Texas Trappers and Fur Hunters Association, Inc. August 2009 Report

President — Bill Applegate, Box 883, Marfa, TX 79843; phone: 432-729-3349; fax: 432-729-3623

Vice President — Bill Turnbow, 511 N. Arizona, Shamrock, TX 79079; phone: 806-256-3039

Secretary — Debbie Pilgrim, 1323 RR 2341, Burnet, TX 78611; phone: 512-756-4609

Treasurer — Keith Jackson, 306 CR 2717, Alto, TX 75925; phone: 936-675-2047

Membership Administrator— Tasha Jackson,  306 CR 2717, Alto, TX 75925; phone: 936-858-3384

Public Relations Officer — Cody Dowling, P.O. Box 444, Alto, TX 75925; phone: 903-625-0325

NTA Director — Mark Davis, P.O. Box 1023, Athens, TX 75751; phone: 903-489-3080

Membership Options:
• Family lifetime (husband & wife) — $300
• Lifetime (payable $25 monthly) — $250
• Lifetime oldtimer (age 70 or over) — $25
• Business membership — $25
• Family membership (2 members) — $20
• Single membership — $15
• Junior membership (under 16) — $5
• 1-year subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller (members only) — $10
Payments for dues are non-refundable.

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
TTFHA, Membership Administrator
    Tasha Jackson,
306 CR 2717, Alto, TX 75925

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies would like to conduct some BMP research on traps for badgers and ringtails in Texas. If you are interested in doing some trap testing for either of these species, please contact me. This is a paying job for trappers on their traplines and technicians who work with them.

The trapping will be done during the fur season and scheduling is flexible. Please be advised that we have new procedures regarding trapping tip submissions and prizes as well as display advertising; look for them in the July issue of the Texas Fur Tails. I hope you are planning to attend the fall rendezvous in Junction as Dan is lining up some interesting demos. We do anticipate that the Texas Department of Agriculture will approve continuing education credits for pesticide applicators attending the rendezvous and that general, IPM and laws and regs. Credits will be awarded.

Consider participating in the quality set contest. This is a fun and easy way to share with other trappers and beginners your favorite land set. Sign up at the registration table. You will have up to 15 minutes to make your set at the Stevenson Community Center. Please explain what you are doing and why as you go. You may be asked some questions by the audience.

Over the years, you have been most generous with your contributions to the fundraising auction. These donations have enabled the Association to achieve many goals and establish a professional image throughout the wildlife community. We are always looking for new and interesting ideas to incorporate into our gathers so do not hesitate to share your thoughts with any board member. You may have to remind us as it gets hectic trying to accomplish everything during our rendezvous. We really need you to bring your entire family and possibly some youth that you think might be interested in what we do.

The youth are the future of our organization and they must be identified, recruited and trained now to lead the charge when the rest of us have been put out to pasture. I realize how hard it is to interest or motivate people when fur prices are low and that is one reason to focus on nuisance animal work. Your association has established a Nuisance Animal Control program for its members. The names and contact information of trappers willing to participate are provided to state agencies as well as individuals and companies looking for someone to help them out. We also post this list on our web site. I have personally received work from this program. Contact Ricky Cox if you have an interest. Members, don’t forget to take advantage of free classified advertising in the Texas Fur Trails.

No news that I am aware of since my last report regarding delisting for bobcats or tag elimination for bobcats or river otters. Texas Parks and Wildlife has not expressed an interest in a state tag. We are most fortunate to have a wildlife agency that acts on science and common sense. Let them know that the trappers of Texas do appreciate the work they do for us.

Our bill seeking relief from the Dangerous Wild Animal Act in the state legislature made it out of the House committee, but was never heard on the floor. Nothing was filed in the senate. We are out of luck for this session. We hired a lobbyist that assured us this was an easy measure to get passed; however he did not do all of the required groundwork and eventually abandoned us after the final date to file a bill. We did recover all of the funds we advanced him for the work. All I can say is we learned another hard lesson in this struggle. I don’t know how many more lessons are left to learn, but I am confident they will come our way.

I know some trappers are providing skull samples to Wildlife Services and the Texas Department of Health for rabies testing. This may help us in the future with some of the problems we are experiencing now. Dave Hastings still needs your stories, news, pictures and anything else of interest to keep the Texas Fur Trails first class. Material from all across the country is welcome.

He is particularly looking for some Texas photos to be used for the covers of future issues of the magazine. Members in odd numbered districts, be looking for district director election ballots in early September. Share your thoughts with any board member regarding what you would like to see our Association accomplish. Many of the achievements we have made are results of membership input.

If you are ready to help out with promoting and preserving trapping, let us know. We would like to put your unique talents to work for the benefit of all and future generations.

— Bill Applegate

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