Oklahoma Furbearer Alliance April-May 2009

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


Our worst fears about fur prices have come to pass this year. Hopefully you were one of those who had too much else going on and didn’t spend much time trapping or fur harvesting this winter. The only good thing is that fuel prices were at the lowest level in several years so it didn’t “cost “ as much to trap this winter. Our two fur sales went off without any problems other than the poor fur prices. This was a good year to only have two sales as the events cost the association money this year rather than making us any money. We will have high, low and average prices posted on our Web site and at the spring meeting.

They were bad to say the least. I ended up bringing my ’coons and beavers home to put back into the freezer. I don’t know whether I will try to work them up to send to Canada, get them tanned or just sit on them for a year hoping the prices will go up next year. If my ’coons go from $3 each to $6 next year, I have doubled my money, but then again I hope my freezer doesn’t go out this summer like it did last year. I know that most of you don’t consider me a gambler, but this is big money for me, 8 ’coons at $3 each= $24 and if I double my money, I will almost have $50! Take out of this, the cost of the fuel for about 400 miles to go to the sales, the motel stay in El Reno and the electric bill to keep my freezer going and well, it looks like I am losing money again on this deal. Please don’t tell my wife and I won’t tell yours.

We had a lot of disappointed trappers to say the least and all that I can say is I hope that next year is better. I don’t think that it can be any worse. I was just hoping that the Economic Stimulus Package from Congress would have some money in it for the trappers or at least the fur buyers so they could pay more for our furs. The best thing about low prices is that there are lots of critters out there for the beginner trapper to learn on in these times. I am just worried that with the limited harvest, we are going to see a lot of disease issues running through our overpopulated wildlife. The large numbers of bobcats, raccoons, skunks and opossums are also going to play havoc on our quail, rabbit and turkey populations.

On a different note, we are going to have our spring meeting about the time this newspaper reaches most of our members. The meeting will be in Okemah at the new fairgrounds building just east of town on SH-56 (Columbia Street). We are going to have a directors meeting on Friday night at the Kbar Cafe or at the fairgrounds. We have not set up the meeting location yet so please call or one of the directors for time and place. Everyone is welcome to attend the directors meeting. The main meeting will be on Saturday, March 28 starting at 8 a.m. Please bring a friend and family to this fun event. We are going to have several trapping demos, events for the kids and a couple competitions. One of the competitions will be timed beaver skinning. Since I caught a lot of beavers this winter and didn’t have time to skin them and the prices were low, I elected to freeze six or eight 20-pound beavers for this event. Please bring your beaver skinning knives and be ready to earn the title of fastest beaver skinner in the state.

Remember that Tom Peterson is working on a fundraising project to put all of our members trap tags on a couple wood stretchers. Please bring or send to us three of your trap tags. Also please plan on eating the pot luck lunch with us on Saturday. We will supply the main course meat, but please bring a salad, vegetable or dessert. I always look forward to the great desserts that come in from the ladies.

We need to say thanks for a lot of hard work by the volunteers that have helped at the Youth trappers camp and the fur sales. I forgot to thank BJ and Janice Johnson for the deer meat that they donated to the youth camp. By the way, BJ was injured in a traffic accident late in January, but he is getting better so please keep them in your prayers. Then at the fur sales we had quite a bit of help from our directors and other volunteers. Vivian and Ron Scott, John and Renee Weygandt and their daughters, Bill Scherman, Terry Waggoner, TJ Norman, Reginald and Jennifer Murray and kids, Leo Farmer, Kurtis Price and Steve Hanson and scouts with Troop 344, Will Drumgold, Janice Johnson and Gene Calloway all helped in some way or another. I am sure that I missed some folks, so I am sorry, but thanks for all your help.

There, I remembered another couple folks, my wife Cathy and our daughter Emilee who helped with the kitchen concessions and Mason Onstott who worked with the dice game fundraising game at the first sale. We will definitely continue with the fur sales, where and when and how many we will decide at the meetings where we will get your opinion as to what you want for the future sales. Thanks again to all of the workers for all of your help. Another person that we need to say thank you to is Melvin Sheik from Tuttle, OK for some fur donations to the association. Mr. Sheik donated several ’coons and a bobcat with the note to donate the sale proceeds to the association. Thanks again to Mr. Sheik.

One more thing to put on your calendar is the Annual Trappers Workshop that Janice and BJ have been hosting the first week of June. The plan right now is to keep it at the Gentry Creek Campground on Lake Eufalula east of Dewar, OK. We will have more details at the spring meeting but the plan is to hold the campout on Friday June 5 through Sunday June 7.

On a sad note, we recently lost a great old-time trapper from Noble County. Bud Nagel came to the first Fur Sale in Chandler, but he passed away in late February. He has been a champion for Hunter Safety and Trapper Education all around the state of Oklahoma. I have had many conversations with him on issues relating to trapper training, beaver trapping and meeting suggestions over the years. But the one time that I will cherish most was a couple hours spent in his back yard with him showing me and a friend how he makes his coyote sets. His definition of a true double on coyotes is two coyotes caught the same night in two traps at the same set using traps on drags. He didn’t miss many coyotes and he always had some very good looking furs at the sales. We are all going to miss Bud Nagel. Please keep his family in your prayers.

And last but not least, we have had some help with our request for an extension to the Furbearer Season dates by Representative Pruett and Senator Corn. The proposal is House Bill 1465 by Rep. Pruett and Sen. Corn. and it expands the harvest season for furbearers through the last day of February. The bill would be effective Nov. 1, 2009. As I write this newsletter, the bill passed the House (95-0); and it now goes to the Senate. You can track this bill on the Oklahoma Predator Hunters forum which is where TJ Norman got this update. Good news to say the least!

I look forward to seeing you all at the spring meeting and please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions for the meetings or other events.

— Shannon Seffert

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