Pennsylvania Trappers Association Inc. December 2013 Report

www.patrappers.com

 

President — Brian Mohn, 138 Farview Road, Hamburg, PA 19526; 610-562-1790; papatrees@aol.com

Vice President East — Joel Whitehead, 845 Snake Hill Road, Thompson, PA 19526; 570-756-2714;
JFRED@nep.net

Vice President West — Charlie Sykes, 1265 Airport Road, Stoneboro, PA 16153; trapper_66@windstream.net

Secretary — Don Klinger, 522 S. Pancoast, Reynoldsville, PA 15851; 814-371-1170; advantage16@verizon.net

Treasurer — Donna Spittle, P.O. Box 708, Hummelstown, PA 17036; 717-239-9267; spittlefam@paonline.com

Editor — Ed Price, 3833 Old Newburg Turnpike, Union Dale, PA 18470; 570-679-2318; pricee@nep.net

NTA Director — David Shuttleworth, 5452 Tamarack Drive, Sharpsville, PA 16150; 724-962-4260;
dianeshutts@aol.com

FTA Director — Mark Kasten, RR2 Box 2287, Hallstead, PA 18822; 570-278-2553; willsher@epix.net

Public Relations Director — Barry Warner, P.O. Box 223, Dallas, PA 18612; 570-675-7041;
beavernbass@comcast.net

Website Designer — Barbie Bankston;
barbiebankston@gmail.com

 

Membership Options:

Individual membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $25

Individual membership without subscription — $10

Junior, age 16 and under without subscription — $5

Lifetime membership with subscription — $300

Lifetime membership without subscription — $100

 

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

PTA Treasurer

Donna Spittle

P.O. Box 708

Hummelstown, PA 17036

 

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Trapping season is in full swing with the culmination of the year long preparation. The rewards of a well planned season should find us all busy in the fur shed after a long day of work. Now is not the time to rush and hastily put up the rewards of your hard work. Take time when handling your fur and be proud of your accomplishments. Let your light shine; don’t just blend in with others.

If you have been following my reports you will know I was fortunate to travel to the western side of our state several weekends this fall. I would like to continue with a report from these recent trips. Fall is a great time to see our state and I think I made the best of every opportunity. In the beginning of October we held out PTA State Board of Officer meeting in Lamar. We had several topics to finalize from the rendezvous and draw the winning tickets for the sweepstakes (see our website for list of winners). After the meeting I headed southwest and attended the 2013 Minktoberfest in Punxsutawney. This is a gathering of like minded mink trappers that has been organized by Don Powell. The next morning I continued on my southwest journey to District 3’s trapper expo and meeting where I presented Jack Wilkinson with the PTA President’s Award for all his years of service keeping the youth focused and safe.

The following weekend I found myself traveling to the northwest part of the state to participate in the District 2 meeting where I presented several awards to some well deserving members. The “Youth Trapper of the Year” was presented to Hayden Kretzer. It was my pleasure to meet this fine young man who gives hope for our future. The second award was presented to a couple who has worked as a team for the benefit of all trappers. The “Lifetime Achievement Award” was presented to Judy and John Jefferson for their decades of hard work. I was accompanied at the District 2 meeting by Charlie Sykes (V.P. West for PTA) and Dave Eckels (Dist. 3 Director) for a Special Presentation. District 2 members honored Ned Weston for his service to all trappers with an engraved park bench. The district coordinated this presentation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission by placing the bench under a nice pavilion on SGL.95 overlooking a wetland project that Ned developed and managed during his career with the PGC. If you are interested in visiting this location and taking in a relaxing view here are the coordinates: N 41.05163; W 079.88084. — Brian Mohn

 

VICE PRESIDENT WEST REPORT

In September, I had the pleasure of traveling to District 3 to attend their Rendezvous and business meeting. I was able to see Brian Mohn give Mr. Wilkinson the President’s Award. In October, I went to District 2’s business meeting. I met some very great people and watched Lifetime Achievement Awards being given out. I was also honored to see Ned Weston receive a bench in honor of his love of trapping.

Just a reminder that Brian Mohn has asked me to work with each district to gather information from local district events that can be shared on the PTA website. I recently sent out a request for pictures and stories from each trapping school within the districts. Please encourage the folks in your district to send something in to represent the hard work and fun that is happening in your area.

God Bless. — Charlie Sykes

 

PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR’S REPORT

We are several weeks away from our beaver season. Once again our concern must be to harvest beaver and avoid otter. Statewide Otter Mgt Plan – This document has been available for public comment. The final approval vote will take place at the Commission’s January meeting. The approval of this management plan is the first step in establishing a harvest season.

It is our responsibility to continue to avoid otter in our challenge to regulate the beaver population. Using baited sets for beaver and avoiding the use of body-gripping traps at blind sets, in main channels, bank dens, crossover locations or near dams can go a long way to prevent incidental catches. In sets where a body-gripping trap is used, twist the triggers together and move them as far to the side as possible. This may allow the otter to successfully traverse the trap but will still catch a larger beaver. Another option would be to use foot hold traps set for a hind foot catch or to use snares with at least a ten inch diameter loop.

If an incidental catch is made and the otter is alive, seek help from the PGC to safely release the otter. Never try to release an otter without assistance. If the otter has expired in the set, report the incident to the PGC as soon as possible. The otter must be submitted to the agency and a record will be made of the catch. There is no monetary penalty provided that the incidental catch is immediately reported. This record will provide data needed for otter population dynamics as well as DNA data.

The following beaver and otter information is from Tom Hardisky coordinator for these projects:

Beaver Reproduction Project – ongoing. We were unable to gain information on previous pregnancies or litter size from females caught during December and January. I’ll be asking trappers to collect carcasses again this year, but will ask them to increase carcass collection efforts during February and March.

Otter Population Monitoring Project (fecal DNA) – Graduate student Nick Forman was able to detect DNA on 173 otter fecal samples. It appears he will be able to differentiate individual otters based on DNA detected. He will need the help of trappers this winter to locate areas of Bradford, Susquehanna, and Wayne counties where otter frequent.

Please provide assistance with either or both of these ongoing studies. Tom Hardisky may be reached at 570 725 3663 or thardisky@pa.gov. Or you may contact the wildlife management supervisor in your region.

Have fun but be safe out there. — Barry L. Warner.

 

DISTRICT 2 REPORT

The attendance was good for the fall meeting. Some of the highlights of the meeting include: Brian Mohn and Charlie Sykes presented State level awards to: Hayden Kretzer (Trapper of the Year), as well as John and Judy Jefferson (Life Time Achievement Award). At the district level, the following members were presented with awards: Jim Colosimo and Ivan Smith (Long Liner award), Greg Bell (Trapper of the Year award). The district honored Ned Weston for his lifetime dedication to trapping and conservation with a bench engraved “In Honor of Ned Weston for his love of trapping”. After the meeting, several of the members traveled to the Game Lands near West Sunbury to help place the bench on a point overlooking the glades.

The winter and spring meetings will be held at Happy Hunters Sportsmen’s club Fenelton, Pa., on January 12th and March 9th. Doors open at noon, meeting begins at 1:00pm. The annual Trappers Banquet will be held March 15th at the VFD in Mars, Pa. In the next issue, we will have a confirmed date for the annual fur sale held in February.

Enjoy your time afield. — Joe Graf

 

DISTRICT 3 REPORT

Hello All,

Our busy time of the year has arrived and I hope this report finds you all enjoying some time afield. I’ll keep this report short so you can get back to the fur shed.

Our fall rendezvous was held on October 6, at the Washington Fairgrounds. The crowd was larger than usual, as were the amount of vendors. It’s funny what a little optimism in fur prices does for the attendance at these functions, and gives us something to look forward to at next year’s PTA / FTA convention in June. We signed up several new members, sold some books, shirts, and hats, and had a good raffle in which a lot of people took home something trapping related. I want to thank James Pierson for taking over the duties as Greene County leader at the meeting. This spot has been open for some time. With Chuck Cramer taking care of the Greene County Fair the past year, and James taking the county leader position, we have more activity there than we have in several years, thanks guys.

It was also good to have some of the state leadership at our fall rondy. Thanks to President Brian Mohn and V.P. West Charlie Sykes for attending the meeting and presenting Jack Wilkinson with the President’s award from this past June’s State convention. Jack couldn’t make the convention this spring, so Brian brought the award west. Congrats Jack, it’s a well deserved award, and thanks for all you’ve done for the trappers.

Our district scholarship had great participation this year, and I have to say our district is blessed with some fine writers. Thanks to our officers for looking over the essays and judging the scholarship. We had 8 people judging and all of our entries were good, which made the judging extremely hard. Our essay question was “How can trappers better educate the general public on the benefits of trapping”. It was interesting how these young minds think differently, and gave us different thoughts. I want to thank our 1st and 2nd place winners, Steele Skrenta of Claysville, and Kala Bazner of Cheswick. Congratulations and thanks to all of our essay writers.

‘til next time. — Dave Eckels

 

DISTRICT 5 REPORT

Trapping season is now under way and I hope all of you are out enjoying yourselves and doing your part. A Colorado elk and mule deer hunt is going to cut into my trapping time but oh well, sacrifices must be made. I’ll let you know how the hunt turns out. I’ll remind you the traps won’t catch any fur in the shed or in the back of the pickup so get out there and set some steel. Good luck and be careful.

Our district officers are as follows: Don Sager – Director, Jim Griffith – Assistant Director, Pat Wess – Treasurer, and Deborah Sedlmeyer – Secretary.

Please feel free to contact Pat Wess @ (814) 262-9455, Don Sager @ (814) 443-3185 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 bdstern@atlanticbb.net Thanks for reading. — Brian Stern, Tipton, PA 

 

DISTRICT 7 REPORT

Pennsylvania Trappers Association Banquet will be held on March 8, 2014, sponsored by District 7 at the Hughesville Firemen’s Social Hall. Doors open at 5 pm and the meal will be at 6 pm. It will be served buffet style with roast chicken and roast beef. Tickets are $25 each or two for $45, after the meal we will have a live auction and several raffles. Miss Pennsylvania may be there. Beverages will be available. If you would like to make a donation for the auction or raffles or buy tickets please contact me at minkman46@aol.com.

January 12 will be our fur auction at the Montour Delong Fairgrounds at Washingtonville. GPS address-2628 Broadway, Danville, PA. It starts at 9 am with a 4% commission and you must be a member of the Pa. Trappers Association to sell. Remember to bring your furtakers license and your membership card. On April 6 we will have a fur sale at the Hillsgrove Fire Company starting at 9 am, You must be a member of the PTA to sell ,4% comm.

Long-time member Clark Patterson of Bloomsburg recently passed away. He saved all of the trapping magazines he subscribed to and donated them to District 7 to be passed out at the Bloomsburg Early Bird show. Contact me if you have any questions or comments. — Pete

 

DISTRICT 9 REPORT

Plans are underway for our annual Northeast Regional Coyote Hunt. It will be held January 31, February 1 & 2, 2014. Weigh-in, as usual, will be at the Triton Hose Co. in Tunkhannock. Dinner will be held on Sunday. A $25 entry fee will be charged for all early entries. Our feature rifle being raffled this year will be the Kimber Montana in caliber 223 with a Zeiss scope. This was a very popular rifle last year, and we have secured another for this year’s raffle. Tickets will be $5 each, or 3 for $10.

Our fur sale will be held on February 9, 2014, at the Triton Hose Co. in Tunkhannock. We will be charging 4% commission on all fur sold at the sale again this year. Make sure you bring your furtaker’s license.

Here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a joyous and safe New Year. Don’t forget our motto: “Our Image is Our Future.” — Ed Price

 

DISTRICT 10 REPORT

Hello to all. By the time you read this the season will be will under way. I hope everyone’s stretchers are filling up. Take the time to properly handle you fur and you should get a good price.

Monroe County and Roseto Youth Field Days were held back in September. Thanks to Steve Wentzel, Bob Counterman and everyone else who took the time to show the kids about outdoor activities.

Fall Convention and Sports Show was held the end of September and we had 2 beautiful days. We had 18 tailgaters and 28 inside vendors in three buildings. We had demo’s all day Saturday and gave away some nice door prizes. I would like to thank all the tailgaters, vendors, demo people and helpers for making the show a success.

We will be having our 2014 planning meeting on January 12 at the Belfast Club starting at 2:00 PM. We will be going over the fur sale and events for 2014. If there is something you would like us to do come out and let us know.

Our fur sale will be on January 18 at the Belfast Club. Doors open at 8:00 AM, and the sale starts at 9:00. Set up is on Friday at 6:00 PM and we will need help during the sale. Please come out and support you district and be sure to bring your furtaker’s license.

That’s it for now. Have a safe and joyful holiday season. Good luck for the rest of the furtaking season and be careful. — Scot Much, 610-863-9759

 

DISTRICT 11 REPORT

We had one of the best days weather-wise for our meeting at Middlecreek that I can remember. There were about 35 members in attendance. Mike Mohn, standing in for brother Brian, presented Denny Michael with the PTA Hall of Fame plaque, an award that has been a long time coming for Denny. Thanks one more time Denny for all you have done for District 11 and for the PA trappers.

We had reports from all of our trapper training schools. We had 116 students attend between the 4 schools. Thank you to everyone that had any part in helping with the trapper schools, without you it wouldn’t be possible to have these events.

Some info from the State Assoc: the PTA will have a double booth at the Great American Outdoor Show in February at the Farm Show Building. Wayne Gemmill will be in charge of the crew to man this booth. Let him know if you can spare some time to help out with this.

The 2014 Rendezvous is shaping up but we were told that hotel space is very limited in that area because of the natural gas industry. It seems they have a lot of space taken up so plan now for that or consider some alternative.

Tickets are on sale for the PTA Banquet to be held in Hughsville on March 8, 2014. Contact Pete Rake, District 8, for tickets.

Ralph wants to try to schedule evening meetings to do some planning for the 2015 Rendezvous. Dates and times to be announced.

We did draw a winner for our trapper college give-away. It is what we did this year to try to encourage more of you to attend the district meetings. Each time you attended a meeting you got a ticket which gave you a chance to go the FTA Trapper College. The winner is Steven Strouse and he seemed more than a little excited to be able to go.

The PGC has info on bobcat and otter management plans on their website and they are asking for public comment on it. If you can spare a few minutes to view these and make comments PLEASE do. The more good we can say the better. There is also a very good trapping video on YouTube for you to check out. This is a very good video for the non-trapping public. A very well done video telling what we do and why.

Our fur sale will be held on January 11th at the Berk’s County 4H Center in Bernville. The doors open at 7AM. Sale starts at 9. You must be a PTA member to sell fur at the sale. All licensed fur buyers are welcome. The kitchen will be open all day. If you can help with this event please let Ralph or me know.

This being the Dec. issue and coming up on the holiday season, I want to extend best wishes from my fur shed to yours. Please take time to thank God for His goodness to us. — Mike Spittle, (717)367-2637, spittlefam@paonline.com

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