Minnesota Trappers Association October 2012 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; mcquaderoadfur@msn.com

NTA Director

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

Mitzi Heavirland

31301 County Road 67

Grand Rapids, MN 55744


Greetings All,

Where has the summer gone?

September already and with trapping season right around the corner, it comes as no surprise that the construction season is still full throttle as contractors attempt to squeeze ten and twelve hour work days into ever vanishing daylight hours.

Bring on the cold weather!


Wolf Trapping Season

At this time, it has been reported that applications for Minnesota’s the first wolf hunting and trapping season have been far less than the thirty thousand initially anticipated by DNR. Barely three thousand applications for six thousand licenses available.

The odds look pretty good for those that are interested in drawing a license this first go round.

Time will tell.

While on the subject of the proposed wolf trapping season, there has apparently been some misinformation circulating regarding the use of snares for taking wolves. Contrary to what has been reported, the “wolf snare” complete with diverter wires, break away devices etc. are only required when wolf trappers choose to go with the larger diameter loops and snare heights than currently allowed by law for those without a wolf license.

The minimum spacing between wolf snares only applies to these particular “wolf” snares as well.

Snares set to take wolves that are with a ten inch loop with the top of the loop twenty inches off the ground using no more than 1/8 diameter cable are perfectly legal to take wolves by those that possess a wolf trapping license.

Specific regulations pertaining to wolf trapping will be provided to successful applicants who are chosen in the wolf lottery which should help clear up some of the confusion as well.


Certified Wolf Trappers

On a related note, some have been under the impression that current trapping regulations do not apply to those taking wolves on livestock complaints referred to by DNR. This is untrue. All regulations currently on the books apply to certified wolf trappers as well.

If doing damage control work in the lynx zone for instance, a wolf trapper cannot use drags as they are currently not an option for fur trappers operating in the same areas. Same goes for daily trap checks for non-drowning sets. For additional specific questions regarding wolf control work, contact John Hart at USDA Wildlife Services at 218 327 3350.


Nuisance Trapping

Speaking of nuisance animals, the MTA is once again soliciting the names and contact information of individuals that would be interested in doing nuisance animal work in the off season as well as in the spring and fall in the case of beavers primarily. Con Christianson is compiling this information to provide to municipalities etc. to help reduce the need for late season beaver and dam removals that are such a sore spot for both trappers and highway departments. If interested, please let Con know what area you’d be willing to take complaints and what animals you’d be interested in taking.

Con cchristianson@frontiernet.net or 651 462 4363


NTA Convention

The NTA Convention we hosted in Owatonna was a resounding success and provided MTA with some funds that are not earmarked for Education unlike our raffle proceeds legally are. This will give us some freedom to designate funds for Legal Defense etc if we choose. Gary Meis has reported that we have another successful raffle to put in the books in spite of the fact that competition for trapper dollars at the NTA Convention was fierce and that convention ticket sales were not what they would’ve been had we simply been hosting one of our own conventions. Many thanks go out to those members that brought in over one thousand dollars in ticket sales. You folks make up for those that make little or any effort to sell their original ten- your dedication is much appreciated.


Trapper Education

While on the subject of Education, the online course option is up and running and many are taking advantage of the convenience of completing the written exam on their own schedule. (www.mntrappers.org right hand side of homepage.) In less than a month more than one hundred and eight students have completed the online option.

Many thanks go out to districts that have scheduled field training opportunities for these students to complete the certification process before season arrives.

Anyone interested in hosting a Trapper Education Field Day is free to contact me for additional information- your contributions are essential to insure these young people have the opportunity to trap this fall.

If you have some available time, please consider hosting a field day this fall to share your knowledge.


Legal Defense Fund Banquet

MTA will be hosting our third annual Legal Defense Banquet again this year and everyone is encouraged to purchase their tickets early.

Each year some wait until it’s too late and wish they’d done otherwise.

Please contact Buzz for additional information and Gary Meis for tickets (320 838 1570) If paying by draft, checks should be made out to MTA Legal Defense Fund.

This year’s event will be held at the Askov Community Center on the evening of January 5, 2013.


Winter General Membership Meeting

Our winter General Membership Meeting will once again be held at East Central School in Askov on January 5th. Comments from attendees as well as vendors were extremely favorable and the facility proved to be large enough for our ever growing needs. Assistance from members is much appreciated during initial set up and take down after the event. If you can be of assistance, just show up and I guarantee your contribution will be appreciated.


Fisher/Marten Season

This year you will have only six days to take your limit of fisher/marten with no more than two being fishers. Unlike previous years, these furs must be registered 24 hours after the close of the season so pelt em as soon as possible.


Bodygrippers on Land

After all the bad press last winter regarding domestic dog incidents in body grippers I strongly urge everyone to use extreme caution when setting mid sized body grippers on land. Those that opposed us most vocally have organized to continue the fight to regulate these traps to the point of being impractical and basically useless for some species. I also encourage all to consider signing Joe Hahn’s (from Blackduck) petition to support the continued use of these traps on land as currently allowed by law. Joe can be reached at:218-835-5662.

Every little bit helps.

That’s all for now as four AM seems to come earlier every year as I age.

Keep your skinning knives sharp. — Shawn Johnson



Hi trappers,

Where has the summer gone? By the time you read this our fall hunting seasons will have already began and the trapping season openers will be only a month away. It’s been a busy summer and time really flew. I still can’t get over what a great NTA convention we hosted this August. The success of this convention would not have been possible had it not been for all the hard working MTA volunteers that donated their time for this event. From the convention coordinator all the way down to the folks that could only work an hour or two, stand up and take a bow, you deserve it. The MTA is very fortunate to have dedicated people like you as members.

For those that applied for the wolf seasons, we should be hearing soon if we were selected for a license. I heard that there will be some regulations in place specifically in regards to wolf snaring. I don’t know all the details yet, but I believe it has to do with preventing non-target catches and preventing accidental over limits.

I’ll let you know when I find out. I know some will criticize the DNR for these regulations, but with this being the first season they want to do it right and have few if any problems. For those of us who live and trap in the lynx zone, we must abide by the restrictions that are in place here. Over the course of the summer I have been contacted by several trappers concerning wolf trapping in the lynx zone, there seems to be some confusion here. Without going into great detail– 18” chain with a min. of 2 swivels and no drags. Again read and understand the laws.

Don’t forget to get your Legal Defense Banquet Tickets if you plan on attending. Tickets are limited, contact Gary at 320 838-1570 for availability. It’s a fun night out and the proceeds go to a very good cause.

Get out and enjoy the nice colors and the crisp fall air, our time is coming soon. Also if you haven’t joined the MTA, NTA, FTA, and USSA consider doing so now. These organizations need all the help they can get, it’s a very cheap investment to make to insure our right to trap is not taken away. That’s all for now, take care. — Bert



Hello everyone,

Our District 5 fall meeting will be at Mark Melby’s again, along with Melby Fur Customer Appreciation Day. This will be Saturday, October 6th, with the doors opening at 8 a.m.. I will be sending out postcards about mid September. Bring your postcard along with you for a chance in a drawing for traps. Our meeting will begin about 10:30 a.m. We will have a regular drawing also.

District 5 will be hosting the 2013 Minnesota Trappers Association Convention in Litchfield, the dates are Friday, August 16 thru Sunday, August 18th at noon.

District 5 is responsible for setup take down of the convention tables, and cleanup the buildings and grounds when the convention ends on Sunday at noon. We will need a lot of volunteers to help. We will start setting up tables on Wednesday, August 14th at 6 a.m.. The water and land demo area will be inside a building and we can start building them also on Wednesday morning.

No animals are permitted at this convention with the exception of guide dogs.

I will be doing a trappers class on Friday evening, October 5th, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kimball Rod & Gun Club in Kimball. This class will be field training only

The classroom part of the course must be completed on-line before taking the field training . You must bring confirmation that on-line was passed, to take on-line course go to www.mntrappers.org. There is no cost for this class. To pre register call me at (320) 236-2410, for the field training part of the class.

Take care. — Pete



Hello fellow trappers,

The Owatonna National Convention is now over. WOW what a convention. Attendance was super. The final count is not done yet but it could be close to a record crowd. Buildings were full of dealers and there were so many tailgaters we ran out of room and had to put some of them outside the main gate. The camp grounds were also full. Judging from all the traps people were carrying out of the convention, the dealers had pretty good sales.

To put on a convention of this size takes lots of volunteers who put in a lot of hours. With the hard work and countless hours, these dedicated people put in, made this event a big success.

The man who led the way from before sun up and long after sundown was Tim Bauer. He was on the grounds from Sunday before the convention until the very end. We all should THANK him for his endless hours he put into this event. I would also like to thank all the volunteers who helped out from District 7. From Tuesday afternoon when Denise and I arrived all the way to Sunday, I saw members from our district helping out. As you director I was really proud to see so many of you stepping up and volunteering your time. Its people like you that make this association strong.

As for next year the Minnesota Trappers Convention will be in Litchfield. Congratulations to District 5 for winning the bid for the convention. Judging from their proposal it should be a great location for the convention.

On Saturday, September 22, Schmitt Enterprises will have their Annual Open House. District 7 will have its fall meeting there. Doors open at 9 am. Please watch for your post cards with the day’s schedule.

Until next time. — Leon Windschitl

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