Virginia Trappers Association November 2009 Report

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: 276-971-1856; e-mail: nbmullins@gmail.com

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

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY’S REPORT

I attended the VTA Annual Convention in Luray in September. This year’s convention was smaller than in years past, but those of us who were there had a big time nevertheless. I want to thank all who had a hand in putting on the convention for their time and hard work.

Prior to the convention, our membership had dipped to 590 members. With several folks joining and renewing at the convention, membership is now at 611. A poor economy and low fur prices are to blame, no doubt, for the lack of renewals and new members. Even so, we all need to redouble our efforts in growing our association by signing up a new member.

Remember, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a trapper. Many landowners, farmers, etc. are sympathetic to our cause and might be willing to join to show their support.

With trapping season opening soon, I wish you all the best along the trapline this season. As always, if you should have a question about your membership, please feel free to contact me.

— Norm Mullins

DISTRICT 4 REPORT

Beautiful weather, great demos, local and out-of-state vendors with all kinds of supplies, a few tailgaters, stories, lies, and, of course, old and new friends.

All of this was at the Va. Trappers Convention, Sept. 11-13. Enjoy the next one in 2010.
Will try to have meetings, trapper training, advanced training, fur handling demos and other activities after the season is over.

If any members have ideas or would like to host or help with these activities, let me know.

— Billy Price

DISTRICT 8 REPORT

Our last meeting of the year was a combined District 7 and District 8 event held on Sept. 27 in Spotsylvania County. We had a good turnout with 21 trappers and family members. After burning burgers and dogs, we discussed topics and upcoming events regarding the trade.

Minutes of the September Board of Directors and General Membership meetings were briefed. High on the priority list is the need to get youth involved in trapping. A quick look around at the VTA Convention showed the “graying of our trade/hobby” and lack of youth in numbers. Mike Perdue and Ed Crebbs have ongoing efforts to reach out to the youth via the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, however, everyone needs to get involved in promoting trapping to them.

Closely related to the above concern is the decline in VTA membership. Norm Mullins briefed that our membership dropped below 600 for the first time in many years. By the close of the Convention, we climbed over the 600 mark, but we are still well below the last few years’ average numbers. A declining membership is alarming and again points to the need for all of us to promote membership into the VTA. It’s almost certain we’ll have future battles to fight against the animal rights groups, and the bigger we are, the louder our voice will be heard.

Bob Newberry announced that the VTA Fur Auction will be held in Fishersville, VA again next year. The planned date is March 13, 2010. Changed from last year is the requirement for all sellers of fur at the auction to be VTA members. The change goes well with the discussion in the previous paragraph. Additionally, we thank Districts 2 and 3 for volunteering to host the VTA Convention in Dublin, VA next year. The date hasn’t been finalized yet, but they’re planning to go back to the month of July to increase Convention attendance and vendor presence; reduced competition with other State Conventions.

We ended our meeting with an excellent beaver skinning demonstration by Matt Schenemann. We have a few beginner trappers in Districts 7 and 8 so we’re planning to host a “back to basics” series of demonstrations — blind sets, snares, Conibear water sets, pocket sets, etc. The group input of their approach to the basic sets provides a learning opportunity for everyone; new and experienced trappers.

Our next district meeting is scheduled for March 7, 2010. The meeting is purposely set for one week prior to the VTA Fur Auction so we can present a fur grading and valuation demonstration. Please bring any or all of your fur to be graded by our experienced fur buyer district member. 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, please contact me at foltzas@verizon.net or 540-630-1756 for details and directions.

— Art Foltz

DISTRICT 10 REPORT

Greetings all. Many items of interest since last month’s report. D10 did not conduct the scheduled meeting at the VTA convention as previously advertised. I apologize for that. I failed to attend the convention due to medical issues and was advised not to travel that far from home. Belin Watson attended the convention BOD meeting on behalf of D10. He briefed me on the minutes of that meeting.

What is important for D10 members to know is Districts 2 and 3 have relieved us of the 2010 VTA Convention responsibilities. We are no longer hosting it. D10 has been relieved at my request to the BOD, through the president. I requested the relief based on 2009’s average meeting attendance numbers and what I’ll call “displayed enthusiasm trends” since we accepted the 2010 convention at the close of 2008’s convention.

Congratulations to the winners of the VTA elections, but also a huge Thank You to all who put their name on the ballot. We are on the cusp of another fur season. In fact, by the time you read this, it will already be fur season again. Our next D10 meeting will be arranged for early 2010 after fur season with plenty of notice to mark your calendar. I hope to see you there.

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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