Montana Trappers Association December 2013 Report


President — Tom Barnes, 4294 Hwy 91 N, Dillon MT 59725; 406-683-2791; cell: 406-660-2792;

Vice President East — John Hughes 3065 Winnet Hwy, Roundup, MT 59072; 406-429-2002;

Vice President West — Tater McKay, 3800 Old Stage Road, Dillon MT 59725; 406-683-4824; cell: 406-660-1094;

Executive Secretary — Jim Buell, P.O. Box 133, Gildford, MT 59525; 406-376-3178;

Membership Secretary — Valerie Esche, 17 Allison Dr., Absarokee, MT 59001; 406-328-7264;

Treasurer— Terry Sheppard, P.O. Box 129, Ovando, MT 59854; 406-793-5885; office: 406-793-5718;

NTA Director — Jim Buell, P.O. Box 133, Gildford, MT 59525; 406-376-3178;

Membership Options:

• Family membership with Trapper & Predator Caller — $40

• Family membership without Trapper & Predator Caller — $30

• Adult membership with Trapper & Predator Caller — $30

• Adult membership without Trapper & Predator Caller — $20

• Youth membership with Trapper & Predator Caller — $20

• Lifetime membership with Trapper & Predator Caller — $350

• Lifetime membership without Trapper & Predator Caller — $250

• Senior lifetime membership with Trapper & Predator Caller — $200

• Senior lifetime membership without Trapper & Predator Caller — $100


Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:

MTA Membership Secreatary

Valerie Esche

17 Allison Dr.

Absarokee, MT 59001



Hello Montana Trappers,

I’ve heard reports of trappers across the state with a few dozen coyotes already on stretchers, it’s great to see trappers able to do what we love. The ability to keep trapping in Montana will require us trappers to step out of the mountains and lowlands and into a fight. Several MTA members have been meeting to organize a BIG event to unite public land users from around the Western US in opposition of Ballot Initiative I-167.

Please mark your Calendars for May 31, 2014 for the Montana PLUS (Public Land Users and Sportsmen) event.

The Montana Trappers Association will be hosting the first MT PLUS event on May 31, 2014 in an effort unite all the groups in Montana who utilize public lands, consume natural resources and who oppose restrictive laws which keep Montanans from using and enjoying the outdoors.

Recently a proposed ballot initiative, I-167 was drafted by an animal rights group based out of Missoula, MT which aims to prevent trappers from harvesting furbearers and predators on all public lands in Montana. This local animal rights group has ties to the largest animal rights groups in the country who have publicly stated that their goal is to go state by state until they have succeeded in eliminating all hunting, trapping and sport fishing in the U.S.

Montana’s recreational and commercial uses of our natural resources have been reduced or stopped because special interest groups are lobbying to keep people of the land out of our forests and off our public lands. I-167 is just one example of many, but one which we are facing right now.

Join the MTA and many other Public Land users on May 31, 2014 in Missoula, Montana at the Missoula County Fairgrounds. We welcome you to set up a booth, put on a demonstration, and support the MTAs effort to stop I-167. This event is a continuation of the successful Trappers Heritage Celebration held in Lolo, MT in 2013. We are expanding this event to include more groups and to unify our efforts to stop these special interest groups from chipping away at our rights to use OUR public lands. We hope to see you there.

For More Information visit

Paul Fielder and I are members of a trapping working group hosted by the Montana FWP. At this working group we are accompanied by members of other outdoors and agricultural based groups to address the many issues facing trapping in our state. This is a tough job and one which takes a great deal of responsibility to act on behalf of all 1003 MTA members as well as non-affiliated trappers. As we move through the process with monthly meetings, I will provide updates on the progress.

The MTA is actively involved in other fights side by side with the FWP. It is important for trappers to know how much the MTA does to protect every trapper’s rights in the state. The countless hours that it takes to work with NTA officials, government agencies, lawyers and other MTA board members requires a great deal of dedication and money. If you know a trapper in Montana who is not a member of the MTA, urge them to join. When we step up to the microphone and voice our position at commissioners meetings and public hearings, the more members we say we represent the louder our voice is. We need you as much as you need us. We are in the fight, if you only have time to sit in the stands and cheer, do so with an annual membership. Knowing you are there to support us keeps us going!

I hope you all have happy holidays and fill those stretchers. I’ll see you out there – Trappers Rock! — Toby Walrath


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