Minnesota Trappers Association February 2010 Report

President — Shawn Johnson, 6122 McQuade Road, Duluth, Mn 55804; phone: 218.525.4970; e-mail: mcquaderoadfur@msn.com

Vice President — Dave D’Aigle, 29765 Holly St NW, Isanti, MN 55040

Secretary — Linda Salo, 5927 McNiven Road, Chisholm, MN 55719; e-mail: linda.salo@mwcradio.com

Treasurer — Tricia Coons, 403 Wood Ave., Bemidji, MN 56601; phone: 218-444-8244;
e-mail: MTATrish@paulbunyan.net

Membership Coordinator — Kathy Peterson, 57124 Cty Rd., Northhome, MN 56661; phone: 218-659-4535; e-mail: kpeterso@paulbunyan.net

Director of Trapper Education — Deb Offerdahl, 14788 Lynx Rd., Milaca, MN 56353; phone: 320-983-6023

Mandatory Trappers Education Director — Shawn Johnson, 6122 McQuade Road, Duluth, MN 55804; phone: 218-525-4970; e-mail: mcquaderoadfur@msn.com

Membership Options:

• Individual membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Junior (under 16) with subscription — $15
• Lifetime membership with subscription — $400

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

MTA, Membership Coordinator
Kathy Peterson
57124 Cty Rd., Northhome, MN 56661


Greetings Trappers,

The General Membership Meeting held in Isle is barely in the rearview mirror as I write this report.

Member turnout was much better than expected. Many were concerned that poor fur prices overall and double digit below zero temperatures would keep the numbers down, but 200 or 300 brave souls tossed those preliminary concerns out the window.

Fur prices, as to be expected, were the major topic for discussion among attendees. Although fur prices were nothing to brag about at this stage of the season, most articles of good quality sold for substantially more than many dared hope for earlier. When all was said and done, trappers and vendors both generally agreed that the trip was worthwhile.

A special thank you from the president goes out to the hard working MTA Board and Committee members, who by their sweat and brainpower made the entire event flow flawlessly. The membership has little idea how many hours these individuals invest in making these get-togethers happen.

Ron from Isanti, thank you for pitching in on the clean-up after the meeting and for your “what can I do to help?” attitude. It is so appreciated.
Members, please remember to thank your people when you have the opportunity. It means more than you’ll ever know.

Our annual summer convention that will be held this year in Barnum 07-30/08-01 is no exception. In particular, the need for volunteers is great in helping with collecting fees from campers/tailgaters and assisting with checking/renewing memberships at the entrance gates. Anyone that will be available to help during the convention, kindly contact VP Dave D’Aigle, Convention Coordinators Cory or Deb Van Driel, Tim Bauer or your district director. Contact information available on the Web site www.mntrappers.org or the Newsletter. Your assistance will be very much appreciated.

If anyone happened to find a 1994 convention hat pin at the winter meeting, would you please come forward? This piece is part of a complete collection that this trapper has compiled over his many years of membership to MTA. He’s offering a $20 reward should someone come forward who found the missing pin. Feel free to call or send me an e-mail if you can help restore his collection. Thanks so much.

Progress Report on the Legislative/DNR Agenda: At the last General Membership Meeting held this past August at the Chisholm convention, the membership approved the following pursuits:

1.) Separate Trapping Regulations Publication.

2.) Conservation Officer Contact information published in Trapping Regulations.

3.) Fox and Raccoon trapping season should begin on the Saturday closest to Oct. 15, but not before Oct. 15 in the North Mink/Muskrat/Beaver Otter Zone.

4.) Otter and beaver trapping seasons should run concurrently and a quota of muskrats taken incidentally in sets made for otters and beavers be included in the legal take.

At the direction of the membership, I made a formal request of Minnesota State Senator Patricia Pariseau of Farmington to consider supporting one or all of these proposals at the legislative level. Senator Pariseau’s name should be familiar to MTA members. She has been a strong advocate of issues of interest to trappers for many years. As many of you are aware the senator’s late husband Ken was president of MTA back in the late sixties. A senator with a working knowledge of trapping issues is an extremely valuable ally for the MTA to call upon.

I am pleased to report that the senator is very interested in not only supporting, but willing to have a bill drafted supporting our proposals when they have arrived at their final form from MTA.

Without stealing too much thunder from Con Christianson your Legislative Liaison, I’m pleased to also report that the DNR has been working with MTA to resolve item #1 as well as #2 to such a degree that these two items will likely be removed from the legislative agenda. Con will have further details available in the very near future. The MTA is currently searching for a Representative on the respective House Committee as well in support of drafting a companion bill that will likely include only items #3 and #4. Nothing is currently in stone, but we have every expectation that sponsorship will be secured very shortly. Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance (MOHA) president Don McMillian has pledged to support us in our proposals at the legislative level in any way they can. Greg Flor, MTA’s own MOHA Director is ready to jump in with both feet. Full steam ahead folks. Details are sure to follow in my next report.

Our annual Gun Raffle kick-off occurred as scheduled and bundles of tickets left the meeting ready for action. Gary and Betty Meis have asked me to remind the membership that every dollar that is generated from this raffle is spent on public education projects particularly those geared toward young people. Unlike many other states in the country, our trapper education program is funded almost in its entirety by the Minnesota Trappers Association. The DNR is our partner and fellow ally in this endeavor, but the MTA is ultimately responsible for picking up the check so to speak. To put it bluntly, if the revenues fail to come in to adequately fund these programs, we’re still on the hook.

Each member is mailed a book of only ten tickets. Even during these difficult times, $10 is still a small investment that has such a great and positive impact. Please consider simply purchasing that book of tickets for your immediate family and dropping the check in the mailbox along with the stubs as soon as it arrives. (Besides, you’ll finally have a use for all those address labels that the other sporting organizations you belong to continually send year after year.) If your life is anything like mine, small things that are on the “to do list” sometimes fall through the cracks if they’re not taken care of right away. Please take the time to cross this item off your “to do list” as soon as you can. That small effort on the part of each member would ensure that these worthwhile programs will continue to be offered for the benefit of the public, trappers and the resources we care about. I thank you in advance for your support.

I have to keep this report short and sweet this time.

Those critters thawing in the basement ain’t gonna skin themselves.

Keep your skinning knives sharp.

— Shawn Johnson


Greetings to all,

I trust everyone has made it through another holiday season and is ready for the new year. We held our winter meeting over this holiday weekend and despite the 26-below temperature Saturday morning, we had a great turn-out for the meeting.

I would like to start out by thanking all the instructors who put on education classes this past year. Your dedication and support of our program is greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank the members who assisted in the field certification as part of our correspondence course.

If you are interested in becoming a certified instructor, the next instructor class will be held at the summer convention.

The scholarship program will continue once again. The amounts will be determined at our March board meeting. All completed applications need to be returned to me no later than July 1, 2010. The winners are announced at the general membership meeting at the summer convention. If you are in need of an application, please contact me.

Youth Photo Contest. Please remember to take photos of your youth involved in some trapping activity and enter them in our contest. All entries are voted on by the general membership at the summer convention. I will have more information in our newsletter and in future T&PC publications.

I wish everyone a prosperous new year and a safe trapping season.

— Deb Offerdahl


Greetings Trappers,

This past winter saw the greatest interest in the trapper education program since it became a legal requirement for new trappers.

Please consider hosting a trapper education course this winter or spring. If unsure on how to proceed, please feel free to give me a call or drop me a line with specific questions and I’ll walk you through the process. Please keep in mind that trapping videos are now available to assist you in your classes. Don’t let inhospitable weather discourage you from hosting a class. Although demonstrating dirtholes might be difficult with 2 feet of crusted snow on the ground, a 5-gallon bucket or washtub filled with dirt in the garage will suffice in a pinch. Trappers are some of the most ingenious individuals in the woods. Spread some of that creativity around the classroom as well. Use your imagination. If you’re out of ideas, give me a shout and maybe we can come up with something together.

Postage proves to be one of the largest expenditures we have in Education. This is particularly true for correspondence course students.
In response to many individuals who have requested it, the Trapper Education Manual will now be available in an easily downloadable form on our Association’s Web site at www.mntrappers.org. This will help reduce the costs of postage and allow the printed materials we have on hand to go that much further. A win/win situation. Of course traditional hard copy will always be available for general use.

At this time, there is a great need for In Field Instructors willing to provide the final component for student certification in many parts of the state. If you’d be willing to help out, please drop me a line. Those considering hosting traditional classroom courses should also let me know as I generally have correspondence students who would like to accompany your class on field days.

Many thanks to those dedicated instructors who have gone out of their way to help these young people become certified.

Please let me know when you’ll be hosting a class and I’ll help out with the advertising end of things and see to it you receive your class materials in time. If at all possible, let your district director know ahead of time so he can pick up materials from me at the closest BOD meeting to save on postage.

Remember to sell those raffle tickets as every penny raised goes to education.

Let’s keep ’em away from video games and television and get them in the woods!

Keep your skinning knives sharp,

— Shawn Johnson


I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a great New Year. As I sit here writing this article thinking about this last season and all the doom and gloom scenarios, the catch was excellent and prices are not as bad as thought, at least for our area. We had our winter meeting on Dec. 7. We also had elections for director and co-director. I was elected director with Wayne Thom as co-director.

At this time, I would like to thank Rod Scott for all his years of dedication to the organization. When you see him, thank him yourself. It seems like an easy job, but it is not. Also, thank you Dave Kanz for registering fur and all the dedicated members that came.

It was discussed how to increase member participation. It was stated that meetings are posted in the T&PC and our own association newsletter. We decided we would mail postcards to all our district members. Deb VanDriel and Deb Offerdahl offered to help me with this. Thank you very much. It was brought up to me this is the 21st century and people are computer savvy (They all don’t belong to the dinosaur club like I do). Michael O’Brien, a district member, has graciously started an e-mail site: mta_dist4@yahoo.com. It is a site that will announce our meetings and a place where you can voice any questions you have. It will go from there to me, then to the board and back to you through me. Thank you Michael for your work.

By the time you read this, our winter meeting will have come and gone. It was held in Isle at the IREC center, a very nice facility. Got to see a lot of friends, saw a couple of good demos and were able to pick up items that you could not live without.

I am going to have a spring meeting on March 14, site to be determined. Details in T&PC, our association newsletter and by postcard. At that time, we should know how some of our proposals are accepted.

Till then.

— Buzz Neprud


Hello everyone,

We just had our winter meeting in Isle. Turn out was pretty good. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this happen.

I would also like to thank those who donated for our door prizes.

We will be having our District 5 winter meeting at Johnson Fur in Willmar on Feb. 6. This is also their Customer Appreciation Day, so their will be a roast pork lunch, demos and drawings. Doors open at 8 a.m., meeting starts at 10 a.m. District 5 members will receive a postcard reminder in the mail. Bring this with you to the meeting for a drawing for traps.

Take care.

— Pete Jonas


Hello fellow trappers! This report comes just days after the winter meeting. This year’s meeting was held Jan. 2 at the IREC Building in Isle. For those who were not able to attend, it was a good day for all and was well attended. Even with the fur prices looking grim, it sure seemed as if a lot of trappers were bringing their fur to sell.

This year’s Pelt Handling Contest had more contestants entering the competition than previous years. Judging seemed to be especially difficult as it seems that fur handling skill level has elevated. This year’s Master Fur Handler of the year is Kelvin Bittner. Your own District 7 Co-Director Shannon Cohrs took second. I would like to thank Cumberland’s for donating the prizes to all the first place winners as well as the Master Fur Handler prize and certificates. Also, I would like to thank Arnie Peterson and Jason Wiebke for helping me judge the competition. I could not do it without you. I would also like to thank my wife, Denise, for all her help she gave me during the contest.

District 7 will be holding its Spring District Meeting on Saturday, Feb. 20. Once again, it will be in Dovray. This location seems to be a good location for us to meet. We are planning on having some demos along with lunch. We are still working out the details. Please watch the mail for your postcard.

— Leon Windschitl


Greetings everyone.

Just got home from the winter meeting, and it was cold! Not fit for man or beast. I thought everything went well. Many of the trappers commented about the prices being up from their expectations. They were very happy with the fur prices. It made me wish I had trapped harder this fall.

I would like to thank Gabby and Terry for their many years of service. Both have done an outstanding job. I, Brad, would like to personally thank Cumberlands for buying my fur and the opportunity to buy their trapping products all my life and I am just short of being 50. I cannot say enough about the Cumberland Family. They have been there for me and many others. They were even sworn to secrecy by my wife for a Christmas present for me — “way to go guys.” I called you a couple times and you did not leak it out. I also want to thank them for putting on a wonderful fall meeting for our district and, as always, you went way out. Thank you again!

I would like to remind everyone that we need to keep Richard Raeker in our thoughts and prayers.

Our District 8 spring meeting will be Saturday, March 13 in St. Charles at the American Legion. We will start at 9 a.m. and I would like to conclude the meeting by noon. Any and all trappers are welcome to attend. Our beaver trapping should start up that week or the following. I will be running 30 to 40 miles of river for the “flat tail.” I want to remind you all to turn in all incidental otter to the DNR. This will help with expanding our otter area in the future. And, as always, please be safe on the flooding waters this spring.

We need to start thinking about the raffle tickets for the State Convention that will be held in Barnum – July 30 to Aug. 1, 2010. You should have yours by the time you read this and if not contact Gary Meiss or e-mail him and he will get them to you. District 8 will be hosting the summer convention. We will need volunteers to help, so please step forward and throw in for a bit.

Those of you that are Certified Instructors, please put on a class. I know personally, it is very rewarding and my class is anxiously waiting for their pictures to be printed. We need to keep our youth involved and help them get a good start. Let Kathy Peterson know your class date and she will put that on the MTA Web site. Please take some photos of your class and they will be put in the newsletter. These young folks look forward to seeing their photos in the newsletter. After all, “they are our future.”

Keep warm and safe.

— MT Bradley Wobbrock

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