Minnesota Trappers Association February 2009 Report

President — Gary Meis, 69555 One Mile Rd., Bruno, MN 55712

Vice President — Tim Bauer, 17290 155th Ave. N.E., Foley, MN 56329

Secretary — Liz Thom, 173 Prairie Lake Rd., Wright, MN 55798 e-mail:wlthom@frontiernet.net

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

Membership Coordinator
— Kathy Peterson, 57124 Cty Rd., Northhome, MN 56661; e-mail:

Director of Trapper Education — Deb Offerdahl, 14788 Lynx Rd., Milaca, MN 56353;

Mandatory Trappers Education Director — Kenneth Olson, 353 Stearns Ave., Paynesville, MN 56362-1211; e-mail: mta-ed@clearwire.net

Membership Options:
• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Junior (under 16) with subscription — $12
• Senior (over 65) with subscription — $12
• Lifetime membership with subscription — $350

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
MTA, Membership Coordinator
Kathy Peterson
57124 Cty Rd., Northhome, MN 56661


There is probably nothing worse than starting out a report by informing the membership of the death of one of our members. It is sad to report the death of Marilyn Schmidtke, wife of Bill Schmidtke. Bill and Marilyn have always been two of the most dedicated members of the MTA. Before Marilyn’s health deteriorated, you could always find her driving their golf cart around the conventions offering people rides to and from different areas. I know many people who had arms full of supplies who appreciated this effort. For over 30 years, Bill and Marilyn played Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus for hundreds of kids. What a perfect Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus they were too. Traveling many miles from home to make some little ones smile was no issue to them either. Bill and Marilyn had no children and Bill always said the MTA was their family. Anyone caring to send a card of condolence to Bill can send it to him at his address of 26887 Cty. 6, Grey Eagle, MN 56336. These are tough times for Bill and I know hearing from his many friends and MTA members will be of great help.

I have received numerous calls pertaining to the MN DNR live trapping and sending pine marten to Wisconsin. I have heard rumors from 50 pairs to over 500 marten being sent to WI. I called the MN DNR and I have the entire true report. As a matter of fact, I have the actual permit and rules right in front of me. The MN DNR gave the WI DNR a permit that started in 2007 and ends in 2010. This permit covers four seasons. The WI DNR is allowed to live trap a grand total of 105 marten over the four seasons. No more than 35 marten may be taken in one year and no more than 15 marten may be taken from any one township in any year. The trapping is authorized only in Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties. To avoid capturing females with dependant young and to avoid any conflicts with licensed trappers during the fur harvesting season, the live trapping may be conducted only from Dec. 15 through March 1 of each year. Minnesota trespass laws must be followed. There are numerous other stipulations within the permit.

I fully understand that the marten trappers had a tough time finding marten this year and very few limits were made. There are a lot of unhappy trappers because of this program. I hope that knowing the entire program has helped ease some folks’ minds. I really think that if the MTA or trappers in general were made aware of the program when it started, things would have worked out a lot smoother. I also think that the MTA could have been a great deal of help in assisting the program. Lesson learned I hope. I hope the relocated marten do well in Wisconsin and in the future the trappers of Wisconsin enjoy a marten season. I know I have always enjoyed trapping these beautiful furred animals. They are soft and silky. I caught one in a bobcat set this year here in Pine County and it was a juvenile so they are moving south. Problem was it was caught after the close of the season so I turned it in to the DNR.

I want to thank Bud Hart, a former MN resident now living in South Dakota, for sending in $20 to our Legal Defense Fund. Also from S.D., we received $50 from Farm Products Promotions for the Legal Defense Fund. This is the group that puts up billboards along the Interstates of S.D promoting trapping, hunting and farming. The MTA thanks both for their generous donations. I have received several questions about the financial situation pertaining to the two lawsuits we faced. Truth be told, it cost us a little over $90,000 to fight them and we received a little over $70,000 in donations. So we are still trying to recoup around $20,000 to break even. The extra money was taken out of the general fund. It was well worth the effort even though it aged several of us officers as we are still trapping.

I have an announcement to all of you Certified Trappers Education Instructors or to anyone wanting to go through the education class or to become a Certified Instructor. Ken Olson the past director of Mandatory Trappers Education has stepped down from the position. The Director of Mandatory Trappers Education is Shawn Johnson. Shawn is a past District 1 director and also a member of the MTA Education Program. Should you instructors need information or materials to put on a class or have any questions or needs, contact Shawn at 218-525-4970. You will also find more contact information at the officers heading above.
This report is being written at the end of December, one week before the winter meeting.

Check out my report next month for any information that may have come out of the winter meeting.

Until next time, be safe.

— Gary Meis


Hello everyone,

I just have a few things to mention about our winter meeting, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009, at Johnson’s Fur in Willmar. This is their Customer Appreciation Day and Scott and his crew will be putting on a Hog Feed Lunch again this year for everyone in attendance. Johnson’s Fur allows us to also have our district meeting there.

Jason Smith will be doing a demo on sewing up holes in a fox or coyote skin. Kay Bachman will be doing a clean skinning beaver demo also.

Ron Hauser has generously donated DVD’s on The Pocket Set, Marshland Muskrats and Full-Time Beaver Trapping, which will be given to the kids. If we don’t have enough for all the kids attending, we will start with 8 to 14 year olds and only one DVD per family. The kids that do not get a DVD will still get a trap as we usually do at the winter meeting. We all owe Ron Hauser a big thank you for donating these DVD’s to our young trappers. We all need to keep promoting trapping and keep our young people involved and interested in trapping and the outdoors.

With the down fur market, consider donating to the tanned fur project. If you can’t get your fur to Tim Caven or Mark Melby, let me know and I can meet you to pick it up.

Tim Caven has the point system broken down as to the species and the points allowed for each fur. Look in the MTA December 2008 Newsletter on page 22. Cash donations are also taken to be used towards tanning the fur.

 Hope to see you Feb. 7.

Take care.

— Pete Jonas


Hello fellow trappers. I have been busy the past couple of months trapping and putting up fur.
I thought I would give you a quick report. I have been talking to a lot of fur buyers and it seems like the prices are quite a bit lower than what was anticipated at the start of the season. The fur auctions will soon have their first sales of the year so hopefully this will give us an indication of where the markets will really be at.

As I write this, it is just before I am leaving to go to the winter meeting in Isle, MN. I will have information from the meeting in the next report.

Spring meeting plans will be started soon. Post cards will be sent out and watch future reports on when and where it will be.

Back to the fur shed I go to finish getting my pelts ready for sale.

— Leon Windschitl


Happy New Years to trappers everywhere. This report will most likely be short, unless I cannot stop typing. I would like to remind all the members in District 8 that our spring meeting will be March 7, 2009, at the bowling lanes in Lewiston. This is the same location as last year. Everything will be the same as last year. The doors will open at 8 a.m., a lunch will be served and we will have some door prizes.

One thing that I do plan is making postcards on the computer and sending reminders about Feb. 10 to members. If there is more than one member in the family, I will probably send only one postcard to that residence. I am doing this to try and get more people to the meeting as both Terry and I will be stepping down in September. In just a couple of days, I will be heading to Isle for the winter board meeting and I know there will be several things to present to the district at the meeting. Hope to see you all there.

The weekend after our meeting, the Minnesota deer and turkey expo will be held in Owatonna and we will need a few workers. Let me know at the meeting if you are interested. Also, speaking of Owatonna, I would like everyone west of Rochester to think about being in charge of the Steele County Fair. This fair starts two days after our convention and since we will be in Chisholm for the convention, I plan on going to the deer cabin to pick blueberries for a couple of days. Depending on the weather in August, I may go up and pick berries before the convention. So, as it stands someone needs to take charge or we will not be in Owatonna this year. I do believe a couple of fairs were disappointing last year and with the economy, we might not do them this year.

On a final note, if you did not make it to the winter meeting and you can wait until the spring meeting, I will have a supply of raffle tickets to hand out.

That way the MTA saves the postage. Until next time, if you are trapping, trap hard, but trap safe.

— Dale Hayes

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