North Dakota Fur Hunters & Trappers Association January 2009 Report

President — Rick Tischaefer, P.O. Box 334, Butte, ND 58723-0334; phone: 701-626-7150; e-mail:

Vice President — Marty Beard, 9101 119th St. SE, Bismarck, ND 58504; phone: 701-224-0878

Secretary — Jeremy Duckwitz, 361 78th Ave. NE, Carrington, ND 58421; phone: 701-674-3535;

Treasurer — Linda Penry, 3235 Crested Drive N., Mandan, ND 58554; phone: 701-667-9380;

Fur Harvester Education Program Coordinator — Rick Tischaefer, P.O. Box 334,Butte, ND 58723-0334; phone: 701-626-7150; e-mail:

Membership Options:
• Junior (14 and under) membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $12
• Adult membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Family membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Lifetime with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $250
• Lifetime (62 and over) with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $150

Complete membership application on first page of the association news section and send dues to:
NDFHTA, Treasurer
Linda Penry
3235 Crested Dr. N., Mandan, ND 58554


I hope this report finds everyone in good shape and enjoying a bit of winter. Just a little bit of business this month.
1. Thanks to each of you who donated deer hides and pelts for the wild fur program so far. These donations are important and know that your help allows the association to move forward. The deer hide portion of the program will end about the middle of January (with the close of the archery season), but the wild fur will continue through spring. The drawing for the deer hide program will occur at the winter meeting. Again, thanks to each of you for your help!

2. The winter meet is just around the corner! Phil Mastrangelo plans to have the winter issue of the “Dakota Skinner” out in late January or early February, and that will have more details about the event. If you’d like to advertise or list something for sale in this issue, get a hold of Phil and let him know. It’s not expensive at all and will help make the issue a better read. It looks as though the facility in Bismarck is reserved for the last weekend in February. Mark your calendars! If you have some demonstration ideas or suggestions for the event, contact John Paulson at 471-2178.

3. Planning ahead – Instructors should be thinking and talking about fur harvester education classes for ’09. Dates, locations, soliciting help, and passing the information up the chain should occur in the next couple of months. I’ll be looking for the information from the district coordinators in April – that’ll get it out to the public so everyone can plan accordingly. Hunter education classes are the best resource for potential students. Keep an eye out in your local area and make arrangements for a short presentation in a hunter education class. If you need help doing that, contact your district director.

4. District 2 will be holding the summer event in ’09. Dates, location, and planning for the event will need to start soon. Let’s work at making this another successful rendezvous. If you have ideas or would like to see something this year, pass the information along to Ron Gore (District 2 Director 543-3855).

5. For the folks working the bobcat season, pay attention to the sign and avoid the lions. There are a few things you can do to make your sets more selective if you are working the same area where there’s lion sign: Footholds – snuggle your footholds so a coyote or bobcat will feel comfortable placing their foot there, but the larger pawed lion won’t; Cables – use the 8” x 8” rule (loop size and height) for your cable loops and make sure your break-a-way devices are what they’re supposed to be. Anchor both your footholds and cable devices to hold a battleship – toe catches can leave the foothold behind and the cables will open as they need to do. In regards to visiting your sets, do it often and be regular about it. That way if you do catch a lion and hold one, it can be taken care of in a timely manner. It’s important to do things right out there this year as our future depends on it.

6. I recently completed the on-line nationwide trapper education course from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA). There were six of us “test dummies” from around the country for this go around, and plans are to have everything in place and ready to go for ’09. The online portion compliments the education program within the states and makes it a bit easier for folks to get this important information. An individual can take the basic course on-line and then attend a field day to complete the course. We’ll have that as a resource for our education program in the near future.

7. Interesting reports – Grinner (also known as opossum) – ’08 was a good year for grinner reports (actually the most ever reported to me). Phil Mastrangelo reports a grinner cage trapped by a farmer near Baldwin (north of Bismarck); Ron Gore also reports a grinner cage trapped by a rancher near Valley City; and as I was traveling to the Minnesota Trappers Association in August, I confirmed a grinner road kill on the Hwy 52 bypass west of Jamestown. Bobcat – Dorothy (NDGFD) sent me an e-mail of a bobcat road kill in the northeast corner of the state. Let me know if you’ve come across something interesting too (from the furbearer world).

8. The landscape in Washington has changed as a result of the elections, as well as some governorships across the country. Having been around for a little while, things appear to be stacking up for what mirrors 1992–1996, and what could very well be 1996–2000. Many good things were accomplished in the ‘90’s, but many bad things happened too.

No other time in our history: 1) did more states lose their trapping privileges; 2) were there more attempts to restrict trapping activity on federal lands; 3) were there more attempts to thwart the Second Amendment; or 4) were there more unwarranted restrictions placed on law abiding gun owners. Much of the federal legislation to do it all over again has already been introduced – in fact it’s introduced annually – but the landscape is different now and the chances it will move forward are much greater.

During the ‘90’s, I was president of another state association. As negative legislation (like mentioned earlier) came up, we’d have letter writing campaigns. Not only were folks encouraged to write their legislators in our newsletters and special mailings, but we also set up tables (with everything needed) at association meetings, rendezvous’, and public education opportunities so folks could sit right down and get it done. We’d even take care of the postage. The list of negative legislation was endless, and there was ALWAYS something to write your legislator about.

We’ll be doing that again – and I encourage you to keep the addresses/e-mail/telephone numbers of Senators Conrad and Dorgan, and Congressman Pomeroy handy. You’ll be contacting them if you care. Another means of support (if you aren’t already) is to join the United States Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) ( and the National Rifle Association (NRA) (
It’s time to step up to the plate and be the difference.

As always, remember to keep your membership current so you stay informed. As we go about our business calling or trapping, consider sharing your travels and experiences with someone who has yet to know these activities.

Until next time, take care, be safe and responsible and enjoy what Mother Nature and North Dakota have to offer. Chris and I extend to you and your families the hopes for a safe and happy holiday season!

Catch ‘ya.

— Rick Tischaefer

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