North Carolina Trappers Association January 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

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hello everyone and I hope that your season is going well. There are several things to cover, so I will get right to it.
From the Regulations Digest, Statewide Trapping Laws, Page 36:

It is unlawful to: Take wild animals by trapping with any steel-jaw, leg hold or Conibear-type trap unless the trap:
a. has a jaw spread of not more than 7 ½ inches.

This law makes the #280-size Conibear-type trap illegal for use in North Carolina as it has a jaw spread of 8 inches. Now, you ask, why is the #330 with a jaw spread of 10 inches legal? It is defined and regulated in the statutes separately, making it an exception to this part of the law. This is not a new change. It has been in the statutes for many years. There was an assumption by most everyone that it must be legal since the larger #330 size trap is legal — not so. It is illegal by omission and not by definition, as it was not addressed at the time that this statute was written. If you set the #280-size Conibear-type trap and you are checked by a Wildlife Enforcement Officer, you are subject to be charged with the violation. The NCTA and the NCWRC studied this at great length before trapping season. The Commission does not have the authority to allow trappers to violate a state law.

We are, however, making this issue a priority for the next legislative session. I appreciate all that the Commission did to try to help us to find a way to still be able to use this trap while the proposed changes to make it legal are being worked on. I understand and fully support their position in this matter. It should be resolved by the 2009-2010 trapping season.

It is once again time for the public hearings on proposed changes to hunting, fishing and trapping laws for the next season. We have two items of particular interest this year. It is proposed that raccoon trapping be allowed in District 9, the last remaining district in the state where raccoon trapping is not allowed. It is also proposed to remove the western otter trapping limit.

Trappers have attended the hearings in good numbers the past few years. We have been fortunate to achieve many positive changes in the laws for the benefit of North Carolina trappers. I encourage you to again attend and voice support for the proposed changes. Even though you may not reside or trap in the affected areas, it is important that you attend. The western trappers supported changes that affected the rest of the state, so let’s be reciprocal and support them. After all, it is in everyone’s best interest to work for increased trapping opportunities for all of us.

The following is the schedule of public hearings. All hearings begin at 7 p.m.

Jan. 7, 2009 (Wednesday), District 5, Graham, Graham High School Auditorium
Jan. 8, 2009 (Thursday), District 6, Norwood, South Stanley High School
Jan. 13, 2009 (Tuesday), District 8, Morganton, Municipal Auditorium
Jan. 14, 2009 (Wednesday), District 9, Silva, Southwestern Community College
Jan. 15, 2009 (Thursday), District 7, Boonville, Starmount High School
Jan. 20, 2009 (Tuesday), District 1, Edenton, Swain Auditorium
Jan. 21, 2009 (Wednesday), District 2, New Bern, Courthouse
Jan. 22, 2009 (Thursday), District 3, Rocky Mount Nash Community College
Jan. 28, 2009 (Wednesday), Raleigh, NCWRC Headquarters, Centennial Campus

The Jan. 28 hearing is to receive comment on proposed regulations changes to depredation permits, non-game permits, controlled shooting preserves and emergency powers of the Executive Director. This hearing may be of interest to WDCA folks as there is a proposal to disallow the sale of live fox and coyotes taken on a permit to licensed pens outside the normal trapping seasons.

I expect these hearings to be very crowded and to take longer than usual due to the proposed changes to deer seasons that would change muzzleloader seasons and extend the eastern deer season much further west. There is also a proposal to eliminate the youth turkey hunting day and change it to a friends and family day. I encourage you to study these proposed changes and comment as your conscience dictates if you are so inclined.

We continue to make progress in planning for the NTA Southeastern Regional to be held at The Senator Bob Martin Eastern Agriculture Center, Williamston on May 1-3, 2009. Although I will still be involved in planning for the event, I am taking a less up-front role. Wayne Rose and David Underwood have accepted the task of putting this together along with the Convention Committee. The vendor letters, along with the interior layout, will soon be mailed. I hope that the Web site will soon have all the pertinent information necessary to advertise the event. A preliminary demo list has been prepared. Tony White is on top of the demo area planning and construction.

We will need many volunteers to make this happen. I encourage you to step up and give back to the Association with a bit of your time. You do not need to work every day, but any help is greatly appreciated. Please contact David Underwood, 704-272-7876 or at capntrap@yahoo.com and let him know what you are able to do.

The fur market news of the past month is pretty grim. Prime northwestern and central raccoon are not selling very well nor at good prices compared to last year. Demand for other fur is really not there so far. It seems that a waiting game is being played to see what the first NAFA sale shows. Do we trap and hope that things improve, or do we take this as a sign that the fur market, along with every other market, is in a very bad recession and curtail our efforts. I cannot advise, as I am just an old retired cop with no insight into the financial world.

Personally, I have not put out a large fur line for two reasons. First, even though the season opened November 1, I feel that this staring date is a little early if one is to harvest the best marketable fur. Around Thanksgiving is better. Second, I am reluctant to harvest fur in volume if I cannot move it. On the other hand, one cannot sell what one does not have. So, how does one deal with this dilemma? You can call your local buyer to see if he is buying, what he is buying and at what price. You can harvest and put up your fur, and wait to see if a market develops.

If no market, you can always re-focus or curtail your efforts. On the bright side, it actually costs less to trap right now than it did last year due to lower fuel costs. We’ll see how long that lasts before the producers cut production and raise prices or the politicians add new taxes.

I think that I will use this rainy afternoon to do prep work on traps, so I will close for now. As always, be safe and introduce someone to trapping and the outdoors.

— Jimmy Pierce

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