Oklahoma Fur Bearer Alliance February 2011 Report

President — Tom Peterson, phone: 918-241-2677

Vice President — Shannon Sheffert, 1301 Old Bumpy Rd., Stillwater, OK 74074; cell phone: 405-742-7884; e-mail: ssheffert@odot.org

Secretary — John Weygandt, 4720 S. 26th W. Ave., Tulsa, OK 74107; phone: 918-645-5667;
e-mail: j.weygandt@maccor.com

Treasurer — Vivian Scott, P.O. Box 179, Alderson, OK 74522; phone: 918-426-6918;
e-mail: littlerockmeme@msn.com

FTA Director — Terry Thornton, Rt. 2 Box 71, Hartshorne, OK 74547; phone: 918-297-2073

NTA Director — Leo Farmer, phone: 918-616-7662

Membership Options:

• 1-year membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Family membership with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Lifetime (Over 70) with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $150
• Lifetime with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $300
• Youth membership — $10

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

OFBA, Treasurer
Vivian Scott
P.O. Box 179, Alderson, OK 74522

918-426-6918; littlerockmeme@msn.com

http://oktrapper.com

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hello trappers and hunters,

I write this newsletter right at the end of the year 2010. Lots of things have happened over the past year relating to family, friends, the economy, elections and fur markets.  One thing that I noticed is that I am just now getting used to writing 2010 on checks and on January 1st 2011, I will have to start over again.

The year has gone fast for me. I have a lot to be thankful for with the health and well-being of my family. I have a wonderful job working with County Commissioners all across the state on their bridge and road projects and that allows me to see much of this incredible state we live in here in Oklahoma. From the Cyprus swamps in the SE to the high desert Black Mesa in the northwest corner of the panhandle, and everything in between. Grassland pastures and CRP fields, pine and oak timber forests, Mesquite flats, wetlands, peanut fields, pecan trees and wheat fields; we have it all. With that much variety of habitat, there is something for everyone to trap and hunt across Oklahoma.

I caught my first otters this year in Choctaw and McCurtain Counties as well as an accidental one in Canadian County near Mustang. I have had a chance to hunt coyotes in several counties across the state, and even called a double on bobcats. I caught a red fox on the high school football field, and trapped beavers in a wilderness type setting down in Choctaw County. Most of my trapping has been for nuisance wildlife but each animal is its own unique challenge. Catching a skunk out from under a house can be as rewarding as catching the bobcat that is getting $50 dollar apiece exotic pheasants from a friend’s bird pen. The main thing is that there is so much to do and so little time to do it all!

I talked with Monte Dodson who has caught several coyotes, a gray fox and a couple of coons.  That may not sound like much fur to some trappers, but for the little area that he traps on over in Cherokee County that is a pretty good catch. And  the fact that Mr. Dodson is about 84 years young and still out trapping each day that is great. I have been working with our state Fur Bearer Biologist, Eric Bartholemew, and is a great pleasure to me to have him call and tell me what he caught in his sets and ask questions about what to do to try to catch that first coyote.

He needs to talk to a better trapper than me about the coyotes but at least he is having fun! He is well on his way with his first bobcat and coons and skunks. However, I know that there are several out there who have not even set a trap since the prices are down and they are busy.

This is a great time to take some friend or a kid out to get them started as the furbearer population is high and competition is non-existent.
From what I hear from our fur buyers, I think that the fur market is much better than last year, especially on the cats. I hope that like TJ Norman says, “you take the leap of faith and go get some sets out to catch some fur.”  Traps still hanging in the barn won’t catch anything but dust and anything you bring to the sale will be saleable. I hope that cat prices will be double that of last year. Looks like otters and muskrats will also be higher than the recent past. The recent blizzards across the upper part of the country will have all but shut down the trapping up north, so if buyers want fur they will need to spend some money down here and buy some our furs.

I do need to clean up a change of what I reported last month about our summer trappers rendezvous. We tried to reserve our location at the Gentry Creek Campground but due to construction, they could not assure us that the camp ground would be open. Instead, we moved the location to Fort Gibson Lake.  We are going to meet the first weekend of June, at the Rocky Point Campground. We have a pavilion rented in case of bad weather. The Presley’s have a couple campsites reserved at the campground, (# 61 and 62) so that is where I will try to get nearby campsites.

John Weygandt asked me to have everyone check out our website forum. Our site, www.oktrapper.com is really a good site that has lots of good information about our association, upcoming events, links to other associations and the before mentioned forum. Please check it out and participate with the other trappers.

Two last items. Please be aware of our two fur sales coming up right away. The first is the sale on Saturday, February 5th at Chandler at the expo center on SH-66 just west of town. The second sale will be on March 5th at Okmulgee at the Fairgrounds building on the NW side of town. Please check with John Weygandt for lot numbers, (918)645-6667 or his email address is    j.weygandt@maccor.com. If you cannot get in touch with John, he has a lot going on right now with work, please feel free to contact me and I will help you out. Furs do not have to be stretched. They can be skinned or even brought in whole, but try to avoid that if possible.

Remember to thaw out your cats and otters so that they can be tagged by department biologists who will be at the sale to help us. If you bring furs from last year, please remember to bring in your copy of the holdover forms that you filled out and sent in to the ODWC. There will also be trap supply dealers at the sales to replenish your  traps, lures and other supplies.

The last item is the purchase of your trappers license. In the last newsletter, I mentioned that the holders of lifetime hunting or lifetime combo licenses were now exempt from the purchase of the amateur trapping license. As it turns out, even the professional license is covered under the new regulations. Therefore, those of us who have a lifetime hunting or lifetime hunting and fishing license are  now exempt from having to renew our trapping license. This is another good reason to purchase a lifetime license.

They even have payment plans for those who can’t afford the license at this time. I don’t know of a better gift, be it birthday, anniversary or Christmas present than a lifetime license. And for those of us who are trapping with a NWCO permit and we had to buy a professional license, it only takes a few years to pay for the lifetime license! You might think about using your fur check to buy a lifetime license and that way you will remember forever what you did with your fur check from 2010/2011.

Hope all is well with you and hope to see you at the sales.

— Shannon Sheffert

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