Virginia Trappers Association June-July 2009

President — Bob Newberry, 5595 Waddletown Rd., Bland, VA 24315; phone: 276-688-3670; e-mail: sandyhollow@embarqmail.com

Vice President
— Mike Perdue, 9150 Poor Mountain Rd., Bent Mountain, VA 24059; phone: 540-929-4412; cell phone: 540-589-4508; e-mail: Bentmtntrapper@aol.com

Membership Secretary — Norm Mullins, P.O. Box 802, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609; phone: 276-963-0642; cell phone: 276-971-1856; e-mail: nsmullins@naxs.net

Recording Secretary — James G. Covais, 10401 Moore Ct., Spotsylvania, VA 22553; phone: 540-760-9694; e-mail: jcovais@comcast.net

Treasurer — Thomas Teague, 2920 Cross Keys Road, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801; phone: 540-564-1930; e-mail: thomasteague@verizon.net

General Organizer — Bud Jenkins, 33423 Seacock Chapel Rd., Ivor, VA 23866; phone: 757-859-6868

Training Coordinator — Ed Crebbs, 175 Waldrop Rd., Gordonsville, VA 22942; phone: 540-832-2708; e-mail: edcrebbs@yahoo.com

NTA Director — John Coakley, 1188 Turkey Knob Rd., Quicksburg, VA 22847; phone: 540-477-3440; cell phone: 540-335-6088

Membership Options:
• 1-year membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• 2-year membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $38
• Junior (under 16) with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $10
• Lifetime membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $250

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
VTA, Membership Secretary
Norm Mullins
Box 802, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609-0802

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hello again from southwest Virginia! Everything is really turning green here and the birds are starting to nest. It looks as if we are going to have good pasture for the stockers and a good hay crop for the first cutting.

I have been spending time in the shed getting ready for next season. Always something to tinker with. All of my traps will have Iowa Disposable Stake with No. 2 strait link chain instead of cable. I’m using a heavy duty S-hook welded at the stake end.

I want to commend all who worked so diligently to make the fur auction at Fishersville a great success. Everything is beginning to come together great. I have had lots of good feedback about the sale.

I want to give a big thank you to the ones who have announced their candidacy for an office in our association.

I hope to have more to write about next time. Until then, I hope everyone has a safe and happy summer with lots of cookouts! One good thing is that fuel prices are much better than they were a year ago.

Until next time, thanks for all your support and if I can be of any assistance to anyone, feel free to get in touch with me.

— Bob Newberry

NOMINATING COMMITTEE REPORT

OFFICERS ELECTION — The 2009 VTA Officers election will be held this September by sealed ballot. The duties and responsibilities of each position are listed in the Association bylaws; available on the VTA Web site at www.virginiatrappers.org. Details of the election process and biographies submitted by the candidates will be published in the upcoming Virginia Trapper newsletter.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE — The Nominating Committee is comprised of two District 7 members; Mike Brookover and Phil Ballard and two District 8 members; Art Foltz and Jim Longo. If you have any questions about the election process, please contact the committee chair at phone 804-448-0853 or by e-mail at foltzas@verizon.net.

VOTER ELIGIBILITY — All lifetime and regular memberships are considered voting members of the VTA. A current membership is required to receive a ballot so accordingly ballots will not be mailed to members whose membership expired in August 2009 or before. Ballots will be available at the September VTA Convention for renewing members and new members joining the Association.

OFFICER CANDIDATES — Your candidates for the 2009 election are:
President: Steve Colvin and Willie Ernstes
Vice-President: John Bedwell and JR Bowling
General Organizer: Tony Jonas and Glen Mabe
Treasurer: Scott Dean
Membership Secretary: Dickie Craig
Recording Secretary: Jim Covais
NTA Representative: John Coakley and Larry Kline

Please take the time to thank each candidate for their decision to accept the nomination for officer candidacy. The decision is one of personal sacrifice and commitment; offering their time, services and dedication to our Association.

— Art Foltz

AUCTION REPORT

The annual Spring Fur Auction was held at the Whitcomb High School in Bethel VT on Saturday, March 21, 2009. Thirty nine lots of fur were offered to the four buyers present. The following is a breakdown of prices received (list by species, # offered, # sold, average, high, low, total):

Mink — 40, 40, $7.89, $10, $5, $315.50
Muskrat — 895, 864, $2.29, $3.18, $2, $1,975.50
Coyote — 55, 54, $11.02, $17.10, $5, $595
Red Fox — 16, 15, $15.06, $17, $12, $226
Grey Fox — 5, 3, $11.67, $15, $10, $35
Coon — 106, 37, $6.54, $10, $2, $242
Fisher — 32, 29, $34.62, $41, $30, $1,004
Beaver — 198, 151, $12.53, $18.75, $2, $1,891
Otter — 9, 7, $27.71, $35, $25, $194
Skunk — 8, 4, $2.50, $4, $1, $10
Weasel — 11, 11, $2.73, $3, $2.66, $30
Bobcat — 3, 3, $53, $87, $36, $159
Opossum — 11, 11, $1.23, $1.25, $1, $13.50
Castor — 19 lbs, 6 oz.; 19 lbs, 6 oz.; $32.83; $36.76; $30; $636
Bear Gall — 2, 0, $0, $0, $0, $0
TOTAL SALES — $7,326.50

Prices received reflected the depressed state of the current market, which has been hit hard by the recent economic downturn. Most prices declined from our December auction with the exception of Beaver Castor which has enjoyed strong demand recently.

I would like to thank all those who helped out, especially Dave Perrin, Bruce and Penny Baroffio, John Abts, Jim Stewart, Jim Calchera, Paul Ainsworth, Mak Keyes, Brent Tellion, Bill Pickens and Dave Lauzon.

Thank you, John Krisher, for supplying the donated eggs and sausage!

A very big thanks to Chuck Eaton for donating his Auctioneering talents to our auction!

A special thank you to our March 15th birthday girl, Doreen Perrin, for another great job of managing the kitchen! Thank you, Judi, for cooking.

For more information on this auction, contact Daniel Olmstead at 802-464-6344 or email: pppgroom@sover.net

Respectfully submitted,

— Daniel E. Olmstead

DISTRICT 8 REPORT

District 8 met on April 19 at Lake Land’Or in Caroline County. We had a fair turnout with 16 trappers, guests and family members. After the meal, we caught up on the numerous topics and upcoming events regarding the trade. Jim Covais (VTA Recording Secretary and District 8 member) briefed the minutes of the March ’09 Board of Directors (BoD) meeting held in Fishersville. The BoD established a special committee to study the differences of opinion and disparities between live fox trappers and fur trappers. Willie Ernstes is the committee chairman and was one of our guests at the meeting. He briefed the committee’s objective and the results of their first meeting.

Another topic of interest that was discussed in detail was the ongoing Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) Hunting & Trapping Regulation Process. The DGIF comment period is open to everyone including those who oppose trapping. Some of the posted comments call for a ban on the use of all foothold traps in Virginia. Of special importance is the need for the trapper’s voice to be heard during this process. One of our other guests at the meeting was Jerry Sims (DGIF Regional Wildlife Manager/Biologist) and he emphasized the need for trappers to become involved in the regulatory process.

You can provide comment to the DGIF via the online forum, e-mail, mailed letters and public input meetings. If anyone desires more information about the proposals and how to submit their comments, please contact me. We appreciate Jerry Sims taking the time to be our guest at the meeting and fielding numerous questions relating to the trapping trade.

An invitation to attend our meeting was sent to all VTA Officer Nominees. Willie Ernstes (Officer Candidate), Jim Covais (Recording Secretary Candidate), Dickie Craig (Membership Secretary Candidate) and Larry Kline (NTA Representative Candidate) attended and were afforded an opportunity to brief the group on their goals for the VTA if elected. We thank the officer candidates for their participation in our meeting and expressing their views for improving the Association.

I’ll continue sending invitations to the VTA Officer candidates until the election is finalized. Additionally, I’ve informed our local DGIF Managers and the presiding VTA Officers of our open invitation to attend any and all of the meetings as our guests.

Our next district meeting/cookout is scheduled for July 12, 2009, at 2 p.m., location to be determined. After the meal and official business, we’ll be conducting trade demonstrations for continuing education for the new and experienced trappers. A meeting announcement with site directions will be sent to district members and guests, however, the event is open to all trappers or trapping-interested persons. If you would like to attend, contact me at foltzas@verizon.net or 804-448-0853 for details and directions.

— Art Foltz

DISTRICT 10 REPORT

Greetings all. There’s much to report in this issue. Going back to March 21, D10 conducted a Trapper Training Course at The Isle of Wight Ruritan’s Building. We had 20 students attend; including the local BSA Troop 41. Aside from a great training session where everyone of us walked away with something new in our “kit-bag,” we conducted a free trapping gear raffle with items donated by the D10 membership. Thank you very much to all who donated equipment and/or time to assemble a great training session. A special thanks goes to Nelson Miller for sharing such a unique fox trapping demo.

On top of that, everyone ages 12-16 walked out of there with at least one trap to call their own. As they received these traps, they were briefed how the item in their hand 1) needed a trap tag to be legal 2) how if misused could taint the reputation of everyone in the room; as well as give the antis and media an opportunity to injure us all. D10 conducted its March monthly meeting immediately afterwards with nine members in attendance. We discussed items from the VTA fur sale’s BOD meeting minutes and developed a rough outline for 2010 VTA convention planning, and arranged to sell our fur on April 3.

When we sold our fur, members present 5 D10 with approximately 250 pieces of fur; including red and grey fox, otter, beaver, muskrat, raccoon, and opossum. Averages were red fox $10, grey fox $17.70, otter $30, beaver $8, muskrat $7, racoon $6 and opossum $1.50 After I cashed my fur check, I paid off the house, bought the wife a new sports car and had enough left over to quit working for the rest of my life and then…the alarm went off. Seriously though, I did make enough to buy a Barbie doll house and a Matchbox Corvette and still have money left over.

Our April meeting was on the 19th at Hampton Bass Pro Shops with six members in attendance. Not the greatest showing, but we did have a new face amongst us. Tony, we hope to see you again. We discussed more 2010 VTA Convention planning, upcoming VTA elections, membership expirations, etc.

On that note, D10 has nine members whose membership expires prior to August 2009. Guys, if you don’t renew soon, you won’t receive an election ballot in the mail. If you have any ideas or suggestions to better our district, I want to hear from you. You can e-mail me at rob.brewer@us.army.mil or werjello@verizon.net. Please be sure to put VTA in the subject line, so I do not delete it as spam. For those who would rather pick up the phone, my cellular is 757-869-9822.

‘Til next time.

— Rob Brewer

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