thank you for your support
The Trapper Education class held at Heritage Lutheran Church, Lindenhurst, IL on 9/10/2011 taught by Bill Paulsen resulted in twelve for twelve new ITA members and trappers being certified plus the start of one new trapper education candidate teacher, Mark Cobb for Region 2.
The National Hunting & Fishing day held 9/24 & 9/25/2011 at Silver Springs State Park, Yorkville, IL had an ITA booth manned by Leon Bilbrew, Chris Kaforski and Bill Paulsen. One new membership was obtained and several trapper education candidates were scheduled for the Henry, IL class on Saturday, 10/2/2011.
“The Trapper Education class held at the ITA Convention at the Marshall-Putnam Fairground in Henry, Illinois on 10/1/2011 taught by Bill Paulsen and assisted by Mike Graegert and Chris Kaforski resulted in twenty four new ITA members and trappers being certified.”
I hope everyone has a safe and successful trapping season this year, and please take a kid trapping if you can. Until next time.

— Mike Gragert

Attendance Report for NTA Executive, Committee and Director Representative (DR) Meetings, 31 July-3 August and Events of the 52nd Annual NTA National Convention, 4-7 August, 2011 at Columbia, MO.
The NTA opened meetings with the executive council and staff on 31 July at 1:02 PM and concluded executive meetings between 8:00AM – 5:00 PM, 1 August. NTA Director Representative registration with assignment of committees/meeting dates and times took place over 1-2 August.
It was my plan to attempt to try alternate means of travel to go to the convention. Gas prices in Chicago were $4.50 a gallon in Cook County when I left. I arrived at Columbia, Missouri, Wabash Station by taking the 1 August, 6:30 am Chicago Metra Train from Lake Villa, Illinois to Union Station, Chicago, transfer to the Mega Bus from Union Station, Chicago to Union Station, St. Louis, Mo and arriving via the same Mega Bus on August 1 at 4:35 pm. The Mega Bus was air conditioned, comfortable and I had Wi-Fi the entire trip so in addition to working on NTA “stuff”, I was able to pull up Columbia Transit bus maps/schedules and fare information before arrival. After purchasing a senior ticket for the Columbia Transit System for fifty cents, I arrived with baggage a block from my hotel room at the Quality Inn on Providence Road.
By 5:30 pm I had checked in, taken a shower, and decided to take the Columbia Transit to the host hotel, Holiday Inn and Executive Suites at Executive Center-Columbia Mall, 2200 I-70 Drive SW. The temperature was above 100 degrees and very humid but figuring the bus ride would be swift, I tried out the route that I had downloaded from the computer.

The short story was that by the time I had figured out that the busses are scheduled to stop running at 5:30 pm for Monday – Wednesday even though they are scheduled to run till 8:30 pm on Thursdays –Saturday, I had already committed and ended up walking to the Mall. Bad idea, but not as bad as carrying a beaver in a pack basket two miles from a set?!?”<! I guess!?! Anyway, after tanking up on ice water after I got there, I was able to check in before 8 pm register deadline and pick up meeting materials. The majority of the executive council, staff and BOD members by 7PM had been at the host hotel restaurant eating, so I was able to get dinner, obtain more direction and current meeting information, and find a ride back to the motel.
My two ride saviors for most of the convention were Director of National and International Affairs Report (DNIA) couple Dave and Karen Linkhart whom I now owe big time for picking me up at my motel on 3 August, ferrying me back to the motel 8/1-8/3, taking me to the Boone County Fairgrounds 8/3&4 so I could help put up and work the FBU and NTA booths, and dropping me off at Boone Tavern for the Presidents Reception on 8/3. Mike “Buddy” Marsyada also gets points for hauling me back to the motel after the Presidents Reception. Being with them and Buddy also allowed me to sit in on some very interesting conversations from many knowledgeable people from several states, be introduced to many long time NTA hard working/prime movers, listen and absorb. Once more, it was highly enjoyable to just sit back and listen to those I have mostly read about gathered around tables and talking shop.
The Executive staff had already put in a long first day. President Kraig Kaatz, VP Karola Owen, Conservation Director Jim Curran, and Council Members: Chris McAllister, Sam Smith, Russ Voelker, Past President Jim Buell, Office Manager Dave Roberts, Parliamentarian Jeanette Williams and guest FBU President David Shuttleworth attended the Executive session. Although the General Organizer was unable to attend in person due to family obligations, John Daniel participated in the meeting via computer tie-in.
Some of the topics covered during the Executive meeting that day, which was not attended by the BOD were the motion passed on an extension of contracts for one year with no major change in terms for the editor, convention coordinator and DNIA coordinator, the Linkharts reporting their attendance at “Fur Wraps the Hill” in DC, their responses to the Born Free initiative which involved countering efforts to set legislation in Pennsylvania to ban use of body grip traps in federally protected wildlife refuges, and a proposed recommendation presentation to the BOD by the NTA Finance Committee for funds donated to NTA in memory of George Scalf.
I think I got back to my motel room about 11:30 pm on 8/1 to take another shower and put my “trek” clothes in the “Biz Bag”.
BOD Meeting 2 and 3 August
On August 2, the temperature spiked to a record high of 108 degrees with high humidity, so I called a cab and rode in comfort to the convention center. Upon arriving I hooked up my computer for taking notes and mixed with the early arrivals. One of the topics talked about before the meeting started was by Jim Curran. He brought along a copy of the newspaper advertising being done by HSUS called “Protecting Land for Wildlife” through the Wildlife Land Trust, 1-800-729-SAVE or The advertisement states 5 ways “You can help protect wildlife”, #2 being “Don’t allow hunting or trapping on your property”. These ads were in many local newspapers. Always something new to have to counter with fewer people and dollars!
August 2, at 8:04 am, NTA President Kraig Kaatz opened the BOD meeting with a welcome to all the delegates. Doran Miller, President of the Missouri Trappers Association (MTA) also presented a welcome to the delegates and wished everyone “a successful board meeting and convention.”
President Kaatz reiterated the responsibilities of the DR’s to review the information in the written annual NTA Convention handout report and to share the contents with their states and regions. The voting credentials were then determined by Cindy Seff. On 8/3 at 2:22 pm, the revised roll call count of forty voting members, a quorum, along with several NTA non-voting member “observers” were approved on motion for sufficient voting credentials.
The NTA staff members from Bedford, IN were introduced. They were Dave Roberts-Office Manager, Aimee Carlisle-Finance Manager, Jenny Ferguson-Web and Graphic Design, and Beth Roberts-Membership Secretary.
Contracted employees were then introduced. They were Mike “Buddy” Marsyada-Editor, Dan Skurski-Convention Coordinator, Gary Leistico- Legal Services, and Dave and Karen Linkhart (The Linkhart Group) –Director of National and International Affairs (DNIA).
A lengthy financial report was handed out before the meeting. The Financial Committee Chairman Charlie Rath and Office Manager Dave Roberts did a summary breakdown of the report and answered questions from the delegates. The audit report was reviewed together with Robert’s comments on the auditor’s recommendations. The resulting 2012 budget was adopted. It is extremely tight and reflects the tight economy. The NTA appreciates the generosity of their affiliates and members which has allowed the NTA to continue fighting for trappers rights. On adopted motion, donations received in memory of George Scalf will be placed in a scholarship fund in his name.
I was asked to be part of a three man assistant parliamentary minutes team chaired by parliamentarian Jeanette Williams to take meeting notes and provide review of the draft NTA BOD 2011 minutes. (My corrections/additions to her meeting minutes draft were forwarded to her on 9/19/2011)
The following people were certified as elected: Regional Director- Midwest, Ken Stewart, Board Representative to Executive Council, David Shuttleworth, and Directors-at-Large, Matt Lumley and Chris McAllister.
FBU President David Shuttleworth presented a report on FBU activities.
Chris Horton, Midwestern States Director, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, gave a presentation about the work of the organization.
The Linkhart group presented a workshop for continuing and new BOD members.
During the state affiliate reports, I presented a brief update on the positive accomplishments achieved thus far this year by the ITA, FTA, NTA, Illinois Farm Bureau, National Audubon Society and the IDNR in supporting and helping pass positive legislation and stopping adverse legislation. This was a cooperative effort by many groups that involved many emails for implementation.
During recesses, brief requests were made of the NTA body to consider the total impact of promoting or adopting universal methods of trapping that might become a slippery slope in eliminating tools presently in the trapper’s inventory. Of primary concernwere possible implementations of other state methods in use of body grips by edict.
Two amendments are being prepared for submission to the membership. They are “moving the dates forward for the nomination and acceptance of candidates to ensure adequate time to submit information to the American Trapper “ and “establishing a procedure to ensure that all NTA members receive a ballot.” A motion that these bylaw revisions be prepared for consideration by the board no later than the 2012 convention was defeated because of financial considerations.
The site of the 2013 national convention will be Lima, Ohio, subject to successful negotiation.
Committee chairman and members were selected and a list will be included in the next BOD mailing. I was notified that I was still on the membership and publications committee. My duties will be to provide ideas to the membership committee, and for the publications committee, proof issues of the American Trapper before publication for appropriate content, political/legal liability errors, and readability.
The publication committee met on line before the convention and that was contained in the convention handouts to the BOD.
The membership committee, Bill Paulsen, Craig Spoores, Dan Davis, Beth Roberts, and Dave Roberts met from 9:00 -11:30 pm on 8/2. Ron Pantry was unable to attend because of responsibilities as host of the convention activities at the Boone County Fairground.

The main topic of the meeting was how to get new and retain old membership. Maintaining current phone, address and email ID was brought up as a major problem in contacting old members that were delinquent in renewal. I provided a beginning trapper education Power Point CD to Dave Roberts and Mike Marsyada that they could make copies of and hand out to new members. Dave Roberts brought up the idea of giving preference to convention sellers that had memberships as a strong incentive.

The following was received from Dave Roberts after the convention:” Attached you will find a spreadsheet that detail the tailgate vendors at this year’s National Convention. While at this year’s convention, some of you had expressed a desire to know how many of these individuals are current members.

As you can see it was split exactly down the middle, with half members and half not. The last two columns on the right project how the charges might be structured in the future to encourage these people to become members. The first column under the heading of “new price structure” represents what non-members would have been charged this year ($20 more than they were charged). The second column under the heading of “new price structure” represents what members would have been charged. This $30 difference equals the price of a membership and becomes another member benefit. As you can also see on the bottom of the last page, even if nobody signed up we still would have made more money.”
On 8/3, after receiving our gate pass buttons, I finally arrived at the fairgrounds at about 1:30 pm. I helped Dave Shuttleworth and Cindy Seff put up and layout raffle/auction items at the FBU booth, helped put up and layout sales items at the NTA booth, scrounged electric cords and fans for both booths (did I mention

that it was 108 degrees out?), and sold NTA memberships till 6 pm.
After the 8/2 & 8/3 meeting close, at 7 pm, the NTA hosted the Presidents Reception at Boone Tavern in historic downtown Columbia. The barbeque pork, chicken, and Texas style beef brisket along with fresh from the garden vegetables, potato salad, homemade coleslaw and fantastic desserts were “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!!
On 8/4, my son-in-law and grandsons picked me up at the motel and took me to the Boone County Fairgrounds where I worked at the NTA booth selling memberships and sale items, from about 7:30 am till 5:00 pm, with “change of scenery’ working the trapping demo area, the FBU area, and wandering inside and outside sales tables.
Since the convention meetings, the following has been received as a “Board Meeting Summary”:
The following was received on 9/20/2011 and comments already incorporated in the previous paragraphs were omitted for space constraint. The actual mailing including detailed specifics* on financials, new NTA criteria, state memberships, etc. will be available for copy and/or read by the ITA BOD and membership at the ITA convention.
Presidents Report BOD Mailing August/September 2011
The NTA is making changes to the criteria for the Regional Conventions. Regional bids that have been accepted will be verified that they will meet the new criteria.*(Will be made available for copy and/or read by the ITA BOD at the ITA convention.)
During the BOD meetings our NTA communications efforts were brought up. It is important that the state directors expand efforts providing the ten monthly information mailings to their affiliate memberships and to also communicate and push two way communications between their affiliate and The NTA. Because of the attendance drops at the Regional Leadership conferences, with little prior notice to the NTA of anticipated non-attendance, it is important that the affiliates notify the NTA if they will not be attending. There is great value for these conferences but the economy dictates planning on low attendance communication equating not having a conference for a given year.
There has been a notice filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, that a lawsuit may be filed to halt trapping on the Gila National Forest in New Mexico, to protect gray wolves. NTA has contacted the NM Trappers Association and offered assistance. The NTA attorney has started preliminary research on the suit.
The Linkharts and the NTA have been discussing an alert system/process to be used to contact the membership. The alerts can be sent out via the internet if the NTA has an email address. The NTA is requesting any affiliate that has membership lists in a data base, please contact the NTA and provide not only that data, but also designated contact persons that would be contacted to email to action trees. This occurred extremely successful this spring for the ITA and FTA opposition and proponent work on Illinois legislation.
Dave Linkhart will attend the Congressional sportsman’s Caucus in DC with Fur Wraps The Hill on 9/14/2011.
2011 NTA Award Winners
Congressional Merit Award – no winner
Conservationist of the year – Bob Bluett, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Affiliate of the Year – Alabama Trapping Association
Benefactor Award – NAFA
David Reed Memorial Award – Ohio State Trappers Association
Director of the Year – Charlie Rath, Director at Large
Presidents Award – Kansas Fur Harvesters Association
Pioneer Award – no winner
Trapper of the Year East – Danny Redwine, Mississippi
Trapper of the Year West – Bob Gilman, Oregon
In Memoriam Award – To the Family of George Scalf, Iowa
– To the Family of Ray Bruedigam, Missouri
Hall of Fame – Jim Curran, Nevada
– W.E. “Pete” Askins, Pennsylvania
Respectfully submitted.

— William L. Paulsen

Well all, convention season is over and fur season is about in. I would like to thank all that helped out in Hennery, IL at the ITA Convention. And say I hope we all had a good time and did not forget to get any of the trapping supplies we needed for this coming up season. Also I would like to remind everyone that the ITA will once again be holding two fur sales in January.

The first one will be in Odell, IL on Jan. 14th and the second sale will be in Fairfield, IL on Jan. 28th. I hope to see you all there and please do not forget about our coon raffle at the sales. It is a great way for the ITA to raise a little money to help cover the cost of renting the buildings and also is a great way for one person to get a good chunk of change for a coon that they put in on the raffle. Until next time, stay safe and have a great season.

— Neil Graves

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