Minnesota Trappers Association January 2013 Report


President — Shawn Johnson, 6122 McQuade Road, Duluth, Mn 55804; 218-525-4970; mcquaderoadfur@msn.com

Vice President — Dave D’Aigle, 29765 Holly St NW, Isanti, MN 55040; 612-366-2748

Secretary — Linda Johnson, 6122 McQuade Rd, Duluth, MN 55804; 218-525-4970

Treasurer — Tricia Coons, 8747 Tranquility Ln. NW, Bemidji, MN 56601; 218-444-8244; MTATrish@paulbunyan.net

Membership Coordinator — Mitzi Heavirland, 31301 County Road 67, Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Director of Trapper Education — Shawn Johnson, 6122 McQuade Road, Duluth, MN 55804; 218-525-4970;

NTA Director

Education Coordinator — Shawn Johnson, 6122 McQuade Road, Duluth, MN 55804; 218-525-4970;


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

Mitzi Heavirland

31301 County Road 67

Grand Rapids, MN 55744


Greetings All,

As many of you have probably been aware, there has been much noise made by those that want to severely restrict the use of body grippers particularly in land applications but to a lesser degree, use in the water as well.

What is particularly disturbing is the vocal anti trapping rhetoric coming from other sporting groups. A certain amount of this simply boils down to competition for the same resources but in other cases some “fellow sportsmen” are difficult to tell from outright anti trapping groups out there.

Certainly no trapper I’ve ever met could possibly be as uncaring and heartless as some are making us all out to be but if the same things are being said over and over again over time some of the public will take them as fact.

This a particularly sad commentary on the divide and conquer battle plan that has been brought against the sport of trapping over the last few years here in Minnesota.

As if trappers, hunters and dog owners are mutually exclusive.

Most trappers I know are also hunters and many dog hunters as well but for some reason the press has made the unspoken claim that there are hunters, trappers and the rest of the public.

We are members of the public, and hunters and trappers as well- we’re not living our lives isolated from the rest of the world although it doesn’t seem all that unattractive an option in times like these.

The bottom line my friends is that public land belongs to everyone and mutual respect and awareness would go a long ways to diffuse the fires that have been lit whether caused by accident or intentionally by “arsonists.”

Lets avoid the mindset that is pondering “What are we willing to give up to make everyone happy?” Individual trappers have a great deal of freedom within the framework of the trapping regulations on the books. If you choose to limit yourselves even further on your personal line that is your decision but lets not make the mistake of demanding everyone else adopt your views.

As long as trapping is permitted by law some will not be content with additional regulations no matter how restrictive they may prove to be.

What some regard as “reasonable” on paper would prove to be devastating in real world applications.

We must continue to educate the public, other sporting groups and legislators regarding our essential tools and how they are used instead of focusing on accidents and unfortunate circumstances that have been overblown in the press.

As infuriating as some letters to the editor and the like are to trappers- resist the urge to throw mud. Stick only to the facts and avoid the out of control emotionalism exhibited by the ignorant.

Please keep in mind that internet forums are monitored by those that oppose us and they will jump on the chance to use the offhand comments posted by some as the mindset of all.

And last of all, generally speaking the Media is not your friend no matter how reassuring their words and promises to keep an open mind.  Sensationalism buys the most advertising- remember that.

MTA will continue to fight to preserve trapping for many generations to come. That, you can count on!

For those of you with wolf licenses this inaugural season @#$%!

As Minnesota Vikings fans are so fond of lamenting “Maybe next season?”

See you in Askov folks.

Keep your skinning knives sharp. — Shawn



Greetings fellow trappers,

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season and a good trapping season thus far. Our 6 day marten/fisher season just ended and with talking to other trappers around the district not many limits were taken. Most said they saw very little sign. I had a couple of interesting things happen to me during the season. One night checking traps, I walked into a good fisher location and was surprised to find my cubby smashed and sign of a pretty good struggle. Judging by the tracks, a good sized bear stuck his paw in my 220 and was held for awhile. Temps were in the single digits, there was 8” of snow on the ground and my flashlight was losing its charge. Needless to say I didn’t reset and I got the heck out of there. I also had a 22 lb. female bobcat get caught in a 155 Bridger. How she got her head in it I’ll never know but I had quite the time getting her out of the trap.

I don’t have anything to report on MTA issues at this time. Try to attend the winter meeting and legal defense banquet in Askov in a couple of weeks and get caught up on the latest news. Also remember the tanned fur project is always in need of quality fur, as I’ve said before if every trapper donated a least one pelt we wouldn’t have to purchase the furs from the auction houses and elsewhere. We are especially in need of 50”-55” beaver, red/grey fox, and of all things opossum.

From my family to yours, here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. Take care and God Bless. — Bert



Greetings District 4,

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.

Trapping is in full swing. With good fur prices, all the armchair experts and I used to people are out and about. I have seen some truly terrible sets and location issues so please be careful with what you are doing. I know I sound like I am bashing our members. I am not. It is the others that don’t belong to any association or have no wish to change what they used to do. So, please, if you see something doing it wrong, try to point out their errors or we will all suffer.

Our winter meeting is Jan. 5 at the East Central High School, same as last year, and our Legal Defense Banquet is the same night at the Askov Community Center. A few tickets remain as of this writing, so get them as soon as possible.

OK, that is enough preaching.

From my house to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Til next time. — Buzz



Hello everyone,

Please keep Eugene Anderson and family in your thoughts and prayers. Karen passed away on Nov. 23rd. They have both been huge supporters of the MTA and also our own District 5. They have donated Raccoon hats for two district meetings per year for many years. She will be missed.

If anyone wants to volunteer for the 2013 MTA summer convention in Litchfield, call me, we will need lots of volunteers to pull this off.

The Legal Defense Banquet will be held at the Askov Community center Saturday evening, January 5th. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner is at 7 p.m. Gary Meis is handling the tickets, his number is (320) 838-1570, please do not call after 9 p.m. There are only about 20 tickets left. Our MTA winter meeting will be at East Central High School in Askov on Saturday, January 5th. There will be dealers, fur buyers,demos, auction, raffle and they will be registering bobcats and otter also.

The District 5 spring meeting will be at Johnson Fur in Willmar Saturday, February 2nd. Reminder postcards will be mailed out about two weeks before.

Take care. — Pete Jonas, (320) 236-2410



Hello fellow trappers. The trapping season has been a little slow for me this year. I have received many phone calls about where the coon are? It has been a strange season for the coon with no clear answers to why the coon population is down in southwest Minnesota.

From what I have seen and heard, it looks as if the fur prices are going to be fairly strong this year. With this in mind, please remember the tanned fur project.

The winter meeting will be held January 5 in Askov at East Central School. This is the same location as last year. There will be plenty of events going on. The Legal Defense Banquet will be held Saturday evening at the Askov Community Center. This is a good time, so plan early, tickets are limited. You can get your tickets by contacting Gary Meis.

We will again be having the District 7 Spring meeting in Dovray. We are planning on having a skinning bee again after the meeting, with all donations going to the tanned fur project. So please plan accordingly. Details are being worked out, so please watch upcoming publications for information.

Until next time. From my family to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. — Leon Windschitl

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