North Carolina Trappers Association October 2009 Report

President — Jimmy Pierce, 201 Rhodes St., Wendell, NC 27591; phone: 919-365-4961;cell phone: 919-801-2562; e-mail: beaverstop@nc.rr.com

Vice President — Tonnie Davis, 167 Ole Cabin Rd., Roxboro, NC 27573; phone: 336-597-3619

Secretary — Sharon Underwood, Rt. 1 Box 416, Peachland, NC 28133; phone: 704-272-7876

Membership Secretary — Karen Rose, 1220 Cross Rd., Roper, NC 27970; phone: 252-793-5191

Assistant Membership Secretary — Krista Rose, 1220 Cross Rd., Roper, NC 27970; phone: 252-793-5191

Treasurer — Wayne Rose, 1220 Cross Rd., Roper, NC 27970; phone: 252-793-5191

General Organizer — David Underwood, Rt. 1, Box 416, Peachland, NC 28133; phone: 704-272-7876

Education Coordinator — Todd Menke, 2663 Tar River Rd., Creedmoor, NC 27522; phone: 919-528-9063; e-mail: minkster@netzero.net

NTA Director — Tim Wilson, 5320 Stokes Ferry Rd., Salisbury, NC 28146; phone: 252-758-8191

Newsletter Editor — Vacant

Membership Options:

• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Youth membership (under age 16) with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $10
• Lifetime membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $250
• Senior citizens 70 years or older with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $12

Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:

NCTA, Membership Secretary
Karen Rose
1220 Cross Rd., Roper, NC 27970

ACTING PRESIDENT/VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

On the first of each month, the next month’s report is due. I am writing this report on Aug. 31, which will be for the October report. I would like to be reporting on how good the convention was, but that will be the duty of the new President who will be elected by the Board of Director’s who are elected by the members present at the general memberships annual meeting, which is held each year at the convention.

I hope everyone is pleased with the improvements on the Web site. Speaking of the Web site, there have been a lot of comments made, some good and some critical, but the end results are big improvements. Our Constitution and By-Laws have worked well in representing all NC trappers. I have no knowledge of any current or past Board members who did not make any decisions that were not in the best interest of all NC trappers.

If you have not read the Constitution and By-Laws, I encourage you to take the time to do so as it is important in understanding how directors and officers are elected. You can go to the Web site: www.nctrappers.com (click on the fourth tab titled Bylaws) or if you do not have a computer give us a call and we can mail you a copy. Article VI “Board of Directors” states,

“(A) The Association shall be managed by the Board of Directors of not less than nine (9) and not more than eighteen (18) members, which consists of two members from each district. The Board of Directors shall be elected annually by the members present at the annual meeting. The Board of Directors shall also elect a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, General Organizer, and a Membership Secretary. Officer shall be able to hold office for an unlimited term as if re-elected by the Board of Directors.

(B) There shall be four (4) Directors at Large positions on the Board of Directors and they shall be appointed by the President and shall have no voting power. They shall be reappointed annually.

(C) The Board of Directors shall have general supervision and control of all the activities of the Association. The Board of Directors shall make agreements with other organizations and individuals to carry out the objectives of the Association.

(D) Resignation of any officer or board member may be accepted by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board.

(E) A vacancy of any officer or board member may be filled by the President pending a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board.”

Do you have a passion for trapping? Are you interested in being President or do you know of someone who would make a good candidate? What about one of the other officer positions? Become involved and stay active because we are always looking for interested individuals.

We always have a hard time finding individuals with the time and interest. Let your Officer Nomination Committee know of those individuals. The Officer Nomination Committee Chairman is Ronnie Watson along with members Linnie Nichols and David Underwood. How about being a Director? Attend the annual meeting at the convention to make sure your favorite candidate is nominated. If you think the Constitution and By-Laws should be changed let the Board know.

Article IX “Amendments” states, “Any proposed amendments to these By-Laws may be introduced by any member of the Association at any regular meeting or special meeting called for that purpose; and such proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing to the Board of Directors thirty (30) days prior to said meeting. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present shall be necessary to pass or reject. Any member shall be provided with a copy of the By-Laws upon request.”

Changes won’t occur at this year’s convention; however, if you have recommendations, and there is enough support, changes do occur. The last Amendments occurred on Oct. 4, 1997. To help increase communications throughout the membership, we will start posting the information sent to the Trapper & Predator Caller magazine on the Web site, so you will have the information in a timelier manner.

With 18 directors and six officers, you have a voting Board of 24 members conducting the business of NCTA. Members do not always agree but it is the majority vote which represents the best possible decisions for NC trappers.

Let me give you an example which occurred before the Constitution and By-Laws were in place: A President and Treasurer were elected at our annual meeting. During the first few months of being in office both resigned, since they could not carry out the duties of the office. Both were good men, who were looking out for NC trapper’s best interests, yet they were young with families and careers disallowing them the time needed to carry out the duties.

The 18 directors elected by you, the membership, are in the best position to elect officers taking into consideration any recommendations to ensure the best candidates are in place who will have the time and passion to carry out the duties. As is the case more times than not, the committee does not receive any nominations and the directors search for individuals who are at least willing to take the position. Remember all positions are voluntary with no compensation.

You have to have the dedication and time for the many trips to Raleigh to visit with the NC General Assembly and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. We do what we do without expecting a thank you because we love trapping and we want the NCTA’s motto of “Promoting Responsible Trapping” to survive.

We all make mistakes, but I hope you will take the time to give your Board members a Thank You for the thankless job they do. We do appreciate constructive feedback and we hope you will help us find/focus on solutions rather than be critical to any issues that arise in the future to continue to “Promote Responsible Trapping.”

— Tonnie Davis

EDUCATION COORDINATOR’S REPORT

Following Tonnie’s theme, take time to thank those volunteers who took time out of their busy schedules away from family to put on the trapper education programs.

The Basic Trapper Education Program held at the Alamance Wildlife Club on July 11 was a huge success. We had 28 sign up, but a few had plans change at the last minute and were unable to attend. The day-long class is more of an introductory course to trapping, yet with the many years of instructor experience in attendance, even a veteran trapper still learns something new.

The following instructors deserve credit for a job well done: David Allen, Josh Biesecker, John Deaton, David Denton, Todd Menke, Colleen Olfenbuttel, Jimmy Pierce, Dustyn Reece, Rodney Stancil, Claude Taylor and Prune Windspear.

Don’t miss the 2nd Annual Mountain Rendezvous scheduled for Oct. 24-25, 2009 at the NC Cooperative Extension Madison County Center located at 258 Carolina Lane, Marshall, NC 28753. There will be another Basic Trapper Education Program being offered from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. each day. You can sign-up and register for the class after Sept. 13 through the NC Wildlife Resources Commission Web site: www.ncwildlife.org. Click on the Hunter Education Courses Register Now on the right hand side. The upper right hand corner click on Check For ADVANCED Courses! Under the course type you will want to look for Trapping for the locations and dates. There is no charge for this class and if you pass the test, you will receive your Trapper Education Certification and patch.

If you have questions or need additional information, contact David Allen at 704-689-5264, e-mail: chiseltooth08@yahoo.com or Dustyn Reece 828-439-3836, e-mail: dustyn.k.reece@aphis.usda.gov.

Make plans to attend our next three-day advanced on-the-line trapping workshop April 2, 3, and 4, 2010. This time it will be in the mountains, since the last one was near the coast. Hurry and sign up because seats will be limited. Cost will be $300, which will include all the materials, training, meals and lodging.

The facility and meals are always fantastic! The location is at the NC Division of Forest Resources Mountain Training Facility at 6065 Linville Falls Highway near Crossnore, NC 28616. The trapping terrain will be different than some of you are used to, so I know everyone will learn something new. Reservations require a $100 deposit. Full payment will be due no later than March 1, 2010. Refunds will be given if your plans change.

The new interest in trapping with today’s younger computer generation is great. They expect instant communication with the World Wide Web, which the association is working to improve through the Web site. There have been many questions raised on the talk forum, which I assure you are being addressed. We are working with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to get a lifetime license.

At the last Board of Directors meeting, it was discussed to pursue a $250 lifetime trapping license that is separate from the lifetime sportsmen license. It is important for the lifetime trapping license to not be included with the lifetime sportsman license in order to be able to identify trappers vs. non-trappers among the lifetime sportsmen license holders.

If you include that privilege with the lifetime sportsmen license, the state will not be able to collect important data on the furbearer harvest data, the trapper effort/catch per unit effort, the trapper days, the number of licensed trappers, the location of licensed trappers, etc. which is all critical data to help us to be able to continue to do what we love.

Remember to focus on and help the Board find solutions to any issues that will affect all NC trappers. Ask yourself what have you done for your association or NC trappers and how have you “Promoted Responsible Trapping.” Successful leaders don’t wait for policies to kick in or others to take charge; they step up, speak up, and thrive in a professional manner.

Debate can be good as long as we all find a way to engage in healthy dialogue by talking through important issues. We all have to find a way to get all relevant information from yourself and others out in the open in a constructive manner. At the core of every successful conversation lies the free flow of relevant information/meaning. People who openly and honestly express their opinions, share their feelings, and articulate their theories in a professional way will only help improve the Association. When you achieve this talent, it is called dialogue. Our personal pool of meaning is our own opinions, feelings, theories and experiences about the topic at hand.

Our opinions differ, I believe one thing, you another. I have one history, you another. People who are skilled at dialogue do their best to make it safe for everyone to add their meaning to the shared pool. Even ideas at first glance might seem controversial, wrong or at odds with their own beliefs. They don’t have to agree with every idea; they simply do their best to ensure that all ideas find their way into the open. The larger the shared pool, the smarter the decisions. When people openly and freely share ideas, the increased time investment is more than offset by the quality of the decision.

Every time we find ourselves arguing, debating, running away or otherwise acting in an ineffective way, it is because we don’t know how to share meaning. Instead of engaging in healthy dialogue, we play silly and costly games. In order to move to our best, we have to find a way to explain what is in each of our personal pools of meaning to get others to share their pools.

We have to develop the tools that make it safe for us to discuss these issues and to come to a shared pool of meaning. And when we do, all NC trappers will be better off.

When faced with a failed conversation, most of us are quick to blame others. More often than not, we do something to contribute to the problems we are experiencing. People who are best at dialogue understand this simple fact and turn it into the principle “Work on me first.” They realize that not only are they likely to benefit by improving their own approach, but also that they are the only person they can work on anyway. As much as others might need to change, or we might want them to change, the only person we can continually inspire, prod and shape with any degree of success is the person in the mirror.

As you grow older, the desire to win continually drives us away from a healthy dialogue. Clarify what you don’t want, add it to what you do want, and ask your brain to start searching for healthy options to bring you to dialogue. If you make it safe enough, you can talk about almost anything and people will listen. If you don’t fear that you’re being attacked or humiliated, you yourself can hear almost anything and not become defensive. Emotions don’t just happen — think about these two rather bold and sometimes unpopular claims:

Claim 1 – Emotions don’t settle upon you like a fog. They are not foisted upon you by others. No matter how comfortable it might make you feel saying it – others don’t make you mad. You make you mad. You and only you create your emotions.

Claim 2 – Once you’ve created your emotions, you have only two options: You can act on them or be acted on by them. That is, when it comes to strong emotions, you either find a way to master them or fall hostage to them.

The willingness to do without now in order to achieve more later turns out to be an all-purpose tool for success.

Let’s share what is working and what isn’t for all of us to come up with a solution that will satisfy the majority of us because no one will ever have everything they want. We all are working toward a common outcome of “Promoting Responsible Trapping,” for we share and care about common goals, interests and values when it comes to trapping.

If your only reason is to get what you want, you will be heard as critical and selfish — which you are. If you try to see the other person’s point of view, you can often find a way to draw the other person willingly into even very sensitive conversations.

I will leave you with more to ponder: the dictionary defines attitude as, “A position or posture in connection with an action. A manner of acting, feeling or thinking that shows one’s opinion.”

My definition of attitude can be explained by starting with my favorite quote by Charles Swindoll who states, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

To become a success, it takes personal confidence. You have the choice to either have a POSITIVE or negative attitude! Your mental and emotional actions define who you are.

Remember the old saying, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Approach all tasks with a CAN DO attitude. Everyone around you feels your attitude and adjusts their behavior according to the environment you are helping to create. Are you sending out a positive or negative message?

Choose your attitude. When you choose your attitude, you are taking accountability for yourself and your actions. How you think about someone is how you will treat them. You are the only one with the power to choose your attitude. You always have a choice as to how you respond to someone. You can persuade and motivate others through your positive attitude.

Are your traps dyed, waxed and ready to go? See you in the woods!

— Todd Menke

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