Montana Fur Bearer Conservation Alliance March 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, just a quick update on where we are and what we’ve been up to.

As you know, we’re currently in the middle of our legislative session. During this session we’ve been keeping an eye on two bills in particular. HB 62, the mandatory trapper ed. Bill, has passed it’s third reading 51 in favor to 48 opposed. It’s now been transmitted to the Senate. I’m sorry to see so much opposition to the bill. We have mandatory hunter education and bow hunter education run by the state and that’s OK, but not trappers education? We should all be contacting our senators and asking them to support this bill. Only an anti-trapper wouldn’t want it to pass so they can continue to use our lack of “professional education” against us with the general public.

HB 63, the authority to revoke fur dealers license has passed the House FWP committee as amended. While it makes sense that a license should be revoked when the law is broken, as written, the bill places a lot of “accounting” on the individual fur harvester. You still have to account for each pelt you sell by the trapping district it was taken in. That’s easy for a “weekend warrior” like me, but some of you long liners would have to start taking notes. The record keeping requirements in this bill are supposedly the same for taxidermists. I can’t vouch for that because I’ve never gotten any furbearers mounted. I believe this bill could be written better and still achieve the outcome FWP wants, to revoke the license of a fur dealer that breaks the law. Heck, if any of us break a game law they can and will revoke our license. Seems fair to me. I just don’t like the record keeping requirements they’re putting on us individuals that sell our fur. We need to talk to our Representatives and Senators about this one.

Saturday, Jan. 24 we held an information and membership meeting in Townsend. There were plenty of questions about the organization and our mission. I believe the four of us directors that were there did a good job in answering those questions and covering our issues. We owe a big “Thank You” to Mellisa and Paul Tuemmler for setting up the meeting.

Jan. 17 saw the end of our Howler Hauler coyote harvest competition. To say that it got attention is probably an understatement. I was interviewed by the Missoula Independent newspaper and one of the Missoula TV stations about it. You can look up the article at the Missoula Independent Web page and see some of the online comments. It came as no surprise that the anti’s got upset or that they then questioned the “manhood” or self-esteem issues of the participants. I’m sure it would have caught them off guard if I could have told them that “manhood” was never an issue since we had a female participant. It came as a pleasant surprise that the Jan. 15 article in the Independent was fair and objective.

The winner of our Howler Hauler was Tom Fieber, from Polson. Tom sent us his “certification” picture showing five nicely put up coyotes he shot. Congratulations go out to him.

That’s where we are for now. Please remember that we’re in the legislative session. Contact your legislators and let them know your opinions and what you’d like to see done. Likewise for our organization. Let us know if you have a question or concern. We are MEMBER driven. Good luck for the rest of the season.

Stay safe.

— Don Bothwell

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