Montana Fur Bearer Conservation Alliance January 2010 Report

Director — Kenneth Cordoza Jr., 150 Lost Coon Tr., Whitefish, MT 59937

Director — Don Bothwell, 110 Cardiff Ave., Kalispell, MT 59901

Director — Rick Hawk, P.O. Box 381, Kalispell, MT 59903

Director — Robert Howard, P.O. Box 164, Martin City, MT 59926

Director — Larry Keyes, 235 Martin Camp Rd., Whitefish, MT 59937, P.O. Box 3481, Kalispell, MT
e-mail address: mtfurs@gmail.com

Membership Options:

• Regular Membership — $25, includes Trapper & Predator Caller subscription
• Sustaining Membership $20 – No Magazine
• Junior Membership (under 18) $15 – T&PC subscription
• Family Membership — $30, T&PC subscription
• Charter Membership — $100
• Foundation Membership — $200

DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Guys and Gals,

By the time you read this, our seasons are well underway. I hope your catch meets or exceeds your expectation and that you’re enjoying your time afield.

Our association is busy trying to get as involved as possible in the fight to stop or vote down I-160, the initiative to ban trapping on public lands. The MFCA has joined other organizations as part of an umbrella group called Montanans for Effective Wildlife Management as part of that effort. We hope to convince the general public that wildlife management is best left to professional managers with a scientific basis and not the emotional vagaries of a ballot box.

This past September, we had a booth at the National Trapper’s Association Western Regional Convention in Lewistown. We gained several new members and renewed several existing members. That’s part of the plan, growing membership. I’d like to personally thank the other members who volunteered their time to help at the booth, Ken Cordoza, Bob Howard and Dave Wallace.

Upcoming items on our agenda include the second annual Howler Hauler, coyote harvest contest. This year, we’ll be reducing the entrance fee and changing the recognition program to plaques only. We won’t run it as a “split the pot” so we can cut the fees. As an aside, many times I have people ask why we kill coyotes because they’re “only scavengers” and “don’t hurt anyone.”

I think that most of us that spend time in the outdoors or even reading the news these days are aware that coyote populations are exploding all across the country and that’s bringing them into conflict with humans. There have been multiple attacks on people, mostly children, but recently a 19-year-old woman in Canada was killed by a couple coyotes. Now some folks would say that that’s usually been a problem in large cities and that here in “wide open” Montana there is little chance of that happening. For them, I’d suggest they read three of the magazines I’ve gotten this month.

The NRA’s American Hunter, Predator Xtreme, and Trapper’s Post. All had articles in them about the impact of coyotes on deer herds. All of them make a case that coyotes are a very significant predator of deer and antelope fawns. There’s even a study in eastern Montana cited by one author. I’m trying to find that as a reference. If you’d like to read one, I’d suggest you check out the archived Dec. ’09 issue of Predator Xtreme when it’s posted at: http://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/PageContent.aspx?ID=29
Another agenda item we’re working on is our 2010 rendezvous. We’re trying to get it set up in the Townsend/Helena area as part of our pledge to move it around and bring it closer to members in different locations. I’ll keep you posted.

We currently have a general membership meeting planned for Jan. 16, 2010, at the FWP Headquarters on Meridian Rd. in Kalispell from 9:30 a.m. to around 2 p.m. I hope to see a bunch of you there.

REMEMBER, if you have an idea, issue or topic that you think we ought to get involved in or stay out of, please let us know. We’re member driven and want your input. Any organization can crash and burn if left on “auto-pilot” for too long.

I and the rest of the Directors would like to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. I’d offer one gift suggestion, take someone trapping. It’s a gift of your time and a labor of love. They can never outgrow it and it’s always the right color. “God Bless us, everyone”

— Don Bothwell

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