Maryland Fur Trappers, Inc. April-May 2010 Report

President — Ron Leggett, 7308 Monroe Rd., Boonsboro, MD 21713; phone: 301-432-8480

Vice President — Butch Glenn, 9 Jeanna Lane, Falling Waters, WV 25419; phone 301-465-0196

Membership Secretary — Reed Muse, 3499 Niner Rd., Finksburg, MD 21048; phone: 410-795-8076; cell: 410-790-6475; e-mail: frmtrapper@verizon.net

Recording Secretary — Jaime Glenn, 9 Jeanna Ln., Falling Waters, WV 25419

Treasurer — Ed Davis, 5122 Paw Paw Rd., Cambridge, MD 21613; phone: 410-228-8181

NTA Director — Jerry Heimbrock, 12027 Pennterra Manor Lane, Thurmont, MD 21788; phone 937-681-1708

Membership Options:

• Yearly individual membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• 3-year individual membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $70
• Lifetime individual membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $250
• Yearly family membership with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $27.50
• 3-year family membership with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $80
• Lifetime family membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $400
• Yearly junior (17 and under) membership with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $10

Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:

MFT, Membership Secretary
Reed Muse
3499 Niner Rd., Finksburg, MD 21048

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

We are at it again as HSUS is attempting to ban live hold foot and bodygripping traps in Montgomery County MD. Please use the following info to help stop HB-858. It was MC 16-10.

WE NEED TO CONTACT OUR LEGISLATORS!!!

I have listed below the ones that need to be contacted by us. It is imperative that you send an e-mail or telephone your opposition to MC 16-10 before Friday. Please make this effort! We can only be heard if we make the effort and reach out to our legislators!

Jeff Waldstreicher – District 18
Phone: 301-858-3130 / 410-841-3130
Jeff.Waldstreicher@house.state.md.us
 
Alfred Carr – District 18
301-858-3110 / 410-841-3110
Alfred.Carr@house.state.md.us
 
Herman Taylor – District 14
Phone: 301-858-3380 / 410-841-3380
Herman.Taylor@house.state.md.us
 
Jim Gilchrist – District 17
Phone: 301-858-3744 / 410-841-3744
Jim.Gilchrist@house.state.md.us
 
Kumar Barve – District 17
Phone: 301-858-3464 / 410-841-3464
Kumar.Barve@house.state.md.us
 
Roger Manno – District 19
Phone: 301-858-3883 / 410-841-3883
Roger.Manno@house.state.md.us
 
Sheila Hixson – District 20
Phone:301-858-3469/410-841-3469
Sheila.Hixson@house.state.md.us
 
Heather Mizeur – District 20
Phone: 301-858-3493 / 410-841-3493
Heather.Mizeur@house.state.md.us
 
Saqib Ali – District 39
Phone: 301-858-3021 / 410-841-3021
Saqib.Ali@house.state.md.us
 
Susan Lee – District 16
Phone: 301-858-3649 / 410-841-3649
Susan.Lee@house.state.md.us
 
Here is the legislative map if you want to see which district you are in: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov//content/gis/images/gallery/legiszip02.pdf

But if you call, you can speak to each one as a Montgomery County resident.

Please send a letter to each person using their individual e-mails. We have found that if you send it to the Delegation e-mail, it does not get to each delegate. Please contact me if you have any questions on what to say or write. We need to get our opposition to this bill into Annapolis with the same vigor that the other side is using!
 
PRESS RELEASE

Montgomery County Delegation Set To Advance Anti-Trapping Legislation

Feb. 2, 2010 – In early December, State Delegates from Montgomery County, backed by several animal activist organizations, announced plans to introduce legislation in the 2010 Maryland General Assembly to ban the so-called “leghold” and bodygripping traps in Montgomery County. The Delegation will soon vote to advance its bill, MC 16-10 to the full General Assembly. UPDATE: Now in the General Assembly as HB 858
The Maryland Fur Trappers, Inc. (MFTI), the umbrella organization for the state’s practitioners of fur trapping and animal control, is seeking support in opposing the legislative threat to their livelihoods and to public safety. MFTI’s message is that if the legislation is passed in one jurisdiction, others could follow the precedent. If trapping were to be restricted, it could pave the way to increased animal/human conflicts, danger to livestock and affect the cultural diversity that is the cornerstone of Maryland’s foundation. MFTI wants the public to know that the positive role of trapping is beneficial to the environment and to the sustainability of many species of wildlife.

MFTI President, Ron Leggett, said, “It’s easy for opponents of fur trapping to advance an emotional plea against the practice. The benefits of fur trapping are misunderstood by many in the modern age. Most Marylanders are unaware of the protections afforded to them by trappers and wildlife control agents.” Leggett also stated, “Detractors refuse to consider the facts about trapping and its methods and wage unrelenting campaigns using “compassionate” messages, with no real proof to back up their claims, to garner support from the uninformed majority of urbanized citizens.”

• QUICK FACT: Nearly 8,000 Individual Furbearer Permits and 300 Wildlife Damage Control Operator Permits are issued in Maryland annually.

The So-Called “Leghold” Trap – Whenever and wherever anti-trapping legislation is introduced on a municipal or larger statewide scale, the goal is always to ban the primary tool of the trade, the so-called “leghold” trap. This misnomer refers to the “live-hold foot trap” used predominately to hold land-based furbearers without injury in case the captured animal needs to be released.

For years, animal activists have portrayed the tradition and heritage of fur trapping as a cruel, primitive craft that indiscriminately targets any unwitting creature, including domestic pets that happen to step into the waiting jaws of a bone-crushing “leghold trap” only to suffer anguishing torment until killed by the brutish trapper. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, the use of the humane “live-hold foot trap” is the preferred tool of trappers for the very reason activists decry its use. Any non-targeted animals can be and are routinely released unharmed. In addition, the live-hold foot trap is used in the propagation of threatened species including the Canada lynx and the red and gray wolf. In Maryland, this method has been used in the reintroduction of the river otter with much success. On a larger scale, the live-hold foot trap is used to protect nesting waterfowl and endangered sea turtle eggs from ravaging predators.
Time and time again during legislative hearings, the typical live-hold foot trap used for most furbearers has been sprung on the hand or finger of a trapper to demonstrate the strength of the device. No pro-trappers were ever injured during the demonstration.

• QUICK FACT: The Maryland Veterinary Medical Association has NO data to support claims that stray pets are injured or killed by live-hold foot traps.

Rabies – Trapping is the first line of defense in the prevention of several wildlife diseases carried by furbearers including rabies, which can threaten human life as well as domestic pets and livestock.

Rabies is always fatal if left untreated. Humans exposed to rabies must undergo a series of expensive injections to prevent the disease. Nearly 40,000 people are treated for rabies exposure in the U.S. annually. Feral cats are the most prolific hosts. Furbearers such as raccoons, foxes and skunks are frequent carriers.

• QUICK FACT: Montgomery County, Maryland with 54 cases in 2007 (latest data), led all counties in Maryland with laboratory confirmed incidents of rabies. Montgomery also had more cases in 2005 and 2006 than any other jurisdiction.

Cultural Diversity and the Real Cost of Anti-Trapping Legislation – Like Maryland’s Chesapeake watermen and Maryland’s 13,000 family farmers, trappers have felt the pressures of an increasingly urbanized society. Though now fewer in number, they still cherish their independence and feel the closeness to nature that their forbearers did when this nation was in its infancy.

While wildlife flourishes and the conflicts between humans and animals continue, it is the trapper who stands in the gap to protect not only the wildlife, but the family’s pets and the farmer’s livestock.

Anti-trapping legislation, if enacted, will not only do harm to Maryland’s ability to protect its thriving wildlife heritage, it will also prove costly to Maryland. Taxpayers will be expected to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to offset the increased need for nuisance wildlife control, and we will lose one of the state’s most colorful and historical rural cultures.

Maryland was founded to give men and women of divergent beliefs a place to live in harmony. The proposed Bill in Montgomery County will not benefit wildlife; it will erode the freedom of choice and cultural diversity now enjoyed by Maryland’s citizens.

PLEASE contact me at rleggett@dishmail.net or 301-432-8480.

Trapping season is just around the corner, so enjoy your life by spending time in the field teaching a child.

Respectfully.

— Ron Leggett

MFTI is hosting a FBU fundraiser banquet at Bowles Farms Clements, MD. Your donations and help to make it a success would be greatly appreciated. Call Bill and Melinda Rice for tickets or to volunteer at 301-259-2736 or melindarice@excite.com.

DISTRICT 8 REPORT

Attendance of three. What is up guys? We have these meetings to keep our members informed. We discuss fur prices, fur buyers, weather conditions, trapping areas, individual catch results, trapping methods, etc. The list goes on. As you see, we are the only district to publish reports. Without a published report, T&PC does not even publish the state heading. We want out members to know when and where we meet and hope for them to come and join in the discussion. We would like to keep you informed. I will not speak for the other districts, I do not have any idea if they are still active or not. They have not kept anyone informed.

District 8 will have its final meeting for this trapping season on March 23. Not sure if District 8 will still have a meeting next season. Extreme lack of interest. Enough said.

Leghold trap bill 10-16 for Montgomery County was discussed. I hope they have more interest in Montgomery County than there is around here, or it is goodbye traps.

Past District 8 Director Jim Thompson has been busy this fall filming hunts for Bowhunter Magazine. He recently checked in with me, and he has secured a DVD deal with Real Hunting for the next five years. Way to go Jim. District 8 hopes you will find time to attend our meetings.
Groenwolds will be buying fur at Ron Leggett’s house on March 13th beginning at 8 a.m.

Roger discussed the state of Pennsylvania considering banning the use of deer urine for hunting due to CWD. Several other states are considering the same.

The FTA fur sale results were brought. We were all pleased and surprised at the higher fur prices.

District 8 is sad at the passing of Joe Griffith. Joe was very active with Maryland Fur Trappers during our early years and he went on to be President of Fur Takers of America for two terms. I will miss talking to him at our convention.

The recent additions to the MD DNR regulation proposals were discussed. That is a benefit of being informed. There is time to go out and work either for or against such proposals.

District 8 meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. during trapping season. We meet at the home of Robert Calloway at 14313 Cherry Lane. It is near Tuckahoe State Park, between Centreville, Md and Ridgely, Md. Call Bob at 410-634-2501 for further directions.

I can be reached at 410-634-2552 or rogerringgold@yahoo.com.

— Roger Ringgold

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