Oklahoma Furbearer Alliance March 2009 Report

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

Vice President — Janice Johnson, 18197 S. 337th W. Ave., Bristow, OK 74010; phone: 918-367-3810; e-mail: jjohnson6431@sbcglobal.net

Secretary — John Weygandt, 4720 S. 26th W. Ave., Tulsa, OK 74107; phone: 918-557-1282; 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 — Darrell Woodward; P.O. Box 580416, Tulsa, OK 74134; phone: 918-625-3891;
e-mail: ibtrapn@aol.com

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

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


Hello Oklahoma Trappers and hunters,

I write this newsletter with just a few days left before our first of two fur sales that the association will hold this year. I have no idea what prices will be given or offered for our fur, I just know that it will be quite a bit lower than the past few years. I do know that we have already about 45 people pre-registered for lots at the Feb. 7 sale and I would imagine that we will have quite a few more show up at the door. I hope that we do OK with our furs. When many of you are reading this newsletter, we will be holding our last sale of the year on Feb. 28, at El Reno, OK, at the fairgrounds building. We will have just ended our bobcat season and will be ready to sell the rest of the late season furs.

Hopefully the price will be stable or increasing and these late season furs are typically the best quality for the ’cats and beavers so they should be at a premium. If the sales are low, don’t blame the local buyers, they are going to pay as much as they can, hopefully without losing any money. They still have to make a profit, with whatever margin they feel is worth the risk, on what they spend hoping to recoup their cost of fur handling, building and overhead expenses, and interest payments on borrowed money. These expenses are all part of the risk that they don’t have any control over as many of these are global economic factors. When it comes down to factors that we can control, just put a little time in fur presentation and give yourself all the advantage you can create.

If you bring your fur in green, make sure it is washed or at least brushed to clean up any mud or burrs to make the fur look its cleanest. If you go to the next step and stretch and dry your fur, once again make sure the furs are brushed to improve the final appearance. I would recommend that if you don’t know how to stretch the furs to the Canadian Auction Standards, that you bring your furs in green because once it is dried, you can’t change the shape. Fur buyers take the time to make the furs look uniform and stretch the furs to their optimum shape and size to make their money. If you get this done right, you save the buyer time and money and therefore you should be paid a premium over green furs.

However, if done incorrectly, you will loose money as the buyer can’t improve a “bad” fur. One more benefit of stretching your furs is that you have more options for the sale of your work. If you are not satisfied with your offer, you can take the furs to another buyer. You can sell your furs through the Canadian Auctions, ship them to other buyers around the country or even hold them over to sell at a later date or year. If you don’t sell your furs at our sale, be sure to get a holdover form from the Oklahoma wildlife department or from us at the fur auction or online from our Web site.

If you do elect to hold over some furs, be aware of potential problems. All of these I know from experience. You must hold even stretched and dried furs in the freezer (cold storage) or they will be bug infested and become stale and yellowed. Even if you have furs in the freezer, you can have a freezer go off and you can loose everything. Again I know this from experience.

However sometimes you can be rewarded from year to year by holding furs and hoping for a better market. Also if your furs are stretched and dried, this might be a good year to send off some furs to the tannery. It is nice to have some tanned furs that you caught to show off and you can then also sell these tanned furs to anyone, not just fur buyers.

I also want to remind everyone of our spring meeting at Okemah. We will have it on March 28. We are going to hold it at the new Fairgrounds building about one mile east of town on SH-56. Please bring a side dish, salad or dessert to go along with our main brisket meal. We will have demos scheduled throughout the day. Also please remember to bring three of your trap tags for a fundraiser that we are trying to make.

We will have more details at the meeting. We will also hold a Board of Directors meeting on Friday night before the spring meeting and everyone is invited to come sit in our discussions. Please contact myself or John Weygandt for directions. One more thing, it is with great sadness that I have to announce the resignation of our NTA director Darrell Woodward. He has represented our Oklahoma associations for the last 12 years at the NTA meetings, Oklahoma meetings and other functions. We owe a great debt to him for all of his time. He tells me that he will continue to be around the association, but not as the NTA director. Please tell him thanks again for all of his time that he dedicated to the association. On that note, please think of who you would like to have represent us at the NTA Conventions and other meetings. We will take nominations and hold an interim election to fill the slot until we go to our general election cycle in the future.

Hope to see you all at the fur sales and spring meeting.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or send me a note.

Thanks for the opportunity to represent you as president of the association.

— Shannon Sheffert


I just returned home from the 5th annual youth trappers camp. What a great success this was! Even with all of the trials and tribulations that were involved with making it happen this year. I have to give a huge thanks to all who helped make it happen. As you might have heard, we lost the ranch that we have had this on two weeks before the scheduled date. It had become a mad scramble to find a new home for our youth event. We owe a great debt to Ron Justice of the ODWC for connecting us with Herman Mienders who was gracious enough to let us have access to this to his ranch and facilities. In the end, we were blessed by God and given what I believe to be the best possible home we could ever ask for, Glory to God!

 Thank you John Weygant, Darrel Woodward, Shannon Sheffert, Jeb Hollingshead, for your hard work and dedication to these youths, They learned so much from your leadership and time in the field from you. Thanks to Vivian Scott who always comes through and is right in the mix when help is needed. There were some parents that came with their youths that were so helpful, Ed, Bill and Malcom were a blessing to have there. There was one person who really deserves a special thanks though, Glenda Brought her son Cody and was up before dawn every day and ran the kitchen like a well oiled machine. This lady worked very hard through the whole event. Thank you Glenda!

 I cannot give enough thanks for all of the youths that attended. We had 40 attendees total, 30 of which were youths. These young ladies and gentlemen had the best time and never did I here a complaint from any of them.

 To see their trapping skills advance as quickly as they did was amazing. I expect to see many of these youths bringing some spectacular furs to the auctions soon. The youths were truly sponges for trapping information and they soaked it up quickly. I could truly write for pages on the great experiences that I was given by these young people. I guess the best way to put it is that my heart is filled with happiness and love from spending these five days with them.

 We were given not only an invitation to return and hold this event on the ranch next year, but to quote the owner of this facility, Herman Mienders, we “left the place in a hell of a lot better shape than when we arrived.” That alone says much about the group that came this year. When it was time to clean and work, our youths jumped right in there.

 We already have the date for next year set and it will once again be a five-day affair. We can always use more help from our members, so please come and be a part of this in 2009. We have many ways to improve on next years camp and now that we have a home for it I know that it will get better and better.
 I am sure that I have missed a thank you to someone, if so, forgive me, but know, that I am thankful for you.

Thank you all again, and God bless.


— Richard Thornburg

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