United Trappers of Kentucky, Inc. April-May 2009

President — Stephen Pickard, P.O. Box 52, Rockhold, KY 40759; phone: 606-528-2726; cell phone: 606-521-0968; e-mail: spickard1@bellsouth.net

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

Trapping season is over for this year and all my traps are in their usual muddy pile waiting to be cleaned and stored. I start out so organized and by January I have a real tangled mess or two in the yard to straighten out.
That is, trapping itself is over, but we can stay as busy as we want talking about it all year to various outdoor groups and students.

Stacy White had his annual beaver trapping excursion with the Bell County Agriculture students on Feb. 12 and 13. It’s interesting to note they do this in the same spot each year, which proves furbearers are a renewable resource. The kids absolutely love it.

On Feb. 21, I helped Stacy White put on a beaver trapping school for the public in Bell County. We had six in attendance as well as Ray Lawson, the Bell county conservation officer. Stacy had set up a beaver flow two days before and we had some beaver to show them.

I will be attending a wild game dinner in Trimble County on Feb. 28 along with Bob Boyd. I’m taking along all our furs and a few traps for our table. We did one of these a few years ago in Whitley County and it went very well.

Several of us will be meeting in Frankfort earlier that day with the KDFWR and the Houndsman Assoc. to discuss some trapping related issues. I would like to commend Dave Kriege, Kevin Hughes, Stacy White, Freddie Horn, Bob Maurer, Paul Brooker and Chet Hayes for taking time to attend an earlier meeting in Frankfort as well. Chet can about drive down there blind folded by now he’s gone so many times representing us.

Robbie Hoover, Kevin Hughes, Eddie Covey and Curt Lewis are representing UTK in an outdoor expo in Lewis County on April 11. Go by and see their display and chat with them if you are in that area especially if you are not yet a member.

Likewise, Stacy White and I will be doing an outdoor expo in Laurel County March 13 to 15 at the Laurel County Optimist Club building on West Hwy 80. Jamie Hollin, Jim Couch, Dude Davis and Steve Purvis will be there as well as a few other ninth district UTK members I’m sure will help out. We will have a booth there as well as doing several demos during the weekend.

The weekend before that, Stacy and I are meeting with all the ninth district KDFWR conservation officers along with several National Forest Service employees to discuss trapping methods and equipment. They specifically want to go over types of sets they are likely to encounter in the field and what to look for if on a call. I plan to make several sets beforehand in the field behind the Whitley County Extension Office so we can take a stroll as if on a trapline. I believe this is the way Mick Craig and Chet Hayes do their similar program in northern Kentucky.

As you can see, UTK’s officers and directors are not “token” positions. What benefit is it to have an officer or director’s position in an organization and not do anything but say “I’m an officer.” Each director can put together a venue for UTK and represent us. It does far more for trapping to have them spread all across the state than in just one little area. We are a statewide organization with members in the traditional hard to get places like Lee, Owsley, Harlan, Floyd and Pike counties all the way out to Wickliffe. By the way, those Lee County boys are good ’cat trappers.

I am a life member of NRA because they are the first line of legislative defense for gun owners and keep me informed monthly in the president and executive director’s report what is going on with issues concerning gun owners. Even in the heat of summer there are trapping related issues to report to the members at times. Your dues as a UTK member give you an annual subscription the Trapper & Predator Caller magazine where you are informed monthly about UTK and trapping news in Kentucky. Your membership also includes you individually in The League of Kentucky Sportsmen. We also have a Web site and message board for us to keep in touch at our convenience. If you are a Kentucky trapper, we’d like to have you join us. We feel an obligation to all of you as members to represent trapping in Kentucky in the best possible way.

All the directors can call Chet or me at any time with news or pertinent issues from their respective districts or write a report and submit it themselves. Each director is sort of in charge of keeping on top of anything pertaining to trapping that we need to be aware of. This is one thing that makes us a truly statewide organization. As a UTK member you need to become familiar with your director and feel free to call him with any question or problem. You guys in west Kentucky especially have two very good directors in Justin Walker and Freddie Horn.

Several of the recent changes in trapping regulations were brought about by our member ideas that we presented to the KDFWR. Unlike a lot of other state wildlife depts., Kentucky does have people that make these decisions that are knowledgeable trappers themselves. The KDFWR I’m sure would not support a change or clarification if it was not warranted. It seems like we ask for a lot sometimes, but really nothing relating to trapping had been changed in quite a while and the equipment, animal populations and in fact species are different than they were 20 years ago. Not a single recent regulation change or clarification has been opposed by a member of UTK that I know of. One member wrote me a letter concerned that he had to have an ID number instead of his name on his trap if we successfully got this change.

He was proud to have his name on the trap and thought he was being forced to change. Chet lives near him and explained it was an either/or choice due to some privacy and safety issues. All changes and clarifications have been a positive for trapping and trappers in Kentucky whether a UTK member or not and we are not one bit ashamed to be a trapper and ask for a reasonable change. As Freddie Horn recently said, “I’m just as proud to be a trapper as a hunter is to be hunter” and we all should feel that way. Don’t apologize for anything that is right and just and feel we as trappers have to fly under the radar. We have far too much of that these days.

Remember Jimmy and Heather Childress’s NAFA pickups throughout Kentucky March 21. Fur prices are rising compared to early season. By May, you may be pleasantly surprised.

The League of Kentucky Sportsmen will be meeting in Williamsburg this year. This is the town where I work and I will certainly be there. I have asked Dave for a list of all members in the ninth district and we are now known as the Ninth District UTK. If you are a director for us and want to be active in your district Dave can help you out with 25 members.

 Also remember that you must make your own campsite reservation at LBL for our Camp Energy get together on April 25. March 1 is the first day you can reserve a campsite. We are reserving the building there on Saturday night to have a centralized location to meet and eat. Maybe Oral will have a bunch of fish caught by then. You must have a $20 user’s permit plus your statewide turkey permit to turkey hunt. If you want to fish, bring an ultra light rod and some chartreuse grubs and you should be good to go for some fun over on the Lake Barkely side of the camp. I hope to see some of you there.

— Stephen B. Pickard

FINANCIAL SECRETARY’S REPORT

Hope everyone has enjoyed a successful trapping season.

If anyone has an address change, phone number change, magazine problem or any membership questions, just give me a call. Also, if you need any membership applications, let me know.

The UTK, NAFA fur pick up in Shepherdsville, KY will be March 21, 2009, at the Bullitt County Co-Op Extension Service Building 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. both days. Directions – Shepherdsville is located off I65 between Louisville and Elizabethtown. Take I65 to Exit 117 travel east on Hwy 44 for approx. 2.5 miles turn left on Halls Lane. Travel about ½ mile, facility on right. You need not be a member to ship fur, all is welcome to ship with UTK. Jimmy and Heather Childress our NAFA agents and others will be there to help everyone bag and tag their fur.

UTK, Inc. Officers elections are due this spring. Nominations will be accepted until April 30 by phone or mail to secretary Dave Dykes at 152 Mapleview Court, Mt. Washington, KY 40047 or 502-538-3290. Ballots will be mailed out May 1. The election committee will do the count in June and new officers will take office July 17, 2009. Reminder to receive a ballot you must be a KY resident and current with dues. Until next time. — Dave Dykes

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

By the time you read this, trapping in Kentucky will be over for the 2008-2009 season. Most of us trapped a little less hard this season due to the shaky market going into the start. The market appears to have improved a little. My experience has been it’s better to trap and not listen to speculation and “gloom and doom” market reports. Things can change quickly one way or the other. I remember several years back muskrats were supposed to be cheap, but “so what” I thought, rat trapping is fun and I’m going to catch rats anyway. I had quite a nice bunch by season’s end and shipped them to NAFA. I was glad I trapped rats when they sold for $10 Top Lot with an average around $9.

This year was devoted to having fun. I was well rewarded, fur-wise, for the effort I put in. I took my nephew trapping and really enjoyed that. I caught an astounding number of ’coons, ’possums and skunks from a very small amount of territory and helped the small game, songbird and turkey populations by doing that. Several landowners who manage for wildlife were very happy with my efforts and will be supporters of trapping for a long time to come.

Water trapping was very limited for me personally. Our streams were bone dry and dirty until Thanksgiving and even later, then up, down and frozen for most of the season. The ’coons never did come to the creeks in my area — they stayed up high and in the brush. Pretty much the same with mink, but I did catch a few beaver and rats.
Now that the season is over, it’s time to focus on Hunter Ed classes, NAFA fur pickups, JAKES events, the League Convention and much more. Don’t forget UTK election of directors and officers as well. We have enough to keep us plenty busy until next trapping season. At the time of this writing, UTK will be meeting with KDFWR and hounds men’s representatives in just a few days to discuss issues of mutual interest regarding the #220 bodygrip trap. Hopefully we’ll have an update for you in the next issue of T&PC.

In closing, I’d like to put in a plug for Jamie Osborne who has been making our UTK hats and shirts recently. Jamie runs a great business and is great to work with. Recently I asked her to help me in getting two long-sleeved shirts, dress style, with our UTK logo and my name on them. She custom-made and embroidered these shirts and they are super nice. Many of our trappers proudly wear UTK hats and shirts. I just want to let you know that Jamie can custom make about any shirt and jacket you want, the way you like it. She has a large selection of goods from numerous suppliers. If you want a nice shirt or jacket, over and above what we offer at our meetings, just give Jamie a call at 502-535-6733 or you can find her link on our website (www.kentuckytrappers.com). Also, this year we are coming out with blaze orange hats with UTK logo, for all you deer hunters.

Until next month.

— Chet Hayes

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