New Hampshire Trappers Association April-May 2010 Report

President — Larry Torr, 75 Polly Ann MHC Gerrish Rd Dover, NH 03820 603-742-7554

Vice President — Dwight Pennell, P.O. Box 136, Center Tuftonboro, NH 03816; phone: 603-539-7954

Membership Director — Roger Burnham, 159 North Shore Rd., Hebron, NH 03241; phone: 603-744-3561; e-mail: nhtrapper@metrocast.net

Clerk – Bill Anderson, Box 114, South Springfield, NH 03284; phone: 603-763-5548

Treasurer — Mike Kazak, 72 Riverview Dr., Charlestown, NH 03603; phone: 603-826-3959

Education Director — Mike Morrison, 737 Old Homestead Highway, Swanzey, NH 03446; phone: 603-352-8468

NTA Director — Steve Bennett 16 Spruce Cove Rd Northwood, NH 03234 (603) 496-4353

Legislative Director — Scott Borthwick, P.O. Box 81, Canaan, NH 03741; phone: 603-523-9284

NH Fish & Game Liasion — Fred Shepard, P.O. Box 23, Deerfield, NH 03037; phone: 603-463-7473

ASSOCIATION REPORT

The NHTA officers and directors met Feb. 2, 2010 for a monthly meeting.

Pat Tate and Mark Ellingwood of the NH Fish and Game Department were in attendance to update us on the Keene-area bobcat study being conducted by the University of NH, and partially funded by NHF&G, and to get our impression of a few rule changes that they have in mind relative to trapping. Pat is pleased with the early results of the bobcat study. Ten bobcats have been captured to date in cage traps. Because of the size and sex of the ’cats, only four of those were collared. The Department is hopeful that the onset of breeding season and deeper snow will lead to more action in the cage traps. They are reportedly looking at a second site in southern NH to expand the research area.

Mark Ellingwood, on behalf of the department, expressed a concern about the wildlife control operator provision that allows relocation of nuisance-trapped animals to state managed lands. Currently, a trapper that has been awarded a permit to trap state managed lands can relocate animals to that site. There have been complaints by landowners that neighbor some of these parcels that there has been an increase in wildlife problems on their private properties. Also, fur trappers are finding it difficult to get permits for some of these parcels through the NHF&G lottery because WCOs are entering the lottery to obtain a parcel of land for the sole purpose of depositing animals.

After some discussion, the officers and directors agreed to support the department in eliminating the provision that allows for relocation of nuisance animals to state managed lands. On another item from the department, the group agreed to recommend NHF&G not add restrictions to the use of #160 bodygrip traps on the ground.

Fish and Game Liaison Fred Shepard updated members of the association of NH House Bill 1514 that was heard by the NH Fish and Game House Committee on Jan. 20, 2010, in Concord. This bill was introduced by a NH state representative who is also a member of a coalition of animal rights activists dedicated to ending fur trapping in NH. This bill would outlaw the possession and transportation of raw furs. The committee voted unanimously to kill this bill.

A few weeks following the NHTA February meeting, this bill was brought to the floor by the sponsor for a vote. Despite his behind-the-scenes efforts, the full house followed the recommendations of the committee and voted down this bill. Thank you to all of the officers, directors and members that took their personal time to call constituents and representatives on behalf of killing this bill. And to those that took a good part of a day to travel to Concord to attend the committee meeting and sign the registry indicating support or opposition. We have seen this group before, and each time they are bigger in number. Let’s not let our guard down. Thank you to Fish and Game liaison Fred Shepard for keeping an eye on this bill and any others that the animal rights group tries to sneak by.

A few sportsmen’s groups contacted the association for donations to their fundraising events. Directors agreed to send a NHTA t-shirt to Furbearers Unlimited, one mountain man hat and a tanned coyote pelt to the NH Wildlife Federation and a NHTA wool vest to the VT Trappers Association.

The Belknap County Sportsman’s Club on Lilly Pond Road (11C) in Gilford will again be the site of this year’s NHTA Spring Meeting. The event will be held on Sunday, April 25. Doors will open at 7 a.m. Details for morning coffee and doughnuts and a noon meal will be worked out.

This event was not well attended last spring. Hopefully you can stop in to visit, attend a trapping-related demonstration or stock up on some items for summer trap maintenance from one of the suppliers. If you are interested in putting on a demonstration or have a suggestion for one, please contact President Larry Torr at 603-742-7551.

Director Bonnie Pennell has asked directors for suggestions for a site for this summer’s weekend camp outing. Bonnie organized a weekend event last July in Lincoln at Lost River. She can be reached at 603-539-7954.

The association is appreciative of all those that have donated skins for the Miss NH fur jacket project, fur kits and fundraising sales. A list of donators will be published in the newsletter at winter’s end. Thank you.

Best to all.

— Paul DeBow

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