Iowa Trappers Association April-May 2009

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;  e-mail:

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

Membership Options:
• 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:
ITA, Secretary
Dita Mallon
1021 E. 13th St., Sumner, IA 50574


Greetings to all. As some of you know, at the Winter Directors Meeting on Feb. 1, the issue of pre-staking on road right-of-ways came up. In certain areas of the state, conflicts have occurred over the years where the DNR and ITA directors have been contacted. Those issues have centered mainly around snaring and snaring equipment on right-of- ways (ROWs). During the discussion, Ron Andrews stated that the issue of ROWs was going to be brought up this year. After much discussion, a motion was made and seconded before the ITA board of directors, to not allow any pre-setting or staking on ROWs before 8 a.m. opening morning, but not include private property.

After voting by the BOD, 10 were in favor, nine against and one abstained. This was a tough emotional issue to discuss and vote on, as ROW trapping and pre-staking is a privilege that fur harvesters in Iowa are allowed to utilize, which is not allowed in one form or another in some bordering states. Some feel we (the BOD) are giving in/giving up trapping privileges. Trappers took a defensive stance in the past, but today we have to be offensive on issues. From input we received, do we risk and see if ROW’s are taken away completely? After the Winter Meeting, some members of the association have challenged the BOD decision on ROWs. Until this situation is resolved, the ITA has to remain neutral. The next BOD meeting will be April 19 at 10 a.m. at the Iowa State Tree Nursery in Ames. All members are welcome to attend these meetings. If you would like to speak, you need to be placed on the agenda. Contact me for more info.

Some people, because of the pre-staking issue, would like to see the minutes of the Winter Meeting, but they are not approved and released until after the Spring Meeting. The minutes are written up by the secretary, sent to the minutes review committee, which consists of three directors in attendance, and the president. The committee checks for spelling, correctness, context and terminology, then goes to the president, which is then forwarded to the secretary with any corrections that are needed. Corrections are made, then minutes are sent to officers, directors and representatives to the ITA board. At the following meeting, any other corrections may be made and the final minutes are approved by the BOD.

In past years, the ITA has been contacted and invited to meet with the DNR periodically to keep lines of communication open. In early January, the ITA was contacted by the acting Chief of Enforcement for the DNR, Jason Sandholdt, about a meeting. It was decided that Feb. 20 would be the date available for all invited parties to meet. Items to be discussed would be the live market; bodygrippers half out of water; trap tags; artificial lights for night calling; adding breakaways to snares; and small loop mink snaring. Before this meeting, pre-staking on ROW’s was also included to be discussed.

Invited to attend this meeting, were the ITA; Iowa State Coon Hunters Association; and East Central Iowa Chapter 16 Fur Takers. After about 2-1/2 hours of discussion, the penning/live market revolves mainly around disease transmission, but also reducing to immediate possession or releasing per the North American Model for Wildlife Management. Bodygrippers half out of water and using artificial light for night calling would require opening the Code, which would not be realistic for the risk if the Code was opened. Trap tag discussion involved the current name/address, or the use of your DNR license number on the tag. This would involve Code change, but would not involve areas of concern. The issue of adding breakaways and small loop snaring, received very little discussion due to time.

The pre-staking issue consumed a large part of that time. The ITA was looking for a response from the DNR on their position to take back to the ITA BOD. From the DNRs response, they are in favor of no pre-staking on ROWs. This position was taken before the ITA BOD meeting on Feb. 1. The DNR will be holding public meetings around the state to receive input from sportsmen on proposed regulation changes; season dates; and etc. for the upcoming seasons. This is the time to voice your opinions to them.

Feb. 6 through 8 the ITA had a booth at National Pheasant Fest held in Madison, Wisconsin. In past years, the show staff was impressed by the number of people observed at the booth each time they passed by. Due to Iowa Trappers presence and interest at the booth at past shows, this year the ITA was given an opportunity to present four seminars, over three days, on trappers and their tools, hunters and their dogs and predator control. Dwayne Kay and Spencer Hill organized and presented these seminars.

The demos were well attended, with Saturday having standing room only. Afterwards, two different dog clubs, one from Wisconsin and one from Illinois, requested the ITA come to their clubs to conduct seminars for them. The ITA directed each club to contact their state trappers association. During the Friday and Saturday seminars and at the booth afterwards, we got to meet one special young lady from Nebraska, Kalee Brewer. She was one enjoyable and ambitious young gal to meet and talk with. When she was 14, she was the youngest person in Nebraska to harvest a buffalo. To you Nebraska guys, if you do not know this young lady now, you will in the future! Kalee, good luck and best wishes in all your future endeavors!

Hundreds of hunters, general public, men, women and children have been educated over the past three years to the truth about traps, trappers and trapping by the Iowa Trappers being present at Pheasant Fest. This year, the ITA was the only trapping organization with a booth at the show. Many people stopped by and expressed their thanks for the Iowa Trappers being there representing trappers. Thanks to Linda and Dwayne Kay, Spencer, Joice and Nat Hill for working the booth during the weekend.

One last item. Plans are almost finalized for this years ITA Fall Convention, to be held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hampton, Iowa, Sept. 11 through 13. More information will be published in the future.

Better go for now.

Till next time.

— Craig Sweet


The Iowa Legislative session will soon be winding down and many of the proposed DNR license increases have been put on hold. There are a few that will be considered; however, it appears that the Fur Harvester License will not be increased at this time.

Dates for the Natural Resource commission meetings have been set for the following dates and counties. Check the DNR Web site for locations: April 9 – Story; May 14 – Davis; June 11 – Fremont; July 9 – Washington; Aug. 13 – Cerro Gordo; Sept. 10 – Dickinson; Oct. 8 – Monroe; Nov. 5 – Delaware; and Dec. 10 – Polk. Please attend a meeting in your area.

With the deadline for this issue being March 1, information on our big seventh annual Fur Bearers Unlimited banquet will be in the June-July issue. At this time, it is shaping up to be another great event.

Our family is also planning to attend the FBU banquet in Des Moines again this year. Cody Hutton and his gang of dedicated workers are holding their seventh banquet at the Assembly Hall in Pleasant Hill, IA on Saturday, March 14.

If you would like to see a banquet held in your area of the state, contact your district director and offer your help. Cindy Seff of Arizona is the banquet coordinator and will come and help you with all the details. It’s fun and it’s easy and a very enjoyable way to raise some much-needed funds for both the FBU and the ITA.

The first regional convention will be the Southern, May 1 to 3 at Williamston, NC, followed the following weekend, May 8 to 10, by the northeast regional at Pittsfield, PA. This year’s Western Regional will be held Sept. 18 to 20 in conjunction with Montana’s convention at the fairgrounds in Lewistown, MT.

Be sure to get your hotel reservations made for the big 50th National Convention in Lima, Ohio as the rooms are going fast. The executive council will meet July 26 and 27, while the NTA board will convene July 28 and 29, with the convention being held July 30 to Aug. 2.

— George E. Scalf


As another fur season winds down, it’s time to reflect on what went right, what went wrong and how to get it all right next year. All traps were in the shed at the close of the regular fur season in January and have since been washed and just need to do necessary repairs and dip. Been warm then cold. I wish the banks would get froze up or thawed out so I could start on beaver.

The DNR will be holding public hearings on next year’s season dates, new regulation changes, quotas and new open areas for bobcat. This is your opportunity to voice your opinion. After last year’s ICN meetings, the ITA was invited to meet with representatives of the DNR and the Iowa ’Coon Hunters Association. We all met at the State Wallace Office Building the week following the ICN meetings. Meetings of this type keep the lines of communication open. Good communications are key to solving problems before they get blown out of portion and are usually solved by the parties involved without all the fanfare.

In early January, I was contacted by the acting Chief of Enforcement asking if we were ready for another meeting. At the Feb. 1 BOD meeting, I informed the board of this request. Invited to attend were the State ’Coon Hunters Association, ITA, and Chapter 16 FTA. We met at the State Wallace Office Building Feb. 20 for over 2 ½ hours. Topics of discussion covered included selling or penning live animals, pre-setting in the ROW, changing trap tag regulations, use of artificial light and placing of bodygrip-type traps.

Changing the rules governing the use of an artificial light and the placing of bodygripping-type traps would require opening sections of the Iowa Code. We have no desire to open the Code for this! Discussion on the trap tags was to include the option to use your DNR license number or address as currently required. The Code would need to be opened for this but in an area of little concern. Pre-setting in the ROW was introduced by the DNR. They are currently working on wording for this and will be available at a later date. Penning or selling to the live market gives trappers and hunters other option. Using the North American Model for Wildlife Management as a guide, animals must be immediately reduced to possession or released.

At the February BOD meeting, the directors vote to send $1,000 to the FTA “Circle of Friends.” Important dates to remember include the FTA National Rendezvous June 11-13, 2009, at Mena, Arkansas. Come join us for a great time.

— Gene Purdy

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