Pennsylvania Trappers Association December 2008 Report

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

Vice-President East — Joel Whitehead, RR #2 Box 90, 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

Secretary’s Report
Editor’s Report
District 1 Report
District 3 Report
District 5 Report
District 7 Report
District 9 Report
District 11 Report


Hi Everyone,

By now everyone is enjoying the sport of trapping. Remember if you can take a young partner along to enjoy the sport, take one. Our children are the future if we want to carry on the tradition of Trapping.

It’s been some time since I have wrote an article so the first thing I would like to tell you is about the 2008 Rendezvous in Clinton County. Everyone did a wonderful job with putting that show on.
Our general meeting was held June 28. We announced that Ed Danko, one of our founding fathers, had passed away.

Miss PA, Rachael Brooks, made an appearance at our meeting and was presented with our Convention Cookbook. She thanked everyone for the fur coat that was presented to her at the pageant and for her cookbook.

Awards were presented. Hall of Fame went to Ned Weston, Barry Warner and Jessie Asper. Conservationist of the Year went to Sean Harshaw. Youth Trapper of the Year went to Jonathan Fair, Charles Filler III and Jacob Husleman. Trapper of the Year went to Joel Whitehead, and Director of the Year went to Bill Kalinauskis. Presidential Awards went to Eugene Henricks and H. Ashley Bricker.

A committee has been put together to put a Land Trapping Book together, which is still being worked on.

Convention 2010 was awarded to District 3.

Trappers Park was discussed. A motion was made for a loan of $2,000 to $3,000 from the State to assist with the start-up fees for the park. The loan would be paid back. The motion did pass.
Beck Kirik stepped down from being our NTA director. I personally would like to thank her for all of the hard work she has put in to the organization. She will be missed by the board. Dave Shuttleworth has been appointed to the position. I would like to welcome him to the board.
Family membership for the PTA was discussed. The board agreed to look into the matter.
Our next convention will be held in Ebensburg, PA June 19-June 21, 2009.

 Rod Zullinger had put in his November report about the Muskrat Study. I would like to repeat what he had put in. This is a very important study. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is initiating a muskrat habitat study beginning this fall in management units 1A, 1B, 2C, 2D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4E, 5 A and 5B. This study will assess the effects of streamside vegetation on muskrat harvests. We are asking for cooperating trappers to provide harvest information during the season.

Prior to the season, interested participants should contact Wildlife Biologist Stephen Repasky at or call 724-482-4800, ext. 113 or Larry Crespo at or call 724-834-3979 ext. 119.

Please note that my e-mail address has changed to

Last of all, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Please remember during these holidays to please drive carefully and don’t drink and drive!

— Tereasa Houtz


HI All,

As you read this, I am in Fla. taking care of my Dad.

This will be the first time in many years that I had to miss the start of trapping season. But that’s not important as compared to helping a family member! Perhaps I will be able to set a few sets late in the year, but, if not, so be it. Most of you know that trapping means a whole lot to me. But perhaps missing out this season will increase my appreciation for being able & allowed to trap. (I THINK IT WILL)!

Looks like the fur market is likely to take a big hit in the “gut” as are most of all the other markets. Perhaps with continuing falling gas prices you may still be able to make your time trapping, pay back enough, so that your expenses will equal out. But even with low fur prices there will be some benefits to you the “True Trappers” who will trap no matter what the outcome may be. “Money Trappers” come & go. “Good Times” come & go. Look forward to less competition & cheap used traps next year. It always happens when prices for furs drop!

I hope each and everyone of you have a safe & enjoyable time out there!

I also wish each & everyone one of you A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON! as well as A GREAT YEAR AHEAD!

Thanks for your time.

— Russ Ford


Hello Members,

Remember Derrick Cross is working with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the HTE classes and is looking for fur to be donated. If you have fur that you can donate, please contact him at (814) 664-0873.

The district’s next gun raffle meeting will be held on Feb. 22 at 2:30 p.m. at King’s Family Restaurant in Meadville.  Our sponsor gun is going to be an engraved Mossberg 4X4. The sponsor deadline is Feb. 22. If you need more information or can help in any way, please contact Jim Murphy at (814) 382-2561.

Dave Shuttleworth, Marshall Pike, Dave Eckels (District 3 Director) and I attended the leadership conference in Annapolis, MD. It was sponsored by the Maryland Fur Trappers. The lunch was provided by the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Federation. The conference provided a lot of helpful information and we appreciate the opportunity to have participated.

Trapping season is underway and I wish each of you a successful season.

God Bless.

— Charlie Sykes


Hello all,

By the time you read this report, I hope you’re all busy doing what you like to do. Since this is our busy time of the year, I’ll keep this short with just a couple updates. I’m writing this report with a heavy heart, as District 3 lost one of its very active members with the passing of Mr. Joe Pegher (see passing column for obit). Joe was a very important part of every D-3 event and will surely be missed.

Our fall rendezvous at the Washington Fairgrounds went well. It was well attended and all of the dealers seemed happy with their sales. The cable restraint class was also full and thanks goes out to those that helped with the class. John Wilkinson, Doug Bergman, Erwin Polansky and Rod Ansell. Thanks also to Rege Denne for helping to line up the class and anyone I forgot to mention. Hope you made it out to the event and picked up your last minute supplies and  shot the bull with your fellow trappers.

Our District 3 college scholarship was awarded to Krista Stiffler of Stahlstown, Pa. She is the daughter of member Don Stiffler. Congrats Krista on your winning essay, and thanks to our other entries in the scholarship competition. The very good essays we received this year made it hard on the judges, but this was a good thing. One thing is for certain, District 3 has some very good students out there.

Our district is looking to upgrade our taxidermy mounts for the district display. We would like to have these done by the state convention 2010. Several of our mounts are in poor shape, and an upgrade would make our display much more appealing to the public at our fairs, etc. If you would like to donate an animal for this purpose, give me a call. If we receive more than one of each animal, we’ll have to pick one and we can sell the fur from the others to help pay for the taxidermy.
Don’t forget our district fur sale on Jan. 25, at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

New this year, we have decided to have a District 3 top pelt handling competition for raccoons and foxes. Each year, it seems the fur is put up better and better. If you would like to enter this, bring your best handled pelt to the fur sale to enter. Only one pelt of each per member. Judging will be at 11 a.m. on all entries received. We’re still working on awards or prizes for this competition, so we’ll keep it a surprise.

You can contact me at 724-348-6721 for any district info.

— Dave Eckels


I set a few traps today to get myself started. It is early November and the fur I go after, raccoons, are just becoming prime in my area. If you start any sooner than this, they are not quite ready. I hope to take some vacation this fall and spend at least a week of it on the trapline. Bear and deer hunting always take up some time that cuts into my trapping time. I do enjoy the hunting and my brother and his sons usually join my dad and me for at least several days in the northern woods of Cameron County.

Planning is already started for the 2009 state convention that District 5 will be hosting. I encourage everyone to get involved and help out if you can. This will be the 72nd Annual Pennsylvania Trappers Association Rendezvous and it is being held at the Cambria County Fair Grounds, Ebensburg, PA on June 18 to 21, 2009. Gates will open Wednesday, June 17, 2009, at noon to allow dealers and tailgaters to set-up displays. Dealer Contact Information:   Art Crossman: 471-7565. Advertising contact: Pat Wess 347 Elbert Street Johnstown, PA 15904 (814) 262-9455.  Informational updates will be posted on the Pennsylvania Trappers Association Web site at

I hope you get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather and take advantage of all that Pennsylvania outdoors has to offer. We truly are fortunate to have the variety of outdoor activities available to us. As I mentioned before, I’m sometimes torn between trapping, hunting and now steelhead fishing as leisure activities that I enjoy. It’s a tough decision sometimes. I hope your decisions are all that problematic. Good luck trapping.

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. Thanks for reading.

— Brian Stern


Upcoming events in District 7: Dec. 13, Christmas party at Greene Twp. building, Loganton, 6 p.m., bring a $5 wrapped present and a covered dish.

Dec. 21 fur sale at Washingtonville, 4% commission starts at 9 a.m.

Jan. 18 fur auction at Washingtonville, 4% commission.

Jan. 22 to Jan. 25, Early Bird Sportsmen show at Bloomsburg. We will need help setting up and taking down.  Also, we will need help manning the booth during the show. 

Please contact me if you can help — 570-437-2679

— Pete Rake


I wish to inform you that our fur sales have a new location. On Dec. 13, 2008 and Feb. 7, 2009, the fur sale location will be at the TRITON HOSE COMPANY, TUNKHANNOCK,PA.,WYOMING COUNTY. If you need more info, please call me at 570-942-6895 or Ed Price at 570-679-2318.
On the Otter research project, if you come across otter toilets in your area while trapping streams or ponds, take a sample  of the contents and put it in a ziplock plastic bag. Put your name and address along with the date and location of the sample. Freeze the samples and contact me for mailing or pickup of the samples. If we can get enough support, I feel we can help in getting an otter season in the state.

Our Northeast Regional Coyote Hunt is on for Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 1, 2009. The award for the heaviest legal coyote entered for the three-day hunt will receive $2,000, plus each day’s heaviest legal entry will receive $250, and all legal coyote entries each day will receive $100. ONLY hunted, NOT trapped or caught by cable restraint can be entered. The hunt area consists of Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Sulivan, Wayne and Wyoming counties. The weigh station is at Triton Hose Company, Tunkhannock, Pa. Wyoming County.


We had a real nice day for our meeting at Middlecreek Wildlife Center and could feel a touch of fall in the air. We talked about trapping schools that we held in August and September and all of the schools went really well. We received a lot of “thank yous” back from the schools. All commented on how the students were very interested and attentive this year. All of the school chairmen want to again thank the staff that gave of their time and talent to teach this year.

We conducted two cable restraint classes in the district in September and October.

We are looking for help in any amount for the booth at the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show held at the PA Farm Show Complex. Let Brian know if you can help any day — even just for an hour or two. It will be greatly appreciated.

Brian updated us on what is happening in the state association: It looks like we could possibly have a fisher season within the next couple of years. PGC is requesting help to eliminate any feral swine in the state. So, if you have the chance — go gt them. The 2010 convention will be hosted by District 3 in Washington, Penn.

We discussed and passed a motion to donate $500 to the prizes on the PTA sweepstakes ticket for 2009. This year, the PTA sweepstakes tickets made approximately $10,000 for the state.

Greg Kohl was in attendance at the district meeting and he updated us on the progress of the Trapper’s Park project. They are now setting up the paperwork to make this a 501 C-3 non-profit status and are writing up the articles of incorporation so that this project can legally begin receiving tax-deductible donations. John Stemlier has been brough on the committee. John has a background in accounting and is a real asset at this point in time.

We looked over some tentative meeting dates and locations for 2009, which we will confirm and I will passs on to you later. We are going to try our February meeting on a Thursday night again.
The biggest thing is our annual fur sale, which will again be at the Berks Co 4H center in Bernville on Jan. 10, 2009. Doors will open at 7 a.m. and the sale will start at 9. The kitchen will serve breakfast and be open throughout the day. We have our two auctioneers, Keith and Jamie, lined up and ready. We will again need help to set up, run fur and clean up. We especially need help late on in the evening. All licensed fur buyers are invited to attend. To sell fur at this sale, you must be a PTA member. There is a $5 registration/accounting fee for each lot and a four percent commission collected on all fur sold. Look for the ad in the January issue of T&PC.

This being the December issue, I want to wish to you the best of Holiday seasons from my fur shed to yours.

— Mike Spittle

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