Pennsylvania Trappers Association October 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;

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


As I sit to write this article on Aug. 28, we are experiencing more of the same wet summer weather. I am hoping for an Indian summer this fall to get the remainder of my dry soil put up. My neighbors are accustomed to seeing me rake my Zen garden daily. Trappers have many little quirks that keep our neighbors wondering!

I want to thank all the members who took the time to volunteer and teach at one of our many trapper training schools across the state. We continue to see an increased attendance every year, which is a testament to the great job you all are doing as instructors. Next year as the PGC starts the Successful Furtaking course, we stand to benefit from the pool of new students seeking additional in depth training. The Pennsylvania Trapper’s Associations continues to promote trapping with New Book “Canine Trapping.” This book starts with the importance of trapping ethics and progresses with sets and techniques by top PA Trappers. To purchase the book send check or money order made out to Pa. Trappers Assoc. for $12 plus $4 S&H to: Greg Bell, 1219 Dallas Ave., Natrona Heights, PA 15065-1432.

Where will your trapline take you this winter? Perhaps this is the year to run that long dreamed about trapline that just never fit your schedule. Maybe you were one of the lucky trappers to be drawn for a bobcat permit. Wherever your line takes you enjoy your time, mentor a new trapper and pass along the ethics of a responsible trapper. The fur market is unpredictable, but I know that we’ll handle fur exhibits pride in workmanship that most likely mirrors how the trapper manages his trapline. We all know that well handled fur is financially rewarded!

This fall the PGC will have their beaver management plan updated and recommendations to ensure wise use of the resource. I would expect to see some changes to reflect what the trappers are reporting from the field.

The otter research based in the northeast is underway and I will have more information in future reports. James Kauffman is working on genotyping of river otters throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey as his graduate-level thesis paper. The PA Trappers Association has been supportive of numerous otter research projects and reintroductions, for more than twenty-five years.

I am happy to see the Keystone Institute for Furbearer Education is up and running. The principle of KIFE is needed and will help to preserve our tradition, but not without your help.
Enjoy the change in seasons.

— Brian Mohn


Hi Everyone!

It’s been quite busy for us all. Summer is now behind us and Fall is here. Time really goes fast. I would like to start with old news. Thank you to District 5 with the 2009 Convention. You all did a wonderful job. Special Thanks to Todd Harteis!

Of course, as you know, we had elections for the next two-year term. The positions is as follows: Brian Mohn is now our President, Ned Weston is Vice President of the West, Joel Whitehead is Vice President of the East, Tereasa Houtz is Secretary, Mike Gontar is Public Relations Director and Russ Ford is still our Editor.

Our treasurer position was left vacant and Brian Mohn has appointed Chad Kijowski to fill the position . Any questions regarding membership or PTA merchandise, please mail him at PO Box 614, Dayton PA 16222.

I personally would like to thank both Rod Zullinger and Ed Price for their hard work that they put into our organization. They did a great job!

Also, I would like to remind everyone that if you are collecting the Annual Convention Trapper Tags, please make sure to see Terry Swartz (Swamper). You can reach him at 717-536-3733.
2009 Convention Turkey Calls are still available! If you are interested, please send a check to me in the amount of $35 plus $10 Shipping, made out to the PTA.
Happy Trapping Season!

— Tereasa Houtz


Hello to all,

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost gone already. Trapping season is just around the corner. I attended the National Convention in Lima, Ohio as planned. The convention was very well attended with a little over 4,800 attendees coming through the gate. Counting the tailgaters, campers, etc. there was roughly 5,800 in attendance. This was one of best conventions I can remember. If you wanted or needed something, it was there. The OSTA did great job of hosting the convention.

The Board of Directors meeting started Tuesday morning at 8 in the morning. I will try to touch on the main issues.

• The budget was presented by the finance committee. The Board of Directors approved the budget as presented. The committee and the office are doing a very good job staying within the budget. The contracts for the Editor and Convention Coordinator were both renewed for one year with no change in terms. Buddy Marsyada is the Editor and Dan Skurski is the Convention Coordinator. The California lawsuit debt is paid off, and the lifetime funds are being repaid at 5 percent interest. At the Executive Council meeting, it was determined that they will not fill the contractual position of Director of National & International Affairs. Representation to “Fur Wraps the Hill” and other industry-related organizations will be done by Sam Smith.

• A motion was made and approved that: “the NTA donate an amount equal to fifty percent of the auction profits from the 2009 NTA Western Regional Convention to be held in Lewistown, Montana, in September 2009, to the Montana Trappers Association to be used for the Footloose in Montana initiative. This is not to be interpreted as a precedent. The donation will not be charged as an expense to the Western Regional Convention.”

• Kraig Kaatz was re-elected as President.

• The following people were elected as Regional Directors:

Midwest: John Irwin

Northeast: David Shuttleworth

Southeast: Sam Smith

Southwest: Mark Davis

• Stan Berkbuegler and Don Aycock were elected as Directors at Large. Chris McAllister was elected as Board Rep. to Executive Council.

• General Organizer Todd Roggenkamp was unable to attend. He did send a recorded DVD to the BOD. During this report, he informed the Board that because of work and family issues he would resign as of Oct. 1. Executive Council will appoint a replacement.

• The following people received awards at the awards banquet:

Conservationist of the Year – Herb Berquist – Massachusetts

Congressional Merit – Norman “Skip” Traks – Maine

Affiliate of the Year – Utah Trappers Association

Benefactor – North American Fur Auctions

Leadership Award – Mike Sievering – Alabama

Director of the Year – Jackie Malone – Alabama

Pioneer Award – Mike and Virge Fischer – Arkansas

Trapper of the Year East – Randel Watkins – Maryland

Trapper of the Year West – Kevin Whitworth – Missouri

Hall of Fame – Cindy Steff and Joseph Alcorn

Presidents Award went to, Alaska Trappers Association, and the Nevada Trappers Association.

In closing, the Board of Directors meeting and the convention went very well. Next year’s convention will be in Marshfield, Wisc. The 2011 convention will be in Columbia, Miss. subject to successful negotiation. Feel free to contact me at 724-962-4260. Support the National and State Associations. We’re all in this together.

— Dave Shuttleworth


Hi friends and all others,

Well here we are into mid September and it feels good to have some nicer weather. I am back from Florida and I’m sure enjoying the cooler temps that we have here.

Not a lot of Trapping News to report at this time so to fill a few inches I’ll “Ramble On” about a few thoughts I have.

It looks like it could be a very bad year Market Wise for fur this coming season. This can be both good as well as bad for you depending on how you react to this “Down Market.”

Some good that will most likely come about is this:

1. Less trappers and hunters out and about. More room for you to do your thing.

2. Should be a good year for many furbearers to rebound in #’s. The last few years, most furbearers, were under a lot of pursuit because of the higher prices.

3. A good time to buy used traps and equipment as many sell out and drop out.

4. A good time to experiment with new methods and ways to try. After all, if it don’t work, you ain’t loosen nothing.

5. A good year to really enjoy what’s out there. Not just pushing yourself and missing out on what’s right in front of you

6. A good year for many other things that may come to your mind.

7. Last, but far from least: A good time to get more involved in YOUR ASSOCIATIONS. Now more than ever (with some members dropping out) you can and should become more active and willing to support your sport.

Enjoy the fall and soon to be winter. Have fun, but be careful out there.

Take someone along with you on your tromps where ever they may lead you.

My thanks to you for you time.

— Russ Ford


Our trapper training school will be held Sept. 26 at Bill Phillips’ resident in Erie County at 2789 Dublin Road, Waterford, PA. Registration will begin at 7:30 p.m. (Pre-registration is required). For more information, please contact Derrick Cross at 814-664-8733 or Bill Phillips at 814-796-3699.

The fall meeting will be held on Sept. 27 in Warren County at 4 p.m. It is at the Spring Creek Sprtsman’s Club. We are planning to have some demos before the meeting and there will be dealers there for any last-minute purchases. For directions or more information, please contact Bill Cummings at 814-723-8824.

Mercer County did the Harthagig Family Fun Days on Aug. 23. We will be doing the Mercer County Sportsman’s Tours on Sept. 19 and 20. A special thanks goes out to David Shuttleworth for doing a great job and volunteering his help with this.

Crawford County had a booth at the Crawford County Fair from Aug. 22 to 29. A special thanks goes out to Jim and Donna Murphy, Frank and Leslie, Andrew and Kaycee Hyde for their help with this endeavor.

Remember County Leaders, we have skunk teddy bears, knives, hats and t-shirts that can be used as county fund-raisers.

Keep in mind, we still have PTA District 1 sweatshirts ($35) and window decals ($7.50) for sale. If you are interested in purchasing one, please contact me.

We have a lot going on in each of the counties. Please help your county leaders various functions a success by donating your help to promote trapping.

It is past time to have those traps ready!

God Bless.

— Charlie Sykes


Our O&D meeting will be held on Oct. 3. I will have a report on it at our Fall Meeting. Our Fall Meeting will be at the Happy Hunters Sportsmen’s Club around 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11. Happy Hunters Sportsmen Club is at Fennelton, Pa. just North of Rt. 422, West of Worthington.
We have New District 2 hats for sale. I’ll have them at our Fall Meeting. They are $10 each. We have solid and vented ball hat types, with a fox on the front of it.

We had our Fall Expo on Sept. 19. There was a cable restraint class plus some demos that day. We always have inside dealers and tailgaters at the Expo. All are welcome. There is no set up fee. There are Chinese raffles and other raffles, too.

We had our Trapper School on Aug. 8 this year. It was held outside of Knox at the Beaver Nature Area. I would like to thank everyone who helped that day. The parents seemed to think the School was well run. The students got a lot of supplies to get started in trapping. I would like to thank all who donated their time and all who donated supplies and equipment to the School.

All Districts can use trapping items for Raffles at events and/or at Trapping Schools held in your districts. This past State Convention Bob Gilford donated his trapping equipment to the PTA. The Auction at the State Convention raised money for the PTA and traps were given to different Districts for their Trapper Schools. Words can hardly express the appreciation at the State level for the traps and equipment. And the smiles on the faces of the new young trappers for equipment that will be used for a long time. His gift will touch many people for years to come. Bob was given a Presidential Award for the PTA for his donation and his support of Trapping in the State. Thank You Bob.

The PTA Book Sale is going well. The Book “Canine Trapping” is a fundraiser for the PTA. It is $12 plus $4 S&H. You can send check or M.O. made out to the PTA. Send to: Greg Bell, 1219 Dallas Ave., Natrona Heights, PA 15065. Or stop in at your District Meetings or Events and save on S&H charges.

Good luck trapping this season, take a trapping partner with you and take lots of pictures. They probably will be worth more that any fur you catch. You can’t buy or put a price on good times and memories.

— Greg


Just a short report this month with some updates for you. By this time, all of our members should have received their fall newsletter and scholarship application in the mail. If for some reason, you didn’t get one mailed to you, give me a call and I’ll made sure you get one ASAP.

Our district had a booth set up at both the Washington and Westmoreland county fairs last month, and thank you to all that helped to man the booth, sell raffle tickets, set up and tear down, and represent us trappers at the fairs. I’ll have to post a winner in the next report on the gun raffle.

Our next convention meeting will be Tuesday evening, Sept. 22, at Cedar Creek Park, Pavilion #6 starting at 6:30.

Don’t forget about our fall rendezvous at the Washington County fairgrounds on Oct. 4. Come on out and pick up your last minute supplies, and spend some time with your fellow trappers. There will be a cable restraint class offered there for anyone not certified yet. Call me to register 724-348-6721, or sign up on the game commission Web site. Hope to see you there.

— Dave Eckels


It is mid-September already and I’m proud to report my traps are ready to go. I always turn the boiling day into a picnic with marshmallows and hot dogs and my family is nice enough to go along with the tradition. I’ll assume most of you are way ahead of me and had all your traps ready long ago. If not, I’m sure you’ll be taking care of it soon. I wore a flannel shirt for our evening walk today and the cool weather has me anxious for the coming fall and the season of the harvest.

The trapper school was a success this year with a total of 19 students participating. Thanks to everyone that helped out and a big thank you to those who donated supplies for the school.

The fall meeting will be held at Gander Mountain on Sunday afternoon Oct. 4 and cards will be mailed out soon that will have the time of the meeting. This meeting will include the election of officers and I encourage everyone to attend.

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, Todd Harteis at 814-547-0076 or myself 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


Our trapper training day was held on Aug. 15 and I would like to thank all of the instructors: Joe Mast, John Carey, Randy Henry, Brian Walker and Tony Shiner, also Melissa Rake for helping with the meal. I would also like to thank Mike Kilcoyne for representing Dist. 7 at the North Mountain Youth Field day. District 7 mini-convention is Sept. 19 and 20 at the Booneville Campground near Loganton. For more info, contact me at or 570-437-2679.

— Pete


Our all-day event at Millcreek Sportsmen’s Association started out very overcast and rainy but about 11 it cleared off and we had a nice day after that. We were able to do a couple of demos outside like we had planned. We enjoyed a good lunch together featuring roasted beaver and turtle gumbo. Then we broke out the rifles for our shooting competition and as it turned out we had some very good shooters on hand. When the smoke cleared and the targets were checked, it was so close that we needed a micrometer. We awarded the bragging rights to Ed Carroll for the best three-shot group.

We then had our first meeting with our new director — Ralph Wagner. The first thing he did was thank Brian Mohn, on behalf of the district, for all he has done for us and wished him luck as our State President.

After some discussion, we decided to again host the PTA State Banquet. We didn’t feel we could put something together this year anymore so we decided to volunteer to do it in 2010. The PTA State Banquet will be Sept. 18, 2010, at the Eagles Club in Lebanon, PA. We will need help to do this project and also donated items for the raffle and auctions. Hopefully, with a year to plan, we should be able to come up with a bunch of stuff. Please write the date down now, plan to attend and tell your friends.

We had a report from KIFE by Butch Herr and everything is in place now to begin taking donations. They are also looking for people to serve on several committees to help this project to proceed.

We did talk some about the 2011 convention. We want to get some committees formed at our next meeting so we can start the ball rolling on this project. If you are interested in helping with any part of the 2011 convention let Ralph or me know or better still be at our Middlecreek meeting on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m.

We elected (with a little arm twisting) an Assistant Director for District 11. Jason Gehman has agreed to serve in this position. Thanks Jason.

We received reports from several Youth Field Days that some of our members volunteer to help at. Several had lower attendance because of weather conditions.

I will let you know how our trapping schools went in next month’s column. Hope to see you all at Middlecreek Wildlife Center on Oct. 4th.

— Mike Spittle

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