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:firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
• 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
57124 Cty Rd., Northhome, MN 56661
Greetings to my fellow MTA members as well as those reading this report. The cold winter temperatures sure seem to want to stick around. Here in Minnesota, we expect the cold weather, but this traditional 20 to 30 below zero temps that just won’t go away sure gets old. No sense complaining about it as there are other places much colder.
Before I go any further in this report I want to make the membership aware of a mistake on the incentive letter you received with your 10 MTA raffle tickets. If you read the incentive gift for selling 50 raffle tickets, it says you will receive an MB-650 coyote/bobcat trap or a #330 bodygripper. It should read, you will receive a #3 Montana or a #330 bodygripper. I apologize for this error and take full blame for it. Four people including myself read the incentive letter before it went to print and all four of us missed that error. I’m the raffle chairman and it is my responsibility to make sure there are no errors. I apologize for this and hope it has caused no issues with any members selling tickets for incentive.
As long as I’m on the subject of the raffle, I would like to take some time to promote it. The raffle is the only fundraiser the MTA has. As you know the MTA is dedicated to our youth and 100 percent of the raffle proceeds are mandated by MN state law to be spent on our youth. To list all of the programs and benefits the MTA has for our youth would take up so much space. If you are unsure or in question of our youth programs, I ask that you contact your education directors Deb Offerdahl or Shawn Johnson. We are dedicated to our youth as they are the next generation of leaders for the trapping community. They might not wish to pursue trapping in their adult life, but I assure you they will always remember what we did for them when they were young. Remember also that today’s youth is the next generation who will be voting.
Your MTA has and always will be here for you the trapper. Whether it is at the state or community level we represent you. Look at the two lawsuits your MTA fought in the past two years. It cost us just a little over $90,000 to win these lawsuits. What threats are around the corner? We never know. Your MTA is here for you, now I ask that you help your MTA. While it is fresh in your mind, go grab that book of 10 raffle tickets. Fill out the 10 stubs, write out a check to the MTA for $10 and mail them in to me right away. You might not only win one of the 30 great prizes, but you will feel better about yourself knowing you helped our future generation of trappers out and freed up other money to use on the many other issues your MTA faces on a daily basis.
On Jan. 3, your MTA held its mid-winter meeting in Isle. I thought for sure that the statewide snow storm would have attendance at an all-time low, but I’m pleased to say that I was wrong. Attendance might have been down a little but not by much. I know the Van Driel’s were really pleased to see so many people jump in and help set up the school for the meeting as well as those who stayed around to help clean up. I think an all-time record number of people helped out. What was really refreshing was the many new faces. You MTA members continue to amaze me the way you always show your support. There are a lot of people to thank for pulling off this event and I suspect the Van Driel’s will do so in their MTA newsletter report. As for the general membership meeting, you can read the minutes in the next MTA newsletter.
On the eve of the mid-winter meeting (Jan. 2), your MTA board of directors held a board meeting.
You will also be able to read these minutes in the upcoming MTA newsletter. When the opportunity arrives, I would encourage you to offer your board members a much deserved thank you for the many efforts they put forth to assure you that the MTA runs smoothly and efficiently. One item that was discussed at length was a rather large list of law changes that District 1 requested the board to vote on to be submitted to the MN State Legislature. Those that passed approval of the board will be listed in the upcoming MTA newsletter along with a brief description of the request. Following our MTA bylaws, these must be put into the newsletter and viewed by the membership and a vote will be taken on each law change at the next general membership meeting which will be at this summer’s convention in Chisholm. If you have any questions pertaining to any of the potential law changes, please contact your district director for an update or explanation. Upon membership approval of any of the list, they will be submitted to the 2010 Legislative session.
Also at the meeting several requests for expenditures were talked about. One huge item was the amount of scholarships to be given out in 2009. Our traditional amount is $5,000 in scholarships. It was a tough decision for me as your president to make, but I had to ask that the dollar amount of scholarships be held off until we see how well the raffle and our general income go. It is no deep dark secret that the country is in a recession and times are hard. I know very well that trappers always come through in good times as well as bad times, but the MTA has to look long and hard at the financial situation of the times and we have to live within a budget. I will be attending the MTA education committee meeting in March and at that time I will have a better feeling as to where we stand with our finances.
Hopefully I will also be able to give the MTA board a better grasp on how things stand in our financial world. By no means is the MTA broke, we have enough money to continue our every day mode of operation, but the economy must be looked at before we commit expenditures. Just another reason to encourage you folks to purchase those raffle tickets and keep your dues up to date. There has been some concern that with the poor economy and the low fur prices that our membership will decline. I want to think that your MTA offers you the member way to much for anyone to allow their membership to lapse.
In last month’s column, I spoke of the Wisconsin DNR live trapping pine marten here in MN for relocation to WI. Since that report, I have had a few phone calls with questions pertaining to the relocation program. I have also received several phone calls pertaining to the four tagged species and how their limits and dates are determined. To best answer these questions, I have asked MN DNR Wildlife biologist John Erb and the MN DNR Department of Wildlife to hold a separate seminar at the summer convention to better address these questions. They have agreed to do this and I’m shooting for a noon seminar on Saturday of the summer convention.
In closing, I ask that you keep in mind that this is the time of the year that our state Legislature meets. We have our watch dogs in force at the State Capital as well as many trapper friendly state Representatives and Senators. However, things have a way of slipping through the cracks or getting reworded. Should any of you members happen to hear of any unfriendly language coming down at the state level or even the town hall level I ask that you please contact your district director so we can be there to represent you. Until next time, be safe.
— Gary Meis
DIRECTOR OF TRAPPER EDUCATION REPORT
Hello fellow trappers,
I hope everyone has survived the sub-zero weather that our winter has bestowed upon us this year. I, myself, am ready for spring and the warmer weather to arrive.
I want to re-assure everyone that there will be scholarships available this year. The number and the amount of the scholarships has not been determined by the board of directors as of this writing. Our next board meeting is in March so look for the scholarship amounts in the June newsletter. All scholarship applications must be turned in to me NO LATER THAN JULY 1. The recipients of the scholarships will be announced at the general membership meeting at the summer convention.
I would like to remind everyone of the youth photo contest that the MTA offers. It is open to all youth ages 17 and under.They must be involved in some part of trapping. You may submit up to three photos per youth and no larger than 5×7 in size. All photos must be at the summer convention on Friday so the membership has enough time to view and vote on them. The winners of the photo contest are announced prior to the Saturday night auction at the convention.
The next certified instructor class will also be held on Friday, Aug. 14 in Chisolm. The class starts at 10 a.m. and usually runs two to three hours. I would like anyone interested in becoming an instructor to pre-register with me by Aug. 1.
I want to thank everyone who turned in skulls at the winter meeting. I am still looking for skulls so if you are going to spring beaver trap, please save the beaver skulls and I will arrange to pick them up.
Until next time, be safe and have a great spring season.
— Deb Offerdahl
DISTRICT 5 REPORT
In spite of the economy and fur market, attendance at the Winter Meeting in Isle was good.
Our next Board of Director’s meeting is Saturday, March 21, in Chisholm. If you have any concerns or would like something brought up to the board, please call or e-mail me.
Remember the Tanned Fur Project. If you can’t get your fur to Tim Caven or Mark Melby, please let me know and I will get it to them.
This is an election year, for President, Vice President, Directors and Co-Directors. I will be running for a Co-Director position again.
I am hoping to do another trappers education class this spring, no date set yet, possibly late April. Let me know if you are interested in helping or attending.
— Pete Jonas
DISTRICT 7 REPORT
Hello fellow trappers. Jan. 3 was the MTA’s Annual Winter Meeting. The weather wasn’t the best, but it was a day full of activities going on. I was in charge of the pelt handling contest. This was the first year for me to be behind the table and not participating in the contest. It was a busy morning entering contestants and their pelts. After the contest was over, it was busy as people were looking at the pelts and finding out information on fur handling. Time went by fast, but we had a good time with the contest.
The deadline for this report is being written just before the District 7 Spring Meeting, on Saturday, Feb. 14 in Dovary, MN. I will have details of that meeting in the next issue.
You should have received your raffle tickets in the mail by now. Please make an effort to sell as many as you can. All the proceeds from this raffle will go to help out the educational fund. If you need more tickets, please contract me.
District 7 will be having a booth again at the Tracy Area Sportsmen’s Show. The date of this is April 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on April 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you have some extra time, please consider helping out at the show. On Saturday, April 18, there will also be a Women’s Expo and a Car Show. Please contract me if you are able to help.
April 25 and 26 there will be a gun show in Worthington at the Arena. I am thinking about having a table at that show. Please watch other publications for information on this. Please keep this weekend in mind if you have extra time to help out.
Once again this year, the MTA is having a contest for the Tanned Fur Project. The district that gets the most points for donating the most fur or monetary contributions receives credit for donating most expensive gun for the raffle the following year. Keep this in mind if you have any furs that you would like to donate. I will be going to the spring board meeting March 21. I would be able to deliver the furs at this time.
— Leon Windschitl