Virginia Trappers Association January 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 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

Vice President’s Report
District 1 Report
District 8 Report
District 10 Report

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Well Trappers, we are in full swing again. I finally got a few sets out on Monday. I know all of you are hammering them in daily. I wish everyone lots of luck this year.

I am pleased to announce that the Girl Scout Program was a huge success. Mike Fies came down and opened the program with a great presentation, the rest of the weekend was a modified version of the Basic Trapper Ed course. Saturday morning we did set demos through monsoon rains, and howling wind. I stopped the demo’s when you could only see about 30 feet. The girls never complained a bit. Once the rain moved out, we continued the demos. After lunch, we did snare demos, and set locations. We then dyed and waxed traps, divided up into groups, and set a trapline. All total, we had about 32 traps, and 2 snares set. The anticipation was high, and the requests were coming in all evening for bobcats and coyotes.

After dark, we did a campfire supper, and discussed what we were going to do with the all the fur we were going to catch. I reapedly told the girls not to get their hopes too high. I told them they could harvest, or release any caught animal if they were unharmed. Let me tell you, those girls made it very clear, IF IT WAS CAUGHT, IT WAS GETTIN SKINNED!!!

The next morning came, and the crew was gathering at 7:30 am. to start checking traps. I hate to say it, but their were 13 little broken hearts coming back to camp. Only one set got hit, and the trap was dug up, and flipped out of the trap bed. We pulled everything as we went, found some tracks, and discussed a few things on animal behavior. When we returned to camp, CPO Greg Funkhouser met us and gave the girls a great talk on what a CPO does, and what they look for when they encounter a trapper. He asked for their permission to trap forms, and they all raised them up. He then started asking them all kinds of questions on trapping laws and regulations, and they sure made me look good. They answered every question quickly and correctly. After a quick snack, we went straight into the fur handling portion.

We skinned a red fox, a coyote, and a bobcat. They participated allot more than I thought they would in this, but some did get a little weak in the tummy. Even in the face of miserable weather, we had a great class, and had allot of fun. I was very proud of those girls. They never complained about anything. At the end of the program, they all received their Basic Trapper Certificated and patches. They also exchanged some gifts with us.

I want to give a big Thank You to Dan Settles, Gene Wirt, and JR Bolling for all their help, and for sacrificing so much time for this event. This event could not have been pulled off without them. In the words of the Outdoor Program Director for the Girl Scout, this was a Ground Breaking event, and it was a complete success. I am proud to have been a part of it.

It is already being scheduled for next year.

At this time, I have nothing else to report on. If anyone has any questions or comments, please let me know.

— Mike Perdue

DISTRICT 1 REPORT

Hello to all in D1. As I write, our annual firearms deer season has come and gone and so has Thanksgiving. Tomorrow will be Dec. 1, opening for water trapping in our area. I have just a few more days to work, then on to some vacation to trap! I hope all of you have either had or have a very productive and fun season. All who can and will, please visit the VDGIF Web site to comment on regulation proposal changes for next year.

Not all the proposals are in favor of the thing we all like to do. They are not all made by hunters and trappers either. This is our chance to speak our voice. If we don’t speak for ourselves, someone else will be happy to do so. The link is not so easy to find on the VDGIF Web site, you can search for regulation or visit http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/regulations/issues.

We have a couple of upcoming events that I hope many of you are able to attend. Our fur demo day will be Jan. 17, 2009, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Wytheville Livestock Market, same as last year. This day is devoted to teaching and demonstrating proper fur handling techniques. If you put up fur, you should attend. No matter how long you have been putting up fur, you will certainly learn something here. If you would like to show how you skin, flesh, stretch, etc. you are more than welcome to join in. This is all about doing the job right and getting the most out of you hard work. Our District 1 fur sale will be Feb. 28, 2009. I hope all of you have fun and success on your traplines!

— Jonny Wright

DISTRICT 8 REPORT

Finally, the season is underway. Although Dad and I don’t plant steel for land furbearers in earnest until after deer gun season, we have a few in the ground at a farm that doesn’t allow dog hunting. So far, it’s been slim pickings but we’re looking forward to a good year. Personally, I’m glad we had the early cold weather as it forced me to bed my initial lay of traps for the freeze-thaw-freeze cycles. When the season opens with warm weather, I have a tendency to forgo the freeze proofing techniques and have to dig everything up and reset when the freeze hits. We hope to add some coyote to the inventory this year since we’ve picked up some sign at our regular sites. It’s still difficult for me to see the difference between a dog track and a coyote track, but we had one sign that even I couldn’t miss…a coyote shot by a deer hunter.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) is still seeking public comment regarding trapping and hunting regulatory issues. If you have access to the Internet, you can review the inputs submitted by others on trapping and hunting issues, but more importantly you can submit your own thoughts. There’s a lot of lively discussion surrounding fox trapping and hunting, especially live fox trapping. As we all know, our profession/sport is under attack on many fronts so the more positive input we can provide to the DGIF the better they and the VTA can defend us. Case in point — one suggestion calls for elimination of all types of trapping. The public comment period is open until Jan. 5, 2009, and you can comment directly on their Web site at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/regulations/issues/recommendations.asp.

Our next district meeting is planned for March 8, 2009, at 2 p.m. We invite members to bring their fur to the meeting for a grading demonstration and an estimate on the value of their fur. I’ll send a flyer announcing the meeting and directions to the site by mid-February. Have a Safe and Successful Season.

— Art Foltz

DISTRICT 10 REPORT

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is having ample opportunity to enjoy this holiday season. I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions, but I will ask you to consider one. How about renewing or extending your VTA membership now? Or if you can swing it, join NTA, FTA or even another state’s trapping association. No? How about sending anyone of them a check? Even if it’s only $5, it will help out. You and I both know it’s the right thing to do. Let’s all do our part and just a little more.

Since I’m on my “help-out soapbox” I’d also like to mention keeping Jim Covais in mind. He’s got The Virginia Trapper newsletter to put together. Let’s send him pix, ideas, suggestions or maybe even an article.

I am still finding myself learning new things season after season. It’s one of the great things about outdoor sports like trapping, hunting and fishing. You can do it your entire life and still find yourself learning more. I’m finding the longer I do something, the more I’m seeing just how much I don’t know.

We did not hold any meetings in November as we agreed earlier. It’s Nov. 25 as I write this. Deer season is in full-swing; but will be winding down when you read this. For some of us, that means more land to trap as the deer dogs are put up.

I wish you all the best year yet; in every respect. Be proud to trap. Be safe too.

If you have any ideas or suggestions to better our district, I want to hear from you. You can email me at rob.brewer@us.army.mil or werjello@verizon.net . Please be sure to put VTA in the subject line, so I don’t delete it as spam. For those who’d rather pick up the phone, my cellular is (757) 869-9822.

‘Til next time.

— Rob Brewer

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