Oklahoma Furbearer Alliance January 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
http://oktrapper.com

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

I just have a few quick things to report. The state question 742 ballot initiative passed at a rate of almost 80 percent in favor of the measure. The question doesn’t change anything except that anything dealing with wildlife law is now officially under the watch of the Wildlife Department/Commission. What this does is to make it harder for groups like PETA and the Humane Society to introduce ballot initiatives to ban things like trapping, bow hunting or even hunting morning doves like they have done in other states. We had some great help from the National Trappers Association to help get this passed. You all should have received a card in the mail, we had some articles in newspapers and Richard Thornberg put together some very good radio spots that were broadcast on several radio stations statewide. Thanks to all of you for your help and support.

We decided at the fall convention to hold two fur sales this winter. The locations may not be the best for everyone, but we have locations and dates as follows. We will hold them this year on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009, at Chandler at the Expo center and on Saturday Feb. 28 at El Reno at the fairgrounds. I am sorry if these are not as close to your place as you would like, but these are somewhat centrally located to try to benefit the most trappers around the state. Please mark your calendar to reflect the fur sale dates and pass the word so others can find out about the sales. Please contact John Weygandt (918) 645-5667 to reserve a table at each sale.

If you are going to hold any furs for the second sale like raccoons, opossums or foxes, you must have a “hold over form” from the wildlife department or you can download it from our association Web site. We can always use a couple more people to help at the sales and we reserve some tables for the workers in the middle of the sale. The prices are probably going to be lower than in the recent past according to the fur market reports, however you should get all that the fur buyers can afford at the sale as there are more than a few buyers present who are wanting to pick up as much fur as they can. Furs can be brought stretched and dried, skinned and unstretched “green” or unskinned. Usually the furs like coyotes, foxes and opossums that are stretched properly will bring a few dollars more than green furs.

However, I would suggest that all bobcats be skinned, frozen and then freshly thawed out right before the sale and be brought unstretched. From years of watching the fur sales, the bobcat market for the trapper is best for “green” unstretched furs as the bobcat, even a good quality fur, looks somewhat “flatter” once it is dried. The biggest factors that determine price are the quality of the fur, size of the animal, time of season it was caught and even what part of the state it was captured. Large, well-spotted cats caught late in the season from western and northern Oklahoma are going to bring the most money for the trapper. There will be a market for all of our furs, it may be lower than what we hope, but if you are in the business for money only, you need to go find a better paying job.

Trapping is hard work, dealing with cold weather, difficult laws regulating our fur industry and a market that is way out of our control relating to all aspects of the economy, global weather, the stock market, oil prices and many other factors that don’t seem to have anything to do with trapping here in your home county. But if you are like me, I will still be out trapping this winter with cold fingers, leaky waders and a truck stuck in the mud or snow, hoping to catch a few critters each day to warm the heart.

Good luck on the trapline, take time to thank God for the opportunity to live in the greatest nation on earth. Take a friend or a kid and introduce them to the trapline and show them the wonders of nature.

Thanks.

— Shannon Seffert

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