United Trappers of Kentucky, Inc. November 2009 Report

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: sjwhite@email.uky.edu

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: lhayes@fuse.net

Membership Options:

• 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
Dave Dykes
152 Mapleview Ct., Mt. Washington, KY 40047
502-538-3290

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Fall is once again upon us. I have always heard that time goes faster as you get older. It sure seems to be true. I have just finished bush hogging the fields on our place and will soon have the garden spots laid by for the winter. It is time to get serious about the upcoming trapping season. As usual, I have procrastinated about dyeing and waxing my traps until now. Oh well, the task is much more enjoyable in the cooler weather anyway.

UTK has been very busy lately. On Sept. 4, Steve manned an exhibit booth with our furs and traps at the Bell County Farm Field Day. Nearly 400 folks attended the event. I think Steve talked to all of them at least once. He represents UTK very professionally in such settings.
On the 12th, we went to the Marian County Sportsman’s Club near Lebanon for a one day trapping seminar. Chet’s report contains more details about this event.

Those folks gave us a warm welcome and offered to allow us to hold one of our statewide meetings at their facility in the future. It is a great facility and centrally located. Perhaps we will meet their in 2011. We will see how things develop.

In London on the 18th, Chet and Steve participated in the youth education program at the Kentucky Wood Expo. The Expo is the annual tradeshow for the timber industry in Kentucky. It is hosted by the Kentucky Forest Industries Association. It is held in London and Madisonville in alternating years. Local sawmills pay the admission for students to attend the show. The elementary age students participate in a one-hour educational program that gives them information about wood products, paper making, Kentucky furbearers and trapping, and gun safety. Over 300 students participated in the program.

On a very rainy day at Boonesboro, Steve Pickard, Stan Broyles, Kevin Hughes and Steve Stuckey talked trapping to about 300 young people during a Cub Scout campout. Many of these youngsters were from urban areas. It is very important that we take the time to give such audiences our message. If just one child took up trapping and avoided alcohol, drugs and the other vices that the world has to offer them, then the day was well spent rain or shine.

As the trees begin to drop their leaves, it is time that we start scouting our lines. Things change from year to year and it is best to be prepared. I hope everyone has a good time out on the line this year. Prices might not be what we want them to be, but it is about more than money for real trappers. It’s about enjoying the great outdoors with which we have been so richly blessed. It’s about getting our feet wet and our hands dirty doing something that we love to do. It’s about sharing our appreciation for trapping with someone who has never experienced what we have. Life is short at best. Let’s take time to enjoy it and share it with others.

Have a blessed day.

— Stacy J. White

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

As it often happens, the deadline for this article is just before the Fall Fling in Smithland, so coverage of that event will appear next month.

Meanwhile, UTK has been quite active in a number of events around the state. Kentucky trappers in general should be appreciative of the fact that a number of UTK officers and members have given a lot of time, travel and personal expense to promote trapping to fellow sportsmen, youth and the general public. All this is geared towards gaining public support for trapping and bringing new and quality people into our ranks.

A number of us recently attended a gathering at the Marion County Sportsman’s Club. We were invited as a result of friendships made with several of their officers at the League of KY Sportsmen Convention last June. We presented a 6-hour presentation on trapping and fur handling to a captive audience that included KDFWR Commission member Dr. James Angel.

Excellent lectures, demonstrations and seminars were given by Stacy White, Steve Pickard, Stan Broyles and Jimmy Childress. Their efforts were appreciated by everyone present and UTK received favorable comments from Dr. Angel who said we are among the Department’s most valued sportsman groups.

The next week found Steve Pickard, Stacy, Canaan, Jeremiah White and myself, at the Wood Expo in London, Kentucky, showing furbearer harvest as a natural resource use to numerous school students, as well as the general public. We received tremendous interest from the students and compliments from their teachers. Hundreds of “Trapping in Kentucky” brochures will be read by students and reviewed by their teachers in classes.

The following day found Mike Dougherty and myself teaching trapping basics at the Hunter Ed class in Boone County. A number of students and parents signed up for our “Introduction to Trapping” workshop and our sign-ups this year are at an all-time high pace.

Besides being proud of UTK’s many efforts and accomplishments, I am especially proud, not only of the consistently reliable “workhorses” we have, but also of the many new people we have who are stepping up to the plate and taking on the work of the organization. Folks like Stan Broyles, James Couch, Mike Dougherty, Charlie Hornback, Greg Bickel and others. Sharing the workload, decision making and the credit is beneficial. It brings new ideas into the organization and prevents stagnation and burnout. It is important also, because, with term limits for officers/directors, it will hopefully ensure a supply of new people who have a degree of experience in the workings of the organization.

Folks reading this article should be aware that, according to our by-laws, we have term limits for officers and directors. In 2012, terms will expire for the office of Vice President, Financial Secretary, Executive Director and several District Directors. It is one thing for an organization to grow, achieve its goals, etc., and quite another to sustain that growth and success while avoiding stagnation, burnout and down sliding. I can tell you, as a trapping officer of some sort for over 30 years, the greatest threat to a trapping organization is to stagnate and fail to keep a fresh flow of ideas and people to implement them.

Another threat is being taken in by upstarts who come and go and leave others to sort out their mess. Yet another threat is to amass too much money and not put it to quick and sensible use. This discourages the membership from future support and invites dishonesty and suspicion. All volunteer-operated organizations are prone to these problems. I am confident, given the Constitution and By-Laws of the UTK plus the inherent philosophy of its members, officers and directors, we will be able, in the long term, to avoid these pitfalls and concentrate on positive efforts with positive results.

One thing I do believe to be very important is for the membership and officers to maintain contact with the history of the UTK. I’m talking about how and why it was founded, and the philosophy of those who founded it. To rehash, the UTK was formed in 2004 by a small group of progressive trappers who saw an opportune time to improve the long-term prognosis for trapping in Kentucky. They adopted a common vision, and agreed on some basic necessary methods to achieve that vision.

These ideas were incorporated into the UTK Constitution and By-Laws. The vision was to upgrade the image of trapping in the eyes of the general public, fellow sportsmen, legislators and the media, while at the same time ensuring the perpetuation of trapping by creating a new generation of responsible trappers by recruitment and education.

The ingredients necessary to implement that vision were multi-faceted. They included improvement of trapper skills through seminars and training, membership in the League of Kentucky Sportsmen, constant support of and dialogue with the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Also statewide membership and activity in every part of the state.

Support and collaboration with groups such as Kentucky Farm Bureau, Co-Operative Extension Service, Kentucky Chapter of N.W.T.F. and others. It was agreed upon, early on, and unanimously, to oppose blanket programs such as Best Management Practices, and to strive to regulate Kentucky trapping through direct dialogue with the KDFWR. Also to explore and provide Kentucky trappers with alternative fur marketing options such as N.A.F.A. pickups and shipping, and much, much more.

All these ideas were embraced by trappers throughout Kentucky and resulted in the success the organization has enjoyed to this point. In order to maintain a path to progress in the future, it is important to retain some remembrance of the history of UTK, why and by whom it was founded. If the citizens and elected officials of our nation would do the same, this country would not be in the shape it is in.

Until next month.

— Chet Hayes

DISTRICT 9 REPORT

At the time of this writing, the fall meet is days away and will be over when you receive this issue. I hope many of you made it. It’s imperative that we touch base regularly as a group to stay close and in the loop on trapping issues in Kentucky.

The ninth district will have also had a meeting on Oct. 10 to discuss, with the local members, what is happening they need to be aware of. We have a nice building that belongs to Stacy White to meet and have demos and try to do that as often as we can. I notice many trapping organizations across America meet monthly. They must have some good members.

Ninth district members Stan Broyles, Stacy and Canaan White, Jim Barton and myself joined Chet Hayes and Jimmy Childress of NAFA, at the Marion County Sportsmen Club on Sept 12 with our message. We were very well received by the group and they in fact want us to come there with a UTK meet sometime. It is a very nice facility and we will probably be there before too long. I know we had at least one join UTK from Casey County. Skinning and trap set demos by our members were appreciated by everyone. It was also a pleasant surprise to see Dr. James Angel, the 4th district KDFWR commissioner there taking part and asking questions. We couldn’t get him in on the beaver fleshing though.

On Sept. 18, ninth district members Stacy and Canaan White and myself, along with Chet Hayes, attended the Kentucky Wood Expo in London, Kent. and probably talked to several hundred students as well as many adults about trapping in Kentucky. The furs on the table seem to draw attention and the desire to touch. We always encourage everyone to pick up and feel the fur. The expressions on the faces are enough to justify us being there.

On Sept. 26, ninth district members Stan Broyles and myself, along with Kevin Hughes and Steve Stuckey, talked with several hundred Boy Scouts and their parents about trapping. I had a surreal feeling standing less than 100 yards from the original site of Fort Boonesboro holding furs and traps 230 years after Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton stood there. The UTK show would have been the only thing that wouldn’t have made them run off screaming at the sight of it.

I have linked our Web site to several search engines so it should pop up anytime someone looks for Kentucky trapping, trappers, traps, furs or UTK. We are linked to over 600 Web sites in the world. I don’t know where most of them are, but we are definitely out there for the world to see. Always keep in mind that anything you post on the bulletin board can be seen by anyone in the world so type like you would talk in a crowd. Anti organizations are notorious for cutting and pasting things to make us look bad.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable season. Fur will probably be less valuable than last season, which wasn’t that good anyway. Just remember that everything in the world is not about money and who gets the most, first or biggest. Take time to look around at what we have been given and appreciate that we live in the greatest country on this earth where we are still relatively free to pursue our will and passions.

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