Pennsylvania Trappers Association, Inc. June-July 2012 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 — Ned Weston, 120 Swope Road, West Sunbury, PA 16061; 724-894-2239; nedweston@gmail.com

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; 570-325-4974; beavernbass@comcast.net

Website Designer — Barbie Breckenridge, barbiebreckenridge@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

These are exciting times to be a member of the association! Think about what it means to be celebrating our 75th year as an organization. Our founding leaders came together in 1937 to form the Pennsylvania Trappers Association. Their strong commitment to support trapping seasons and laws would perpetuate us into what we enjoy today as the oldest and largest trapping organization in the country. As our organization got stronger, our leadership aided the formation of other state and national organization. Continuing with our tradition we will be gathering June 21-24th 2012 in Clearfield, PA. At the rendezvous we are planning on a special informal meeting on Friday evening to develop a proactive plan to educate trappers on responsible and ethical methods.

Last year we started a scholarship program that was funded by some women who made a beautiful one of a kind trapper’s quilt. Well I’m here to tell you there is another trapper’s quilt for this year with a theme of tee shirts from past rendezvous. For more information on the quilt tickets, scholarship applications or PTA events please visit our website at www.patrappers.com.

Only a few days till we meet in Clearfield. — Brian Mohn

 

PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTORS REPORT

We recently received information that another dog was killed through the use of a cable restraint that was illegally set. The cable restraint was set in an area of heavy woody vegetation; the dog became entangled in the vegetation and died. This is the third dog killed through the use of illegal sets during the past trapping season. The individuals causing these situations are seen by the public as trappers.

Several of my reports since coming on board as your public relations director have dealt with ethics and our responsibilities. This is not something I enjoy. I would much rather be communicating the numerous positive events being conducted by the PTA on your behalf. I cannot comprehend my life without the privilege of trapping. Unfortunately, these situations literally cause me to wonder how much longer Pennsylvania will continue to be the number one trapper representative state.

Dogs killed during the last several years through the unlawful use of body-gripping traps have placed the Pennsylvania Game Commission in a very uncomfortable position. Tremendous political pressure has been exerted to prevent any reoccurrence. Naturally, we as trappers are just as adamant that these situations never happen again. Do we lose the body-gripping trap or the cable restraint due to individuals that have no concern for anyone or anything but themselves? What is next? It is my sincere concern, if we as individuals do not take an active part to curtail and or report every irresponsible or illegal activity, we do not have an optimistic future. Please become proactive. If you observe a situation of this type, but do not wish to have your name involved, you may report the facts to the PGC without concern for involvement. Simply report the facts as you know them to the wildlife conservation officer and let him/her investigate the situation.

It is my belief that the individuals responsible for these incidents are not PTA members, do not attend our meetings, do not attend our training programs, and do not read our communications. Our only option is to attempt to personally reach out to them. Each negative incident is another cut in the rope holding us in place.

A meeting at our rendezvous in June will be held to discuss the future of these tools. The meeting will be on Friday the 22nd beginning as 6:00 pm. The meeting location will be announced. Please join us. — Barry L. Warner

 

DISTRICT 1 REPORT

Hello Members.

This year’s Gun Raffle was a huge success again. Ticket sales were a little bit low and our print sales were also low this year. We had a great turnout and overall, we made a good amount of money. A special thanks goes out to our clean-up crew. It is amazing that about a half hour after everyone leaves, everything is put away, the floors are swept and mopped, and the place is clean. A special thanks to Jim and Donna Murphy for chairing this event again. Your hard work was reflected in the great success of this event. Our next Spring Gun Raffle will be on April 6th, 2013. We are not sure of the location yet.

The Fall Meeting was at Harthegig Sportsmen’s Club on April 14th. We set dates for the trapper’s school and the Spring Gun Raffle. We also sent a $500 donation to the FTA. The Fall Meeting will be September 29th in Forest County at the Endeavor Community Building, 17457 Route 666, Endeavor, PA 16322. Doors will open at 9 AM, with the meeting starting at Noon. Any questions, please contact Jim Howe at (814) 463-3760.

The trapping school will be August 18th in Forest County at the Tionesta Dam Campgrounds. To get there, you take Route 36 South to South Elm Street, turn left on to South Elm Street, go 7/10ths of a mile and you will see the pavilion on the right. (Elm Street is one street south of German Hill Road). There is no 911 address to this place, but the latitude and longitude are N 41 degree 28.878 and W 79 degrees 26.600. Registration should be made with Walter Greathouse at (724) 475-4138 or Jim Howe at (814) 463-3760. Walter has flyers made up for this event, if you can help distribute them, please get in touch with him and he will mail some to you. Registration is at 7 AM and the school starts at 8 AM. We will cover ethics, fox, coyote, coon, mink, muskrat, beaver, trap preparation and fur handling.

The 75th Pennsylvania Rendezvous will be held from June 21st-24th, 2012, at the Clearfield County Fairgrounds. It is being hosted by District 4. Events this year will include: demos, Mountain Man Race, Frying Pan Toss, Cable Restraint Certification, Dutch Oven Cooking Contest, Trap Setting Contest and a Live Auction on Friday at 7:00 PM.

I was to the District 3 banquet on April 21st. They had a nice turn out. Thanks guys for putting on a nice banquet. I was also to the State Banquet at the Youngsville Fire Hall on March 31st. Pete and the guys did a great job there also.

God Bless. — Charlie Sykes

 

DISTRICT 2 REPORT

Good afternoon fellow trappers,

As I write this, beaver season is about to a close, fish are becoming more active, turkeys are gobbling every morning, and the grass needs cut! The district’s annual gun raffle/trappers banquet was successful once again this year. I found the evening to be very enjoyable; speaking with fellow trappers after a long season. A special thanks to Tim Geiger for all the time and effort he puts into the banquet each year.

During the month of March, I’ve been busy putting up fur and trapping a few beaver. This year, I decided to send my fur to NAFA. Yesterday I dropped my shipment off at Mr. and Ms. Osborne’s depot. They were very helpful in answering my questions, and providing me with fur handling tips to try in the future. As with all of you, I hope to receive a fair return for my trapping efforts. If the market remains strong, I will be happy with the “partial gas money” I will earn. For the second year in a row, trapping will have cost me a considerable amount of cash. I view this as an educational/entertainment cost.

During the past two trapping seasons, I have attempted to harvest my first bobcat. Each year, I knew this desire would cost a lot of money due to having to drive to a bobcat zone with good habitat. This past bobcat season I’ve experienced many high and low points. From catching (and releasing due to size) my first bobcat, to checking my line with family and friends; to replacing flat tires in the mud and snow on a weekly basis, and fighting the ever-changing clock. Most of the time, the gas pump had caused me to feel so broke that I had difficulty paying attention! With this said, I’d definitely do it again. My theory is that experience (good and bad) is priceless. The best experiences of my season include the time I’ve spent afield, as well as in the fur shed with a couple of local youth that became passionate about trapping and spending time outdoors. All too often, youth enjoy spending their “free time” sleeping and watching T.V. It’s refreshing to see new members of the trapping community develop a love for the sport/way of life. These experiences have caused me to feel “rich” in nature.

That’s enough about me for this month’s article. If you do not have any children, ask around to see if any local youth have a desire to learn about the Pennsylvania Wilds. Get out and enjoy the great outdoors! Have fun, and be safe.

Save the following dates:

April 21st Happy Hunter Buck Classic (Official Big game scoring)

June 21st – 24th Pennsylvania Trappers Convention (Clearfield, PA)

Aug. 4th District II Trapper Training School (Freeport Sportsmen’s Club)

Sept. 15th District II Fall Convention (Pony Farm Sportsmen’s Club- Kittanning, PA. — Joe Graf

 

DISTRICT 3 REPORT

Hello All,

Spring has arrived, or at least the grass won’t stop growing. Seems like it started early with the lack of winter we had. I’d like to start my report with a thanks to district 7 for hosting the state banquet in Hughesville. Nice job guys and gals of d-7, I had an enjoyable evening, and I know you put a lot of work into this event.

Our spring meeting was held on March 21, at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds. We’ve set our dates for the events this coming year, and as soon as I get confirmation from the sites, I’ll put them on the website as well as get them in the next issue’s report. We are looking into attending the Fayette County fair this year in addition to the Washington and Westmoreland. As always we’ll need a little help to man the booths, give me a call if you can help at any of the 3 fairs.

Our district’s 8th annual banquet was held on April 21, at the Youngwood Fire Hall. I have to think it was our best event yet. Thanks to all who attended, worked before, during, or after the banquet, and our sponsors and supporters. Without all of you, this successful event couldn’t happen. I’d mention names, but I’m sure someone would be forgotten. I’ll just say that d-3 is blessed to have an extraordinary group of workers. There were 227 people in attendance, and in my humble opinion, you couldn’t find a better group of people. Congrats go out to Francis Watt, with our district’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and Matthew Pappa, district 3’s Trapper of the Year 2012.

‘Till next time. — Dave Eckels

 

DISTRICT 4 REPORT

My wife and I had a wonderful time at the State Banquet earlier this year. Pete Rake and his team did an excellent job putting it together. A task like the State Banquet is enormous, and they make it look so simple, The abundance of prizes were unbelievable and at least 4 ladies left with big smiles after winning a crumb brush each.

Our District held the annual spring fur sale with a large torn out and some better prices than years past.

Item; Amount Sold; Average Price

RACCOON 154 $11.12

GREY FOX 24 $35.12

RED FOX 27 $36.59

COYOTE 22 $20.54

BEAVER 49 $35.95

MUSKRATS 61 $9.83

MINK 10 $18.80

BOBCAT 6 $93.33

SKUNK 1 $2.00

Hoping for a great Convention. Most everything seems to be working out and there is still a lot to do. Sorry so short but work calling. — Jeff

 

DISTRICT 7 REPORT

March 31,Dist. 7 hosted the 2012 PTA state banquet at the Hughesville Fire Company Social Hall. We had over 200 attendees, The fire company served a great family style meal. We had a lot of nice items for the auction and the raffle. This was the first time D-7 has hosted a PTA banquet and we had a lot of help and donations from around the state and also from Maryland, New York and Maine. Miss PA and Miss PA Outstanding Teen were present. A big thank you goes to Laurie and Joe Mast for all the time they spent planning for and working at the banquet. Also thanks to Dave Eckels and his daughter for helping with the raffle. I would also like to thank everybody who donated items for the banquet and to everyone who helped out. It is a long list. The following day we had our beaver sale at Hillsgrove. There were 33 lots of fur and most of it was sold. Hold on to the postcard you received about our upcoming events, it is good until next year’s beaver sale. — Pete

 

DISTRICT 8 REPORT

Hello, Members;

Well I finally got time to write a report. We will be doing 5 youth field days this year. Our trapper training school will be at Middlecreek Valley Antiques Assn. Our Tuscarora Show is in the full swing getting everything ready. Show dates are Sept 14 & 15. This show is getting bigger every year so come and enjoy. Our next meeting will be at Cumberland Valley Antique Machinery and Engines on July 22, 2012.

Don’t forget to attend the State Convention – this is always a good show. D-8 members have our 75th Convention Knife, Trap in a Shadow Box for sale at $150 each. The knives are numbered and going fast. Contact me or Nelson Hosler at 570-658-3904, to see what numbers are left. Don’t wait too long to order.

Also, to all D-8 members, make sure that the State treasurer has you new address. If not, you will not receive a meeting card from me.

‘Till next time. — Chuck Filler

 

DISTRICT 9 REPORT

We missed putting in the fur sale report last time – some snafu between either me or The Trapper. Here it is:

DISTRICT # 9 FUR SALE RESULTS

2-11-2012

Species, #pelts, avg., high

R fox — 344, 26.23 36.00

G fox — 212, 22.00 26.00

Coyote — 85, 13.56 22.00

Bobcat — 10, 41.00 50.00

Raccoon — 935, 9.30 16.00

Muskrat — 837, 8.97 10.00

Mink — 134, 16.73 25.00

Beaver — 228, 23.00 32.00

Opossum — 145, 1.70 2.50

Skunk — 18, 3.39 6.00

Castor — 15.7 lbs., 35.00 40.45

99 sellers 3 buyers $39,807 gross sales

We are having our April meeting today (April 29) in Greely, Pike Co. I regret I cannot attend – came down with a pretty severe bug in the last 24 hours. Our May meeting is tentative May 20 in Harford.

June will bring the Troy Fair activity – followed by Harford in August. We have been attending some youth field days and other PR activities. Things are going well.

Our trapping school is Sept. 8-9 at Camp Lackawanna. I have mailed out about 40 applications. If you want to attend, get your application back ASAP. We only have 45 openings – first come, first served. I expect a waiting list this year.

Enjoy your summer activities. — Ed Price

 

DISTRICT 11 REPORT

I want to say Thank You to the guys and gals of District 7 for hosting a great state banquet. I’m sure all in attendance had a good time and enjoyed a good meal as well. It was a great time to catch up with each other.

We had our April meeting in York County with only a few in attendance. I know there was a mix-up with the date for this meeting which may account for why some of you didn’t make it. We have been trying to do different things as an incentive to increase attendance at our meetings. Jeff Leeking has been doing a raffle with traps and such at each meeting which is good for the district and for those who attend. There will be some of George Kiphorn’s predator calls raffled off at some of our future meetings.

At the York meeting we decided to have a booth at the Lebanon Area Fair this year, which will be July 30 to Aug. 4 and held at the Lebanon Fairgrounds. Butch Herr will be in charge of organizing the crew to man the booth. If you are interested in helping let Butch know. The Schuylkill County fair will be that same week also. If you can help out with that event let Brian Mohn know. District 11 has had a booth at this fair for several years now and we can always use extra help to man it.

Ralph told us about the changes that are proposed to the state by-laws that will be voted on at the state meeting during the rendezvous. Ralph also updated us on the progress of HB 1057 which is the bill to reduce the safety zone for water trapping to 50 yards. This bill passed in the House and has moved to the Senate.

I want to give you the dates, locations and contacts for our trapper training school so that you can invite any interested student. Please check your calendars to see if you can help out with any of them.

Berks / Schuylkill — Sept 8, Auburn Fish & Game , Ron Smith, 570-294-6270

Dauphin — Sept 15, Dauphin Co Anglers & Cons Club, Mike Spittle, 717-367-2637

Lancaster — Aug 25, Millcreek Sportsmen’s Assoc, Terry Suter, 717-393-4738, Brock Chapman, 717-394-0077

York — Aug 25, Starview Sportsmen’s Club, Brett Spangler, 717-659-7265

Hopefully you are planning to attend the state rendezvous in Clearfield County June 21-24.

Our next business meeting will be our summer picnic at Millcreek Sportsmen’s Association on Aug. 5. Look for more details on this event in next month’s column.

Hopefully our paths will cross somewhere this summer. — Mike Spittle, 717-367-2637

 

DISTRICT 12 REPORT

Hello from the southeast again. I hope all are well. We have been busy in the district. I attended the State meeting at the end of March. It was a good meeting and a long day as usual. There is always a lot going on throughout the state as well as the Country and Canada. These meetings help to keep me informed and in turn I pass as much information back to the members at our local meetings. This is a great reason to attend our fall and spring meetings for the district. We actually had our spring meeting the day after the State meeting. It was a good meeting and was well attended – a lot of new faces. I was glad to see everybody. I am currently planning the training school with Dave Rodgers. It might end up being in late August this year because of my military duties in September. As soon as we have it all figured out I will get a flyer out to the members. We are also hoping to have demos and a dealer at the fall meeting.

They say things are slowly getting better and I think that they are. Operative word is slowly though. We have been working on a couple of things since our spring meeting. We are trying to get information out to those who need it about a possible mink snaring season. We are also looking at a reduction in the safety zone for traps in a water course and hopefully foot encapsulating traps. It’s probably a long shot but we can try. I’ve also been hearing talk about some of the reasons the fox catch was off in a lot of areas. Some are thinking distemper and others have said last year’s wet spring adversely effected the pups in the dens. I would like to hear from anybody whose fox catch was off in their area. Shoot me a call or email.

That’s all I have for now. Till next time watch your top knot. — Rick Ameisen, District #12 Director

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