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 good season. Mine has been slow and my catch reflects it. However, I have enjoyed myself. My goal now is to get everything out of the freezer and ready for the fur pickup in March. I just received a check for some muskrats from last year. I am pleased with the price. Maybe it is a sign of better things to come.
As some of you know, I have worked on a bobcat research project for a Master’s Degree at Eastern Kentucky University for the last three years. I am happy to report that I successfully defended my thesis before my committee on Jan. 15. It is certainly a relief to be finished. My research project was small. I studied bobcat reproduction in six counties in southeastern Kentucky. My hope is that it might generate more interest in our bobcats and future students might undertake studies covering the entire state. If anyone is interested in my findings, send me an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will send you a copy of my thesis.
On a personal note, I remember trying to decide as a high school student between forestry and wildlife management as a career. I chose forestry because the job prospects were better. My forestry degree has served me well for many years and now I have a wildlife management degree also. The Lord has truly blessed me. I am able to use both degrees in my job as an Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
As always, UTK has a busy schedule of upcoming trapping education events. Some of us will be taking the Knox Central High School wildlife management class beaver trapping this week. We were delayed from doing this in December by high water. In February, I will present an overview of our trapper education program at the annual meeting of the Kentucky chapter of the Wildlife Society at Mammoth Cave National Park.
March will be very busy also. Robbie Hoover, Eddie Covey and some others will represent us at the Lewis County Sportsman Show. Steve Pickard and several 9th district members will participate in an Outdoorsman Show in Laurel County. The last Friday and Saturday in March, a team of us will provide a trapping seminar to hunter education instructors from across the state at Camp Earl Wallace on Lake Cumberland. This is a great opportunity to provide accurate trapping information to the instructors who will be influencing thousands of young folks each year in the hunter education classes.
In closing, I offer a word of caution, especially to newcomers to trapping. We live in a world that is growing ever smaller due to technological advances such as we have witnessed with the Internet. There are several Web sites with talk forums that hunters and trappers can visit and converse with each other. This provides a wonderful opportunity to share knowledge and experiences. However, when we post comments and pictures on the Internet, they are there for the world to see. We should refrain from spewing angry words, threats, etc.
Also, pictures that are posted should be tasteful. I have wondered in the past where the anti’s get the pictures of trapped animals for their fundraising efforts. Could it be that we are providing them with the ammunition which they fire at us? I encourage everyone, young and old, to guard the words you put forth and give thought to what pictures you send around the world. Our words and pictures can and often will be used against us. In many situations, we would do well to remember that we all have the right to remain silent.
Until next time, have a blessed day and enjoy life.
— Stacy J. White
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
By the time you read this, trapping season will be winding down. Despite the market, I have caught all the fur I want to skin and had my share of fun and learning. My season has been mostly water trapping, sharing a few tips with youngsters and enjoying the antics of our yellow lab, Annie Mae. She is a fun and well-behaved companion in many of my days afield now. She is very obedient around the sets and trapped critters. Having her along takes me back to my first days as a 14-year-old boy, trapping with my German Shepherd, King. I feel more like a kid than a retiree.
I’d like to spend some time recognizing some outstanding accomplishments of the UTK and a number of its members recently. Our charter member, first President and present Director Steve Pickard has been elected Vice President of the 9th District Federation of LKS. Congratulations Steve. Likewise, Oral Jones has been elected Vice President up here in the 5th District. It is good for trapping to be represented in key positions within the League.
Our current President, Stacy White, has completed his thesis on bobcat reproduction and received his Master’s Degree. It certainly lends a lot of credibility to our cause when we have such learned people among our officers and members. Congratulations, Stacy, on the culmination of a lot of hard work, research and study.
UTK has been involved in another excellent project up here in the 5th District.
The Grant County 4-H group and the UTK have partnered in a pilot program to teach trapping, fur-handling and tanning to the youth by taking them out through the course of the entire season on weekends. The kids get complete “hands-on” from start to finish, learn a lot and have a blast. If I understand correctly, the 4-H group will sell the tanned, finished furs as a fundraiser. UTK would like to recognize and thank the following trappers: Greg Bickel, Adam Wilson, Rodney Mattingly, Mike Wilson, Oral Jones, Dave Kriege and Dennis Davis. You guys have cut short your own traplines and spent a lot of time, travel and expense to help these kids and create a new generation of trappers.
UTK will also be involved March 26-27 at Camp Wallace in southern Kentucky. We will be teaching trapping to the Kentucky Hunter Education Association. Approximately 75 instructors from around the state will be taught how to present trapping at Hunter Ed. classes, and how the follow-up workshops will be set up. They will also get a good look at the set-making, fur handling and equipment aspect of trapping. UTK needs help from all its members, directors and officers in order to fulfill our pledge to promote trapper education around the state. Contact me if you are interested in doing your part.
In closing, the N.A.F.A. pickup for northern Kentucky will be March 27, noon until 1:30 p.m. at Lloyd Wildlife Area in Crittenden, Kentucky. For details, contact Oral Jones at 859-356-2293. Locations and times for all other pickups are available on the N.A.F.A. Web site.
Until next month.
— Chet Hayes
DISTRICT 9 REPORT
By the time you read this, our season will about be over. If you haven’t tried for or caught a bobcat, you still have time and they’ll be really moving in February. Go save some turkeys.
I attended the 9th district meeting of the LKS on Jan. 19 and was elected as vice president of the 9th. I also signed up the 9th district UTK at the meet with the members list so we’ll be represented at the League convention. I urge all other directors to assemble a list of your respective district membership and go to the very next League meeting to give UTK a major voice in the process this year. I think it will be in Bowling Green, which is fairly centrally located for our members to attend.
UTK’s League affiliation has been intact since our inception and is part of each individual membership dues package. I remember attending LKS conventions in the ’80s with Kentucky Fur Takers and they are much different now. The LKS has been around for 80 years or so and always had been “the voice” of Kentucky sportsmen. I’m afraid if things do not change very soon, that will be no more.
I was surprised to find so much contention between the LKS leadership and KDFWR when I first became president of UTK and had contact with both organizations. This should not be! My experience with the KDFWR concerning both UTK and observing things on my own property has been nothing but a positive. The KDFWR has worked extremely well with UTK. Think of all the positive changes concerning trappers in the last five years. I have both deer and turkey on my property that, when I was a kid, had not a track of either. I have plenty of bobcats around to pursue (I think because of the turkeys), and otters, elk and geese. Many more acres of public land are available for Kentucky sportsmen and trapping is explicitly mentioned as being offered on most all of them. Those of us in east Kentucky old enough to remember the “bad ’ole days” should be tickled now.
Our 9th district commission member, Taylor Orr, knows Stacey White and myself on a first name basis and always asks if we have any concerns about trapping. He knows trapping is a very valuable and much needed wildlife management tool. This eye-to-eye relationship bodes well for UTK and Kentucky trappers as a whole. In short, it has been a pleasure for me when dealing with most all KDFWR personnel especially Jon Gassett, Karen Alexy, Laura Patton, Benjy Kinmen, Hank Patton and my local CO’s Tom Land and Jason Bolton .
UTK’s treasurer, Dave Dykes, sends a check to the League about this time each year for our individual membership. It’s significant, about $1,500 to $1,800 out of our treasury. There has been discussion and disagreement at out director’s meetings concerning the LKS affiliation. I have always voted to stand fast in the LKS, but if I don’t see some changes, that position will change. I think the issue in the discussion with the officers and directors are mainly those of us that remember the old LKS, how they worked with the KDFWR and those that see the new.
Why affiliate with an organization whose leadership seems to be so negative and at odds with the KDFWR and revolves around just a few LKS members, mostly officers, and their “pet” gripes? Let’s get all our directors together with a list and membership in their respective districts and give it one more try at the convention to get the LKS back on the right track. Each director should make plans on attending and bringing a fellow voter on the proposals and elections. If I happen to see the NRA cozying up with Handgun Control Inc., I’ll probably drop my lifetime membership with them. There’s little chance of that, but I’m tired of things in life not making sense or having to look three levels down to get the truth about something.
Another issue I am concerned with is directly linked to our success with reviving trapping in Kentucky. I did not foresee that any time individuals are involved there are bound to be problems in the ranks. Speaking for the ninth district I have seen some very good trappers begin and do it right. Stan Broyles, Jim Couch, Lee Bryant and Jimbo Barton are a few that come to mind. I’m proud of the way they are perpetuating our sport. On the other hand, there are some we have taken under wing that are slobs and doing things wrong and, in fact, illegally. Just because you can make a dirthole set someone took time to show you and drastically cut your learning curve, does not make you a trapper in my book. Also if you catch fur and waste it by letting it rot or handle it poorly (even after being shown) is disgraceful. Not respecting another trapper by honing in where he’s trapping is not illegal but is unethical. I say this to our members so that they might be careful who they help. Give some thought to it before you show just anybody. Make sure they are the right mettle.
I also see a lot of “loose talk” on the Kentucky Web forums and pictures posted that are inappropriate at best. The general public sees this and labels us slobs or ignorant. Think before you post something. I assure you that anti’s follow our Web site because I get nasty remarks in the comment box of our Web site. We have no reason to be ashamed of our sport, but it’s easy to be ashamed of some in our sport.
I mentored Josh Couch on his last chance youth deer hunt on my property the last youth weekend. On our way out, we encountered two boys, around 12 or 14 years old, with high-powered rifles, no adult supervision (required during youth season), not a stitch of orange and standing on my property. During the questioning I had for them, I discovered that I had seen them before, in a hunter education class I had helped teach. Things like this make you wonder about our future.
UTK will be manning a booth at the SE Ky. Sportmans Expo in Corbin March 12 and 13. We were a hit last year skinning beaver and I told the organizer we’d try to skin some ’cats this year. Come by and see the show.
We will also have several members attending the Kentucky Hunter Education workshop in March . Trapping is the main theme of this year’s workshop and UTK will be there with bells on.
Sorry if my report sounds so negative, but these things have been on my mind lately. I feel more free to speak my mind as a director than as past president. Hope to see many of you at our spring meet at Cave Run Lake.
— Stephen B. Pickard