Nebraska Fur Harvesters June-July 2009

President — Don Miller, Box 15, Loup City, NE 68853; phone: 308-745-0572; cell 308-440-2951

Vice President — Joe Jack, Box 303, Wood River, NE 68883; phone: 308-583-2720

Secretary — John Self, 2072 CO RD K, Hooper, NE 68031; phone: 402-654-2913

Treasurer — Jim Cronin, RT 1, Box 405, Loup City, NE 68853; phone: 308-754-0474

Legislative Representative — George Wagner, 201 Main Ave., Winnetoon, NE 68789; phone: 402-847-3398

Public Relations Director — Ben Walker, 73059 Rd. 436, Bertrand, NE 68972; phone: 308-472-5227

NTA Delegate — Chris Pool, 202 Alonzo St., Wilcox, NE 68982; phone: 308-478-5312

FTA Delegate — Roy Greenfield, 16535 145th Rd., Amherst, NE 68812; phone: 308-826-5155

Web Site — Tom Riblett, tmrs@gpcom.net; http://www.nebraskafurharvesters.com

Membership Options:
• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Junior (Rat Pack) dues (14 & under) — $16

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
Trompke Bookkeeping and Business Services
PO Box 89, Loup City, NE 68853

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hello everyone,

We had a productive Spring Meeting on April 19. John Self has an account on it. Another reminder — this is election year and if anyone is interested or has a nomination for an office, contact myself or John Self.

I know that I hit on this last report, but, again, everyone should know at least one county supervisor and have an ear out for any action that might take on right-of-way trapping as an amendment to LB5 gives them the option to restrict or ban it. Most counties would not trouble themselves with the matter, but now a group “Keep Nebraska Beautiful” is putting out a newspaper release or “filler.” Road ditch hazards, it warns of possibly encountering traps by volunteers picking up roadside trash. But if you have concerns, contact your county supervisors.

It is heavy on the scare tactic (implies no restrictions, something new) and suggests that concerned people should check with their county to check the status — then keep checking. It definitely encourages people to pursue this matter to bug supervisors until they restrict trapping. So, while I would not advise opening anything up, you certainly need to know if the county is going to do anything on the matter and if so, you might want to do some educating and get the regulations for trapping on Game and Parks managed lands.

The article states it only wants to alert volunteers to possible hazards they might encounter, but as I read it, it was meant to alarm and then encourage people to pressure their county to ban ROW trapping.

— Don Miller

LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVE’S REPORT

At this writing, the NFH Spring Meet is a week behind us. I’m certain a good time was had by all who attended. Once again, there was plenty of good chow at the Meet and if you went away hungry, it would be your own fault.

I just talked to Don Miller recently. Don is concerned about a news article that appeared in his regional newspaper lately. Seems there is some concern about people picking up trash in the ditches getting caught in a trap. The article seemed to focus on having people make their county commissioners aware of their concern about traps in the ditch. I can tell you when I talked to my county commissioners on the subject of ROW trapping at one of their meetings, there was resistance by some of the commissioners to allow ROW trapping in our county.

Ultimately, a vote on the subject kept ROW trapping in my county by majority rule. A couple of my commissioners had been called by another resident of my county. I had worked with one commissioner on the LB5 issue and another commissioner currently had beaver in the road ditch problems in his area. In the end, out of six commissioners two voted against ROW trapping. During my meeting with my commissioners, I must have stated at least three times the fact that for over 40 years we had ROW trapping without a single incident concerning legal ROW trapping. This along with other solid information and still two commissioners voted against ROW trapping.

Some of these commissioners supporting ROW trapping were well aware that beaver had been removed from road ditches in this county by the landowner and trapper working together. No government or taxpayer monies had to get involved to correct a problem.

The bottom line here is, if you are not sure of your county’s stance on ROW trapping, then get in contact with a county supervisor you know or can talk to and just let them know you are out there and doing good things. You may be able to mention in the past where you have removed problem animals to correct a drainage problem or assisted the landowner in stopping predation or depredation without interfering in the landowner’s operation by trapping in the ditch. If the landowner supports what you do as far as ROW trapping, then mention their name to your commissioner. In talking to landowners or county commissioners, never fail to distinguish between legal and non-legal ROW trapping.

In the long run, it will do no good to take up a “smart” mouth with your county commissioners. However, it just seems to irritate me in that if we are so concerned with the need for people to get in the ditch and pick up garbage, then why don’t we just outlaw littering instead of ROW trapping.

When I talked to Don Miller, he had mentioned just coming back from one of the Outdoor Expos where once again members of the NFH were teaching young people about fur harvesting and it’s benefits. John Self has been doing some good work at places like hunter education courses. John says the people running hunter ed courses are more than happy to have him come in and give a short talk on trapping. Phil Vanbibber has been doing some trapping demos and the like, here again we are working with youth. Any one of these guys and others would be more than welcoming if you wanted to show up and assist. It is almost to the point in Nebraska that you could actually pick the age group of the youth or the time of year in which you would want to help teach about trapping. All of these events only take a day or part of a day at most. The guys doing these events now have done all the footwork and all you have to do is show up. Give Don Miller or John Self a call and let them know you just want to come see what is going on and they will be glad to have you.

At the Spring Meet, I gave a presentation on carcass composting. This process of composting is just another step in the fur harvester actually doing something good for our environment. It appears a number of NFH members really liked what they saw in this composting presentation.

Phil Vanbibber had mentioned a number of the youth he had worked with come from broken homes. In the long run, what is happening in Nebraska today is the NFH is mentoring youth in a skill that has us contributing to the health of our environment. It is certainly a time to be proud of being a member of the NFH. Again, give Don or John a call and get on board, you won’t be disappointed.

— George Wagner

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