Montana Trappers Association February 2009 Report

President — Paul Schmidt; phone: 406-429-7391; e-mail:

Vice President East — John Hughes; phone: 406-429-7591; e-mail:

Vice President West — Robert Sheppard; phone: 406-793-5885; e-mail:

Recording Secretary — Tom Barnes; phone: 406-683-2791; e-mail:

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

Treasurer— Jim Buell; phone: 406-376-3178; e-mail:

NTA Director — Chad Esche; phone: 406-328-7264; e-mail:

Membership Options:
• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Youth membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $15
• Family membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $35
• Lifetime membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $350
• Senior Lifetime membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $200

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 to all trappers,

With the holidays and trapping season in full swing, we hope that your holidays have been filled with memories of the past year and great expectations for the future. I hope that your trapping season is going well. Sure looks as though the market will be off some from last year, but as we all know, it is pretty difficult to make ends meet. I feel trapping is an industry motivated out of enjoyment of the outdoors more than the amount of the fur check.

The MTA will continue to monitor the upcoming Montana Legislative Session for issues that will affect us. There are a couple of issues on the docket already that are of concern.

1) A bill submitted by the Montana FWP that concerns fur buyers. Looks like the FWP is wanting to put more restrictions on fur buyers. The bill will create a paperwork nightmare. They want to have a record as to where every piece of fur comes from. We feel this could in essence make everyone a fur buyer. If you have a friend shoot a coyote and bring it to you to put up, you would have to keep track of where that animal came from. It looks like enforcement is wanting more control. We’ll see what happens!

2) A mandatory trapper education bill will most likely be introduced. As we have said before the MTA is not opposed to a mandatory education program for new trappers. Our concern is how and what program is put into place. The MTA’s education committee has worked for years with the FWP on this issue, and we feel that it does not need many (if any) changes made to continue to work. Of course, we will watch closely so that a bunch of junk isn’t added to any bill introduced.

Before you have a chance to read this article, the first Western States Fur Auction will be conducted, Jan. 11, 2009. Reading the market report in the January issue of T&PC, it appears as though the market is pretty much up in the air. So we’ll see!

As I have said in the past and will continue to say, the MTA is your organization. If you have a concern or would like to comment please get a hold of me or any director/officer. We look forward to input to make trapping a viable industry in Montana.

Respectfully submitted.

— Tom Barnes

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