Montana Fur Bearer Conservation Alliance January 2009 Report

Director — Kenneth Cordoza Jr., 150 Lost Coon Tr., Whitefish, MT 59937

Director — Don Bothwell, 110 Cardiff Ave., Kalispell, MT 59901

Director — Rick Hawk, P.O. Box 381, Kalispell, MT 59903

Director — Robert Howard, P.O. Box 164, Martin City, MT 59926

Director — Larry Keyes, 235 Martin Camp Rd., Whitefish, MT 59937 P.O. Box 3481, Kalispell, MT
e-mail address:

Membership Options:
• Regular Membership — $25, Choose magazine – Trapper & Predator Caller, Trappers World or Predator Extreme
• Sustaining Membership $20 – No Magazine
• Junior Membership (under 18) $15 – Choose magazine above
• Family Membership — $30, Choose magazine above
• Charter Membership — $100
• Foundation Membership — $200


Guys and Gals,

As you read this, we are in the middle of our trapping season. Some of you are probably still pursuing bobcats while I suspect our quota has been met and our season closed here in Region 1. It’s good to be a trapper!

The last couple weeks have brought some interesting and exciting news for us. Ken Cordoza and I went to Helena on Nov. 19 to be part of the working group putting together the new Trapper Education program for the state.
With the help of our Education Sub-committee we were able to show up with an edited version of the North Dakota Trapper Education manual to submit for consideration.

Please let me make this clear, since it seemed confusing to the MTA rep that attended, we ARE NOT endorsing the “Montana edited” version of the North Dakota program as THE single program to adopt. The core of the North Dakota program was developed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and as such, has their stamp of approval. Since that core curriculum is relatively new and the North Dakota manual is the only one we know of to be built around it, we used that as the base model. The MFCA intent is to use the core curriculum as a framework for the Montana program and then pick and choose Montana specific issues and items or highlights from other states programs to add to it and flesh it out.

The Board of Directors (BOD) felt it was important to use the AFWA developed core curriculum to establish a baseline of credibility for the entire program. If a non-trapper were to be told about our education program, wouldn’t it seem more acceptable if we could say to them that it’s based on a standardized curriculum designed by a nationwide group of professional wildlife managers and biologists? We, the BOD, think it would.

On Nov. 20, the BOD made it official, the “Howler Hauler” fund raiser is a go! Get your gear ready to haul in as many howlers (the coyote version) as you can in a two week period.

The rules are simple:

· The competition runs from Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009 through Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009.

· Teams can be 1 or 2 people.

· A “member” team has the person or both team members as MFCA members.

· A “non-member” team does not have 100 percent membership in the MFCA.

· If teammates are immediate members of a family, a family membership covers them.

· Coyotes can be taken by trapping or hunting.

· All coyotes MUST be harvested in Montana.

· Certification of the harvest MUST include, a photograph of the team with all of the coyotes harvested signed on the back by the team mates. It must also include the following statement signed by the teammates:
“___(#)_____ coyotes were harvested by ___(teammate names)__________ between Jan. 3rd, 2009, and Jan. 17, 2009, dates inclusive. I/we certify that these coyotes were taken by either trapping or hunting in accordance with the laws and regulations of the State of Montana. I/we hereby permit the use of our photograph by the MFCA for publication via printed or electronic means.”
______________________ (signature)
___________________ (printed name)
______________________ (signature)
___________________ (printed name)
Date: ______________________
· The photograph and certification must be postmarked by Friday, Jan. 23, 2009.

· Entrance fees must be received in advance of the competition.

· Entry fees are $20 for member teams and $30 for non-member teams.

· The winning team will receive 25 percent of the total entry fees collected split equally among the team members and a plaque for each member.

· The second place team will receive 15 percent of the total entry fees collected split equally among the team members and a plaque for each member.

· The third place team will receive 10 percent of the total entry fees collected split equally among the team members and a plaque for each member.

· The Board of Directors, or a quorum thereof, will constitute the judges for the competition. The decision of the judges is final.

· The winning team members are responsible for all tax consequences from their winnings.

So there it is, plain and hopefully simple. Let’s have fun with it and as always, do the right thing. If you have any questions please drop us a note by e-mail or through our P.O. box.

By now those of you in Region 3 and some in Region 4 should have gotten a mailer inviting you to an upcoming membership/organization meeting in Townsend, MT. The details are being worked out as I write this, but it looks like we’ll hold it on the third of fourth Saturday of January. I hope to meet you there.

If my calendar “guesstimation” is correct, you should be reading this just before Christmas. I’d ask each of you to remember the reason for the season. This is a time for joyful reflection, the coming together of family and friends, and the observance of old and new traditions. Please consider sharing our outdoor traditions with someone. What a great gift to give, the love and appreciation of our natural resources and their sustainable use. It’s a gift that can’t be outgrown or forgotten and is suitable for adults and children alike.

As always, if you know of a trapper, houndsman or predator hunter that’s not an MFCA member, ask them to join us. We need a lot of voices in order to be heard clearly in Helena.

I and the rest of the Board of Directors would like to wish all of you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May your fur stretchers and your heart be full.

Best wishes.

— Don Bothwell

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