Oklahoma Furbearer Alliance December 2008 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
http://oktrapper.com

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hello fur harvesters,

As you read this newsletter, trapping season is opening here in Oklahoma.  I hope your deer season was successful and you have your freezer full of fresh meat and you are ready to get some steel in the ground.

This is a difficult report to write as the election is right around the corner and will be completed (finally) by the time you read this column. We have several things that will affect us as trappers and hunters by the outcome of the election and we can only wait to see how things shake out. Our state and national elections will affect us by who gets into office and the policies that they bring with them on the economy and gun rights issues.

The state question 742, the Wildlife Management issue will hopefully pass with a yes vote to put a lock on who makes wildlife management decisions, either a possible ballot initiative or leave these decisions in the hands of the wildlife department. The wildlife management state question is so important that we made several pushes to educate the public about the need for this constitutional amendment. You were all mailed a post card with the information relating to the state question, and then we put some information in some newspapers around the state, and even broadcast information on radio stations across the state. I heard Richard Thornberg on the radio with a very professional message for the need to vote yes on this state question. Thank you to all who helped to generate interest and support for this question.  I also want to thank the National Trappers Association for their help on this issue. I hope that you took the opportunity to go vote.

On a different topic. I got some more information from the Wildlife Department about the Outdoor Expo that was held in the end of September. The overall attendance was around 39,000 people! Over half of the people that attended were with family. About 90 percent of visitors rated their experience as very good to excellent. Many were from urban areas.  We also had 80 schools in attendance with over 5,000 students there on Friday’s “School Day.”

Again, thanks to all who worked the booth, some from Thursday set up to Sunday cleanup. You helped  educate people from all across the state on traps, furs and the need for trapping as a management tool.

We held the fall meeting on Oct. 18 at the VFW Hall in McAlester. We had a wonderful turnout and the weather was beautiful. Thanks to all for the demos and talks. Terry Thornton gave us a good briefing about the fur market ‘guess’ and fur handling. Billy Baily’s demo on otter trapping gave me a lot to think about and I am ready to head to SE Oklahoma to try to catch an otter. Leon Melton held a set placement demo that was well attended. There are always some side conversations of people exchanging ideas on how to better make sets and use lures that to me are just as helpful as a full-blown demo. Bill Scherman did his best to empty our pockets on the fundraising auction and did a great job.

Also, thanks for the donations from our vendors and other people who brought stuff. Emilee Sheffert and Mason Onstott also held a fun game for kids and awarded quite a few prizes from toys to flashlights, a fishing rod and a Daisy Red Rider BB gun. I saw a lot of excitement in the eyes of the little boy who won the fishing rod kit and the ‘Grand’ prize, the Red Rider BB gun winner was Reginald Murray’s Daughter. TJ and Ashley and Emilee helped  with the pumpkin carving with the kids. John Weygandt, Ron and Vivian Scott, Leo Farmer,Edith Margie, Sherry Covington, Cathy Sheffert and Tina Presley all helped around the meeting with everything.

I am sure that I missed some who were working, so I apologize if I missed your name. Without you all, the meeting would not have been a success.

We did decide to hold two fur sales this winter. The first sale will be on Feb. 7 and the second sale will be on Feb. 28. Locations to be announced later. We will need some help at each fur sale to set up the sale, serve meals in the kitchen, carry furs and cleanup etc. If you help, you will have a reserved spot for selling your furs at the sale.  Please contact me if you can help.

Tom Peterson is going to create a couple stretcher boards with name tags from as many of the trappers around Oklahoma as we can compile. If you would, please send or bring three trap tags with your name to Tom. We will be taking in the trap tags at the fur sales and for the next couple meetings until he can assemble the boards. We are going to auction one off, and then have a drawing for one of the other name tag boards from the people who send in tags. If you have any questions, please contact Tom Peterson. Tom’s address is 3506 Everett, Sandsprings OK, 74063 and his phone number is (918)241-2677.

Last but not least is the annual Youth Trappers Camp to be held at the end of December. John Weygandt is coordinating the event on the 28th of December to the 1st of January. From the interest that has been expressed, I am thinking that we may have around 100 participants! Please consider helping John even if it is just for one day during the camp to help as a trapping instructor, camp cook or general helper. We should have a good time and hopefully the kids will get to catch some critters. We will also probably have some side trips planned to see the buffalo on the ranch.
Good luck on the trapline.

— Shannon Sheffert

NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Hello, fellow trappers,

By the time you read this, we will have a new president and state question 742 will be decided on. This incentive if passed will ensure all hunting, fishing and trapping in the state Oklahoma. The Humane Society of the United States Web site said convicts would now be allowed to carry firearms and hunt, toothed steel traps would be legal, it would be open season on all animals, it would take away your ability to protect wildlife in Oklahoma, it would prohibit citizen initiatives to protect wildlife, it could lead to a rash of lawsuits and, best of all, it would allow eagles to be hunted. This just goes to show you what dirty tactics and lies the anti’s will pull to get their way!

I would like to thank Tracy Anderson for bringing this up, and the gentleman from Sallisaw, OK (Sorry, can’t remember your name). If it wasn’t for you gentlemen, we probably would have not got the ball rolling as we did.

I would also like to thank the NTA for the $3,000 donation! Thank you President Kaats and Jim Curren and the entire NTA council for your fast response! And all the other members and officers of Oklahoma Fur Bearer Alliance for their hard work on this issue! It seems that we have had no other help to my knowledge from other Oklahoma sportsmen, hunting or fishing organizations statewide or nationally. If so, please forgive me for my ignorance.

Now, back to business, on Oct. 18, we had our fall convention in McAlister. We had a pretty good turn out, and all seemed to enjoy themselves! We had demos, and supply dealers. Thank you Dub Shankel and Jeb Hollinshouse for bringing supplies and goodies. Also for your donations and for the auction and kids camp. Thank you Don Cooper who could not attend for your donations.

During our meeting the kids camp was brought up. This year we expect a really big turnout. We will be on a different part of the ranch this year. For the past three years, it has been held in between Hominy and Fairfax. This year it will be held closer to Pawhuska. This ranch we take the kids on is 70 square miles. It’s the second largest ranch in Oklahoma. The dates will be Dec. 28 to 30. Please register for this camp, go to oktraper.com for more information! You must have a release form. We need volunteers for this camp, half a day, full day or more! The hat was passed around for the kids camp and I believe we had a lil over $300 put in the hat. Thank you so much to those who donated. Our fur auctions, and spring convention dates were set, go to the Web site for more details.

We held our auction and did very well! I would like to thank everyone for a great convention! Myself and Tracy Anderson went to the Kansas Fur Harvesters convention on Oct. 3 and had a great time. Those people really know how to put on a good time for all! Jeb and Dub were there selling there supplies. I saw a lot of Okies there! I’m glad they’re having it at Yate Center again next year. I will be sure to be there! BJ and Janis Johnston were going to attend, but do to the loss of her aunt, there were not able to. My condolences go out to them for their loss!

If you ever get the chance, you should go to the Kansas convention. You won’t be sorry! Can’t think of anything else right off hand, except thank you Richard Thronburg for the radio spots you did for us, on state question 742! If I missed anyone, I’m sorry, there’s just too many of you to mention. Time to get your traps ready! And hopefully we will have a great season. Till next time, happy trapping!

— Darrell Woodward

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