West Virginia Trappers Association August 2009 Report

President — Janet Hodge, P. O. Box 787, Union, WV 24938; phone: 304-772-5586; e-mail: hawkmtn@hawkmtn.com

Vice President/Field Editor — Bill Healy, P. O. Box 187, Smithville, WV 26178; phone: 304-477-3301; e-mail: healybg@hotmail.com

Secretary/Treasurer — Gloria Stutler, HC 70 Box 140, Creston, WV 26141; phone: 304-354-9038;
e-mail: buttercup26141@yahoo.com

State Organizer — Scott Whytsell, 448 Hattie Run Rd., Grantsville, WV 26147; phone: 304-354-6965; e-mail: swhtsell@frontiernet.net

NTA Director — John Thomas, HC 70 Box 43K, Sugar Grove, WV 26815; phone: 304-249-5690; e-mail: john52766@hardynet.com

FTA Director
— Brian Casto, 6198 Parkersburg Rd., Sandyville, WV 25275; phone: 304-273-3055;
e-mail: wvtrapper71@hotmail.com

Membership Options:

• Adult membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Adult membership with newsletter only — $15
• Junior (under 16) with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $16.50
• Lifetime membership — $300

Complete membership application on first page of association section and mail dues to:
WVTA Secretary
Gloria Stutler
HC 70 Box 140, Creston, WV 26141


The board held its spring meeting on June 6 at the Gilmer County Recreation Center and enjoyed a pot luck dinner before getting down to business. Highlights of that meeting follow.

Trapper & Predator Caller subscription problems continue, but might be resolved soon. President Hodge prepared a report concerning the problems with subscriptions to the magazine, and her audit of the Palm Coast data base and the WVTA data base. As of March 1, 2009, there were 347 known errors in these data bases; 160 were the fault of Palm Coast and the remainder were mistakes by WVTA. Palm Coast did not correct their data base, as promised, during April or May.

On May 15, Janet began working directly with Missy Fenn of Trapper & Predator Caller and since then their errors have been corrected. Errors in the WVTA database have been corrected and sent to T&PC. At this point, both WVTA and Palm Coast databases are in close agreement. Janet will continue making monthly checks of Palm Coast’s membership roster.

The board reviewed these issues and came to a consensus that if the problems with Trapper & Predator Caller were not resolved by September, WVTA should no longer offer T&PC as part of membership. It was noted that WVTA would have to continue subscriptions for life members.

Charleston Hunt Show. The board agreed not to participate this year because of the difficulty of getting volunteer help. It was agreed to concentrate our efforts on the National Hunting and Fishing Days event at Stonewall Jackson Resort. The event is family friendly with many hands-on activities for children. The location is central and the event occurs before hunting season when the weather is favorable. The downside is that National Hunting and Fishing Days always falls on the weekend following our convention.

Reprinting Ed Buck’s book. Janet has signed an agreement with Ellsworth Buck and the book will be reprinted by Cowen Printing. Copies will be available at the Convention for about $8. A promotional story will be in the Convention newsletter. The board was strongly supportive.

Computerization of Auction Checkout process. The process worked well and all dealers were supportive. A computer generated report was given to each buyer, which detailed all items purchased by him, including a pelt summary. This system reduced buyer check out time to less than 30 minutes for all buyers. The board and fur committee members thanked Janet for her efforts to make this happen.

2009 Ballots and Elections. Josh Bates presented the ballot for 2009. There was one candidate each for vice president and FTA Director positions, and there are nine candidates for eight Board positions. Candidates position statements will appear in the Convention issue of the newsletter. Voting will take place at the convention and members wishing to vote by mail can contact Josh Bates for a mail-in ballot.

Convention 2009. The Convention schedule is complete and all vendor spaces have been sold. There is still plenty of room in the tailgating area. Demonstrations will include; Scott E. Dean – fox trapping, John Houban – coyote trapping, Mike Grey – beaver trapping, Seth Barnhardt – bobcat trapping, Ken Stewart – snaring techniques and Willis Bentley – snaring coon, fox and coyote. Robert Byrd will talk about gathering medicinal roots and herbs and Dave Cook will talk about ginseng preparation and markets. Darren Elder, Danny Stutler and Harold Stutler will share their skills and gadgets for skinning and fleshing raccoons. There will be education classes for beginner and intermediate trappers and other family events.

Education Committee. The committee has been working hard to prepare course materials for beginning and intermediate trappers. The class has been successful, but some of the youngest students had difficulty with the four-hour format, and some older students wanted more hands-on instruction. We also thought it was inappropriate to give the youngest students working traps and snares. This year students will be separated by age and skill level. Younger students will learn furbearer natural history, tracks, sign and basic ideas of trapping. Older students will work with instructors at learning stations to practice the basics of trap anchoring and set construction. Students are urged to preregister with Janet Hodge (address and e-mail in header).

Media Committee. Glenda Schimmel reported that sales of online items have been suspended until a person can be appointed to oversee the inventory and mailing of items. There were about two orders per month. Online payment of dues was also suspended until problems with the T&PC could be resolved. WVTA had been getting about two memberships per month online.

Web site visitors: In March, our Web site had 2,835 visitors who looked at a total of 5,984 pages. In April, the site had 1,317 visitors who looked at a total of 2,117 pages. As of May 15, there were 661 visits to the Web site. So far in 2009, January was our biggest month for the Web site with 3,504 visitors looking at 7,984 pages.

To date, Web sponsors include Murray’s Lures, Northern Sport, Night Owl Lures, Windy Ridge Trapper and Rifle magazine. WVTA receives 10 percent of the advertising payments made by the first four companies listed, and the other 90 percent goes to the Webmaster for payment of services and hosting space.

Announcements of the 2009 convention have been sent to Fur-Fish-Game magazine (Aug.-Sept issues), Fur Takers (July issue), Ohio Valley Outdoors (July/Aug. issue) and Trappers World (July/Aug. issue).

Calendar of Events. September 18-20, 2009: 41st Annul Convention, Gilmer County Recreation Center, Glenville. Plan on spending the weekend. We have a great line-up of demonstrations, vendors, trapper education classes, and activities for the whole family.

— Bill Healy


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