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
Now that season is over, I trust that everyone has had full stretchers and that everything is either sold or on its way to market. I hope prices continue to improve. Whether they do or not we have enjoyed another trapping season doing what we love. No matter what prices look like, I am of the opinion that we should be out there trapping if for no other reason than just to keep the heritage alive and to keep showing other folks about what we do as trappers.
Kevin Hughes came down and helped me with the Knox Central High School beaver trapping in late January. Everyone had a great time. The students love the hands-on aspect of the program. They were a little muddy when we finished. On the second day, the students pulled four beavers out of the water. Needless to say, it was a new experience for them all. I demonstrated in front of the whole class that chest waders will leak if you wade in too far. That water was very cold.
Our spring meet is set for May 8 at Cave Run Lake. Make plans to attend and bring someone new with you if you can. Our meets are a good opportunity to introduce new people to what trapping is all about. Chet Hayes and Scott Barrett are working on a good agenda that will cover topics important to all of us. There will be demos for all to enjoy and plenty for the young folks to do.
I recently presented a brief overview of our trapper education program at the annual meeting of the Kentucky Chapter of the Wildlife Society. I was very well received. As I listened to other presenters at the meeting, I felt somewhat depressed. I heard about the decline of the bobwhite quail, the possible demise of the eastern hellbender and the looming threat that the hemlock woolly adelgid could decimate eastern hemlocks. There were only two positive presentations that I heard. The American Chestnut Foundation representative, Rex Mann, gave an update on efforts to restore the American chestnut to the Appalachian forest. Their breeding program has produced blight resistant seedlings that offer great hope for the majestic tree’s future.
My presentation was also positive. Since UTK formed in 2004, the number of licensed trappers in Kentucky has increased every year. This has not been an accident. Trapper education programs all across the state have made this possible. The sale of other types of licenses, such as hunting and fishing, has decreased. This should tell us that we are doing something right. Keep up the good work. Have a blessed day and enjoy life.
— Stacy White
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
With another trapping season behind us, many of us are looking forward to other outdoor activities such as fishing and turkey hunting. Hopefully, by now, all of our freezers are empty and all of our fur is put up and off to market. The market is still quite weak for most fur, but with a low nationwide catch and gradually improving economy worldwide, things will slowly get better.
Most of us here in Kentucky lost a lot of opportunity due to snow, ice, flooding and wet ground, including almost all of February. For me personally, that worked out O.K. since the Legislative session heated up with several bills of detriment to the KDFWR. It amazes me that with the state facing huge economic and budget problems, some lawmakers find time and energy to waste taxpayer money representing the interests of “canned hunt” farms, horseback riders and disgruntled individuals who couldn’t land a commission position or a spot on “Kentucky Afield.” This is exactly why it is so important to leave wildlife management up to the KDFWR and keep it away from the lawmakers. It has also been a disappointment to see some folks we recognize as “sportsmen” in support of some of these bills. I’m proud to say the UTK remains in full support of the Department.
I’d like to reiterate what a great job our UTK members have done up here in the 5th District with the Grant County 4-H group on their trapping/fur tanning project. On Sunday, Feb. 21, I arrived at Lloyd Wildlife Area for the Hunter Ed class and found a bunch of youngsters skinning skunks, raccoons, ’possums and coyotes with the help of Oral Jones, Dave Kriege, Dennis Davis, Greg Bickel and Mike Wilson. These youngsters were having a great time working up their furs in preparation for tanning. Our members have spent a good part of their season helping these youngsters catch their critters and deserve our thanks. This will be a year-to-year program and we have been asked to help out with traps, stretchers and basic equipment. I’m hopeful our officers and directors will agree for the UTK to lend our support for this great program.
Things are coming along nicely for the Spring Fling near Morehead, east Kentucky on May 8. We will do our best to make this a great spring meet in the outdoors with lots of interesting activities.
Until next month.
— Chet Hayes