President — Brian Mohn, 134 Fairview Road, Hamburg, PA 19526; phone: 610-562-1790; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President East — Joel Whitehead, RR#2Box 90, Thompson, PA 18465; e-mail: JFRED@nep.net
Vice President West — Ned Weston, 120 Swope Road, West Sunbury, PA 16061; phone: 724-894-2239; e-mail: Nweston@netzero.net
Secretary — Tereasa Houtz, 300 Flint Lane, Landisburg, PA 17040; e-mail: PTASecretary@embarqmail.com
Treasurer — Chad Kijowski, P.O. Box 614 , Dayton, PA 16222; phone: 814-257-9846;
Editor — Russ Ford, 309 Pine Dale Road, Carlisle, PA 17013, phone: 717-249-7271, fax: 717-249-8509; e-mail: Ptaeditor@pa.net
NTA Director — David Shuttleworth, 5452 Tamarack Drive, Sharpsville, PA 16150; phone: 724-962-4260; e-mail: Dianeshutts@aol.com
FTA Director — Mark Kasten, RR2 Box 2287, Hallstead, PA 18822; phone: 570-278-2553; e-mail: email@example.com
Public Relations Director — Mike Gontor, 87 West 7th St., Jim Thorpe, PA 18229; phone: 570-325-4974; e-mail: FuFiGa@ptd.net
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:
P.O. Box 614
Dayton, PA 16222
We waited all year for trapping season and finally it is here! I hope everybody gets afield to make a few memories for their trapping journal. We trained a new group of trappers through our trapper training schools that are anticipating their first trap check with the excitement we all share. As trappers we learn to deal with weather adversities and most of our trapping schools were conducted under these same conditions this fall. We prepared the students for the reality of the trapline.
This season will start with a few trapping regulation changes. The Dog proof or foot encapsulating trap cannot have an opening that exceeds 2” in diameter or diagonally. The cubbies opening for 160’s may not exceed 50 Square inches and triggers of trap need to be recessed 7” from entrance. For beaver trapping, trap placement near lodges or dams now has a 15 foot restriction statewide. All these regulations can be found in the Hunting and Trapping digest you received when you purchased your Furtaker license. Please pass the word.
Good Luck on the trapline and be safe. — Brian Mohn
I just returned from my first O&D meeting since being elected PTA editor. We have an awesome board of officers and directors and I am really honored to be included among such bright and innovative people. Thanks to all who supported me in the election and I am looking forward to serving you for the next 2 years. — Ed Price
PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR’S REPORT
During the April 2011 Pennsylvania Game Commission meeting, a group calling themselves Born Free presented demands to the commissioners. We presented the following as our response to those demands during the PGC’s October 2011 Meeting.
President Weaner, Commissioners, Director Roe and Deputy Director Hough; we thank you for this opportunity to share with you our concerns relative to questions that have been raised in reference to several methods and tools utilized by Pennsylvania trappers in our efforts to be an integral part of Pennsylvania’s wildlife management endeavor.
I. PROHIBIT THE USE OF CABLE RESTRAINTS
Pennsylvania Game Commission personnel along with Pennsylvania Trapper’s Association members worked diligently to establish ethical and responsible regulations for the use of this very valuable tool. These regulations were established on recommendations developed by Best Management Practices for harvesting coyotes and foxes. The devices are constructed through the use of a flexible cable, a relaxing lock, a breakaway device, deer avoidance device, as well as a placement requirement preventing any entanglement. With respect to the concern that PGC officers are not enforcing these regulations, my personal experience with over 37 years as a law enforcement officer with the PGC confirms to me that this is definitely not the case. All complaints or evidence discovered are investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent.
II. PROHIBITING THE USE OF CONIBEAR OR BODY-GRIPPING TRAPS ON PUBLIC LANDS.
We sincerely believe the recent regulations adopted by the Commissioners fully address this request.
III. ADOPTION OF A RULE CONCERNING EFFICIENT AND HUMANE DISPATCH OF TRAPPED ANIMALS.
We as members of the Pennsylvania Trapper’s Association enjoy a tremendous respect of all wildlife. Any training program in which we are involved always includes recommendations for quick and humane dispatch of all catches. Our primary recommendation, as indicated in the student manuals developed through a combined effort of PGC and PTA personnel, is through the use of a small caliber firearm.
IV. ADOPTION OF A RULE REQUIRING TRAPPERS TO REPORT THE NUMBER AND TYPE OF NON-TARGET ANIMALS CAUGHT BY TRAPS
The Pennsylvania Game Commission annually conducts surveys of licensed furtakers. Surveys of successful cable restraint students are also conducted. Through perusal of these surveys we are confident that not only are the incidents miniscule, but the welfare of the non-target animal is in little or no danger. Current regulations are established to avoid these situations.
V. REQUIRE TRAPPERS TO CHECK TRAPS AT LEAST ONCE EVERY 24 HOURS.
Although the law requires a 36 hour check, this law takes into consideration extenuating circumstances with respect to weather conditions or sickness. It is every trapper’s responsibility and desire to check each trap as early as possible each day.
In conclusion we would like to point to our history of educational efforts. An example would be our cooperation with the PGC in the conducting of cable restraint courses since the approved adoption in 2005. We have participated in 175 classes and certified approximately 5287 students. With the implementation of the new PGC furtaker course, we are again intrinsically involved in these programs. Over and above the cable restraint and furtaker courses, each district within the PTA conducts annual trapper training programs. These programs may be one or several days, and may involve 20 to 40 or more students with each course. An observation we are making is that many individuals who trapped as youngsters, are now, after establishing careers and raising a family, find themselves in a position of having youngsters of their own with an interest in trapping. We are delighted to see these fathers and mothers attending our training courses with their children. During these classes, emphasis is always on ethics and responsibility. We constantly stress erring on the side of caution and safety.
With this last statement in mind, we believe it is important for non-trappers to realize the efforts we accept in order to prevent conflicts. One example would be the areas that are stocked with pheasants. Although we know the habitat in these areas is conducive to fox and possibly coyotes being present, we avoid these areas out of respect to the small game hunter. Another example may be the trail within the state game lands system that we know is utilized many weekends by individuals taking their pets for a walk. Regardless who may have financed the land purchase, we can not afford to trap in these and many other areas.
It is quite frustrating to us that the public announcement of a professional athlete on steroids or a corrupt politician is accepted as common. However, if one individual calls himself or herself a trapper and creates an unethical or illegal situation; we respectful trappers are often painted with the same brush.
DISTRICT 1 REPORT
Hello Members. The fall business meeting was hosted by Warren County at the Spring Creek Sportsmen’s Club in Spring Creek, PA, on September 24th. Awards were presented to Venango County (Darryl Pyle – County Leader) for County of the Year and to Darrel Mook (from Erie County) for District 1 Trapper of the Year.
There have been three trapping schools in the district this year. Erie County taught 15 youth at the school they held in Union City. Thank you to Darrel Mook for coordinating this. Crawford County held an Amish school near Spartansburg. They had 28 kids and many adults in attendance. The district would like to thank Derric Cross and Marshal Pike for running this school. The district school was hosted by Mercer County at Pymatuning State Park. There were 26 kids and a handful of parents in attendance. Walter Greathouse is going to chair the District Trapping School next year. Thank you to Walter for stepping forward. Let’s make sure we do what we can to help Walter help the district with this project.
A Spring Gun Raffle Meeting is scheduled for October 9th at King’s Restaurant in Meadville, PA at 3 PM. If you could not make the meeting, please contact Jim or Donna Murphy to see how you can help with this event. This event is quite a bit of work and is a critical fundraising opportunity for our district. We really appreciate your help. The Spring Gun Raffle will be held on April 7th at Sparrow Pond Recreation and Camping.
At the time of this report is being compiled, we are working with Antlers and Anglers to have a demo area at their Sportsmen’s Show on October 1st and 2nd at the Crawford County Fair Grounds. I will report more about this in the next report.
Crawford County will be at the Pumpkin Fest from October 14th – 16th.
We are trying to put together two bags of tanned fur for the Crawford County WCO’s. If you have something to donate, please contact Derric Cross at (814) 664-8733.
By the time the next report is due, we will be in the beginning of our trapping season. I wish everyone the best of luck this year!
— Charlie Sykes
DISTRICT 3 REPORT
Hopefully this report finds you all prepared for the upcoming season, or if you’re not quite prepared, at least further along than I am, seems like summer comes and goes faster all the time. By the time you read this, all of our summer and fall events will be over, and we’ll be looking forward to the fur sale. Don’t forget to mark your calendars with the January 29th fur sale date. It will be held once again at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
The winner of the rifle from the raffle at the fairs was Caitie Miller, of Washington, Pa. Thanks to all who helped sell and bought tickets. We even signed up a couple of new members at the fair this year.
Our Trapper’s school was held at the Youngwood Sportsmen Club on September 24, with 27 students present, and it was an eager to learn group. A lot of thanks must go out to everyone who helped with this school. First I’d like to thank Rege Denne, John Kozubal, and Erwin Polansky, for setting up and running the school. I must add that they also ran a cable restraint class the weekend before at McDonald Sportsman’s Club.
Thank you gentlemen for giving up half of your weekends in September, for the benefit of educating trappers. Next I have to thank the group of instructors at the school, Bob Jameson, Greg Grimm, John Wilkinson, Dan Weiss, Matthew Pappa, and Doug Bergman. You guys crammed a lot of teaching into your time spots, and by the comments received, all of the students were more than pleased with the school. Last but not least, we can’t forget lunch. A heap of thanks goes out to Jim, John, and Jamison Poorbaugh, for the excellent lunch spread. Thanks guys, for taking care of the lunch for 40 or so hungry people. Make sure the Mrs. Poorbaugh’s get thanks too for their help.
When you read this, the D-3 scholarship deadline will be past and I’ll report the winner in the next report.
Have a great season.
— Dave Eckels
DISTRICT 4 REPORT
I just got back from another great district 4 fall convention and trapper training school in Emporium. I would really like to thank all the dealers, tailgaters, presenters, cooks, and volunteers that made the weekend a success. The PGC was there and explained the new conibox regulations and answer a lot of trapper questions. And thanks to the PGC for providing a nice bobcat for our skinning demo. We had 66 students at our trapper training school, most were beginners or novice trappers. It is great to see that many people getting into trapping.
The planning for the 75th PTA Rendezvous is going well. The Rendezvous will be held June 21-24, 2012. As of now, I believe we are ahead of where we were in 2005, but a lot still needs to be done. Volunteers would be greatly appreciated. Our next Rendezvous planning meeting is Thursday November 10th at 7:00 pm at the Knights of Columbus in downtown St. Marys.
Our January fur sale and meeting is scheduled for Saturday January 21st at the Sacred heart activity center in St. Marys. Plan on showing off your catch and supporting the district. Everyone has a great time sharing their trapline stories from the past season with other trappers, after all trappers are the only ones that really understand and appreciate them.
If you have any questions or concerns please get a hold of me.
— Jeff Dornsich, 814-781-7539
DISTRICT 5 REPORT
I hope everyone is better prepared for the trapping season than I am as it will be here soon. I encourage everyone to get out there and take advantage of the many opportunities we have here in Pennsylvania in the outdoors. Between trapping, hunting and now steelhead fishing it can get quite hectic and difficult to fit it all in while trying to work full time and take care of all the other responsibilities we acquire along the way. Despite all that I’m looking forward to the fall seasons and I hope you are too. Good luck!
It’s not too early to start thinking about the fur sale in early February and planning how you will prepare your fur in order to get the most value for it. District 5 will again be hosting a sale and I hope you can come out and support our district. Be careful out there and enjoy yourselves.
Please feel free to contact Pat Wess @ (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 firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for reading.
— Brian Stern, Tipton, PA.
DISTRICT 7 REPORT
District 7 is hosting the 2012 PTA banquet at the Hughesville Fire Company Social Hall on March 31. Doors will open at 4 pm,meal starts at 5pm. The meal will be family style, all you can eat, roast beef and chicken. Following the meal we will have an auction. We will also have a raffle drawing. We will start selling tickets in November. $25 each or two for $45. More information will be in the next report.
District 7 fur auction will be January 15, at 9am at Washingtonville. You must be a member of the PTA to sell, 4% commission.
— Pete , Minkman46@aol.com or 570-437-2679
DISTRICT 9 REPORT
Hopefully all of our members came through the floods of Irene and Lee OK. I know quite a few people whose lives were touched by these back-to-back natural disasters. Our hearts go out to you.
Our trapper training school in September was cancelled due to flooding. Camp Lackawanna is a great venue for the school, but unfortunately it is located near the Susquehanna River and that area was flooded pretty badly. We are keeping the mailing list for next year and hopefully all those who were signed up this year will be able to attend next year.
Trapping season is upon us at last! Before you set traps take a look at the regulations as there are some important changes this year. The 160 bodygripper must be set back in a box in the watercourse this year. There are also new reg.’s for the dog proof traps as well as setting of beaver traps near the dam and house. The whole State must now obey the 15-foot setback rule. Open up that PGC Digest and find out what’s new. It could save you a lot of pain and suffering in the long run.
The Harford Fair display went well. Our State sweepstakes tickets sales were down, and we don’t know whether it was due to shortage of money on the public’s part, or the offering of a 4-wheeler instead of a side-by-side. Hopefully the economy will pick up soon.
Will Kasten, Jessica and Larry Barrows and I did our little part for the Susquehanna County PFSC youth field days recently. The event was attended by 57 eager youths who enjoyed the day outdoors and hopefully learned something in the balance. We donated a 22 rifle package that was won by Matthew Gibbon of South Canaan, Pa.
The coyote hunt is rapidly approaching (Feb. 4, 5 & 6). We have decided to purchase a Kimber 223 cal. as the raffle gun this year. You will be receiving your application and raffle tickets in December.
Good luck on the trapline and stay safe.
— Ed Price, email@example.com
DISTRICT 10 REPORT
Hello to all. Hope you are doing well. I hope everyone made it through hurricanes Irene and Lee. I know the Harrisburg and Wilkes Barre areas got hit very hard. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.
District 10’s fur sale will be held Jan. 14 at the Belfast Club. We will need help to set up Friday and Saturday during the sale. Please plan to bring your fur and support the District.
District 10 has the new PTA coyote prints along with framed fox prints for sale. We also have t-shirts, yardsticks and State items. If you are interested in any of these items please let me know.
Not much else going on for right now. Keep in mind that District 10 will be hosting the 2013 State Convention. If you have any ideas or would like to help out let me know.
That’s it for now. By the time you read this land trapping will have started. To get top dollar for your fur wait until they prime up – usually around mid-November. Enjoy the upcoming season.
— Scot Mucha, 610-863-9759
DISTRICT 11 REPORT
We had a real nice day to hold our Trapper Training School in Dauphin County this year. I want to thank the guys and gals that helped me with the school again this year. They always do a fantastic job. The Angler’s Club where we have the school had significant flood damage to the grounds and buildings but we were able to use the area in spite of this. We had 20 students attend this year and all of them were eager to learn and to try their hand at catching some critters this fall.
Trapping season is now upon us and hopefully you have everything ready to go. I know I mentioned this last month but it bears repeating that we have new regulations to abide by with our 160 body grip traps. Check your hunter / trapper digest before you take to the line this year. I always try to encourage my customers and students to keep fur clean, cold and dry to get the most money for your animals. With the weather we have been experiencing lately that is going to be a real challenge. Hopefully God will turn down the spigots a bit and give us a few nice days and nights come trapping season.
Our district fur sale will be held January 7, 2012 at the Berks County 4H center in Bernville PA. Doors will open at 7AM. The auction will start at 9AM. You must be a PTA member to sell fur at this auction. All licensed fur buyers are welcome to attend. The kitchen will be open at 7AM and throughout the day. As usual, we will be in need of volunteers to set up, clean up and run the sale. Let Ralph or me know if you can help us out with this and we will find something for you to do.
I will fill you in on the Middlecreek meeting in next months’ column. Be safe and have fun as you hit the trap line. If you have a chance, take a youngster along to share your time and knowledge with.
Best of luck.
— Mike Spittle, firstname.lastname@example.org
DISTRICT 12 REPORT
Hello from the Southeast again. I hope all of you are doing well. First thing I want to get off my chest is to talk about how poorly my lawn is doing. I think we need some more freaking rain. Has anyone notice that it no longer just rains. We have these catastrophic rain events with several inches of rain in the course of a few hours. One storm where I’m at we had 7 inches of rain in 15 minutes, it was biblical. If it keeps raining like this it will never even remotely dry up for trapping season. I know what your saying, dry up for season, Rick what are you taking and can I have some. I can dream can’t I. But seriously I hope everyone made out ok. Oh lets not forget about my lawn, if anyone needs hay for hay sets give me a call, the Amishman is cutting it next week.
We have been busy down here once again. We held our annual pig roast/training school this past September. It went off without a hitch. It’s like a well oiled machine now. If we could only get people to show up it would be spectacular. We had a less then good turn out for the roast. We had a good turn for the school however. The weather was great and the smell of trapping season was in the air. Every kid went home with a trapping bucket, at least one trap and hand fulls of literature. District #12 should be commended for this event. We had over 60 students of all ages and skill sets.
I know I’m very proud of it and to me it’s the most important thing we do all year. I would like to thank all the instructors for their help: Albert Stoltzfus, Mike Coyne, Ed Carroll, Dick Atkins, Joel Martin and Frank Lane. These gentleman did a fantastic job. I would also like to thank our host Dave Rodgers and family for their help and support as well. We couldn’t do it without them. I also heard some good news about our youth feild days at the end of the summer, they were well received. Thanks Montgomery county members.
Well I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to season once again. While it will be starting soon I will still be working towards a few projects for the district. One of which will be to setup a booth at the sportsman show in Oaks this January. Hopefully it will work out. I will be at the state meeting in the beginning of October and will be able to update our members at our fall meeting on October 30th at the Lower Perkiomen Sportsman Assc. in Collegeville.
I want to wish everyone success and safety for the upcoming season. Till next time watch your top Knot.
— Rick Ameisen, District 12 Director