Minnesota Trappers Association February 2011 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 all,

First of all I’d like to thank those that have been praying for my family during my father’s ordeal post surgery at the Veteran’s Hospital in the Cities. Although things were touch and go for a period of time after the procedure, Pa was discharged from the hospital the week after Christmas and is slowly recovering at home.

We are all extremely thankful for your prayers and words of encouragement throughout.

Pa looks forward to deer season next fall with renewed enthusiasm as he feared the 2010 deer season would likely be his last.

Your prayers were much appreciated and the gift God gave our family this Christmas was my father alive and well.

The Winter General Membership Meeting as well as the first Legal Defense Fund Banquet will be in the history books by the time this column is published I’d like to thank all of those who showed their support by attending. Particulars will be spelled out in the next TPC issue.
The MTA Convention in Redwood Falls followed by the NTA Convention in Owatonna lie on the horizon and things look promising for Minnesota trappers on their “wish list” for the DNR as well.

Snaring issues are on the top of this list and the MTA and the DNR will be sitting down in an attempt to hammer out some changes in the current rules the push for an extended land snare check requirement in the Forest Zone is number one. A three day check consistent with the current requirements for checking bodygrippers on land is the ultimate goal but any liberalization would be well received by most.

Also, raising the allowable snare height from the 16 inches to a total of 20’ which will allow a ten inch loop ten inches off the ground to accommodate coyotes more effectively has also been requested. In the Farmland zone, trappers are promoting a land snaring opener consistent with “water “ trapping as opposed to the current December first start date now that several seasons have passed since land snaring has been allowed in the Farmland Zone without any major difficulties.

We look forward to taking a hard look at the snaring regulations with the DNR and ultimately coming to reasonable compromises for the future.

On a personal note, as of today’s date bobcat trapping has gone extremely well and for the first time in my life it appears that a personal limit is within reach.

Number five is still out there with six days left of season and counting…

No matter how the month may have begun, December turned out pretty well afterall.

An upcoming article will no doubt be forthcoming.

Enjoy the remainder of your trapping season and be safe out there!

— Shawn Johnson


Hi trappers,

By the time you read this report our winter general membership meeting will have come and gone and you should have gotten your raffle tickets in the mail. This is our only fund raiser and 100% of the proceeds go towards education. Please sell or buy your tickets! Raffle chairman Gary Meis has informed us that there was an error in the printing of the incentive prizes. Under the incentive for selling 30 tickets it should read a #1-1/2 Bridger coil spring not a #1, I hope this clears up any misunderstanding.

A Hoyt Lakes trapper called and informed me that he caught a radio collared marten. It just so happened that a C.O. checked him that day and helped take the collar off and get it to D.N.R. wildlife. The trapper called the biologist and had a very interesting conversation about the on going marten and fisher study. The trapper said he was treated very respectfully by both D.N.R. enforcement and wildlife.

District 1 will have a spring meeting some time in March, I’ll have a solid date when I find out when the next B.O.D. meeting is. In closing the Maine trappers and Minnesota trappers won huge battles against the anti’s in the lynx lawsuits, these victories were very expensive, please consider joining the N.T.A., F.T.A. and U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance as these organizations fought tirelessly in these battles! Take care.

— Bert Highland


Greetings Fellow Trappers,

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season. It seems ever year it comes and goes so much quicker maybe it’s my age everything seems quicker.

We had our district meeting December 6th at Wealthwood. WE had 32 members and several guests attend.

John Erb was our guest speaker, he talked about Fisher and how they set seasons and limits. A question was asked why the shorter season and decreased limits. His response was various reasons including in no particular order.

1) Females suffering more predation than normal due to raptors and larger predators.

2) The increase in Bobcats (see above) we use to have a fisher to bobcat ration of 10 to 1 and now it is about 4 to 1.

3) Forest management Fisher like to den in 15” to 20” Diameter aspen trees as they are generally hollow, but the logging practices are to remove trees of that size before they fall and cannot but utilized. Other questions were what is normal litter size?

(4) What is the allowable limit for harvest? (15%) the DNR’s estimate of fisher is about 6,000 in the spring. It was asked if it would be possible to have separate management plans or zones for Fisher and Marten as in the central part of the state Marten are almost a non issue. He said it is something they could think about. Our proposal for a 3 day check on snares in forest zone is going to DNR. The dates for the Summer Convention in Redwood Falls are July 29th, 30th and 31st.

The transportation tags for the 2011 will be available at ELS sites when you purchase your license.

New Business –

1. It was discussed the trapper auction held both in winter and summer conventions the proposal was to move to the winter only motion was made and seconded and passed.

2. The NTA convention will be hosted by us in 2012.

3. Winter meeting will be in Isle, January 8th, starting at 8:00 a.m., ending around 2:00 p.m. Our 1st annual Legal Defense Fund Banquet that evening starts at 5:00 p.m.

4. It was asked if we would like to move our Fall meeting to earlier in the Fall or leave it as is. Monday after close of fisher season everyone present wanted to leave it as is.

At this time I would like to thank Dave Kanz for the DNR office in Aitkin for registering fur Thank him when you see him as he had done this for many years.

Info only Dale Lueck talked about wolf delisting, he is attending Federal Court in Minneapolis, January 20th at 10:00 a.m. If anyone would like to attend.

Till’ Next Time.

— Buzz


Hello everyone,

Our District 5 Spring meeting will be at Johnson Fur in Willmar on Saturday, February 5th. Doors will open at 8 a.m., meeting will start about 10 a.m. There will also be Fur Handling Demo’s. I will send out reminder postcards in January, please bring your card along for a drawing for traps.

We will take a vote on the possibility of eliminating the trappers auction (previously known as the consignment auction), at the summer convention, but to still keep the trappers auction for the winter meeting.

Three proposals were brought up at a District 5 meeting last spring by Mike Flanagan on raising the land snare height to 20”, open land land snaring in the farmland zone with the mink, muskrat, beaver and otter water opener. These two were approved by the majority of districts. The third proposal, a three day check on land snares was approved by the general membership at the Barnum Summer Convention. These three proposals will be brought to the DNR for consideration.

If anyone has fur they would like to donate to the tanned fur project, bring it to the spring meeting and I will get it to Tim Caven or Mark Melby. Thanks!

Take care.

— Pete Jonas


Hello again to all. First and Foremost I would like to say thank you to Mark Palas for his years of dedicated service to this fine organization. Mark stepped up to fill the void that happened in a unexpected hurry. And has done alot of trappers Ed classes, help a beginner program and has brought Drake Jackson on as co-director. And much much more. Thanks, Mark.

Second I want to thank President Johnson for having the faith in me to take the reins again as district 6 director. (I always knew that big boy had a screw loose)

Members, I will do my best to help out the association. Any thoughts or ideas please feel free to contact me. I was thinking of having a spring meeting just to stay in touch, meet new members, say hello to old friends and share ideas on how we can make things better. That’s about all I have for now. Don’t forget this is YOUR organization. Your input is important. Thanks.

— Jim Dufour. 651-253-8848 or Jim.Treepro@yahoo.com


Hello fellow trappers. With most of the season behind us now, a lot of trappers have been busy putting up their fur and getting it ready to market their catch. This gets to be an exciting time of year as everyone is trying to decide if pricing is going to go up, down, or just level out. Everyone needs to decide how they are going to market their furs.

District 7 will have its annual spring meeting, February 19 in Dovray. With our attendance growing over the last couple of years, we have outgrown the Dovray Café and have switched the meeting across the street to the Log Cabin Restaurant. The meeting will start at 10:00. The doors will open at 9:00. We will also be having demos after the meeting. Demo topics are still in process so look for your upcoming postcards to see the list. Lunch will be served. Bring a friend that is not a member of the MTA and get them to sign up as a new member and both of you will be entered into a drawing. Schmitt Enterprises has generously donated the traps for the raffle once again this year. Gerald’s continuing support of the MTA is appreciated by the members of District 7.

Gerald will be there on February 19. If you need any supplies, give him a call and he will bring your orders to the meeting for you.
It sounds as if Jason Wiebke will be in Dovray on February 19 as well to buy fur. I believe that he will be there about noon like he was last year, so after the meeting if you would like, you could sell your fur.

If you have any fur that you are interested in donating to the tan fur project, you can bring it along to the meeting and we will get it to Melby’s. Whether it is put up, skinned out, or on the round, anyway is acceptable.

District 7 will again be having a booth at the Tracey Sportsman’s Show on April 16 & 17. With the convention in Redwood Falls, this will be a nice place to promote it. Please keep this in mind and if you can come and help out at the booth even for a few hours it would be greatly appreciated.

Until next time.

— Leon Windschitl

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