Vermont Trappers Association April-May 2010 Report

President — Randy Barrows , 88 North Road, Milton, Vermont 05468; phone: 802-893-4258; e-mail: critrgitr@msn.com

Co-Vice Presidents— Joe and Deb Epler, P.O. Box 12, Chester, VT 05143; phone: 802-875-4511; e-mail: jdepler@vermontel.net

Secretary — Deb Epler, P.O. Box 12, Chester, VT 05143; phone: 802-875-451; e-mail: jdepler@vermontel.net

Treasurer — Jim Calchera, 233 McCaffrey Rdg., Putney, VT 05346

NTA Director — Dave Perrin, 2600 Vt. Rt. 12A, Randolph, VT 05060; phone: 802-728-5935

Membership Director — Paul Ainsworth, P.O. Box 118, Eden, VT 05652; phone: 802-635-7343

Membership Options:

• Individual adult membership with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Family membership with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Oldtimer (65 & up) with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $10
• Lifetime membership with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $300

Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:

VTA, Membership Director
Paul Ainsworth
P.O. Box 118, Eden, VT 05652

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hello Vermont Trappers

Well, it looks like spring is finally here and not a moment too soon. It has been a miserable winter for trappers in Vermont. We either had 2 feet of snow or heavy rains, one right after the other. The small streams are finally open so hopefully we can get some good muskrat trapping in before the season ends. Also muskrat shooting season is good through the middle of the month.

Speaking of muskrats how about the prices they are going for. An average of $7.50 and highs of $12 are certainly good news. And rumor has it China and Russia had really cold winters this year so that bodes well for our efforts. The colder it gets, the more demand for fur and the higher the price. Its a win-win situation for all of us.

As you know, the VTA attends local events all over the state and the busy time of year is quickly approaching . If you have a free amount of time, we could use your help at these events. Currently a few of us do it all and it would sure be nice if a lot of us could do a little.

Our legislature is winding down also and as it looks right now we will not have any major issues this year affecting trapping. The only significant issue is the rising of fees for our licences for hunting and fishing. Most will increase by $2 to $4 for every tag, with trapping not changing. I guess I do not have a problem with this if the money is put to good use. If your average cost per year is around $100 divided by 365 days a year, your daily cost is less than $0.28 per day . To me, that is a lot of bang for the buck. Where else can you go and have this much fun for 28 cents per day?

Another topic was listing the wolves, lynx and ’possums as furbearers. This one gives me a little heart ache. After closely following Maine’s two-year battle over the lynx situation, I would hate to think that we would have to face that challenge. Two years in a row, the bunny huggers have cluttered up the court system with frivolous lawsuits. A total of eight lynx were caught by accident while trapping for bobcats and only two died. The rest were released un-harmed. The huggers tried to show that the animal was harmed for the rest of their lives after being trapped, both physically and psychologically. Through expert testimony from trappers and biologists, it was proven this was not the case at all. The huggers are the same ones who put up their gold-domed retirement homes in the lynx’s habitat and think nothing of it. Go figure!

Listing the wolf could bring along the same issues. A coyote set could catch a wolf, if we have them around. As far as the ’possum is concerned, I just cannot see it as a furbearer. Yeah, it has fur(?), a whole $1.50 worth on the market. I will keep you posted on where these bills go.

Speaking of Maine, please consider joining the Maine Trappers Association. Their war chest took a hit and anything we can do would help I am sure. I joined for two reasons: I have trapped in Maine and it makes you feel good knowing you can help out in any way.

That’s it for now. Enjoy your spring trapping and all that Mother Nature has to offer. While checking your traps, also keep an eye peeled for that old long beard. Good luck and don’t forget to bring a kid along.

— Randy Barrows

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