Montana Trappers Association March 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! With Montana’s Trapping season in full swing across the state it is tough to pull away from all the trapline responsibilities and add up dates. Believe me, the district Directors are working hard to fight for trappers rights, change laws and set appropriate quotas for Montana’s flourishing furbearers.

The opportunity to trap wolves in Montana has resulted in proof that trapping serves a wildlife management need. As of February 1st trappers have trapped 70 wolves since the season opener on December 15th. With elk and deer herds declining the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks department called on trappers to help. In contrast hunters have been afield since September and have taken 110 wolves. With a month remaining of trapping season, trappers are showing that even when restricted to the use of foothold traps, only we can improve our wildlife while doing what we love.

We have 372 new Montana Trappers Association members. With such a large influx of new member applications and other logistical concerns I have received several phone calls wondering why one trapper got his or her MTA newsletter while others haven’t. Just imagine trying to process 372 new membership applications! If you haven’t received your newsletter or know of a new member who has not got one yet let us know! We are still letting the dust settle! We want our members to get everything out of the MTA they can.

It is great to see the interest in trapping and all the support from not only trappers but numerous Sportsman’s groups around the state. For all you new members, the MTA does so much to promote trapping, educate and push or pull on political issues it can be hard to keep up. Attend the directors meeting in your district. We meet with area Biologists here in District 2 where we learn about this season’s harvest of bobcats, marten, fisher, otter and wolf. We help establish quotas and update the general membership about all the MTA does. If you don’t know who to contact you may contact anyone on the contact list at the beginning of this report.

Several bills which impact trapping will be read before the Montana Fish and Wildlife Committee in Helena in February. These bills are vetted through the MTA board of Directors and the majority vote is the voice that is heard. If you want to have more influence over the future of trapping we are always looking for committee members!

While the MTA will hold its usual MTA Rendezvous in September in Lewistown this year, the Western half of the state is gearing up for the first annual Trapper Heritage Celebration which will be held in Lolo, Montana May 18th and 19th. We will have vendors, demonstrations, and fund raising activities. A special thank you goes out to the many volunteers who have called requesting involvement in the planning and organization of this unique event. We could always use more! If you are interested call me.

Don’t forget the fur sale will be held at the Still water County Fairgrounds in Columbus, Montana March 15th, 16th, 17th 2013. Fur receiving times are March 15th, 12:00pm-8:00pm and March 16th, 8:00 am-12:00pm. For more information call Tom Barnes, Tater Mckay, Richard Voite or Kirk Knudsen. Last year several trappers volunteered to pick up fur in their respective districts and brought it to the sale. We had a number of fur buyers and the prices received were excellent. It is a great way to get a return for all your hard work!

As Marten and wolf season’s comes to a close, I’ll be gearing up for spring beaver and ‘rats, my favorite springtime furbearers. I hope this season has left you with a full fur shed and many great memories.

The Montana Trappers Association will conduct their Youth Trapper Camp June 7th, 8th, & 9th, 2013 in the Bear Paw Mountains south of Havre MT. This is a family oriented camp but is open to unattended youth 12 yrs and older. Contact Jim or Fran Buell; PH: 406-376-3178 or register on the MTA website at for more information.

The MTA actively defends and promotes your right to trap every day. So the next time you set a trap – especially on public ground be proud that you are a member supporting the hardest working trapping organization in Montana! Thank you, Montana Trappers. — Toby Walrath


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