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
As I left to run a short line near home early this morning, the bright moon light made the frosty trees glisten. It was the coldest day we have had this winter with the mercury nearing single digits. Only one beaver was added to the pile today, but it was good to watch the sunrise. It is great to be alive. The line that I have out right now is a mix of water and land sets mostly on places that I have trapped for years. The catch has been very low. I don’t know if the problem is with me or the animals. I hope it is the animals and that I am not losing my touch.
The Bell County H.S. wildlife management class caught two beavers during their trapping fieldtrip. In late January, I will take one to the school and show the students how to skin, flesh and stretch a pelt. Due to high water, the Knox Central H.S. wildlife management class fieldtrip had to be postponed. We will try again before the end of season. I recently spent an entire day at Whitley County H.S. presenting trapping to all of their vocational agriculture classes. By midday I felt like a tape player that was being rewound every hour, but it was a pleasure. Several students in Whitley County actually trap already and they love to see the traps and furs in the classroom.
Due to the generosity of Jimmy and Heather Childress, our N.A.F.A agents, we now have a wolf pelt in our fur collection that goes into the schools. It is a beautiful specimen and makes the fox pelts look tiny. Jimmy and Heather are very supportive of our educational efforts and we appreciate them for all they do.
Recently I did a phone interview with Hayley Lynch, who writes for the Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources. She did a press release entitled “Trapping on the Rise in Kentucky.” It was a very well-written article that recognized the fact that interest in trapping has grown over the last few years across the state. U.T.K. deserves much of the credit for this. Our educational efforts recruit several new trappers to our ranks each year. To all active members of U.T.K., I say “GOOD JOB AND KEEP IT UP.”
The last couple of Saturday evenings, Stan Broyles, Jim Barton, my sons, Canaan and Jeremiah, and I have gathered in my fur shed to catch up on our skinning. Canaan and Jeremiah are getting to be pretty handy about skinning and helping with other tasks. It has been very enjoyable having company that likes to talk trapping. We learn a lot from each other around the wood stove as we share our experiences from the past week’s events.
Take time to enjoy life with those around you. Have a blessed day.
— Stacy J. White
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Happy New Years from the UTK and here’s hoping your trapping has been productive and enjoyable. I’ve enjoyed my season thus far and caught all the fur I’ve wanted to skin. This season is dedicated to having fun. I have a new trapping partner, our yellow lab named Annie Mae who goes with me each day and is a laugh from start to finish. She behaves well, leaves the critters alone and shies away from traps, lure and bait (after a little training session in the yard with some Kraft cheese and a #110 bodygrip trap). When I say “TRAP,” she comes right to heel. Having her along takes me back in time to when I was a boy of 14 and my dog King followed me on my first traplines (1962).
In those early days, I was told trapping was a thing of the past and would be gone in a few years, either to a disappearance of wildlife or due to the efforts of “do-gooders.” I was told trappers had no supporters among fellow sportsmen and fish and wildlife game agencies. They were a disorganized minority of low-life, second-class citizens, etc. etc. etc. I could never have fast-forwarded to the present day and envisioned the abundance of furbearers, the re-emergence of beavers, otters, coyotes and bobcats in this part of the country, and so many improvements in trapping techniques and equipment. Add to this the relationship trappers enjoy with their fish and game agencies and fellow sportsmen in many states now, as well as support from Farm Bureaus, Extension Services and groups such as the U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance.
Yet our existence is by no means guaranteed. Ask the trappers from Washington, California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey and elsewhere. Powerful animal “rights” groups, richly funded by a gullible public, spend millions to provoke ballot referendums, lawsuits and legislation at local, state and federal levels. A warped media, changing culture, attacks on American sovereignty by “globalist” and the U.N. — don’t get me started.
We’re lucky to enjoy what we have as Kentucky trappers. A lot of this, we owe to some quiet heroes over the last 35 years or so — trappers like Tome Landers, Smokey Burton, Billy Hines, Carl McMaine and others who have fought the good fight and gone on to trap in a place where there are no “antis” or trap thieves and the fur is always prime. And some heroes are still fighting that same good fight today. Many of them are founders and officers, past and present, of the UTK — Oral Jones, Steve Pickard, Bob Maurer, Dave Dykes, Stacy White, just to name a few.
Ultimately, our fate will be determined by us. By organizing, educating, trapping ethically and supporting our organization and those who support us. Our challenge in 2010 is to maintain, no, improve on what the UTK has accomplished for the trappers of Kentucky. In so doing, we can serve as an example for trappers around the country less fortunate than us. This might in turn help them to improve their lot.
Until next month.
— Chet Hayes