Virginia Trappers Association March 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

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hello again to everyone in the commonwealth. Another season almost behind us lacking one month. I hope by now everyone is filling their stretchers. I am really enjoying my season. The guys that work their fur at my trapping shed keep things exciting. Since bear season has closed I have another regular here most every day. Larry, we might have to go to the woodmizer and make up some more basswood stretchers!

Following are some dates that you need to remember. Our annual state fur sale is March 14, 2009, at Augusta Expoland Fishersville, Virginia. You do not have to be a VTA member to consign to this sale. There is a 3 percent commission for selling. VTA Board meeting following the selling of the fur. I urge all directors and executive board to please try to attend. Also VTA District 1 Fur Sale is Feb. 28, 2009, Wythe County Livestock Exchange Wytheville, Va.

I hope to have more information to share next time. Until then if I can be of any assistance to you feel free to let me know.

— Bob Newberry

NOMINATING COMMITTEE REPORT

ATTENTION ALL VTA MEMBERS — It’s time once again where we have the opportunity to elect new VTA officers. The positions that will be decided by election are President, Vice-President, General Organizer, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Recording Secretary and NTA Representative. The duties of each position are listed in the association by-laws; available on the VTA Web site www.virginiatrappers.org. If you don’t have access to the Internet and would like information on elected positions, please contact us by phone at 804-448-0853.

CANDIDATES NEEDED — The election doesn’t take place until September 2009 however, the nominating committee must compile the candidate list for the VTA Board of Directors to review on March 14, 2009. If you are interested in one of the officer positions, please let us know so we can add you to the candidate list. Each candidate needs to provide a brief biography for publication in the Trapper & Predator Caller subscription and/or the VTA Newsletter. If you want to nominate someone else for a position, please let us know the nominees name and position you’re nominating them for. The committee will contact the person to confirm their acceptance of the nomination. Nominations can be submitted by phone 804-448-0853, e-mail at foltzas@verizon.net or postal mail to Art Foltz, 225 Hollyside Drive, Ruther Glen, VA 22546. All nominations must be received by the nominating committee prior to May 1, 2009, to have his/her name placed on the ballot.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE — The nominating committee is comprised of two District 7 members; Mike Brookover and Phil Ballard and two District 8 members; Art Foltz (chair) and Jim Longo. The committee’s duties are; to prepare the slate of candidate for the Board of Directors, ensure all candidates are qualified (members in good standing), mail ballots to VTA members and count and certify election results.

ELECTION PROCESS — The nominating committee will mail ballots to all voting VTA members by Aug. 31, 2009. Ballots must be returned to the committee no later than Sept. 25, 2009, by mail using ballot return envelope or delivered in person to a nominating committee member at the 2009 VTA Convention. The nominating committee will count the ballots and certify election results no later than Oct. 15, 2009. The new officers will assume duties on Jan. 1, 2010.

— Art Foltz

DISTRICT 1 REPORT

Well just one more month of trapping for most of us and then we’ll have to wait till next fall. I hope you all have had a good season. I know from talking to most of the folks near home here that most have scaled back a bit due to the economy and low fur prices. I had hoped that I was going to get to trap a bit more this year, but felt a little under the weather in December and have been very busy with a major project at work since the first of the year. We had our fur demo day on Jan. 17 at the Wytheville Livestock Market.

There were at least 60 in attendance this year. We all had a good time teaching and demonstrating proper fur handling techniques and talking shop. If you missed it, you missed another good opportunity. Our District 1 fur sale will be Feb. 28, 2009, also at the Wytheville Livestock Market. Doors open to Sellers 8 a.m., doors open to buyers at 9 a.m. Cost is $10 for each consignee selling fur. Shippers will be available if you choose to ship. Trapping supplies available. Lunch available on grounds.

We will accept any donated pelts for the District 1 fundraiser. Directions to the livestock market — Exit 70 off I-81 US 52 North 2 Mi. Sale barn on left. I hope to see you all there. Our February meeting will be Saturday, Feb. 14 at Fort Chiswell as our meeting place in Marion is about to close. We’ll finalize plans for the fur sale.

— Jonny Wright

DISTRICT 8 REPORT

I hope you all had a successful and safe season. The projected fur prices seem to be putting a damper on the season, however, the NAFA January auction report offered a little encouragement in upcoming auction attendance reservations.

In the middle of our trapping season, I had the opportunity to go on a business trip to New Zealand. I hated missing out on three weeks of the season, but couldn’t pass up on the trip. Since it was summer in that part of the world, I packed up the wife and we made a vacation of it after the business part. New Zealand is a beautiful country with great climate and some of the friendliest people (Kiwi’s) I’ve encountered. I knew they had a large wool industry, but to my surprise they also had a substantial possum (no O) fur industry. During some free time (wife’s shopping trips), I researched the New Zealand fur trade and learned that wool, possum fur and deer hides are their primary products. Interestingly, before the arrival of Europeans to the New Zealand islands, the only mammals present were bats and seals.

In the mid-1800s, the Europeans introduced the possum to start a fur industry that has since backfired into an ecological disaster. The Brushtail Possum has no predators to contend with so their population has exploded to an estimated 70 million (20 possums for every Kiwi citizen). Today, the possum is considered a pest and they are trapped, poisoned, grilled, roasted and stewed in an attempt to control their numbers.

Because of the damage they cause to forests, possum fur is considered an Eco-Fur. A local saying “Wear a Possum, Save a Forest” emphasizes their concern. Even though the Brushtail Possum is also a marsupial and about the same size as our opossum, its appearance and fur are quite different from the Virginia Ol’ Grinner. I bought one to help the cause and will bring it to our March district meeting.

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 meeting flyer and directions to the site in the next couple of weeks.

Respectfully,

— Art Foltz

DISTRICT 10 REPORT

Greetings all. We’re winding down another trapping season. I hope those of you who set number goals attained them. For the others, I hope you made a first catch, a first “double,” “triple” or some type of first. If nothing else, I know you learned something, worked hard and enjoyed yourself. I know I sure did.

D10 will be conducting a VTA sponsored Trapper Training Class on Saturday, March 21, 2009. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the class is expected to conclude at 5 p.m. The location is The Ruritan Building. Address is 17011 Courthouse Hwy., Isle of Wight, VA 23397. Directions: traveling north on Hwy 258: Ruritan Building is the second building on right after passing Isle of Wight Academy. Traveling south on Hwy 258: approaching Isle of Wight courthouse on right, Ruritan Building is second building on left after passing intersection of Poorhouse Rd & 258. Ruritan Building is white, masonry block. Ruritan sign out front. We will hold our first D10 meeting of 2009 immediately after the training. So even if you are not part of the training team, come on out later in the day and be a part of your district. Besides, many of you have been asking about fur-handling. Why not come see first-hand how it’s done?

On that note, with prices as they are forecasted this year, it is not really going to hurt much to attempt some of it on your own catches. Get good while it’s down and by time the market rebounds, you’ll be making top dollar. If you are going to attend the training or the meeting afterwards, bring any old traps, lure or other trapping equipment you no longer use. We’ll have some youngsters in attendance and I’d like to do a free drawing for them to give items away. Perhaps we will decide another fair and equitable means of distribution. Bottom line, please bring surplus, no-longer-needed traps and related items.

One more thing. VTA elections are this year. District 8 Director Art Foltz is chairing the nominating committee for the upcoming VTA Officer elections. The committee’s primary tasks are to prepare a slate of candidates for the Board of Directors and to count and certify the ballots. The offices that will be filled by election are: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, General Organizer, Membership Secretary and Recording Secretary and NTA Representative. The description of office duties and responsibilities are contained in the VTA bylaws. Please inform myself (or Art) if you are interested in becoming a candidate for office. As you know, all of these positions are important to the viability of our Association and to each of us personally as a trapper. Even though election will not be held until September 2009, the Nominating Committee must present the names of the candidates to the Board of Directors prior to their annual meeting. In addition, our bylaws require candidates inform the Nominating Committee of the position they are seeking prior to May 1 and provide a brief biography for publication in VTA-related media.

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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