Wisconsin Trappers Association November 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,

The Fall Rendezvous at Marshfield was a success, and once again there seemed to be lots of trappers each day. I talked to many of the vendors, and each one was pleased. So, hats off to all the workers who put so much time and effort into making the rendezvous a success.

The round table discussion that took place was both educational and interesting. The participants gave us a glimpse into their area of expertise and some of the specific areas of concern that they have been dealing with. It was an honor to have George Meyer from the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Congressman Scott Gunderson, NTA President Kraig Kaatz and FTA President Charles Endres speak and also answer questions pertinent to the trapping community. Each of them took a measurable chunk of their weekend to join us. It was greatly appreciated.

The election provided a change in Vice President, now Greg Schroeder, and Secretary, Krystle Kasper. Welcome aboard.

I apologize for not publicly thanking Lee Sillars for his years of service as Vice President at the meeting and Dorothy Abrahamson for the great job of Secretary. Blame it on my age? Seriously, I have appreciated the time working with each of you.

I also wanted to mention my appreciation for the many people that have expressed an interest in getting more involved with the workings of the WTA.

It seems that there is always something happening in Madison that needs our attention. I attended a hearing for AB377 held in September. When first presented, it contained some items that could affect us as citizens as well as trappers. This bill is known as the Thrill Kill Bill. After much testimony was presented, there seemed to be a change in consensus. I think that there will be many changes before it gets to the floor. If you’re interested in exactly what it contains, you can pull it up on the Internet and read it for yourself.

As I write this, it is the end of September, and we have some cool weather in the air. It is feeling like fall. Trapping season is around the corner. We need to be wise with our sets. PR can be our best friend or worst enemy. Stay safe and have fun.

If you are thinking about trapping, remember you have a chance to help raise funds by entering the 50-50 ’Coon Raffle. Contact Richard Clark if you have questions about it.

Will close for now. Good trapping!

— Virgil Schroeder


There is always a lot going on with the NTA, but I am just going to hit the highlights.
The judge in the Maine lawsuit had told us there would be a decision by Sept. 1, but as of this writing, we haven’t heard anything.

Many different sportmen’s groups have worked very hard to try and defeat the appointment of Cass Sunstein to Head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This can be considered one of the most influential positions in D.C. Sunstein has been very outspoken on animal rights, anti-hunting and anti-Second Admendment individuals. By putting out an anti-hunting statement on refuges could create a huge problem for sports people.

The NTA was looking for someone to represent us in D.C. and other very important meetings with other groups. Dave and Karen Linkhart offered their expertise and experience for this task and the Executive Council took them up on it. Dave and Karen have been involved in many local and state of Ohio politics for many years. They run a farm (eighth generation) and Dave has been the Public Information Officer for the Ohio T.A. He has media experience and hosted his own radio show for a time.

Things are really heating up in Montana as the Foot Loose in Montana group is working to get trapping stopped on all public land in Mont. They filed for a ballot initiative and it will be on the Nov. 2010 ballot. Jim Buell filed an organizational papers with the state as Montanans for Effective Wildlife Management. This is Chaired by Tom Barnes MTA President and the Treasurer is Jim Buell.

On Sept. 10, a wine-making company did a fundraiser for the antis. The company is Ten Spoon Vinyards owned by Andy Spoonseller and Constance Poten, who is also named as a vice chair for the antis.

Here is a sampling of some of the statements that appear in their initiative language

“Trapping undermines sound wildlife management.”

“There is no fair chase in trapping.”

“Trapping creates wanton waste.”

“Trapping is largely unregulated.”

I encourage all to make a contribution to help fight this misinformation.

Send it to:

Jim Buell
24131 Rd. 235N.
P.O. Box 133
Gildford Mt. 59525-0133

Tell Jim it’s to fight the initiative.

Jim Curran has represented the NTA and trappers at The Annual Conservation Partners meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. ALL THE MAJOR SPORTING GROUPS BELONG TO THIS.

Jim was at many more functions and the National Assembly of Sportman’s Caucus 6th Annual Sportmans-Legislator Summit in Idaho in October has asked Jim to give two presentations to legislators from all over the country on trapping and the NTA.

The 50th Anniversary Convention in Lima, Ohio had great attendance and many new members were signed up.

The Executive Council appointed John Daniels from Tenn. as the new NTA General Organizer. We all feel John will do a great job.

The NTA is offering a membership coupon worth $10 at the Regional Conventions for everyone that pays to get in. The coupon could be used towards renewal or new membership. One per membership on the days of those conventions.

The 2009 Sweepstakes winners have been picked. We should all applaud Chris McAllister for all his hard work in getting the prizes for this sweepstakes.

The 2010 cash calendars will be mailed in October and this is the biggest fundraiser we have for the NTA..

If you are not currently a member of the NTA, please join. If you want to keep trapping, this is one of the most reasonably priced ways to fight the antis.

If you haven’t heard by now, HSUS is setting up an office in Madison full time. They will be doing nothing but lobbying to stop hunting fishing and especially trapping. The battle is coming to Wisconsin.


— Chris Bezio


Another fall rendezvous is in the books and I hope everyone was able to spend some time in Marshfield and pick up what was needed or just visit with old and new friends.

The season is almost here and will be by the time you read this. Watch your sets and trap smart so there will be no issues with non-target animals this year. Help someone out if they are not quite doing things the right way and get them on track.

Plans are already being made for our summer rendezvous and if there is something you would like different or changed, please contact me and we can discuss it and get things moving.

Personnel and Finance is looking for a couple of people from the general membership to be on the committee. If you are interested, please contact myself or one of the other members.

Right now, we are working on restructuring the Public Relations position into different positions. There will also be budget issues to address with these positions. If you feel that you can help make a difference in the organization, please step forward and donate some time. It is always good to get new ideas and people involved with committees such as this.

That is all I have for now. Wishing everyone a season where you have to extend your fur shed to handle the catch.

— Mike Abrahamson


First of all, I would like to thank Junior and Gene Prudlick, Jim and Pauline Helgeson, Tom and Greg Roskos, Chuck Glowcheski, Ron Redsten, Keith Bollinger, Jim Kehrmeyer, Steve Sievwright and Jeff Morrison and his wife for all of their help at the auction Friday of the W.T.A. Rendezvous in Marshfield. Your help made the auction a success.

I have notified the Secretary of the W.T.A. that as of Oct. 1 I am resigning as Director of District 5. This has no bearing on District 5, for it was a pleasure working for you and your participation in our district events was great. I sincerely hope you keep it up.

Thank you everyone.

— Greg Repinski


Congratulations to Greg Schroeder and Krystle Kasper on being elected our new VP and secretary respectively. I want to thank Lee Sillers and Dorothy Abrahamson for there service to the WTA.

Thank you to all of you from District 8 and District 10 that helped setup, maintain and manage the demonstration facilities. We learn more each year and next year with the national being at Marshfield many of us will be called upon to assist the national crew to get the demo site setup. Schalows Nursery continues to support the WTA every year and we enjoy working with the firm. I received some helpful comments on my sheet I had at the little canopy and we can work on those for next year. Several comments were on microphones for demo presenters so we will work on getting mics that are user friendly for our presenters.

One thing about being busy at the demo site for two days is that one does not get around as much as one would like. I do believe we had a good fall rendezvous. We will review the reports at our WTA BOD meeting on Oct. 10, 2009 at Freemont. District 8 bought over $200 worth of items at the auction and we purchased several books of tickets for the WTA raffle as well. Thanks to you the members of District 8, we have been doing well financially and have donated considerable funds to the WTA and other organizations thanks to your support and generosity.

We brought back two trapper loaner buckets for younger District 8 members that put in requests for the loaner buckets. These buckets have a tremendous amount of trapping equipment in them and I am sure the two young trappers will enjoy using those items this season.

As you read through the executive officer reports and the other district director reports, you will read more information on how the WTA is planning to revamp our staffing and programming needs for the future. What we need from our membership are ideas that you feel will be helpful and also the names of people you know or feel will be well suited for various tasks and duties serving the WTA.

Mark your calendar for SUNDAY JAN. 17, 2010. District 8 will hold their winter meeting on that date. We are going to have an extended District 8 fur auction this year. I have talked with three WTA members from District 8 that buy fur and two for sure plan to be there.

I will have much more detailed agendas and time frames for the winter WTA magazine and in future T&PC reports as I get more planning done. We need to think about how many lots, time frames, space needs, etc. One thing I would like to do is have a district member donation lot that we all put some fur in and have the buyers bid on the lot and the district gets the money.

To me, donating some fur really shows commitment and can be a real proud moment for some of our younger trappers that have worked hard to put together their fur collection. I will have agendas ready along with our typical raffles, door prizes and lunch. We might need a breakfast if we need to start selling fur earlier in the day.

The Jan. 17 date is one week after the NAFA January sale and about a month after the FHA December sale and a couple of months before the next NAFA March auction. We will be about midway into the fur-selling season and we can see what the fur market is doing and help our district as well. This will take some volunteers to help with counting fur, bid runners, etc. If you have interest in helping, please contact me soon so we can get you on the volunteer list.

I am starting my fourth year as your district director. We need to work on developing new leaders in our state organization. That can be done by starting at the local level. We are seriously discussing trying to have all but one of our personnel and finance committee member’s not current BOD members. This allows for more leadership participation and more equality with the other WTA BOD members when it comes time to discuss and approve budgets, policies and making operational and human resource decisions.

I say this as a current director that sits on the personnel and finance committee.

If any of you are interested in taking a leadership step, please contact me and I will give you my honest appraisal of what you can anticipate.

The WTA is in a time frame of transition right now and that creates uncertainty and anxiety at times. If leadership feels that change is needed or warranted, then we need to be able to lead our members through those uncertain times and maintain our viability and credibility as leaders. That is not always an easy task. Change for the sake of change is many times not merited.

If change is desired and requested, then we as leaders need to put forth the effort to make those decisions. One saying that comes to mind is “if you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

Have an enjoyable and safe trapping season.

— Bryce Larson


Howdy, District 9 members.

First off, Patrice Rhodes would like all District 9 members to send their e-mail to her. This is so we can contact each member and let them know what is coming up for our District. Her e-mail is patrice@phrhodesinc.com. Our Spring meeting will be Saturday, March 6, 2010, at 9 a.m. at the Woodman Town Hall.

To get there, take 133 West out of Boscobel. This will be a potluck meeting with some great silent auction and raffle items. This will be our last meeting before the National Trapper’s in Marshfield so it is very important that we have good attendance. Please let Denny Knuth know what you have for donation or raffle items so we can have a complete list in our next Trapper & Predator Caller.

You can e-mail Denny at . So have a great trapping season and be safe.

— Your friends from District 9


Well, our 2009 state rendezvous has now come to a close, and overall I think it went very well. I would like to begin this month’s newsletter by thanking all those members who took time out of their busy schedules and time from the festivities of the rendezvous to help out with gate duty. It was greatly appreciated by me, as well as the WTA, and especially the other districts that we had to share these duties with. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and speak with several vendors while walking around. Although attendance seemed to be a bit down overall, the response was good, according to the vendors I spoke with and they stated to me that their sales were the same and/or slightly up for in accordance to last year.

We all know that the current forecast for fur prices seems to be somewhat bleak, but us diehards are still buying product and still have the desire to participate. This is all good! We all need to continue to support our sport and the vendors and people that make all of this possible. Now, a couple of quick news flashes regarding some things that happened at our meeting. First of all, we have a new WTA vice president, Greg Schroeder, and a new WTA secretary, Krystal Kasper.

Other news good or bad… Our membership dues will be going up, effective Jan. 1, 2010. The vote was taken at the general meeting, and was unanimously voted YES. Before anybody gets too disgruntled about this, it is not only necessary to do this, but vital to do this in an effort to stimulate and grow the WTA organization. There hasn’t been an increase in dues for years, and with the costs of everything going up, it’s just one of those necessary evils that has to be imposed.

There are a lot of new developments going on within the organization, all for the good. We will be looking for volunteers for the WTA to participate and share on several committees. These various positions will be announced and published in our Wisconsin Trapper.

Also, next year we will be hosting the National Trappers Association Rendezvous, and will need a great deal of help in several areas. We, District 11, will continue to share gate duty and will need at least twice the manpower as we had this year. So please plan now on your schedules to help out with this task. If you have any questions or need more details, please feel to call or e-mail me.

Now in regard to our District 11 rendezvous, yes, we will be having one. I have found out a great deal more about the do’s and don’ts of running and operating a district rendezvous.

There seemed to be some confusion as to what we can and cannot do, especially when it came to the financial end of things. I can tell you this, I will guarantee you that we will have bigger and better raffle prizes, and more of them. We will have several demos and more participation. I will be assigning some of the raffle prize duties to members and I will handle some of them myself. In December, I will be holding a BOD meeting with our District 11 county directors to finalize the details. Many of our members have expressed to me that not only do they want a rendezvous, but will also help to make it happen.

In closing, let me just say, I am excited about this upcoming year. I think we all have an opportunity and the responsibility to make next year a successful year for the WTA and District 11.

Good trapping and be safe.

— Lance Joaquin

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