Wisconsin Trappers Association December 2009 Report

President — Virgil Schroeder, 3471 Earlwyn Road, Cottage Grove, WI 53527; phone: 608-764-5218; e-mail: virjo4t@msn.com

Vice President — Lee Sillars; phone: 715-218-5041; e-mail: Isillars@aol.com

Secretary — Dorothy Abrahamson, 508 E. 9th Ave., Stanley, WI 54768; phone: 715-644-0644

Treasurer — Pam Mather, P.O. Box 305, Oregon, WI 53575-0305; phone: 608-335-2700; e-mail: wtatreas@verizon.net.

NTA Director — Chris Bezio, 5479 Hawthorne Dr., Pulaski, WI 54162; phone: 920-822-3427

Trapper Education Coordinator — Nicke Shumaker, P.O. Box 28, Caroline, WI 54928; phone: 715-754-2121; e-mail: wctep@mwwb.net

Public Relations Director — Ken Kasper, P.O. Box 367, Fremont, WI 54940; phone: 920-446-3815; e-mail: wtapr@centurytel.net

Trapper Correspondence Course Director — Mike Widner, P.O. Box 483, Baraboo, WI 53913; phone: 608-356-3621

Future Trappers of Wisconsin Coordinator — Jennifer Roever, W14399 Highway 45, Tigerton, WI 54486; phone: 715-754-5317

Membership Options:

• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Junior (under 17) with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $12
• Lifetime (under 62) with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $300
• Lifetime (over 62) with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $100
• Husband & wife lifetime — $400

Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:

WTA Treasurer
Pam Mather
P.O. Box 305, Oregon, WI 53575-0305;


Hello Trappers,

Another trapping season is here. I set some dryland sets last week, and it looks like there are a lot of ’coons in this area. It was fun to hear the excitement in the voices of three young grandsons that had never been introduced to trapping before. The successful catch we had in one trap will be in their memory forever.
I’ve been to the Capitol in Madison several times in the last month. I spent one afternoon visiting some of the legislators and encouraging them to vote to put the DNR Secretary back as an appointment of the DNR Board of Directors.

The Stewardship program will come to a vote shortly. I also visited the Capitol concerning this program.
I was asked to speak on behalf of the WTA at the Horicon Marsh on the occasion of the auction to award muskrat trapping rights. I thought it was well received. The trappers had many good questions, also.

The Board of Directors Meeting was held in October. The Personnel and Finance Committee presented a plan to terminate all salaried positions in the WTA. It was voted on bythe board to be effective as of Jan. 1, 2010. As of that date, the positions will be all volunteer.

A move to put the fur handling videos onto DVDs in place of the current VHS tapes is in the works. Instead of the five tapes, there will be two DVDs. There will be one dryland disc and one wetland. The cost is yet to be determined.

The January Board of Director’s Meeting will be at the McKenzie Center on Jan. 9 at 9:30 a.m.
Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year! Good Trapping!

— Virgil Schroeder


WTA President Virgil Schroeder has appointed Kathy Bazile to the P&F committee. We welcome Kathy and thank her for her commitment to the WTA. We are looking for at least two more general members to become P&F members. The eventual goal is that the P&F committee would consist entirely of general members with the Vice President as the only association officer on the committee. If you are interested in becoming a P&F member, please contact Virgil Schroeder, Mike Abrahamson or Michael Leiser.

The personnel and finance committee has been working on incorporating the new internal structure. There are eight coordinators that are responsible for performing the various functions of the WTA. Each coordinator has a liaison from the P&F committee who is responsible for supporting and directing their assigned coordinator in accordance with the expectations of the BOD. Coordinators and liaisons are working on budgets, inventories and documentation of procedures for each function. Following is a list of coordinators and liaisons:

Brent Straka coordinator – Web site – Lee Sillars liaison

Krystle Kasper coordinator – Publications – Bryce Larson liaison

Ken Kasper/Virgil Schroeder co-coordinators – Spring Banquet – Kathy Bazile liaison

Ellen Elia/Duane Fronek co-coordinators – Fall Rendezvous – Greg Schroeder liaison

Scott McAuley coordinator – Events – Dan Carroll liaison

Pam Mather coordinator – Treasurer/Membership – Mike Abrahamson liaison

Richard Wenta coordinator – Raffle – Michael Leiser liaison

Mike A. and Pam are working with Steven Van of Van Bookkeeping as we are transitioning to a professional bookkeeper. Mike Abrahamson and Michael Leiser are now co-chairing the P&F committee.

Respectfully submitted.

— Michael D. Leiser


September showed an increase in membership for Wisconsin along with many other states. That is really what we need especially since the Humane Society of the U.S. is opening an office in Madison. I also saw a small article in the paper that Bob Barker is pushing to raise a million dollars to help get an animal rights law course going at a university in California. These activities by people who hate what trappers do should be enough motivation to get you to join the NTA or get someone who is not a member to join. Sell them a calendar or sweepstakes ticket. When the battle gets to Wisconsin, we will need the NTA’s help.

New Hampshire has had an anti-trapping bill introduced. Actually the bill would make it illegal to possess the hides or carcasses of furbearers, which would essentially ban trapping. The NTA has been in contact with the NHTA and have offered our assistance. Currently the bill is being watched carefully for movement from the committee and possibly onto the assembly floor.

A new Federal House Bill that has been introduced. This would be HB3710 and has been introduced in one form or the other by this same person for many years. Each year it has been successfully killed in committee by the NTA and other member associations.

The judge has yet to make a determination in the ME lawsuit. You’ll remember that the court had given itself a Sept. 1 deadline, but for some reason things still haven’t been determined.

The NTA was a part of a group that worked in CT to defeat the anti-trapping legislation this past summer. Sometimes when fighting these battles we are able to meet new people and make new friends. This is the case in CT. The NTA had the honor and privilege of meeting John Larkin (via phone) who was the lobbyist there in CT. John is involved with the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC). The National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses is an arm of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation based in Washington, DC, which is the foundation/organization that operates and staffs the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. Additionally, in the last month, they have also formed a Governor’s Sportsmen’s Caucus of which currently 18 governors have already signed on to participate.

This group will be a great resource as issues come up throughout the year. They maintain data on both pro and anti sportsmen’s policies and they also have a good handle on what has worked and hasn’t throughout the country. We believe this is a perfect fit for the National Trappers Association to be involved with. As it appears the anti’s think that they can make a run banning some of the most important tools trappers use. First of all, as a starting point, it provides at least the opportunity to share information about what is going in at least 38 other states. It also provides a list of legislators who are to be friendly on sportsmen’s issues to people who might not always interact with lawmakers.

MT is still gearing up for the coming initiative. The Footloose group is forging ahead with their plans to end trapping on public lands. Nothing has really changed in that upcoming battle.

Dave Linkhart attended a FWTH and FICA function in NYC representing the NTA in September. Dave and his wife also attended a USSA dinner in Ohio, representing the NTA, and spoke with many legislatures who were in attendance. We have received many compliments on his participation. As I am writing this, he is representing the NTA in DC with FWTH as they speak with key committee staffers regarding issues relevant to the fur industry. More on his meetings later.

Dave Linkhart represented the NTA at the annual meeting of Fur Wraps the Hill (FWTH the lobby coalition we are a part of, at the law offices of Kelley Drye & Warren in New York City). The meeting was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Fur Information Council of America (FICA) and the Fur New York Banquet. After reviewing the financials, which for the present time are adequate, the group discussed 2009 political activities.

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETE), passage of which was the goal of FWTH when it was founded, has seen its first convictions. Our European counterparts are envious of this legislation. It might see a constitutional challenge and we need to be continually supportive of this law in congress.

The BMP process might be in jeopardy due to funding limitations. Since this is not a line item in the federal budget, bureaucrats in the APHIS division of USDA set the amount within their budget. They seem to consider this an ongoing process and are willing to proscribe only a minimal amount to cover administrative costs. Scientists within the division realize this process has a deadline and want money to complete it. We might seek a meeting between the two groups to work out a possible solution.

A Fur Labeling Bill has been introduced in congress. In its original form, it required that the Asiatic Raccoon be labeled Raccoon Dog. That designation would have destroyed the product in the US and Europe. That provision has been deleted due to efforts of FWTH. However there are other aspects of the bill that could impact the fur industry. It would require additional labels for garments that are not needed and remove the current $150 exemption. The fur ranchers of FWTH decided to not oppose the removal of the $150 exemption, since it would not affect their products, but question all other parts of the bill. It is hoped that by gutting it of most of its provisions, it will die a quiet death in committee. This is likely since everyone on the hill is working on health care and other issues. I stated that trappers would oppose the removal of the $150 exemption since it could impact sales of small goods.

The Federal Trade Commission will rule on the Asiatic Raccoon name. We expect a favorable outcome there since their own guidelines prohibit naming any animal after two others.

Animal confinement issues in several states were discussed. Ohio is taking a proactive approach and put an initiative on the ballot with the help of the state legislature to form an animal confinement advisory board, which would set standards for the industry. This was in response to HSUS’s threat to try to totally outlaw most types of confinement, such as farrowing stalls for hogs, cages for chickens and pens for mink and foxes. Voters will decide this fall and other states are watching.

There are many other important activities that the NTA is involved in representing us the trappers, but I felt these were the real highlights.

— Chris Bezio


First off, a big THANK YOU to all of the instructors, DNR Wardens, Biologists and other personnel and helpers who were involved with classes, workshops, booths, etc. throughout the year. Your time, knowledge and dedication to teach others about trapping will hopefully help prolong our trapping privileges in the future.
The Trapper Ed Program has been quite busy lately finishing up with fall classes. All of the classes are now done for this year. I don’t have all the rosters in yet, but the number so far for 2009 is 895 graduates.

It’s going to be close to reaching the 1,000 mark, but I’m sure Mike will pull through with the Correspondence Course. Many calls are received in late October by interested individuals inquiring about trapping classes and that there aren’t any offered anymore for the year or in their specific area. Mike is then swamped with students. There were also 30 percent fewer classes offered this year, which might have affected the graduate numbers. There are people calling for next year’s classes already too. So, if you have a class planned for next year or are planning on having a class, get the information to me as soon as possible so we can get it on the 2010 schedule on the Web site.

FTW Camp 2010

Something new and exciting in the works for 2010 is an FTW Camp being put together by the Trapper Ed Program and the Future Trappers of Wisconsin. The camp is set for June 23-25, 2010, at the Mackenzie Center in Poynette. It will be open to all FTW members between the ages of 12-18.

This camp is somewhat like a trapper ed class only taking things to the next level and spending more hands-on time in specific areas besides being able to build some of your own equipment and some fun activities too. We want to teach the kids the skills and responsibilities needed to be our future leaders in trapper education and help them to extend our trapping privileges on to future generations.

We are looking for sponsors and donations to help with camp costs and materials needed for the workshops. Some materials we are looking for are: aircraft cable, wood and wood scraps, spray paint, PVC pipe, roller chain, square or round plastic buckets and rerod as well as two to three canopy tents in case of rain and some otter sleds to borrow.

A Camp Registration Form is available in the Winter issue of the WI Trapper. If you would like to sponsor a camper, donate materials or to the cost of materials, have any questions or need extra Registration Forms, contact the Statewide Trapper Ed Coordinator at 715-754-2121 or wctep@mwwb.net. Thank you in advance for your support!

— Nicke Schumaker


The season is upon us and many of you are out harvesting fur, I hope you find success and weather that will co-operate with your sets.

I had an e-mail from a district member that was still having trouble with his life membership and his subscription to the T&PC. If you know or hear of anyone that is experiencing this, please have them contact myself or any director or BOD member so this can be cleared up. Members need to be taken care of in situations like this and I will follow through to make sure this problem is corrected. I just need to hear from members if the problem continues.

Personnel and Finance has proposed restructuring positions in the WTA and how it operates. The goal is to have a volunteer workforce for all functions of the WTA. There will be more information coming out on what is going on with various positions.

Deer hunting is right around the corner. Be safe out there and take a first time hunter with and expose them to the long-standing tradition. The holidays will follow and I will take this time to wish everyone the best of holidays with family and friends.

As always, contact me with any questions or concerns you might have.

— Mike Abrahamson


Hi! I hope everyone’s trapping season is going well. We recently held our trapping class on opening ’coon weekend and did very well. We usually only catch one animal or none, but this year we ended up with two ’coons, two opossums, a skunk and a gray fox. That was our best catch ever during a class. Needless to say, we didn’t expect it so there was a lot of skinning to do on top of the animals that were already unthawed.

This was a great firsthand learning experience for the students and I wish every class could experience that.

I would like to say thank you to everyone from District 4 who took time out of their rendezvous weekend to help out at the gate. Your help was greatly appreciated. Thank you also to all of the District 4 members who have already signed up to volunteer during the week of the National Convention. An organizational meeting is planned for June 26, 2010, at the Marshfield Fairgrounds for all who volunteered to help. There will be a walk-around of the grounds and an explanation of how things will be set up. If you have any questions prior to then, contact Chris Bezio.

If anyone has ’coons they would like to get in the 50/50 raffle, contact Richard Clark. You can donate as often as you wish.

Our District Spring meeting will be Saturday, March 6 with a potluck at 1 p.m. and the meeting to follow at the Mountain Community Center. The Spring Banquet will be on Saturday, March 20 at the Stoney Creek Inn in Wausau. This year, there will be other activities going on during the Board and General meetings for those who do not want to sit through the all of them. Virgil would like to see a turnout of 350 people, so invite your neighbors, friends and your neighbor’s friends.

We will be having a Fall Rendezvous this year, but it will only be a one-day convention. More information on this will follow.

Good luck in the woods and have a safe Hunting and Trapping Season. Happy Thanksgiving and Seasons Greetings to you and to all your families.

— Dan and Family


Greetings District 6,

The 2009 rendezvous season has ended and trapping season has begun. Our 2009 district rendezvous was very successful. When all was said and done, we had approximately $3,039 in our treasury. Thanks to all who volunteered their time and/or talents. Thank you to all our vendors: Clark’s Willow Tree Furs (Richard and Mary Ann Clark), Renewed Energy (Jim and Roseanne Zoromski), Moundmaster Lures (Tom Olson), Doug’s Treasure Den (Doug Mader), Lee Sillars, Brian Harvey, Chet Pflugradt, Gerald Peterson, Matt Lybeck, and Rene Rommel. Thank you Tom Weiss for running the “dump on your neighbor” raffle.

Thank you Richard and Mary Ann Clark for again donating an otter board for attendee signatures. Thank you Terry and Tom Baggs and Ardell Grawe for putting together and running a first-class “fur handling package” raffle. District rendezvous are a lot of work and I appreciate and thank district members for their commitment: John Irwin, Al Nickel, Ellen Elia, Mike and Kathleen Nicholson, Jim Winkler, The McAuley family, Don Campbell and Dan Carroll.

Thank you to district members who helped at the state rendezvous. Trap setting contest; Mike and Kathleen Nicholson. Bartenders; Myron Leis, John Irwin, Ken Lila, Gary Olson, Jim Talley, Marti Thiel, Ron Arneson, Al Nickel and Ellen Elia. Fur handling raffle; Terry and Tom Baggs and Brian Harvey. Vendor meal; Dan Carroll, Scott McAuley and crew. Garbage duty, mobile water and soda sales and anything else we think of; Nick McAuley. The fur handling raffle was won by Robert Grant (15) of Reedsburg, Wis.

The fur handling raffle raised $600 for the district.

Please read the minutes from our last meeting.

Minutes – District 6 Meeting 09/12/09 Marshfield Fairgrounds

Members in Attendance: Terry Baggs, Tom Baggs, Maynard Breunig, Daniel D. Carroll, Ellen Elia, Myron Lies, Michael Leiser, Mike Nicholson, Allen A. Nickel, Maggie McAuley, Scott McAuley, Sue McAuley, Lee Sillars, Jim Winkler,

Meeting called to order by District Director, Michael Leiser.

Pledge of Allegiance

Secretary’s Report (June 20, 2009)

Motion by Scott McAuley, second by Jim Winkler to accept minutes. Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report (Jan. 1 – June 19, 2009)

Motion by Ellen Elia, second by Lee Sillars to accept treasurer’s report. Motion carried.

New Business

• Michael explained that there are new state regulations for selling beer at this year’s state rendezvous. Scott suggested a 50-foot fence be placed in the ice arena from the front door to the dance tonight.

• Michael hopes enough money is made on the Fur Handling Raffle this weekend so the District can reimburse Tom and Terry Baggs for purchasing the raffle items.

• Michael would like our district to put together a Fur Handling Raffle, Dryland Raffle and a Wetland Raffle for the 2010 NTA Convention.

• Tom Baggs suggested that if 12 people would each donate $50 to help purchase items for two of the raffles, the District could pay for the other one. Michael encouraged members to start looking for sponsors to donate $50. Lee Sillars donated $50 cash.

• Discussion was held concerning various ways to deliver prizes to winners if they are not in attendance to claim their prize.

District 6 Rendezvous

• The District 6 2010 Summer Rendezvous will be held at Marathon Park in Wausau on June 18-19.

• Total cost for rental of the facility is $241.50. A balance of $135.50 is still to be paid.

• A public marquee is available in front of the park for us to use to advertise the rendezvous.

• Discussion was held about the possibility of having a fish fry on Friday night.

• Ellen would like to see more activities for children. Ideas shared include handing out FBU card packets, building muskrat floats and building birdhouses.

• Myron suggested we provide information about the rendezvous to “Women in the Outdoors.”

• Dan talked about having a used trap & supply raffle.

• Al wants to bring in an 8X8 or 8X12 shed to raffle. (Lumber for the shed would be donated; we would deliver it up to 50 miles from Wausau; a friend of Al’s will build and donate the building.)

Spring Banquet

• Scott McAuley made a motion to spend up to $300 to purchase a larger item for the Spring Banquet raffle. Al seconded the motion. Motion passed.

• Ellen made a motion to amend the previous motion to spend up to $1,000 for the Ladies Table. Seconded by Al. No action was taken.

• Jim made a motion that if the district has money at the end of the year, it should be used to purchase a gift certificate for the NTA Convention. Second by Scott. Motion passed.


• Michael Leiser would like members to contact him with suggestions for the location of our District 6 winter meeting.

• Members are encouraged to attend the District Meeting in March.


• Motion by Jim Winkler, second by Al Nickel to adjourn. Motion passed.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mike Nicholson


District 6 trapper education materials (traps, furs, etc.) are being stored at Al Nickel’s home. Instructors need to contact Al when they need these training items. Al can be reached at 715-570-8718 or afivecents@yahoo.com.

County Directors-ADAMS Terry Beeman 608-564-7761, CLARK James Mertens 715-669-3046, JACKSON Rene Rommel 608-488-4753, JUNEAU Dan Carroll 608-847-5538, MARATHON Maynard Breunig 715-845-9999, MONROE Shannon McCracken 608-823-7277, Dale Ritter 608-269-7256, Dan Willis 608-343-6295, PORTAGE Ron Arneson 715-423-2206, Mike Nicholson 715-341-5708, WOOD Jim Winkler 715-886-3362.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve the District 6 membership. Do not hesitate to contact me with your questions, concerns or suggestions. I can be e-mailed at greenmoose63@yahoo.com or phoned at 715-570-6692.

— Michael D. Leiser


This is the time we look forward to all summer. With the fall harvest way behind schedule, we might have to wait for crops to be harvested just to reach the hot locations. I always start later because of this, but I think I need a plan ‘B’. Fur prices indicate this will be a year to control populations rather than make gas money.

As stewards of the land, we must trap to keep the predator/prey population in check. Let’s make sure we locate sets in safe places to avoid non-target catches that give all trappers negative publicity. If you need anything, call 920 382 0218 or e-mail rwarmka@centurytel.net. Have a great time in the outdoors and share it with someone.

— Russ Warmka

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