President — Stacy J. White, U.K. Cooperative Extension Service, Bell County, 101 Courthouse Square, Pineville, KY 40977; phone: 606-337-2376; cell phone: 606-521-1705; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President — David Kriege Jr., 3513 Cowie Ave., Erlanger, KY 41018-1608; phone: 859-342-8109
Financial Secretary — Dave Dykes, 152 Mapleview Ct., Mt. Washington, KY 40047; phone: 502-538-3290
Executive Director — Chet Hayes, 3951 Neises Rd., California, KY 41007; phone: 859-635-3102; e-mail: email@example.com
• Class A Kentucky trapper including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Family Membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $35
• Associate Membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Youth Kentucky trapper including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $15
• Lifetime Class A Kentucky trapper — $250
Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:
UTK, Financial Secretary
152 Mapleview Ct., Mt. Washington, KY 40047
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. The weather in my neck of the woods has been challenging to put it mildly. The global warming issue has reared its head once again: cold temperatures, freezing rain, snow, and ice. It is about to freeze me out. Oh well, you know what they say about the weather in Kentucky.
Most trappers with whom I have talked are not breaking any catch records so far this season. For me personally it has been the slowest start that I can remember. This is due to a combination of weather and responsibilities (family, church, and work). I recently read a sign on the wall of a sandwich shop in Winston Salem, North Carolina that caused me to pause and reflect. It said simply “Do what you ought to do when you ought to do it, and then, SOMEDAY, you can do what you want to do when you want to do it.” Simple but true. We all should heed its message.
U.T.K. has been busy about its mission of educating trappers. Kevin Hughes worked with Laura Patton at K.D.F.W.R. to organize a weekend trapping workshop in the Morehead area. Chet Hayes and several other U.T.K. members helped and I am sure Chet will give details in his report this month. I recently took the Bell County High School wildlife management class on our annual beaver trapping expedition.
We managed to squeeze in two days between school closings due to snow. It gets to be a challenge sometimes to schedule this outing due to unpredictable weather. Approximately 25 students participated this year. Traps were set on a Thursday and our Friday check produced two beavers for our efforts. The students loved it. Wading around in a cold, muddy creek was a good break from the routine of the classroom.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, I again encourage everyone to be very careful about pictures and comments that we post on the trapping forums and websites. It is a fact that animal rights activists cruise our sites searching for anything that they can use to further their agenda.
What we might see as a tremendous catch picture could be just what they need to use with their twisted logic to appeal to the masses to bring more funds into their coffers. We know the truth about trapping and wildlife management, but the majority of the public does not. All most know is what someone else tells them. Very few people think for themselves these days. It is a shame but it is the day and hour in which we live.
I hope the remainder of the season goes well for everyone. Perhaps the weather will break and the late season will be better that the start. Have a blessed day and enjoy life.
— Stacy J. White
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Trapping has generally been slow with snow and bitter cold the last few weeks. Reports from elsewhere around the country indicate a light catch overall. Hopefully be season’s end, things will even out. If not, a low supply of wild fur should increase prices.
Last year, UTK members hosted the Grant County 4-H youngsters for a season-long program of trapping, fur handling, and tanning. This was very successful and won the youngsters several 4-H awards, individually, and as a group. This year the program is being repeated, and going very well. The first weekend out, the youngsters caught 6 beaver and numerous raccoon. Skinning takes place at Oral Jones’ fur shed. Thanks are in order to those helping out, last year and this season: Oral Jones, Mike Wilson, Adam Wilson, Greg Bickel, Rodney Mattingly and Dave Kriege. I hope I did not miss anyone.
On December 4-5, UTK partnered with the KDFWR at the Minor Creek Fish Hatchery at Morehead, KY for the first weekend Trapping Workshop to be held in the 8th Wildlife District. Kevin Hughes and Officer Barry McCoy set the event up and did the necessary pre-scouting. Dave Kriege, Greg Bickel and I helped out as instructors and Robbie Hoover helped out with the fur handling part of the program. Laura Patton recruited students from across the state on the Department’s website, and spent the entire weekend with the groups.
Scott Barrett, biologist at the Hatchery made the facility available to us and several conservation officers guided all of us in the field. It snowed hard all day Saturday and most of the night into Sunday, making for some tough trapping, but our classes nevertheless caught a fair amount of fur. Sunday’s fur handling covered muskrat, raccoon, mink, opossum, and beaver. All the students were very satisfied with the class from start to finish. We had a great time as teachers, trapping together and sharing secrets and tricks. I personally had a wonderful time trapping and teaching with Kevin Hughes who is a pleasure to work with. Late night “bull sessions” with Dave and Greg were also fun – so much fun it is better not to elaborate.
At the last UTK officer’s meeting, it was agreed to investigate the feasibility of supporting the Kentucky Conservation Officers’ Association by taking out a paid advertisement in their magazine publication. The KCOA does a lot of good and charitable work throughout Kentucky – youth hunts (squirrel, deer, rabbit, turkey), fishing derbies for youngsters, including handicapped children and many other programs. The C.O.’s (game wardens) have been very supportive of us trappers and the UTK at many of our activities and we have worked with them at every opportunity. This partnership is a “win-win” for both groups. At this time I am finalizing details on a paid advertisement, pending approval from our Financial Secretary, Dave Dykes.
Linda and I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!
Until next month.
— Chet Hayes