Pennsylvania Trappers Association December 2009 Report

President — Brian Mohn, 138 Farview Road, Hamburg, PA 19526

Vice-President East — Joel Whitehead, 845 Snake Hill Road, Thompson, PA 18465; e-mail:

Vice-President West — Ned Weston, 120 Swope Rd., West Sunbury, PA 16061; phone: 724-894-2239; e-mail:

Secretary — Tereasa Houtz, 300 Flint Ln., Landisburg, PA 17040; e-mail:

Treasurer — Ed Price, P.O. Box 327, Union Dale, PA 18470; phone: 570-679-2318; e-mail:

Editor — Russ Ford, 309 Pine Dale Rd., Carlisle, PA 17013; phone: 717-249-7271; fax: 717-249-8509; e-mail:

FTA Director — Mark Kasten, RR 2 Box 2287, Hallstead, PA 18822; phone: 570-278-2553; e-mail:

NTA Director — David Shuttleworth, 5452 Tamarack Drive, Sharpesville, PA 16150; phone: 724-962-4260; e-mail:

Public Relations Director — Mike Gontar, 87 West 7th St., Jim Thorpe, PA 18229; phone: 570-325-4974; fax: 570-325-4974; e-mail:

Membership Options:

Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
Individual membership without subscription — $10
Junior, age 16 and under without subscription — $5
Lifetime membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $300
Lifetime membership without subscription — $100

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

PTA Treasurer
Ed Price
P.O. Box 327, Union Dale, PA 18470


How is your trapping season progressing? While many people settle into their mundane winter habits, as trappers we persist the whole year looking forward to the trapping season. My family has been spending many evenings in the fur shed taking pride in putting up the furs we are catching. We continue to be optimistic that our time together on the trapline is the most valued part of our activity. As a producer of wild fur, we have little control over the prices we receive, but we do need to manage our traplines. So as a friend said, “Be Your Own Boss.”

There have been a few changes with the current trapping season’s regulations. Starting this year, during the cable restraint season we are permitted to keep incidental catches of furbearers that are currently open to harvest, example would be raccoon, opossum and skunks. A change in regulation restricted the harvesting of bobcats during the two-week antlered deer season’s daylight shooting hours. This action was prompted by PGC interpretation of the game codes to include trapping this year.

We will have our next officer and director meeting on Jan. 3. If there are any issues you would like for us to address, please contact myself or one of the board members. Please remember to support your district and attend their fur sale.

— Brian Mohn


Hello to All of You Fine Folks. Another month and another column to have the pleasure to write to all of you.

Well our time is here. By the time you read this, lots of “Outdoor Goodies” are being enjoyed by many. We all need to appreciate the fact that we get to enjoy the many things we get to do at this time of the year.
Still looking gloomy in the Fur Market. Most chances are it ain’t going to get better soon. My Opinion: Unless “O’Mighty Obama and other World Leaders get their acts together, things will not being jumping ahead soon. We’ll see what is ahead for us. But remember this: If you think negatively, negativity is what you get. Which goes to say this: Think Positive!

On thinking positively: Last week I was ambulanced to the hospital as I could not get my breath and was having chest pain. Turned out to be water and gunk on my lungs and a 99 percent artery blockage. At that time, I was not the “Chippist Guy” around. After getting those problems dealt with, I have realized that what happened happened because I caused it to happen. Let me explain: Over the past few years, I have let myself and others down by not taking better care of my body as well as my mind. I was worrying about stuff that I should have rid my mind of. As most of that stuff, I could not change. What’s to be will be. Sitting here having time to reflect and to think about what lies ahead, I am VERY FORTUNATE to realize that I can and will turn my lifestyle around. I can and will make my life better in all aspects of living. Therefore, having the “Good” from those health problems happen will give me the opportunity to turn thing around. This unnecessary worrying led me to somewhat forget the positives that I should be thinking about and making those positives come about. I have written the above in hopes that any and all of you might get something out of those reflections. It has given MUCH to me to have written them.

Have a great season! Enjoy the upcoming Holidays! Enjoy your life!

THANKS for your time.

— Russ Ford
P.S. To All REPORT WRITERS. Please go back to sending your reports to me in Pa. by the last day of each month. Also, try not to send as an attachment, but put them directly in your e-mail. One other thing about reports. It has become aware to me that a few reports were not printed in the past few months. This could have been caused by many things, but I do not know what caused those to be left out. Hopefully things will get worked out and you’ll get to read all the reports.


I’m sure none of you have much time to read this and I’m short on time myself so I will try to keep this short.
Crawford County did the Pumpkin Fest. Thanks Jim Murphy and all that were involved in that.

The Spring Gun Raffle is slated to be held April 3 at Sparrow Pond. Our spring meeting will be held in Forrest County on April 10. More info will be announced later.

Forest County held a Trappers Day on Oct. 18. Thanks Jim Howe for doing that.

Hope you all have a great season and are safe!

God Bless.

— Charlie Sykes



I hope by the time you read this, you’ve been enjoying the fall in the outdoors doing whatever you love. As I’m writing this, I have assorted stuff spread all over the garage, trying to get everything organized. I know that time flies by all too quick, so I’m going to try to set aside a little for some fun this year.

Good to see all who turned out at the Fall Rendezvous at the Washington County Fairgrounds. It seemed we had a pretty decent crowd there, and the weather held out for us. Thanks to everyone who helped out with the rondy and the cable restraint class. Also a big thanks to Greg Bell for coming down to sell the PTA canine book, and watching the district table when I left for one reason or another. We had a short meeting after the rondy, and a fairgrounds tour, so everyone could see the layout for the 2010 convention.

Our district scholarship winner was Jacob Swink, from Acme, PA in Westmoreland County. Jacob is a district member, and also a past graduate of our trapper’s school. Congrats, Jacob and also thanks to those who wrote essays for us.

Remember to mark your calendars for the district fur sale, Jan. 31 at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
Till next time.

— Dave Eckels


Opening the mailbox and getting the new T&PC mag reminded me to sit down and discuss trapping a little.
Our District’s summer ended on a good note, with a great showing at the Trapper Trainer Weekend held annually the last full weekend of September (15 years). Although the weather was extremely damp, over 60 students signed up Saturday with many well-seasoned veterans there to help the District and to shoot the Bull.

Saturday covers the basic of the sport — trap prep, dyeing, adjustment, etc. all the way to skinning and fur handling. There are a few demos for flat sets, dirtholes, cubbies and different ways to anchor your traps can always get someone’s mind wandering. A hot lunch, good friendship, many stories and a few good laughs are all tied into the afternoon.

Sunday the day of vendors and tailgaters offers everyone the chance to pick up the last-minute items needed, although we all have too much anyhow. The conclusion brought on the annual membership meeting. Season dates and limits, and bobcats and fishers were on most everyone’s mind wondering when we’ll be able to harvest one without a permit. A lot of the questions being asked were a little premature only because the P.T.A. O&D meeting was one week away.

Fur prices, what about FUR PRICES? It didn’t sound too inviting then, but the Trapper & Predator Caller sounds a little better. This might be a good time to try something different, maybe a lure or trap location although good habits are hard to brake.

Let’s hope for good weather, cold nights, prime fur and full traps.

See you in Jan at the sale.

— Jeff


Today is the first of November and I set a few traps just to get myself “in the game” and get started. I had problems at work and spent most of the night there so I’m tired and not that enthused but Nov. 1 is my normal starting date for raccoons and I hate to let it pass and not get going. I hope your season is moving along and you are putting your plans in place.

An election of officers was held at the fall meeting and following is the results: Director – Harry Wade, Assistant director – Mark Vatavuk, Treasurer – Pat Wess, and Secretary – Deborah Sedlemeyer.

I encourage anyone that participated or helped with the trapper school to be thinking of any suggestions you would have to make the school better. Please direct any input you might have to any of the above named officers. Your help in improving the school is appreciated.

District 5 has been holding meetings in Cambria County for quite a while. If anyone has any suggestions for another place to hold meetings that would encourage members from other parts of the district to attend, please forward these suggestions to any district officer.

The District 5 fur sale will be held at the Bedford County Fair Grounds on Feb. 14, 2010. Please plan to support the district by helping out with the sale or selling your fur. We will also have a booth at the Jaffa Sports Show again this year. I will have the dates for the show soon and hope you will be able to help out.
Please feel free to contact Pat Wess at 814-262-9455 or me with any information you would like to see in this report or any questions you might have. I can be reached at 814-686-0497 or e-mail me at Thanks for reading.

— Brian Stern


District 7 events: Dec. 19, District 7 family Christmas party, 6 p.m. at the Mazeppa Community Center, Mazeppa, PA. $5 wrapped gift exchange, please bring a covered dish.

Dec. 20, fur sale at Washingtonville, 4 percent comm. Starts at 9 a.m.

Jan. 17, fur auction at washingtonville, 4 percent comm. Starts at 9 a.m. You must be a member of the PA Trappers association to sell or pay a sellers fee of $5. For more information or directions, call 570-437-2679 or e-mail–

— Pete


District 8 Members voted to make some changes for next year. At our District 8 Meeting at Blain, Pa. Oct. 18, the members voted to move our Marysville Show and our Blain Fall Extravaganza to the Tuscarora Valley Heritage Grounds, East Waterford, PA (western Juniata County along Rt.75) and have one three-day show. The show will open Friday, Sept. 10 at noon and will close Sunday, Sept. 12 at noon. There is one large building for inside venders and ample space outside for tailgaters. There will be primitive camping available on the grounds for the weekend. There will also be food venders on the grounds. Tailgaters and venders can start setting up at 8 a.m. Friday Sept. 10.

We had a two-hour debate where to hold our show. In the past, Marysville Lions Club Grounds was good for us. The Blain Picnic Grounds was also OK. We were looking for more space and a place to have a three-day show. We needed to put our efforts into one weekend rendezvous. The final choice was to move to the Tuscarora Valley Heritage Grounds, East Waterford, PA. This new show will be called the Tuscarora Valley Extravaganza. Our 32nd Annual Sportsman Show 2010.

The Blain Show went well for having 5 inches of Rain. It was mostly an indoor show. But we had one trooper from New York set up outside. I surely thank you and all of the venders that set up at the show. I would like to thank the Blain Fire Company for the use of their facilities and for furnishing the food. A big thanks to all the members of District 8 that came out and endured the weather to help with our show. We all thank the folks that did the demos and seminars. When I was leaving the show, I did see the sun shine, it did give me some hope for next year.

Russ Ford was drawn to receive tuition to FurTakers College. Russ declined. We redrew and Todd Bender was the lucky winner. (Any member that comes to our District 8 General Meetings gets a chance to be drawn at our last meeting of the year).

District 8 Raffle Winners List Drawn Oct. 18, 2009 at Blain, PA. 1. Brad Lesh; 2. Charles Filler III; 3. Malcolm Ware; 4. Ralph Wagner; 5. Jim Vendier; 6. Jerry Fahnestock; 7. Alfred Bradford; 8. Don Hartenstine; 9.Barry Warner; 10. Ralph Hern Blett; 11. Bob Greenleaf. Congratulations To All The Winners!

District 8 will hold its next General Meeting Jan. 24, 2010 at noon at Tuscarora Valley Heritage Grounds, East Waterford, PA (Juniata County). This will be our winter-break meeting. Lunch at 11:30 a.m., bring a covered dish. Drinks are provided. Come early to reminisce and tell them big trapping stories. We will be planing our next year’s show. Don`t be afraid to come out and get involved. Everyone is welcome to participate.

Directions to Tuscarora Valley Heritage Grounds, East Waterford, PA: From Port Royal, Pa. Off Rt.22 & Rt.322 Take Rt.75 South (22 miles) through East Waterford 3 ½ miles on the right side of the roadway. From the Pa. Turnpike I-76 Willow Hill exit take Rt.75 North 15 miles on the left side of the roadway.

For more info, contact me at Allen Eppleman, 4232 Carlisle Rd., Gardners, PA 17324, or phone at 717-486-7573 or 717-226-9623, or email

— Allen Eppleman


Greetings, Fellow Members!

Bill Kalinauskis has asked that since I have all this “spare time” after leaving the state treasurer’s job that I submit the District 9 report each month. I accepted his offer, and will be keeping you abreast of D-9 news.
District 9 held a meeting on Oct. 18 at Dave Costanzo’s “dog kennel” in Wayne Co. Among the many things discussed were:

Important happenings from the October State O&D meeting:
District 9 donation of $1,000 to the 2010 State sweepstakes.

HR 3710 – This is a National anti-trapping bill designed to ban trapping on National Wildlife Refuges. Some refuges would lose valuable controls on nuisance species such as nutria, muskrats, beavers and coyotes. Even though this bill is still in committee, members are asked to contact their Congressmen and oppose this bill.
Members are reminded that you are not allowed to “take” (by hunting or trapping) a bobcat during the legal hunting hours of deer season. If you have a ’cat tag and you catch a bobcat, make sure you kill it before sunrise or after sunset. We are working to have this regulation modified.

Motioned and passed to send $200 to each conservation district in District 9 for support of the Envirothon. This is a competition among five-student teams from participating high schools in the county involving knowledge of five conservation topics: soils, wildlife, aquatics, forestry and a current event. The winning team from each county goes on to a State competition, and the winner there competes in a National competition. This year, the team from Delaware County, PA won the Nationals. We are very proud to support this worthwhile endeavor.

We set the date for our 2010 trapper training school for Sept. 11 and 12, admission cost to stay at $25. We also once again approved the free admission of any PA Game Commission personnel who wish to participate.

Our next regular meeting will be held in January.

We also sponsored this month’s meeting of the Susquehanna County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. The main topic of the meeting, held at United Sportsmen’s Club in Jackson, was the discussion of the Youth Field Day held in September. There were 64 youth participants, 18 of whom were girls. A good time was had by all attendants.

Other news: We are pleased to see that the Keystone Institute for Furbearer Education (KIFE, formerly known as the “Trappers’ Park”) is making progress. The board members, one from each PTA district, have been approved by the PTA board of directors. District 9 did not appoint a member to this board, so one was nominated for us. As soon as we figure out who this is, we will pass this information along, and will look forward to regular reports from our delegate, and provide regular input from our district.

District 9 will be sponsoring the Northeast Regional Coyote Hunt on Feb. 5, 6 and 7, 2010. If you would like to help out at the weigh-in or the dinner, please contact Bill or me and we will set you up. It’s always a great time and is a major fundraiser for the district.

District 9 will hold the first of two fur sales on Dec. 19 at the Triton Hose Co. in Tunkhannock, starting at 9 a.m. All legal fur skins and ginseng will be dealt. Please plan to stay and help “stuff envelopes” for the coyote hunt after the sale. We will hold another sale in February. The date is not firm yet.

Finally, I’d like to say “Thank You” to all the members who have donated their time and money to this district over the years. We have made some real great progress here in District 9, and look forward to great things in the future. I would like to thank Bill Kalinauskis, whose tireless effort and great leadership have been such an asset for our district. Keep up the good work, Bill!

If you have any happenings in your trapping neighborhood or are involved in any trapping related activities, give me a call or e-mail and I’ll get them in this news article. This is YOUR report, so make sure you keep us informed. I’m available at 570-679-2318, or preferably at Thanks!

— Ed Price


Hello to all. By the time you read this, trapping season will be in full swing. Hope everyone’s stretchers are filling up.

We had our last highway clean up on Oct. 11. Thanks to Steve Wentzel, Bob Walters and anyone else who helped out. This was the last one for this year. We will start them back up in April 2010. Thanks to everyone who helped out over the past year.

Fall Convention was held Sept. 26 and 27, and things went very well. We had 17 tailgaters and 13 vendors inside. There was a nice crowd till about 2 p.m. Saturday. Twenty five guys took the cable restraint class. Thanks to all the tailgaters, vendors, demo people and workers who all helped to make the convention a success.

Money raffle winners from the Sept. 27 drawing were: 1st – Lee Ruch – $180, Joe Eder – $72, 3rd – Tony Longo – $36, 4th – Wayne Pysher – $36, 5th – John Mace – $36. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone who bought and sold tickets.

District planning meeting for 2010 will be held Jan. 10 at Belfast Club starting at 1 p.m. Please come out and let us know what you would like to have done throughout the year.

District Fur Auction will be Jan. 16 at Belfast Club starting at 9 a.m. Will need help to set up Friday night at 6 p.m. It might be hard to sell fur this year with the depressed fur market, so bring it to the district sale.
That’s it for now. Good luck on the trapline and take a young one with you. God Bless.

— Scot


We had a pretty nice afternoon for our meeting at Middlecreek and it was fairly well attended. We had reports from our trapping schools. They all went again this year. We talked about the state banquet that we are hosting Sept. 18, 2010, at the Eagles Club in Lebanon and encouraged everyone to invite others to this event. Also, be on the lookout for items for the raffle tables and auction items for this event. We spent some time talking about the 2011 convention and tried to get some committees set up to start making plans. Several volunteers have come forward already, but we are still in need of lots more. Let Ralph or me know if there is something you would like to do to help with the convention.

We went over details for the fur sale, which will be held Jan. 9, 2010, at the Berk’s County 4H Center in Bernville, PA. We really don’t know what to expect for the sale this year, but we will hold the sale the same as we always do. Doors open at 7 a.m. Sale will start at 9 a.m. All licensed fur buyers are welcome to attend. There is a $5 registration fee charged and 4 percent commission on all fur sold. The kitchen will be open at 7 a.m. to serve breakfast and throughout the day. If you can help out with the fur sale in any way please let Ralph or me know.

Karen Mohn would like anyone that is interested to help her put together a quilt for a raffle or auction item. It needs to be a 10-inch finished square made with common materials. She is in need of 56 squares. One suggestion was using T-shirts from past conventions. For more info or to help, contact Karen.

Ralph told us about the trust fund that has been set up for Todd Harries’ children. We voted to send $100 to this. Along with that, Ron Smith donated a quart of maple syrup to the district, which we auctioned off. The top bidder was Dick Atkins for $100. This money was also sent to the Harries’ children’s trust fund.

We voted to donate $500 towards the PTA sweepstake prizes for 2010 and $100 to KIFE.

We gave a tentative list of meetings and events for 2010 as follows: Fur sale — Jan. 9, Berks Co. 4H Center, District Mtg. — Feb. 18, Conewago Twp Bld., Dauphin Co., 7 p.m, District Mtg. — April 11, Schuylkill Co. Fairgrounds, 2 p.m., Gathering — May 15, Kutztown Rod & Gun Club, PTA Rendezvous — June 17-20, Picnic & Shoot — Aug. 1, Millcreek Sportsmen’s Association and PTA Banquet — Sept. 18, Eagles Club, Lebanon


Hello from the Southeast again. I know it has been a while since you all have heard from me. I have been sending reports in, but I seem to have some difficulty getting them in print for you guys. I’ll try to figure out where the breakdown is so I can get some more consistency. The district has been busy again this end of summer and early fall. We have had several youth field days attended to this summer and fall. We had our fall pig roast fundraiser and trappers training school this mid September. The pig roast was a pretty good turnout.

The district ended up making about $500 in funds for our efforts over the weekend. The training school was outstanding again. We had over 60 students attend with over 30 kids. All the kids got traps and quality information to take home. Many thanks to our instructors for the day. These guys are a wealth of information that I believe can’t be topped anywhere in the country. Thanks to Tom Scarpelli, Andrew Fickes, Alan Claycomb, Albert Stoltzfus, Mike Coyne, Chris Saul, Bob Ried and Phil Brown. I would also like to thank Dave Rodgers of Rodgers Hides and Supplies for hosting the event. Special thanks needs to go out to Tom and Nancy Marsh for help with the pig and to my wife Caroline for helping run the dinner.

Our fall meeting was held in October. It was attended well. Our fall meeting is always a good time. Bob Ried gave an informative Bobcat demo. I discussed topics from the recent state meeting I attended. Our members have some issues that I will address at our next state meeting.

Well the trap pot is boiling so I got to get going. I know the fur market looks real bleak, but I’ll be out anyway.

Thanks and God Bless.

— Rick Ameisen

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