Montana Trappers Association January 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


The winter meeting of the Montana Trappers Association, Board of Directors was held Nov. 23, 2008, in Lewistown, Montana.

Our meeting was called to order at 9 a.m. Some of the agenda items discussed are as follows:
Motion to accept the minutes of the Sept. 21, 2008 directors meeting. There were a few corrections and amendments to the minutes after which they were approved.

The board discussed changes that were made by the FWP Commission, in the 2008/2009 trapping regulations that the board feels were made without public comment. The board feels that the commission did not follow their own protocal in making these changes, and after discussion, the board directed President Barnes to write a letter of concern to the FWP Director and Commission. This letter will be drafted and sent to all directors for approval before it is sent to the FWP. The letter will be posted on the MTA Web site after is written and approved by the board. It was also brought to the attention of the board that the FWP has a new director, so who knows what is in store for the department.

The next item before the board was the letter to the FWP concerning the MTA’s position on a mandatory trap check. President Barnes drafted a letter to the FWP and it was sent to them in October. A response was received from the FWP. These letters are also available on the MTA web site.

Duties of Directors of a non-profit organization were discussed and were accepted by the board.

This being a Legislative year in Montana the board hired a lobiest for the upcoming session, to keep us abreast on what is going on in Helena. We will most likely be faced with some issues that could effect the trapping industry so we will keep a close eye on what is happening.

The board breifly discussed a membership drive for the MTA. The issue was tabled until the spring meeting in May.

The next item before the board was the treasurer’s report, and the proposed budget. After discussion, the board approved the report and the 2009 budget.

The membership report was accepted, with 614 MTA members. Committee and Directors reports were given with dates of upcoming district meetings. Dates of upcoming events will be posted in the next newsletter. Check them out and plan to attend your local meeting, that is the time you have to discuss quota’s and regulations with FWP representatives and other members.

Looks like the MTA will be faced with a mandatory education bill in the legislature. Education chairman Fran Buell has been working hard with this issue and we are confident that it will be resolved. The MTA is not apposed to a Mandatory Education Program, our concerns are that the FWP might reinvent the wheel when a program is put in place. The MTA’s current education program has been proven to be effective and we feel it does not need many changes. We’ll see!

The upcoming Western States Fur Auction was discussed. The dates are Jan. 11, 2009, and March 15, 2009. Our first auction last year was very successful and we anticipate that this year’s auctions will be again. As everyone knows, the market is probably not as strong as it was last year. But from all indications, we will have good buyer support and will have plenty of fur come sale day. Check out our ad for information for the auction and shipping dates, etc.

There were some other items discussed by the board, this report contains some of the main issues. The minutes of our meetings are open to all members, if you have concerns or questions please call your district director or any officer.

Respectfully Submitted.

— Tom Barnes

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