Iowa Trappers Association June-July 2010 Report

President — Craig Sweet, 1825 Kirkwood St., Saint Charles, IA 50240; phone: 641-764-2758

Vice President — Randy Mitchell, Iowa Fall, IA; phone: 641-648-6787

Secretary — Patty Kempf, 3371 130th St., Jamaica, IA 50128; e-mail:

Treasurer — Chris Grillot, 2769 110th Ave., Wheatland, IA 52777; phone: 563-374-1074;

FTA Director — Gene Purdy, 521 Edwin Place, Fontanelle, IA 50846; phone: 641-745-8841

NTA Director — George Scalf, 123 N. Madison Ave., Ottumwa, IA 52501; phone: 641-682-3937;e-mail:

Membership Options:
• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Individual membership without subscription — $10
• Lifetime membership with subscription — $400
• Lifetime membership without subscription — $200

Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:
ITA Secretary
Patty Kempf
3371-130th St.
Jamaica, IA 50129

Greetings to all. Hope you are getting your spring fill of fish, mushrooms and turkey hunting. The last 15 days of March were spent trapping beaver after rivers opened and allowed access.

I started and finished the season on a personal best. The first check only consisted of four sets which resulted in three beavers. Got two more sets out that day, before getting interrupted. The following morning caught five beavers out of the six sets.

Got a call on March 25 from a gentleman in northern Decatur county who had found beaver damage to his trees. I told him I would willing come down on the weekend and look the situation over and indicated that the season closed on April 1.

My inspection found the damage had been done last fall with very little fresh sign or tracks present on the creek within 1/4 mile either side of the damage. I set six blind sets not expecting much. The end result was six beavers caught, four on the first check, including the largest I have ever personally caught, a happy landowner and a deal to trap other critters next fall. I gave the gentleman a picture of the four caught on my first check. He never realized that beavers got so large. That picture spread like wildfire through the fire station in Des Moines where he works and another station where another gentleman whose land I trap works.

The second gentleman had beaver problems in his pond the fall of 08 and had referred me. The end result from both these men’s beaver problems has been an appreciation and respect for trappers, what we do and the knowledge about the animals we harvest. The final word is all about “Education” — Mission Accomplished!!!
At the April 11 BOD meeting, guests were Margaret & Ron Squier, Scott Nibe, Judy Sells, Bruce Hutton and Ed Grillot. At the January BOD meeting, the BOD was approached by members inquiring about an ITA Fur auction. A committee was formed to research the possibility and was to report back at the April meeting. Bruce Hutton reported back to the board with suggestions and guidelines for an auction. After much debating and input, it was voted upon and approved by the BOD to have an ITA Fur Auction. That auction will take place on Jan. 8, 2011 in Boone.

Final guidelines will be written, finalized and in print by this falls convention in Sigourney. Set-up will take place on Jan. 7 with the auction on the 8th. People to help with this auction is a must, especially on Saturday, to keep the fur and auction moving. Mark your calendar for Jan 7 and 8 to volunteer some time during your auction and sell some fur. I will keep you posted as the guidelines are finalized — stay tuned.
Also reported at the meeting was a proposal from the DNR for additional counties to be added for the harvest of bobcat. The proposed new open area for harvest would add another tier of counties plus Guthrie county with a quota set for 250 for all open counties. The open area, if approved, would include and total all of the lower three tiers of counties, Guthrie and the counties along the Missouri River up to and including Woodbury county which were previously open.

Otter harvest quotas would remain the same. Limits per license would remain the same – 1 bobcat per fur harvester license and 2 otter per fur harvester license. Final approval for the new open area for bobcat should occur this summer – time will tell if it is approved.
March 12-14 the ITA had a booth set-up during the Eastern Iowa Sportshow at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. The ITA had some new members and renewals sign up during the show. Thanks to Joice & Spencer Hill, Linda & Mike Long, Dave Phipps and Joe Aeschliman for helping in the booth.

 March 13 was the 8th Annual Des Moines ITA/FBU Banquet. The attendance was good with about 270 adults/children attending. The gross banquet total was one of the best to date so far. Thanks to all who attended and made this event such a success. Also thanks to all the gals and guys who spend the weeks prior to and day of planning and working to make this event a success. Next years banquet is being planned for the same time and place with more on-site parking in the works by next year. Hope to see you all again next year.
The ITA is in the process of submitting a bid to host the 2012 NTA National convention again in Mason City at the North Iowa Fairgrounds. Everyone involved is familiar with Mason City and the grounds from past conventions. The Fair Board members, Mason City Convention & Visitors Bureau and the ITA are required to do a lot of planning and paperwork just to submit a bid. The bid will presented to the NTA this August at Marshfield, WI.

 On April 23, directors from the S.E. quadrant met at Sigourney for all to tour and perform on-site planning for this falls ITA convention Sept. 10-12. The grounds will have easy access and lay-out will work well for dealers, tailgaters and demos. Shade on the grounds will be minimal at best. The grounds are located 1/4 mile south of the junction of Hwy 92 and 149 at the east edge of town. The motel in Sigourney is full as of 4/23 for Saturday night, but still had rooms available for Friday. There are motels in Oskaloosa (23-25 miles west) along and close to Hwy 92 that have plenty of rooms available. The direct numbers for the motels and locations are listed below – no blocks of rooms have been reserved.

Belva Deer Inn – Sigourney – 641-622-3200
Super 8 – Oskaloosa (east side of town) 641-673-8481
Americas Best Value Inn – Oskaloosa (east side) 641-673-8351
Budet Inn – Oskaloosa (east side) 641-673-8333
Comfort Inn – Oskaloosa (west side of town) 641-676-6000
For inside dealer table space or convention info contact me at 515-306-9385 or

Officer positions up for election this fall are President and Treasurer. Nominations from the board are Chris Grillot for Treasurer and myself for President. Nominations will remain open until the General Membership Meeting at Sigourney. Nominations may also be received from the membership for these positions, provided the consent of the nominee is obtained before his or her name is placed in nomination. Nominee must also be a member of the ITA in good standing.

Don’t forget about the scholarship and other awards the ITA have available each year. A $500 scholarship, or up to three depending on the number of applicants, is awarded for college each year. The applicant must be an ITA member or have a parent or guardian who is a member and resident of Iowa. Applications can be printed off the ITA website at and mailed before June 1 to Gene Purdy at the address on the application. All applications will be read and a winner/or winners selected at the Summer Directors meeting on June 27. The scholarship check/checks will be presented during the General Membership Meeting at the fall convention in Sigourney. Get your application filled out and mailed to Gene before that June 1 deadline, so don’t delay. Other awards are for Young Trapper and Outstanding Trapper.

Young Trapper guidelines are
1, must be under 17 before last years trapping season
2, must be actively engaged in trapping
3, nominated by an ITA member
4, current resident of Iowa
5, must have good trapper ethics
6, would like them to be an ITA member, but is not required.

Outstanding Trapper guidelines are
1, member in good standing
2, promote trapping and help promote the ITA
3, efficient & effective trapper
4, must comply with game laws to the best of ability and be for the preservation of wildlife
5, a good citizen in the community
6, name shall be submitted to the board for directors approval
7, name must be submitted by a member of the ITA.

If you know of a young trapper or outstanding trapper deserving of one of these awards, forward their name to any officer or director so they can present the name at the BOD meeting June 27. If selected a short biography of the person will be required when the award is presented at the fall convention. Also mail those trap line pictures to Tom Walters (address on web-site) for the photo contest. Categories include: Animal in trap, Trapper & Catch, Multiple Catch, Youth – 16 and younger.

The next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for June 27th 10 A.M. at the State Tree Nursery in Ames. Better close for now.

Til next time, have a safe and enjoyable summer. — Craig Sweet


My wife and I attended the NTA Midwest Leadership Conference on Saturday, March 13, 2010 in Normal, IL. Unfortunately, this was the same date as the FBU banquet in Des Moines hosted by Cody Hutton and his committee. We were sorry to have to miss this great event.

The leadership conference once again was filled with information regarding NTA activities across the nation to help preserve our sport of trapping. We were the only attendees from Iowa, which is a real shame, because it is an event well worth attending.

Representatives also came from Missouri, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. Thanks, once again, to the Wisconsin Trappers Association for providing lunch from Pizza Hut.

Each attendee was presented with a Leadership Conference Booklet, an NTA CARES booklet, and an NTA Directors Handbook.Various officer and staff reports were reviewed and explained.

Dave Linkhart of Ohio has been confirmed by the NTA Board as the new Director of National and International Affairs and has been attending various functions in Washington, DC representing the NTA. We have received very positive feedback from those involved regarding our new DNIA.

President Kaatz explained the meaning of NASC (National Association of Sportsmen’s Caucuses) and how this organization has been helping in various situations. More and more, we are seeing a uniting of various organizations to combat the animal rights groups.
NTA General Organizer John Daniel of Tennessee outlined the NTA CARES program and the importance of communication regarding events in which the NTA or state associations have been involved.

Office Manager Dave Roberts explained how the remaining three office girls as well as he had taken on additional duties following the resignation of Financial Administrator Shirley Wagner last fall.

The outcome of the lawsuit in Maine was explained as was the continuing one in Montana. Also, the Maryland DNR has discontinued their furbearer program, which resulted in the firing of former NTA Conservation Director Robert Colona. In addition, Montgomery County in Maryland is again proposing to outlaw trapping in their county.
 BMP criteria were discussed including those which have been passed and those scheduled for further testing.

After hearing a report from each state’s representative on current activities in that state, the meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m. and we headed home in a torrential downpour. Well, better than last year when we drove in a blizzard!

Our eighth annual Fur Bears Unlimited banquet, held March 20, 2010, at the Hotel Ottumwa ballroom in downtown Ottumwa, was a resounding success with income surpassing last year’s record income. We officially had 225 go through the food line for the delicious feast of prime rib and ham. My apologies to Bryce Lumley’s group who came all the way from northern Iowa only to be at the last table dismissed to go through the buffet line and the hotel had run out of prime rib! I hope your rib eye steaks were an acceptable substitute, and we will make sure you go first next year! We have reserved March 19, 2011 for our ninth annual banquet. Mark your calendars!

We had increased our balloons to 140 from the usual 125, and they still sold out in just over one hour! My older daughter’s (Kathy) husband, Jon McSparen, had the lucky balloon number 100 and won the Henry rifle. Each purchaser is guaranteed a prize, so this is one of our most popular concessions.

The following weekend, we were able to enjoy a banquet by attending the Ottumwa chapter of the National Turkey Federation banquet in the same facility where we hold our banquet. There were 115 in attendance at that event. Just a few days prior, I had informed my wife that I’d had a dream regarding the turkey banquet. I dreamed I won two guns. Well, guess what? Dreams DO come true! I won a Weatherby .12 gauge shotgun and a Taurus Judge revolver, which shoots either a .45 or a .410 round. Pretty sweet!

Our Youth Field Day will be over by the time this column hits print, having been set for Saturday, May 22, 2010. As previously reported, I was in charge of the trapping portion of the activities. We are expecting between 125 and 150 participants from area schools.
The Iowa DNR is proposing an increase in the quota of bobcats, from 200 to 250, and adding an additional ten counties (Adair, Cass, Guthrie, Keokuk, Louisa, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Warren and Washington) to the legal take area. Possession is proposed to remain at one bobcat per licensed trapper. A final vote on this proposal will be taken by the Natural Resource Commission this summer.

The southeast Iowa District Directors for the Iowa Trappers Association met on Friday, April 23 to tour the proposed fall convention grounds east of Sigourney. The dates are Sept. 10, 11 and 12. Be sure to stop by the NTA booth and renew your membership or sign up, if you are not a member.

I received the very sad news in April of the passing of one of our NTA Directors at Large, Mr. Don Aycock of Louisiana. Our sincere sympathies go out to his family and to the entire Louisiana organization, which has suffered a great loss with his passing. — George E. Scalf

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