United Trappers of Kentucky, Inc. February 2009 Report

President — Stephen Pickard, P.O. Box 52, Rockhold, KY 40759; phone: 606-528-2726; cell phone: 606-521-0968; e-mail: spickard1@bellsouth.net

Vice President — David Kriege Jr., 3513 Cowie Ave., Erlanger, KY 41018-1608; phone: 859-342-8109

Financial Secretary — Dave Dykes, 152 Mapleview Ct., Mt. Washington, KY 40047; phone: 502-538-3290

Executive Director
— Chet Hayes, 3951 Neises Rd., California, KY 41007; phone: 859-635-3102; e-mail: lhayes@fuse.net

Membership Options:

• Class A Kentucky trapper including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Family Membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $35
• Associate Membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Youth Kentucky trapper including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $15
• Lifetime Class A Kentucky trapper — $250

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
UTK, Financial Secretary
Dave Dykes
152 Mapleview Ct., Mt. Washington, KY 40047
502-538-3290

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Our trapping season is in full swing and I hope everyone is out there doing at least some trapping. It’s very easy to find all kinds of excuses not to get out in the rain and cold, but getting off the couch is by far the hardest part. I find once I get out there, I really enjoy the fact that I did. The fur prices are still uncertain at this time, but there will be a market to sell your catch. Be sure to mark down when and where Big Windy’s NAFA fur pickups are and meet Jimmy and Heather with your catch. As most of you know, UTK receives a check every season from NAFA from a percentage of our fur that goes there. We make far more for our organization through NAFA than if we had a fur sale and I feel well handled fur always does very well up north.

Laura Patton needs ’coon, skunk, fox and coyote heads from the eastern counties for the rabies study. Please save them for her if you are in the zone of interest. She also wants otter and bobcat carcasses so save those as well. I save mine and send them with either my CO or the local fisheries office when they go to Frankfort if I’m not going to be up in that area.

A huge thank you needs to go out to Bob Boyd of Trimble County for ironing out our Web site problems and getting the elk bid flier and form up and running. He has been a huge help on this. The officers and directors can start distributing the fliers at this time. I sent 10 to Indianapolis this month to a huge outdoor show with Robert Dunaway who is one of the guides for the hunt. He knows who to give them to. He has promised to take me and show me 100 elk one day to boot. I haven’t seen one since they jumped off the truck that first day.

I tagged along with Jim, Jeff and Jake “muskrat” Couch on Christmas morning on their line. I got to see Jim take his first otter that day. These guys are truly trappers now.

Whitley County seems to have an abundance of new trappers. I am bumping into trappers now while out and seeing trucks parked along roads during early morning hours for days in a row. It seems like the old days again as far as numbers on trappers.

One of the new trappers is Alex Patrick. He is on the Whitley County football team and they interviewed him before a big game. I was tickled that he mentioned trapping as his hobby over the radio. The announcer didn’t quite know how to follow up on that.

I will try to get up with Oral Jones before the next report to see when he’ll be down at the lake at Camp Energy so we can coordinate a weekend with him there in the spring. The fishing and turkey hunting are great down there.

See you next month.

— Stephen Pickard

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

December has been a busy month for all of us. Some much needed rainfall has brought the creeks up and flushed them out, and some cold snaps have quickly primed up the fur. Rats and beaver look good now and the raccoon here locally look the best they have in several years in terms of color and texture. I haven’t played with mink, fox and coyote yet.

December has been especially busy for the UTK. On Dec. 6 and 7, we had our biggest “Introduction to Trapping” weekend yet with 44 students, up here in the 5th District. All the students had a great time and we signed up a number of new members. Weather was terrible — snow and high winds all day Saturday, bitter freeze that night. We told the students not to expect much of a catch, especially ’coon, and we were right. We did catch a number of ’rats and beaver along with some ’possums and a skunk, plus fur from the freezer, everyone got to put up some fur or see how it is done. Officer Mick Craig, as usual, did a great job of organizing the event and the instructors all received great reviews from the students. Instructors were Rodney Mattingly, Oral Jones, Nate Doyle, Dave Kriege, Mike Hurst, Charley Hornback, Barth Johnson, Chet Hayes, Mick Craig. Special thanks to the Bobwhite Club for the use of their facility.

On Dec. 3, Steve Pickard and I were invited by the Department to attend an emergency meeting between the Dept. and sportsmen concerning a challenge to the Department’s right to regulate firearms during hunting seasons. Supposedly, some language is in violation of Kentucky’s Constitution and the Concealed Carry Law. In attendance were the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, United Trappers of Kentucky, Inc., Hunters for the Hungry, Wild Turkey Federation, League of Kentucky Sportsmen, United Bowhunters of Kentucky, Kentucky Houndsmen and others along with Department personnel. A proposal recognizing Concealed Carry but keeping existing regulations on type of firearms allowed during seasons was adopted and sent to the Commission for adoption on Friday, Dec. 5, 2008, which was passed. From there it went to the Legislative Research Subcommittee in Frankfort on Dec. 10 as part of the Bear Hunting Bill. No agreement could be reached on the firearms language so Commissioner Gassett deferred the bill until a later date. We also agreed to defer a second bill containing the trapping (furbearer) changes (snare, bobcat, last day of season). The Humane Society of the U.S. was there trying to stop the bear season and gave some irritating testimony. Their organization and their spokeswoman got put in their place by Representative Robin Webb of Grayson, KY. What a lady and a champion for sportsmen and gun owners.

When the trapping changes come up for review, UTK will be there to rebut any flack from the antis, including H.S.U.S.

I really wish every Kentucky sportsman and woman could attend these type of affairs to learn what goes on behind the scenes to get things done, and how easily things can be lost. I also wish everyone could see Commissioner Gassett in action on legislative matters, along with the rest of his team. You won’t see this kind of activity on the sportsman’s behalf by Wildlife agencies in lots of other states.

Good luck on your traplines, and have a safe and joyous Holiday.

Until next month.

— Chet Hayes

FINANCIAL SECRETARY’S REPORT

Hope everyone has enjoyed the holidays and a successful trapping season.
If anyone has an address change, phone number change, magazine problem or any membership questions, just give me a call. Also if you need any membership applications let me know.

The UTK, NAFA fur pick up in Shepherdsville, KY will be March 21, 2009, at the Bullitt County Co-Op Extension Service Building from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Directions – Shepherdsville is located off I65 between Louisville and Elizabethtown. Take I65 to Exit 117 travel east on Hwy 44 for approx. 2.5 miles turn left on Halls Lane. Travel about ½ mile, facility on right.

You need not be a member to ship fur, all is welcome to ship with UTK. Jimmy and Heather Childress our NAFA agents and others will be there to help everyone bag and tag their fur.
UTK, Inc. Officers elections are due this spring. Nominations will be accepted from Feb. 1 to April 30 by phone or mail to secretary Dave Dykes at 152 Mapleview Court, Mt. Washington, KY 40047 or 502-538-3290. Ballots will be mailed out May 1. The election committee will do the count in June and new officers will take office July 17, 2009. Remember to receive a ballot you must be a KY resident and current with dues.

Till next time.

— Dave Dykes

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