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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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;
• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $15
• Lifetime membership with subscription — $250
Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:
Jamaica, IA 50129
Greetings to all! As I write, this is the evening after the Winter Board of Directors Meeting. First of all, I would like to thank the following ITA members who attended the board meeting. They were; Scott Nibe; Brad Mohr; Mike Cope; Ron and Margaret Squier; Tony Evans; Dave Fox; Bob Kesl; Steve Kesl; Scott Webb; Ken Smith; Judy Sells; and Bruce Hutton. Most everyone stayed for the entire marathon meeting. Your attendance was appreciated. Thank you for coming.
Less than 30 days ago, the ITA received notice that the price of T&PC was to raise by $1. With this $1 increase, the ITA expense for members increased to over $17. During the Executive Council meeting to audit books and set the 2010 budget, much discussion was exchanged over the current price of membership dues vs. expenses. Research found that the last dues increase occurred in 1994, which raised dues from $10 to $15. After much discussion, it was decided that it was necessary for membership dues to be increased. A recommendation was presented to increase the price of membership dues, which was approved by the board.
Effective immediately the new membership dues will be $10 without publication a year; $20 with publication per year; lifetime without publication is $200; and lifetime with publication is $400. Anyone on a current lifetime payment plan would remain on the old membership rate. We, as the Board of Directors of the ITA, sincerely apologize for not being able to give a notice in advance for such an increase. The ITA as an organization has the lowest cost for membership of any in the country even with this increase. If you did not know, the only paid positions in the ITA are those of the secretary and treasurer. Their wage is very minimal for what is required for those positions. All other officers and director positions are totally volunteer. Thanks to all who are members, as without your support there would be no ITA.
Another issue discussed is with the Web site. Multiple persons within the association will be receiving information in training on how to manage and maintain the site. This information will help and allow the Web site to be updated more efficiently and regularly.
Also, at the meeting Tom Gilman retired as District 5 director. A replacement from Tom’s district was present at the meeting and was willing to accept the position. His name is Tony Evans. Tony’s address is 312 3rd St., Wellman, Iowa 52356. Thanks Tom for your time served as director, and thanks to Tony for accepting the District 5 directorship.
Other open districts are District 6, which is Des Moines, Henry, Lee and Louisa counties; District 9, which is Benton, Iowa and Linn counties; District 19, which is Clayton, Delaware and Dubuque counties; District 20, which is Allamakee, Chickasaw, Howard and Winneshiek counties; and District 24, which is Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties. Any ITA member residing within the district counties who would like more information about becoming a district director, contact any officer or director for details.
Jan. 27, House File 2139 was introduced at the statehouse. It states, “A person shall not set or maintain any type of snare or trap within any public road right-of-way unless the owner or tenant of the land adjacent to the public right-of-way has given permission. This bill prohibits the use of any type of snare or trap within any public road right-of-way unless the owner or tenant of this land adjacent to the public road right-of-way has given permission. Currently, a person must obtain the prior permission of the occupant of a residence whose private drive entry is within 200 yards of where a bodygrip-type trap or snare will be set.” The ITA directors will have been in contact with key members of the House Natural Resources Committee stating our opposition to this file. At this time the outcome looks to be on the side of trappers.
I will be chairman for this years ITA Convention held Sept. 10-12 in Sigourney. I learned a lot from Osceola in 2007 and will do my best to make Sigourney just as great. The ITA will again have a pure silver medallion minted with a raccoon on the back for the this year’s convention. More information will come later.
The ITA will have a booth set up at Pheasant Fest in Des Moines Feb. 26-28 at HyVee Hall. and during the Eastern Iowa Sportshow at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls, March 12-14. Stop by and say hello!
On March 13, the 8th annual Central Iowa Sportsman Banquet will be held at the Ramada Inn at Merle Hay Road and I-80 in Des Moines. It will be an evening of fun with games, live and silent auctions, and raffles for all ages. For more information, contact Cody Hutton at 641-201-0452 or 641-396-2593.
As I write this, the regular trapping season has just closed, but beaver season remains open until April 1. As I do every year, as in the past, my last set was pulled 11:59 p.m. Jan. 31, with this year’s season ending on a high note. The five buckets that remained held two nice ’coons.
As I pull that last set, I pause awhile to sit, listen and remember the year and the years past as this spot is where it all started 37 years ago. Just below this spot on the high bank of Clanton Creek is where I caught my first ’coon. I can still see that trail set today, even though the features have disappeared from the creek bed. Just a couple of feet to my left is the spot I caught my first and largest buck mink I have ever caught. These and many other trapline memories are remembered every year at this very spot where it all started. I am thankful for the time, memories and people I have met from enjoying the trapping tradition. Til next time, be safe and enjoy the outdoors.
— Craig Sweet
NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Greetings in March and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Hopefully our ice, snow and cold weather have headed back North for the year. Spring is coming and with it the end, on April 1, of beaver trapping in Iowa. If it hadn’t been for Global Warming, I think I would have frozen to death on several days.
The results from the auction houses have been encouraging, and we can only hope that the trend continues. As I have read in other columns so much lately, “It can’t get much worse.”
March brings several important dates.
The first is the NTA MIDWEST REGIONAL CONFERENCE set for Saturday, March 13, in Normal, IL at the Signature Inn. John Daniel, our General Organizer, promises a full slate of information to take back to the affiliates.
Saturday, March 20, will mark our Eighth Annual FurBearers Unlimited banquet at Hotel Ottumwa. It is shaping up to be one of the biggest and best banquets we have hosted. Tickets will be available at the door, or in advance from me, at $25 each for a bountiful prime rib and ham dinner, with all the trimmings. Tables of eight (Corporate table) receive a bonus of thirty-two (32) free tickets for the General Raffle.
As of this writing, I believe we will be giving away at least 10 guns at our banquet, so plan to attend!
April will bring the Seventh Annual NTA Southeast Regional Convention in Calhoun, GA set for April 9-11.
The Sixth Annual NTA Northeast Regional Convention is set for May 21-23 in Greenwich, NY.
June brings the Ninth Annual NTA Western Regional Convention set for June 18-20 in Rock Springs, WY.
The big 51st Annual NTA Convention is set for Aug. 5-8 in Marshfield, Wisc. This is also the site of Wisconsin’s annual state convention, so I am sure it will be well organized and a lot of fun. Chris Bezio is the convention chairman for Wisconsin and is working closely with our NTA Convention Coordinator, Dan Skurski, to make this a memorable event.
I hope you are planning to attend at least one of these great conventions.
The Iowa Trappers Association held their winter meeting on Sunday, Jan. 31, at the Iowa Tree Nursery, Ames. Welcome to new District 5 Director Tony Evans of Wellman, who replaces Tom Gilman of Farmington.
Please contact me with your questions or concerns regarding the National Trappers Association.
Till next time.
— George E. Scalf