Virginia Trappers Association June-July 2010 Report

President — Steve E Colvin, 2000 SB Rd, Barboursville, VA 22923; phone: 434-996-6067; e-mail stvcolvin@aol.com

Vice President — John Bedwell, 210 Fairway Lane, Wytheville, VA 24382; phone: 276-620-5145; e-mail: sinkthemink@hotmail.com

Membership Secretary — Dickie Craig, 2714 Knollwood Dr., Staunton, VA 24401; phone: 540-886-3937; e-mail: ddcraig9@gmail.com

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

Treasurer — Winston Marshall, 2080 Redlane Rd, Powhatan, VA 23139; phone: 804-598-0617; e-mail: thefoxtrapper@hotmail.com

General Organizer — Glen Mabe, 211 5th St., Luray, VA 22835; phone: 540-860-2634;
e-mail 19612004@yahoo.com

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: 540-335-6088

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
Dickie Craig
2714 Knollwood Dr.
Staunton, VA 24401

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Hello, hope everything is going well for everyone. It’s time once again to prepare for the Va. DGIF Hunting and Trapping regulation cycle. John Bedwell has agreed to be contact point for this issue. Please contact him with any changes that you would like to see brought up to the Va. DGIF. The convention will be a great time to discuss or bring to our attention any issues you are concerned about.

We had a great time at Smith MTN. Lake U.S. sportsman alliance Trailblazer event. We were able to talk to a lot of youth and parents alike. Everyone showed a lot of interest. Thanks to Dan Settles, Mike Perdue, Ed and Charliene Crebbs, Lisa and Cierra Colvin for their hard work at this event.

 The VTA raffle is under way we need to work hard to sell tickets to make this a success. If each member would buy 1 or 2 tickets we would sell them all. If anyone would like to buy or sell tickets please contact your director or Ed Crebbs @ 540-832-2708. The drawing will be held at our convention July 10. Top prize 1,000 dollars and 9 other cash prizes.

 The VTA annual convention is approaching fast. It will be held July 9, 10, 11 at New River Valley fairgrounds J.R. is working to get everything ready. To volunteer to get a booth or make suggestions please call J.R. @ 540-641-9653.

The next Va. Trapper Newsletter will be mailed June 4th. The proposed by-law changes and ballot will be in the Newsletter. Be sure to read all the proposed changes and follow the return ballot directions to make sure your vote is counted. This Assoc. belongs to you the membership so please take time to vote. I would like to thank the by-law comm. for all their hard work put into the proposed by-law changes.

I encourage everyone to go check out our website for all future events and other good stuff happening in the VTA. We are also in need of volunteers for different committees And directors for Districts 3,9 and 10. Feel free to call anytime as I like to hear from everyone on any issue. 434-996-6067.
Thanks. — Steve Colvin

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Well summer is almost here and things are heating up in a hurry. The VTA is also heating up. Our state convention is just around the corner and it is shaping up to be a good one. I hope that everyone is making plans to attend. Check out the VTA website for details about a list of events and vendors. We will be drawing for our raffle at the convention so be sure to get your tickets. There are many great prizes up for grabs including a first prize of $1000.

 We are also teaming up with the VDGIF and Va. Waterfowlers Assoc. to present a predator control seminar at four locations across the state. The dates and locations are as follows- May 8 Gander Mtn. Fredricksburg Va.
June 27 Gander Mtn. Roanoke Va.
July 17 Bass Pro Shops Hampton Va.
July 24 Bass Pro Shops Ashland Va.
If you have any questions please contact Ed Crebbs.

Each member will be receiving a ballot and a by-law change proposal in their next newsletter. I urge each and everyone to read these by-law changes and VOTE. This is your association so make your voice heard on this proposal.

On a final note, District 1 will be having their annual family picnic at Rural Retreat lake on June 26. We have a great time with plenty of food, friends, and fellowship. Contact Larry King for details.

Hope everyone has a great summer and trapping season will be hear before you know it. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. — John Bedwell

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY’S REPORT APRIL
VTA is growing!! We had a successful membership sign-up at Expo at the Western Sportsman Show and the VTA Fur Sale. I understand it was the first time we have had so many sign-ups at our sportsman show booth.

We were pleasantly surprised at the fur prices at our fur sale. They were better than expected. One youngster got $6 for a possum, and another lucky new member got close to $200 for a muskrat. He donated that muskrat for our VTA 50/50 raffle and he won 1/2 the proceeds. All furs donated for the 50/50 were auctioned off as a whole, and the winning name drawn got 1/2 the proceeds and the VTA got the other 1/2.

Since January 1, 2010, we now have 53 new members of which 10 are new Juniors. At the Fur Sale, a Mr. Jones, member in District 10, signed up and paid for 6 grandsons, all new Junior members now. Thank you Mr. Jones!!

The new members are totaled in Districts as follows: District 0 (out-of-state): 2 new members, District 1: 4, District 2: 3, District 3: 1, District 4: 13, District 5: 11, District 6: 4, District 7: 1, District 8: 3, District 9: 2, District 10: 8, and District 11: 1.
Our VTA membership now totals 674. I would like to see us pass the 700 mark!

I think everyone that helped at the Sportsman Show booth and the Fur sale did an excellent job. Thanks to Cierra Colvin for selling so many raffle tickets. Our next large event will be the VTA Convention….so see you there!!!

Thanks for all your patience and support. — Dickie Craig

MAY
Hello fellow VTA members,
Membership renewals have slowed since the VTA fur sale. If you have received a reminder either by mail or phone, I encourage you to keep up your membership.

Some members have been sending me their renewals from the Trapper & Predator with their checks and then sending them twice. The reason for this is that the Trapper & Predator magazine will send you more than one notice of renewal. So if you send your check to me with the first renewal notice, then disregard the second notice.

I have also had several members call because they sent their money directly to T&PC, thinking they were renewing their VTA membership. If you are a VTA member and get the T&PC, remember that T&PC sends out the renewal notices (not the membership secretary) that are to be sent to me. If you send your money directly to T&PC, you are not renewing your membership to the VTA.

Right now, the hot topic in the VTA is to be sure members turn in their ballot vote in the next issue of The Virginia Trapper magazine. The quest for high ethics among our VTA leaders should be of great importance. Please be sure to vote.

Again, I encourage you to keep up your membership and ask a friend or family member to join the VTA.
Your Membership Secretary. — Dickie Craig

RECORDING SECRETARY’S REPORT
Greetings. I am both honored and humbled to have recently been appointed Recording Secretary for the Virginia Trappers Association — your VTA.

A little background on me: I began trapping muskrats in Tidewater in the late 60’s as a young boy. Back then, rats were bringing about 80? for browns and 90? for blacks–I thought I was rich.

Throughout adulthood, the responsibilities of raising a family and work caused me to put aside my passion for trapping. I retired about a year and a half ago and found myself with way too much time on my hands, so I began predator trapping. Last year I started an ADC (animal damage control) business, and am also building websites for extra income. I reside in Goochland County with my wife.

You noticed at the start of this intro I wrote your VTA, because that’s what it is. The Executive Board is but a governing body elected by you the membership. We are here to serve you and without you — the members, the VTA doesn’t exist.

That old saying, “There is strength in numbers” is as true today as it was on that Sunday in 1966 when twenty-three concerned trappers met in Hungry Mother State Park in Smyth County to discuss the future of trapping in Virginia. Had it not been for our brothers and sisters that preceded us, trapping as we know it might not exist today. Trapping continues to be attacked today by those that would like nothing better than to see trapping outlawed. Let each of us pledge this year to keep our trapping heritage alive by signing up at least one new member. Also, let us not forget the kids, for they are the future of trapping.

I know I have some big shoes to fill following in the steps of our former VTA Recording Secretary–Jim Covais, but I know with your help and support, our organization will continue to thrive and be successful.

Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance, I’m only a phone call (or email) away. — Ed Crebbs

GENERAL ORGANIZER’S REPORT

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. It’s time for nature to replenish herself.
Now is the time I start getting ready for the up coming season. Get lure and bait made repair traps and make snares and new equipment. This helps me keep the edge off til fall.
The fur auction went great this year. We had 6 buyers at our auction. Prices were as good as any sales in the area. I was very pleased with the amount of people that helped this year. THAT is what makes the sale run smoothly.

I received several comments from the buyers on how well the sell went. Joey Vandyke shot a video of the auction and it is on www.wolfernation.com. I want to thank Joey and Clint Lockear for putting the video on wolfernation. I also want to thank all the trappers from WVA and NC that showed for our auction. You guys are welcome any time.

This year’s convention will be held at Dublin Va. July 9-11. JR Bowling is heading up the convention. I’m sure he can use all the help he can get. If you are interested in helping him give him a call at 540-641-9653. Also any vendors or anyone wanting any information about our convention can call him.

The VTA also has a raffel going on right now. Anyone wishing sell tickets or wanting to buy any can call Ed Crebbs at 540-843-2708. There are some great prizes.

I guess I will see you at the convention in July. If anyone needs anything all you have to do is give me a call. — Glen Mabe

TRAINING COORDINATOR’S REPORT
It is a revealing and worrisome thing to learn how many people trap vs. how many belong to your organization. We have 675 members in the VTA. 625 of these are in-state members. I’m going to guess and say 25 are members who do not trap anymore or are spouses like mine who trap occasionally (or not at all). That leaves us with 600 trapping members.

Last year the VDGIF sold 1,214 trapping licenses. 24 of those were non-resident. Therefore, we had 1,200 resident trapping licenses sold. That is 50% of the licensee are members. More importantly, 50% of those who bought a trapping license last year were NOT members of the VTA.

Now, the question is why. I really do not know that answer. I can speculate; we can all speculate on why someone would not want to be a member of the VTA. Borrowing from some other things I have both read and heard from other organizations I have put together the following:
VTA who?
What have they done for me?
I cannot afford it.
I belong to too many things now.
Let me try to respond to these things.

VTA who? If you do not know who we are then we need to do some Public Relations work. We are the folks who are working with the Game Department to have the best most workable trapping regulations we can have. We also work with the Virginia Waterfowler’s Association, the local chapters of the NWTF, and the Virginia Chapter of Quail unlimited.
What have they done for me?

Some years ago there was a change enacted to the Constitution which made hunting fishing and trapping protected as rights. We had a voice in the adding of trapping to this bill. We have been the driving force for standardization of season opening and closing dates for water and land trapping.

Working with the VDGIF we have established a training program to introduce a Basic Trapper Training Program for those who wish to get a basic introduction to trapping. We have introduced a Master Trapper Training Program to increase the knowledge of the average trapper and involve him in the basic training programs.
I cannot afford it.

The cost of an annual membership is the same cost of the periodical that come with it and you get three newsletters with it. Additionally, there are many events you can attend now because you know about them. You also can get our help with any issue which may come up.
I belong to too many things now.

Look at what you hold near and dear. If trapping is important enough to you to buy a license (and that ain’t cheap) then you should belong to the one organization which supports your right to trap and helps you learn about new tools, new methods, and issues which affect you ability to pursue your favorite pastime.

What can you do? Talk to people. Let them know who you are and what you do. Tell them about the VTA and what we do. Who do you talk to? Everybody, but especially country folk, you know, farmers and others who work outside. Make yourself known. When you come across another trapper or someone who knows a trapper talk to them.

Now, this also means you have to know what you are talking about because, after all, you are now the authority on the subject. You need to know what we do and how we do it. You have to be the subject matter expert. How do you do that? Talk to your District Director; talk to your Board and get the information you need. Gosh, does that mean I have to, uh, get involved? Only if you want to, but you do need the information and the best way to get it is to talk to those who can give it to you.

VTA members, help us help you. Let’s do something for the VTA. Learn something, teach someone something, and talk to someone about trapping and the VTA. — Ed Crebbs

BYLAW REVIEW COMMITTEE
The Executive Board established a Bylaw Review Committee to examine the 2005 bylaws and make recommendations for changes. The objective of the committee was to correct grammatical errors, correct deficiencies, and add provisions to improve communication between the General Membership and VTA Officers. An initial draft was compiled from the committee member inputs, and then the entire draft document was reviewed by the committee before submission to the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors voted on and approved the proposed bylaws on two occasions; January 2010 and March 2010. Due to the importance of the document to the Association, the Executive Board decided to send the bylaws to the entire General Membership via a ballot vote.

The proposed bylaw changes and ballots will be inserted in the upcoming Virginia Trapper newsletter. Your vote is crucial to the Association…we must have at least fifty percent ballot return to constitute a quorum vote on this matter. Bylaw Review Committee members: Art Foltz – Chair, Jim Covais, Larry Kline, and Scott Painter — Art Foltz

CONVENTION REPORT
Hello fellow trappers,

I am just reporting that the dates and fairgrounds are now finalized!! The Convention will be held at Pulaski County Fair Grounds in Pulaski county Virginia The dates will be July 9 2010 thru July 11 2010 with the gates opening July 9 2010 at Twelve noon for vendor setup.

We are still working on events and getting in touch with vendors. If anybody knows of any vendor who would like to set up, please have them call me at (540)641-9653.
Any questions or suggestions plz call me at (540) 641-9653.
Thank You. — J.R. Bowling

DISTRICT 1 REPORT
Hope this finds everyone well. Our trapping season is over, and what a unusual one.
Sure was hard trying to keep the sets working. Finally got my equipment cleaned and put up. Guess those that fish will be breaking out the fishing equipment. I’ve been doing a little trout fishing in some of our stocked streams. Trout seem awful small, but that’s the usual.
Our district has been having our monthly meetings. If you haven’t attended one yet, try to get out to one.

We meet the second Sunday of each month at Shoneys in Wytheville at 3:00 p.m. Our family picnic is set for June 26, at Rural Retreat Lake. Haven’t got confirmation on which shelter yet but will try and put a sign up on the day of the picnic Bring a covered dish and come on out. We will be having another raffle at the picnic like we had last year, so if you have something to donate to the raffle, bring it on out. We will try to start eating about 1:00 p.m. We would like to invite members of the other districts to come out and join us. We promise you will have a good time.

Our mini convention at the Bland Fairground is set for October 23 and 24. Make plans to come out and get your supplies before trapping season opens and spend some quality time with your trapping friends. We normally have a T-man dinner on Friday night and I don’t see any reason why we wont have one this year. Come on out and join the fun.

We are still selling tickets for the Foxpro-3 or 6 jake traps{ winners choice}, so if you need any, get them before the state convention. That’s about all I have. When you go outdoors always make a special effort to take a kid out with you, even if its the neighbors. Anybody need info about any of the above, give me a call 276-688-4758. — Larry King

DISTRICT 4 REPORT
The VTA will have a Code of Ethics. At this time the final draft is not ready.
District 4 has a basic trapper training course and an advanced course in the works. Time and place will be on the website and in T&PC and in the Newsletter if publishing deadlines are met.

The VTA Convention will be at the Pulaski County Fairgrounds on July 9-11, 2010. I hope everyone comes to have a good time and get ready for trapping season.
Any District 4 member that is a veteran or is presently in the military please call me. My number is (540) 886-8014. — Billy Price

DISTRICT 6 REPORT
Hello all,
Greetings from the Piedmont of Virginia. Spring is in full swing now and everybody should have already gotten their fill of cutting grass by this point in the year! Things are rolling along nicely here in District 6 as we have a few activities planned for this spring and summer. Norman Pierce, Ed Crebbs, and I have been organizing another trapper education class to be held at Laurel Branch Hunt Club outside of the Town of Kenbridge on Saturday May 22nd. Please spread the word to anybody that you know that would like to attend. This class is primarily for the local Boyscout troop but is open to the public and we would like to have a large turnout.

We are expecting to have quite a crowd. For directions or further details regarding the class please call or e-mail me. If interest continues after this next class; Norman and I have already talked about doing another class (our 3rd of the year) sometime later on this summer. We certainly could use volunteers at these classes for demos and moral support. Please let me know if you would be interested in coming out and helping us at these training events. I am looking forward to it.

As far as trapping is concerned I have been seeing quite a few furbearers in my travels. I am still seeing quite a few coons and possums hit on the road around the countryside. I think these critters are traveling quite a bit with young on the way to try to be in tip-top shape after delivery. My father and I were turkey hunting here a couple weeks ago and had a coyote come into our calling.

Unfortunately we were not able to get a shot on the animal. That is the second time I have had coyotes come into my turkey hunting setup. The last song dog (a few years ago) that came into my turkey calling did not make it out alive. I think this might explain why quite a few gobblers I have been hunting this spring have been extremely cautious and spooky. I think that coyotes probably pick off their share of gobbling birds during the spring. Anyhow it sure is fun to hunt the ol’ mossy heads in the spring.

Now is a great time to be thinking about next trapping season. Most of us are thinking about as far away from the trapline right now as ever but it would be wise to get rolling with preparation for the season that lies ahead. Cleaning traps, gaining permission, buying supplies, organizing, catching bait, etc are all things that will save you precious time when trapping season rolls around this fall. I have actually been thinking about trapping quite a bit here lately and hope to prepare more this year than I did for this past season. Preparation pays!

In closing, I hope that everyone is having a great spring and has time to get in their trap shed and do some spring cleaning and prepping. Please feel free to call, e-mail, or write me with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. Until next time.
Best. — Brandon Martin

DISTRICT 8 REPORT
District 8 started the off-season with meetings in March and April and kicked off their “back-to-basics” trapping demonstrations. The March meeting had a great turnout with 29 district members and guests in attendance. After the grub and official business Francis Richards conducted an exceptional fur grading demonstration, letting us know how to improve fur handling to increase the value of our catches.

We had a lot of official business to cover since our last meeting; however most of the time was dominated by Fredericksburg Watershed Management Plan discussion. Our guests; Mike Dye – DGIF, Steve Colvin – VTA President, Todd Cocker – VA Waterfowlers’ Association President, and Frank Wade – VAWFA all provided valuable insight to the management plan and what we’re doing to open the land to trappers and provide additional river access.

The April meeting had 13 trappers and family members in attendance. Official business topics were; VTA calendar of events, Board of Directors meeting minutes, Fur Auction results, Bylaw Review Committee actions, VTA Awards Program, and the Northern Virginia Trappers Day. We finished off the day with raccoon trapping demonstrations.

The demo session was a group effort with members sharing their techniques for the ringed tail bandits. Topics discussed and demonstrated were; cage trapping, cubby sets, foothold and dog-proof sets, snares, bait/lures, and dispatch methods. Additionally, we discussed the specific laws relative to raccoon trapping; use of body-gripping traps on land, cubby and snare requirements.

 Since District 7 invited us to participate in their June 5th Northern Virginia Fun and Demo Day and the VTA Annual Convention is scheduled for July 9-11, our next meeting is set for August 8th. The August meeting will start at 2:00 PM at 6706 River Road, Fredericksburg. A meeting announcement with site directions will be sent to district members and guests however, the event is open to all trappers and trapping-interested persons. If you would like to attend, please contact me for details and directions. The demonstrations scheduled are fox trapping techniques and trap modifications. — Art Foltz

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