Pennsylvania Trappers Association November 2009 Report

President — Rod Zullinger, 4886 Raccoon Valley Rd., Millerstown, PA 17062; phone: 717-589-7594; e-mail:

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


Hi Once Again to All,

Boy, here it is fall already and soon to be time to enjoy your times in the GREAT OUTDOORS! How fortunate for us that we have a place to pursue our sports.

Here in Pa., there are many opportunities to get into nature. We are lucky that we are allowed to do things that we really enjoy.

Well it looks like the market is still going to be way down this coming season. As stated before, this down market has its good and bad points to it. My advice: hang in there! Get out and do your thing. Also please remember, do not start harvesting furs too early. Unprime fur is worthless fur.

“GET R DONE”: Well that’s just what most of our districts have been and are doing. As I read all the reports, it seems that each year our districts, with just a very few dedicated members, have been expanding their efforts to bring you and the public many events and going ons. It just goes to show what this Association can do when a few decide to “GET R DONE.”

Good News from KIFE. Please read Greg’s Report, it shows the progress that has been make in just a relatively short period of time. Once again it shows what can be accomplished when just a few decide to “GET R DONE”! Now is the time for all of us to step in and give all the support that we can. OUR TIME, OUR MONEY and OUR DEDICATION are needed more now than ever to make this so. PLEASE give (in any form) all that you can. Without your help, we will not ”GET R DONE”!


— Russ Ford


We had our last board meeting on Sept. 19, 2009, and it was an excellent meeting. We adopted the bylaws and will be submitting the 501(c) 3 application for non-profit status to the IRS shortly. Out next scheduled meeting is Nov. 21, 2009.

We now have our standing committees and their chairperson. The Executive committee is headed by me, Finance Committee Rod Zullinger, Education committee Pete Ellerman, Property Committee Joe Mast and the Museum Committee Mike Gontar.

Some people have already signed up to be on some of these committees and when the list is completed, we will let you know who is on what committee. Anyone wishing to serve on a committee can now contact the chairperson or you can e-mail me with your information at and I will pass it along to the chairperson.

I wish to thank District 8 for their donation of $1,000 to help us get rolling. This thank you was long over due. There have been several other donations and we will be sending out letters thanking them for their support shortly. We are in need of money. It is costing us quite a bit just to file the applications that need to be filed.

Donations at this time are considered charitable, so please keep the organization in mind for your charitable giving and bequests.

We now have a mailing address: Keystone Institute for Furbearer Education, P.O. Box 37, New Ringgold, PA 17960. Donations can be sent to that address.

Please make checks payable to the same. We are filing a fictitious name to be able to use KIFE so people do not have to write out the whole name on a check as well as to be able to use it on literature and such, and will notify you when it can be used.

We are looking for PTA members that have Web site development experience. We would like to develop a Web site for KIFE in the future. This is to be a very interactive web site to post updates on what is going on as far as projects and education is concerned.

We are also looking at having a logo designed for KIFE. Anybody with suggestions can also e-mail it to me. A suggestion I have made to the board is a picture showing an older person standing alongside a creek with a pack basket on and a younger person standing there with some traps in their hand. This would represent the passing of the tradition and knowledge onto the younger generation.

The board has set some priorities. They are fundraising and education at this time. The fundraising is important in order for us to achieve what we want to do. The fundraising will be a two-prong attack. One for our annual operating costs. The other to set up an endowment that will allow us, through the interest from the endowment, to sustain certain programs and facilities like the Trappers Park so they are self sustaining. The education portion is to develop programs to be given at schools for the three different age groups and programs for different types of organizations, be it social or political or whatever.

Once we have the nuts and bolts of this program and the resources to conduct them, we will need to have a program to train the ones that will give these programs and have them pre-approved to teach them. I am overly excited about the trapper training courses being offered throughout the country that I hear and read about. These courses are good, but are not the thrust of KIFE’s educational programs at the present time.

Our courses will be geared to understanding how trapping is part of our heritage as well as a viable proper tool for wildlife management, recreational value and its economic value. We are not out to make everyone a trapper, but instead to have everyone understand and accept its value to wildlife and our society. Some of the tools we might possibly use besides being in classrooms are Powerpoint presentations and DVDs. But this is up to the educational committee to decide so if this is exciting to you, get on the committee.

We are particularly interested in getting PTA members that are teachers to help develop this program. The teachers know what will get the students attention and keep it as well as how to gear the program to them.

As much as this started out to find land to have a permanent location for the PTA Convention, it has expanded dramatically. The Trappers Park is still a big part of KIFE, but the reality is that until KIFE has a positive history and has the funds, the Park is going to be awhile in forthcoming.

Many of the institutions and foundations where we might be able to get large amounts of funds for such a project will not take us seriously until we have some time under our belt and show we have the administrative capability to succeed with the project.

I do hope this message finds all of you well and you are getting ready for the upcoming season. I know I am looking forward to that first day out on the line. There is nothing better to clear a person’s mind then the beauty of the outdoors. Do not let the price of fur discourage you as everything comes full circle.

— Greg Kohl


I want to start this report off by saying, that NOTHING happened on Aug. 27, but WOW, the rest of the summer was very busy. Starting off with the Erie Wildlife Refuge for Heritage Days to the Harthagig Family Fun Days, Crawford County Fair, Waterford Fair, Water Fowl Expo, Stoneboro Fair, Mercer County Tour and various road clean-ups around the counties.

Thanks to all that participated in these events and projects.

The following members were recognized during the District Meeting:

Marshal Pike – Trapper of the Year

Janelle Pike – Lady Trapper of the Year

Erie County (Bill Phillips) – County of the Year

Our trapper training school was held on Sept. 26, at Bill Phillips’ residence in Erie County. Thanks, Bill, for opening up your residence to District One to host this event. We had about 45 kids and 20+ adults attend the school. There was $90 collected in donations. Thanks to our cooks, instructors and parents for making this a successful event.

Warren County hosted the fall meeting at the Spring Creek Sportsmen’s Club. We had roughly 150 people there. We signed up some new members, had some great demos and ate some good food. Thanks to all that helped make this such a success.

Crawford County will be doing the pumpkin fest in October. If you can help Jim Murphy, please contact him at 814-382-2561.

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.

Forrest County is hosting a “Trappers Day” on Sunday Oct. 18. This is to be held at endeavor Community Building Rt.666 Endeavor Pa. Rt. 62 7 mile north of Tionesta. For more info, call Warren county leader Jim Howe at 814-463-3760.

District One would like to express our condolences in regards to the passing of one of our very dedicated members, Todd Harties. Todd was the District Director for District 5.

A special thanks to Don Hines for agreeing to participate on the Trappers’ Park Board. The new name for this board is KIFE (Keystone Institute for Furbearer Education). Thanks also for giving us an update during the District meeting.

Thanks District One members for all you do to promote trapping. Best of luck this season.

God Bless.

— Charlie Sykes


We had our Fall Expo on Sept. 19, 2009. We had beautiful weather all day and a good crowd of people. The Tailgaters and the inside Dealers that I talked to said they did OK.

We had a Cable Restraint Class during the Expo. I’d like to thank the instructors and others who helped with the class. Thank you Darrell Bower, Ned Weston and Ron Marsh. Around 30 people took the cable restraint class.

We had some demos put on throughout the day and I would like to thank the guys who put on the demos. Steve Campbell put on the 1st demo on raccoon. Kip Feroce put on a K-9 demo and Nick Bower put on a fox demo later in the day.

Nick is a PTA member who lives in Ohio and came over to add to our Expo. Others in the crowd of trappers who were watching the Demos stepped up to ask question and added their insight and observations to the demos. Thank you all.

We had five members man the kitchen and Raffles throughout the day — John Jefferson, Kevin Davis, Ken Pohl and Paul Murray. They put in a long day going between working the kitchen, raffles, making announcements, driving out and getting supplies, cleaning up, moving tables and chairs and getting rid of the garbage. I’d like to thank Judy Jefferson for buying the food and other kitchen supplies. Thanks guys.

 I went to District 4’s school and sold some of the canine books put out by the PTA for a fundraiser. I also sold some of the books at District 1’s outing. I met a lot of people at the two events and got to talk with a lot of friends. Saw a couple of great demos and learned some new stuff. Thank you all who bought the books for your support given to the PTA.

— Greg


Hello all,

With the quick approach of fall weather, I hope everyone has found more time to prepare their equipment and trapline than I have. It seems to keep coming faster for some reason. The winner of our gun raffle at the county fairs was Bob Trax from Finleyville, Pa. Thanks to everyone who bought or sold tickets and helped to make the fairs and gun raffle possible.

Our trapper’s school was held on Sept. 12 at the East Monongahela Sportsman’s Club.

Thanks to Rege Denne for lining up this year’s site. It worked out very well. We had a smaller class this year than in recent years with 20 students. Some had to leave early, but came back after school sports, and the class stretched from 9 a.m. until almost 6 p.m. Of course I might be biased, but I’d place the District 3 instructors with anyone, as there is a true passion for our sport with them. Thanks guys for giving up a whole Saturday for our students.

This year’s staff included Bob Jameson, Ron Shriver, Greg Grimm, Doug Bergman, Dan Weiss, John Wilkinson, Chris Bergman, Rege Denne, John Poorbaugh and Jamison Poorbaugh. Of course, another excellent lunch was served up by the Poorbaughs and no one should have gone home hungry or uneducated by the time it was over.

Even the weather held out for us, although it looked like we were going to have to teach mud remakes for a while. Something in the suggestion box for next year would be to do the ’coon put up demos a little earlier, or pre-flies for those who were there. Thanks again guys for another great day promoting our future.

By the time you read this, our fall rondy will be over. I hope you made it out and picked up all your last-minute supplies for the upcoming season. Remember to save some fur for the district sale Jan. 31 at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

Till next time.

— Dave Eckels


It is with great sadness that I report the death of our district director William Todd Harteis. Todd passed away at home on Sept. 18, 2009. He leaves behind his wife Colleen and four children at home. Todd worked hard for District 5 and the Trapper’s Association and he will be missed. Donations in Todd’s memory may be made to his children’s trust fund at USSCO Credit Union, 1104 W. High St., Ebensburg, PA 15931.

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.

 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


On a sad note, the PTA lost a fine member — Todd Harteis. He was surely way too young. We all send our condolences to the family. Todd will surely be missed by all of us.

The Trappers Park Idea is getting closer. KIFE (Keystone Institute for Furbearer Education) has established a board and is holding by monthly meetings. You can read the KIFE report to keep in touch with its progress.

I surely hope you all have them traps ready to go. The time has come ready or not. It has been a very busy fall here in District 8. We had a good turn out for the Marysville Show Sept. 12.

We did get rained on again this year like last year. The tailgaters were off about 25 percent, but for the first time, we filled the building inside. The rain and the economy did not keep the buyers away. We had very good turn out as far as that goes. The donations for the District 8 auction were very good. Thanks to everybody who made a donation to the auction. Thanks to the buyers at the auction. For a year when the economy was not so great, I believe we had a very successful auction. I am sorry I had to leave early and I thank everyone that stayed and helped out.

I would like to thank the Marysville Lions Club for the use of their facility and doing a fine job serving food. Thanks to all the venders that turned out for the show. Thanks to all of the District 8 members that volunteered their time to help with the show. The gate workers, the parking lot people, the tailgate parkers, the volunteers that did the demos, the folks that helped with the District 8 table and inside the building, the auction, the auctioneer and the people that stayed to clean up. Thanks to Fred Weber for doing the advertising, thanks to Swamper for all your help and thanks to Nelson Hosler our treasurer. We could not do this show without any of you.

On Sept. 26, we held our District 8 Trapper Training School at Ickesburg Sportsmen`s Association. There were 41 students present eager to learn. They had to endure a rainy afternoon, but most of them chose to stick it out to the end. A big thanks to all the District 8 members that volunteered their time for the school. Thanks to Ickesburg Sportsmen`s Association for the use of their facility. I hope all of the students had a fun day and soaked up some new trapping knowledge.

Well, by the time you receive this publication, the 1st Blain Fall Extravaganza should be history. I hope you take the time to get out on the trapline and catch some fur. If you have time, take a young trapper along. You can pass the passion on to some young lad. Good luck to all of you.

For more info, call me at 717-486-7573 or 717-226-9623, e-mail: or send mail to Allen Eppleman, 4232 Carlisle Road, Gardners, PA 17324.

— Allen Eppleman


Trapping season is upon us and I hope you are prepared for the event.

Our summer is past and many district events have taken place. The fairs, youth fields days, trapper training school, mini rendezvous and H.T.E classes are coming to an end. I wish to thank all members that stepped up to the plate and helped make our events a success.

Our first district fur sale will be held on Dec. 19, 2009, at the Triton Hose Company from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with food available.

Our Northeast Regional Coyote Hunt will again be held on Feb. 5, 6 and 7, 2010.

Get out and set some iron.

Good luck.

— Bill K.


Hello to all. Hope you are gearing up for the upcoming season. Fur prices look really low, but I am sure the diehards will be chasing fur. These lean years are a good time to try new sets, lures and ideas to gain more knowledge.

Our District picnic was held back in July. Turn out was light, but everyone had a good time. A short District meeting followed.

Our third highway clean up was done Aug. 9. Thanks to Steve Wentzel and his crew for doing a fine job. The last one of the year will be Oct. 11. Please come out to help this worthwhile cause.

Lehigh County Youth Field Day was held back in August. The kids had a great time and learned about many difference outdoor activities.

Last minute reminder about the Fall Convention on Sept. 26-27 at West End Fairgrounds. Also doing a cable restraint class Sunday, Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call North East Regional Office of the Game Comm. to register.

Next big event for the District is the Fur Auction on Jan. 16, 2010. Please plan to bring your fur and support the District. More details later.

That’s about it for now. Get your gear ready for the upcoming season. Which will be here before you know it. Please wait till fur primes up before starting, usually around Nov. 15. Enjoy the fall weather and good luck to the archery hunters.

God Bless.

— Scot


Our four trapper training schools were again a real success. Thanks to the members who gave of their time and talent to make them happen. I personally can’t thank the guys and gals enough that help me in Dauphin County. They look forward to helping each year and seem to enjoy teaching as much as the students enjoy learning. I want to pass along a personal thank you to WCO Mike Doherty who reorganized his schedule to make it to our school.

We didn’t have us many attend the schools this year, but all who did were very eager to learn and participate. The predicted low fur price didn’t seem to have any effect on dampening their enthusiasm. A student from last years’ Lancaster County School, Ryan Osborne, returned this year as an instructor. He has become quite successful at trapping muskrats and raccoons in the water and came back to share his talents with the Lancaster County school.

I told you last month that District 11 would be hosting the state banquet in 2010. It will be Sept. 18, 2010, at the Eagle’s Club in Lebanon. Please mark your calendars now and make plans to attend this event. Ask anyone who attended the 2008 banquet and they will tell you that you are in for one of the best meals you will get anywhere. If you are interested in helping with this event, please let Ralph or me know. Also, if you run across any items for the raffle tables or the auction let us know that too.

The District 11 fur sale will be held Jan. 9, 2010, at the Berk’s County 4H Center in Bernville, PA. 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 food throughout the day.

Something that we have been doing the last few years is auctioning off the extra baked goods that have been donated for the day and if we get the amount this year that we have been getting in the past, we will probably do that again. If you can help out with the fur sale in any way, please let Ralph or me know.

You already know that fur prices for this season look kind of grim. Let this be the year to try some new sets or methods or to partner up with a youngster and share your time and talent with them. Whatever you choose to do with the upcoming season, have fun, be safe and enjoy God’s great outdoors.

One last thing to pass along to you. I received a note from Butch Hett, who is one of the committee members for KIFE, which was formerly the “Trapper’s Park Project.” They have everything set up now to begin accepting donations for this project. I personally was one of the many members at the state meeting two years ago who raised their hand when it was asked, “Who would be willing right now to give $100 to this project?”

So here is our chance to give. Checks are to be made payable to: Keystone Institute for Furbearers Education and sent to: P.O. Box 37, New Ringgold, PA 17960. All donations ARE tax deductible.
I will fill you in on what happened at our Middlecreek meeting in next month’s column.

— Mike Spittle

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