Montana Trappers Association November 2012 Report

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

Vice President East — Joe Jassak, 824 Dornen Ranch Road, Winnett MT 59087; 406-429-2144;

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



Lewistown, MT 9/9/2012 Meeting Notes

Meeting was called to order by Vice President West Tater McKay at 9:50am.

Pledge of Allegiance was led by VP West Tater McKay.

MTA member Dave Del Camp and later, Brian Giddings MFW&P were guests.

Executive Secretary Jim Buell called the role, 12 voting members were present & a quorum was established.

MTA meeting rules were reviewed by VP McKay, who also reiterated that all reports were to be in written format. Meeting agenda was adopted.

A motion was made to forgo reading of minutes of the May 6 2012 Board of Directors meeting by Terry J Sheppard and seconded Scott Blackman. Motion passed

MTA President Tom Barnes (absent) provided a written welcome to all new directors.

Wolf Classification was discussed. Bills are in motion in the Legislature to classify wolves as predators. Discussion of this topic was postponed until the winter board meeting

Dave Wallace would like to see reciprocation between Montana and other states. After discussion motion made by Jim Buell and seconded by Kirk Knudsen to pursue trapping reciprocation which was tabled until the winter meeting

Ed Hebbe would like to see the annual raffle prizes chosen by winner’s choice. After discussion motion made by Buell and seconded by Terry J Sheppard to distribute sweepstakes prizes on a winner’s choice format. Motion defeated

Fran Buell also stated that in order for an obituary to appear in the newsletter it must be submitted by the family

Kirk Knutsen brought up the point of moving the general meeting to different area/building due to noise. After discussion motion made by Kirk Knutsen and seconded by Jim Buell to rent the Ag Hall for the annual membership meeting. Motion passed

Tater McKay discussed wolf trapping and MTA education Committee

John Hughes commended Tater for filling in for Tom Barnes. John is glad to be back on the Board and is planning on taking an active role in the legislative process and looking into getting some conventions going on the west side of the divide.

Terry J Sheppard discussed her report and then discussed the Fur Coat business of changing fur coat in the Raffle because of differences in pelt prices. Board consensus was approved

Joe Jassick said that 126 members had gone through banquet to give an idea of rendezvous attendance.

Membership Secretary Valerie Esche not in attendance but the question regarding membership of scholarship applicants was brought up by Gary Van Haele

Jim Buell discussed NTA Business, NTA Western Convention at Blackfoot ID next year, and reduced membership fees to people who complete wolf trapping certification classes. Motion made by Jim Buell and seconded by Scott Blackman to reduce the cost of a 1 year membership to twenty dollars for the special free membership offer as explained by Jim Buell. Motion Passed.

Fran Buell stated the October 2nd deadline for articles to be submitted in the MTA newsletter. Discussed the funding issue of the MTEP and MOU with FWP. Motion made by Fran Buell and seconded by John Hughes to designate a portion of the proceeds from the annual sweepstakes to be used for trapping education-portion not to exceed actual expenses. Motion Passed

Paul Fielder is scheduled to have a historical fur/trapper camp demo in Deer Lodge on 14th .

John Hughes asked the Fur Auction Committee to provide an expected budget at winter Board Meeting

Gary Van Haele discussed Scholarships applications. Motion Made by Scholarship Committee, seconded by Gary Van Haele to give up to three $500 scholarships annually. Motion passed.

John Hughes and Toby Walrath discussed Wolf Committee news, asked Brian Giddings about apprentice instructor qualifications, and will have a letter to be turned out by the next wolf trapping certification class dealing with free MTA/NTA membership offers.

Standing Committees were examined and changes that were made were:

Minutes Review-added Keven Heinle; SRPF Trust-Remove Joe Jassick and add John Hughes; Education Committee- added Tater McKay, Allen Minear and Josh Lodge; Wolf Trapping Committee will be John Hughes (Chairman), Toby Walrath, Tater McKay, Bob Sheppard, Allen Minear and Keven Heinle; Convention Coordinator –remove Joe Jassick add John Hughes; Publicity-remove Joe and Lisa Jassick add Paul Fielder (Chairman) and Toby Walrath; Front Desk- Change Valerie Esche to (Chairman) and add Richard Voigt; MTA Booth- Add Keven Heinle; Ad Hoc Lynx and Wolverine tabled until winter meeting.

District Reports were given by: D1- Paul Fielder-discussed change in meeting date to avoid archery season; D2-Toby Walrath; D3-Tater McKay; D4-Scott Blackman-Holding Fur Handling Clinic in Vaughn;

D5-Jay Federer-Wolf deal in Helena, attendance down; D6-Kirk Knutsen- Dirk Miller drumming fur; D7- Dave Schaff

New Business:

Keven Heinle brought up question of funding allocation on Beaver hoop sales.

Bob Shepard discussed FWP bashing during General Meeting

Paul Fielder asked the Board to consider the potential of a summer-time, short version of a rendezvous at a western Montana location – after short discussion there was no support.

Winter board Meeting set for Dec 9, 2013 at Yogo Inn Starting at 9:00 am

Paul Fielder asked the Board to consider scheduling the Rendezvous at an earlier date before archery season.

Rendezvous dates were set for September 6-8, 2013

Meeting Adjourned at 1:10 pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted, Keven Heinle, MTA Reporting Secretary. Condensed by Paul Fielder.




when talking with non-trappers.

1. Trapping is a 200 year old Montana tradition. Members of Lewis & Clark’s crew trapped here.

2. Professional wildlife biologists (The Wildlife Society) support trapping as an effective wildlife management tool for managing or studying furbearers, controlling damage, reducing the spread of harmful diseases, and for economic benefit, subsistence, and as a recreational activity.

3. Trapping by licensed, public trappers (regulated by MFW&P) is a wildlife management tool – just like antlerless deer and elk permits or seasons, season dates and lengths, and bag limits are wildlife management tools.

4. Professional wildlife biologists support the use of regulated trapping for sustained harvest of some species of furbearers. Properly managed furbearer populations are a renewable natural resource.

5. About 4,700 Montanans earn income by trapping.

6. Trappers reduce predation by skunks, raccoons, coyotes, foxes and many other animals on waterfowl and upland bird nests, eggs, young, and incubating hens.

7. Trappers reduce coyote predation on livestock and pets.

8. Trappers reduce populations of raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes which are rabies carriers, especially in high populations.

9. Trappers reduce beaver problems. Beaver populations tripled in 3 years after a Massachusetts trapping ban, and caused many flooding problems and large private and governmental costs.

10. California and Arizona have trapping bans and coyotes attack and menace children at bus stops and day cares in those states.

11. Don’t let animal rights groups start writing our wildlife management laws!

12. Trapping is presently well managed by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, using licensed, citizen trappers who buy a license and do it free of charge. Let’s keep it that way.


What does the Montana Trappers Association
do for fur harvesters?

The MTA has been active in protecting your rights to trap.

We spearheaded the Montanans for Effective Wildlife Management which consolidated sportsmen, agricultural, and other citizens with our message that kept animal rights groups from placing a ballot initiative in the 2010 election that would have banned all trapping on all public lands in Montana. And we will do that again!

The MTA actively represents trapper’s interests on political issues with legislators, MFW&P, and other sportsman’s groups. We are present in Helena legislative hearing, in agency meetings, and through correspondence – representing the trapper’s viewpoint.

The MTA conducts trapper education classes about furbearers, traps, and trapping along with ethical responsibility and the law. MTA conducts a 3-day Youth Trapper Camp in partnership with MFW&P and 4H. MTA also does outreach displays at sportsmen shows.

The MTA conducts Fur Handling Clinics to help fur harvesters learn how to properly handle their catch and to prepare their pelts.

The MTA holds an annual fur auction in March where multiple buyers make silent auction bids on your furs. Good prices result and a small commission goes to help fund the MTA.

The MTA holds an annual Rendezvous where trappers gather to share camaraderie, “how to” demonstrations, conduct membership and business meetings to discuss association business, issues, and direction, and vendors offer supplies and advise.

The MTA offers two $500 scholarships for students pursuing higher education. The students or someone in their family must be MTA members to qualify.

UNITED WE STAND AND DIVIDED WE WILL FALL. Only about 11% of the licensed fur harvesters in Montana belong to MTA. But…, the MTA will continue to fight for the continuation of our rights to use trapping as a wildlife management tool FOR ALL TRAPPERS.

It is because of the MTA and our affiliates that we have maintained the right to trap on our public lands in Montana today. Some of those many affiliates include: National Trappers Association, National Rifle Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Mule Deer Foundation, Montana Sportsmen for Wildlife, Safari Club International, Montana Outfitters and Guides Associations, Montana Association of Fish & Wildlife Biologists, Montana Cattlemen’s Association, Montana Wool Growers Association, Montana Stock Growers Association, Farm Bureau, US Sportsman’s Alliance, and many local sportsmen’s clubs and associations. Thank them when you have a chance.



I attended the MTA annual Rendezvous in Lewistown September 7-9. It was good to visit with other trappers, share ideas and concerns, learn some good information at the demonstrations, buy some supplies for this year’s trapline, help with the setup and take down, take part in the membership and Board meetings, and enjoy the fur fashion show, auction and banquet. It was a good Rendezvous for District 1 even though not many from our District attended because one from our District won a $500 scholarship and another won a fur coat. Sometimes showing up makes a difference.

At the Board meeting I asked the Board to again consider trying to schedule the annual Rendezvous earlier in the year so as to not conflict with archery elk season and the bull rut, which is important to many trappers in our District. I also asked the Board to consider a Rendezvous (maybe on a smaller scale) someplace in western Montana to be more accessible to the many western trappers. John Hughes and I offered to work on that rendezvous, but those issues did not receive Board support.

The MTA Fur Auction is again scheduled for the 3rd weekend in March in Columbus, MT. This is an excellent option to sell your furs for a good price and help the MTA with the 6% commission they get.

Wolf trapping certification classes are being heavily attended in Montana and the one I was at in Trout Creek was no exception. About 65 people attended and got a brief overview on the subject. You must complete one of these classes to legally trap wolves in Montana. The demand for classes has caused MFW&P to schedule additional classes, so if you have an interest, contact them to see when and where you can attend one. I met a lot of trappers at this class that I had not met before.

Access closures to public lands around here, and everywhere, seem to be constantly limiting where “we the people” can go to harvest our natural resources from “our public lands”. Access to public lands here (1.2 million acres) are restricted for grizzly bear habitat. In other places it’s other critters. Heck, in Arizona/New Mexico 840,000 acres are presently proposed for “jaguar critical habitat”. Be aware of the many restrictions that government agencies continue to place on our use of our public lands. It is a gradual process. You eat an elephant one bite at a time. We have less access than our grandfathers had but have more access than our grandchildren will have. Few people speak out against these restrictions and that is just what the government wants. Speak out and this fall vote wisely for people that will protect your individual rights. If you don’t vote, or don’t vote for the right people, it’s like giving your rights and your children’s rights away. — Paul C Fielder, MTA District 1 Director

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