President — John Caretti, 30803 Iroquois, Warren, MI 48088; phone: 586-573-8553; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President — Mike Shippa; e-mail: email@example.com
Membership Secretary —Diana Harris, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NTA Director — Kevin Syperda, 17504 Briggs Rd., Pierson, MI 49339; phone: 616-636-5594; e-mail: email@example.com
• Individual annual membership — $30
• Junior (16 and under) annual membership — $11
MTPCA memberships include membership in MUCC with electronic Michigan Out-of-Doors Magazine
Optional discounted subscriptions to Trapper & Predator Caller (10 issues per year) — $12
Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:
MTPCA Membership Secretary
19245 Frost Rd.
Merrill, MI 48637
By the time you read this, the 4th of July weekend will have come and gone. I hope as you were enjoying your time with family and friends, I hope you took a moment to remember the men and women who took a huge chance a couple hundred years ago. The founders of our great nation risked their very lives in declaring that individuals had rights that no group or government could take away from them.
That one kernel of freedom was established on this continent and has since spread to countries around the world. Also please remember the men and women who are defending those same principles in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the US Armed Forces at home and abroad. May God protect them in their mission and bring them home quickly and safely.
On to trapping…. Chris Kettler and I represented the MTPCA at the Michigan United Conservation Clubs Convention on the 26th and 27th of June in Big Rapids. It was a great chance to talk with the MUCC leadership and the representatives of conservation groups from across Michigan. None of the resolutions except one had a direct impact on trapping. That one declared support for protection of the right to hunt, fish and trap in the Michigan Constitution.
I was honored and humbled to receive the MUCC’s Outstanding Conservationist of the Year Award. The selection was based on the work I did regarding the establishment of our Trapper Education Program. I mention this not to blow my own horn, but to demonstrate that trapping and trappers’ issues are noticed and important to the MUCC. The work they do is excellent and I’m proud that we remain affiliated with them. I will say that I felt a little embarrassed that they selected me. The Trapper Education Consultation Team was a group of folks from across Michigan’s organized and non-organized trappers, and this certainly wasn’t a one-man show! Perhaps Val Frawley and Adam Bump from the MDNRE told them I was the one who annoyed them the most in keeping the program development going forward. Thanks to the Team! YOU earned this award!
Also, back in December the DNRE gave the Trapper Education Consultation Team their “Partners in Conservation” Award. This was also a great honor and goes to show that trapping and predator control is held in importance in the DNRE as well. Thanks to the DNRE for the award, and for their support in getting this program off the ground!
We’re getting ready for the beginning of the Furbearer Regulation Review process. If you remember, a little over a year ago, the DNRE decided to review bear regs in even-numbered years and furbearer regs in odd-numbered years. They just finished a very contentious year on the bear regs. Now it’s our turn (Hopefully not to be contentious- just to get a good review of the regs!).
Working in conjunction with the MMIT, the NGLFH, and the UPTA, we’ve developed a list of regulations we’d like the DNRE to consider revising. Adam Bump (MDNRE Bear and Furbearer Specialist) said they had a number of items from past Furbearer Workgroup Meetings they planned to consider and would review any new items to see if they could incorporate them into this cycle.
The items we’ve requested include:
• Develop a quota system (not a lottery) to manage the harvest of bobcats- at least in the Northern Lower Peninsula. The goal is to equalize access between hunters and trappers; and to give the DNRE positive control over harvest numbers to ensure that the population continues to grow and expand. We are also asking that they incorporate Lake, Mason, and Oceana Counties into the areas open for bobcat hunting and trapping. We’re working with the MHDF to try to develop a system we can all agree on.
• Add raccoons and opossums to the list of animals that can be hunted at night with a call.
• Increase the Zone 2 otter limit to two animals per trapper per season.
• Allow the use of buckshot (at least #4 buck) for predator calling at night.
• Request that snares be allowed for the harvest of mink and muskrat. Restrictions would include use of 1/16” multi-strand cable only. For snares set above the water/ice, an in-line swivel no more than 9” from the lock (thus creating a maximum loop size of approximately 3”), maximum length of the snare, including any extensions- 24”.
• Extend the muskrat and mink trapping seasons through the end of February (at least in Zone 3). Ice conditions in late December and early January can be inconsistent; and this would allow trappers to hold off until the ice is solid and still take some beautiful winter ‘rats.
• Request that the DNRE and the Trapping Organizations work cooperatively to develop a definition that differentiates between muskrat houses and feeding shelters (aka push-ups, feeders). The intent being to allow trappers to make sets that otherwise might be considered “disturbing a house, home, or hole”.
• Request that the fisher and marten limits in areas open to marten and fisher trapping be combined. This would set the Area A limit at four marten or fisher in any combination; and the Area B limit at 2 animals in any combination. The season limit for any one trapper would be 4 in any combination. (Note: There have been concerns raised that the fisher population in the western UP may have stagnated or even declined somewhat. The DNRE is reviewing available data regarding this issue.)
Before you get too excited, let me tell you there is no way the DNRE will be able to review all of these items. We will be working with them to try to focus the effort on those we feel will have most impact on our members while ensuring the protection of the resource. More info to come!
The last thing I want to discuss is our annual convention. If I haven’t told you this enough: The Convention will be at the Osceola County Fairgrounds in Evart on the 27th and 28th of August. If you’ve never been to an MTPCA Convention, you don’t know what you are missing! If you have- I know you’ll be making every effort to be there. The demos, the dealers, the kids’ raffle, and the other events all roll together to make this one of my most enjoyable weekends of the year. Emily and I agree that it’s probably the only thing we would consider giving up opening day of trapping season to attend. More info is available on our website: www.mtpca.com
I look forward to seeing you all there! Have a safe, enjoyable summer! — John Caretti