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 this report finds everyone doing well with all your fur processed and ready for sale. My fur handling is caught up for now although there is plenty of empty space, if you know what I mean. It has been a tough season weather-wise for me.
UTK, as always, has been busy spreading the word about trapping. We finished our trapping program with the Bell County High School by presenting general trapping information in the classroom and by processing a beaver and a muskrat for the students. It is good to present proper fur handling, especially for the students who take the initiative to try trapping on their own. Interestingly, when we processed the furbearers for the wildlife class we were joined by an Appalachian History class. Their participation was unexpected but quite appropriate. Some of the early explorers of this region came through Cumberland Gap in search of beavers and other furbearers to ship back east. Sometimes I ponder about what things were like here when Daniel Boone first passed by on the Wilderness Road. A greater wonder still is what he might think about how things are if he were to see us now. I think he might try to find another wilderness to disappear into. I know that is what I would like to do sometimes.
Trapping information was presented at the Whitley County High School on Jan. 5th. Six classes participated. We are making plans to do a hands-on beaver trapping program with them in the near future. Knox Central High School is also on the list and hopefully by the time you read this report we will have finished with both schools.
On Jan. 4th I presented trapping as a tool to control small mammals in fruit and vegetable operations at the Kentucky State Horticultural Society annual meeting at the Embassy Suites in Lexington. I imagine it was likely the first time someone carried a pile of traps into that meeting room. The audience consisted mostly of commercial fruit and vegetable producers. These folks live in the real world and know quite well the importance of effective wildlife management. I was very well received.
As many of you may know the KDFWR is working to supply elk to Missouri for a reintroduction effort there. Those elk are coming from here in Bell County. Recently I visited the Begley WMA to assist our local biologist with some technical issues about the holding pens for the elk. I observed KDFWR personnel as they processed the animals in preparation for their upcoming relocation. I am well aware of the pros and cons of the elk here in Kentucky, but who would have thought that the day would come that we would be providing animals for other states. What I observed was definitely hands-on wildlife management.
Until next month, have a blessed day and take time to enjoy life.
— Stacy J. White
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
In terms of prolonged cold snaps, snow cover, frozen/flooded creeks, in general, bad weather – trapping season thus far has been the worst in many years. At the time of this writing we have about one month remaining in which to salvage a decent catch. Coon, fox and coyote will be rubbing out and going downhill fur-wise, but beaver, muskrat, and bobcat will be coming into true “prime.”
One oddity several of us have noticed – possums are being caught in the snow and fairly bitter cold when the raccoon are denned up. Another oddity – one morning I observed a coyote and a beagle hound running together. Other people have told me of seeing dogs and coyotes together, usually in packs, but this is the first time I have witnessed this. Every trapping season brings experiences and observations rarely seen in any other outdoor activity. This is a primary reason many of us trap in the first place.
Since last month’s report, UTK has finalized support for the Kentucky Conservation Officer’s Association with a $500.00 donation in the form of a full-page ad in their magazine. The K.C.O.A. does a lot of great work throughout Kentucky which parallels a lot of our activities. We often find ourselves working side-by-side at the same events – youth hunts, training seminars, J.A.K.E.S. events, and our trapping workshops.
With the Legislative Session presently underway, we will be watching Frankfort for activity relevant to outdoorsmen and women. I hope we will not see a repeat of some of the activity against KDFWR such as S.B. 64 last year. We may also have problems with well-organized, well-funded horseback riding interests wanting to expand their activities onto Wildlife Management Areas (W.M.A.’s) which are bought and paid for, and maintained entirely by the dollars of hunters, trappers, and fishermen. Don’t be bashful about contacting your state representative and senator, asking them to leave our W.M.A.’s and our Fish and Wildlife Department alone.
Next month, Hunter Ed classes begin in many parts of the state. We will again be introducing trapping and offering workshops, through Hunter Ed classes. We need help, especially in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Wildlife Districts. I ask Directors and members to contact me. I will put you in touch with Hunter Ed folks and get you started. Please do your part.
N.A.F.A. pickups are scheduled and present a great opportunity for trappers to market their fur at the best price. Take advantage of them. The market should be good considering the light catch nationwide. Muskrats may prove to bring the highest prices ever. Good luck with your catch.
Until next month.
— Chet Hayes