Wisconsin Trappers Association April-May 2009

President — Scott McAuley, 621 13th St. S., Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494-4910; phone: 715-423-3229; e-mail: scott@wcts.net

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 — Ellen Elia, P.O. Box 367, Fremont, WI 54940-0367

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

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
Ellen Elia
P.O. Box 367, Fremont, WI 54940-0367


Looks like spring will take it’s time getting here this year. Don’t know about you, but I am ready for the snow to go away for a few months.

District 2 will hold a joint summer rendezvous with District 1 and 3 again this year. The date is June 13 and the location will be in Hawkins, same place as last year. Mark your calendar and come out for the day, see some demos, have some food and talk trapping with a few people. If you are able to help in any way, please contact me and I can put you to work.

John Lee will be putting on a fish fry again on Friday night, so if you are inclined to come up the night before, you are welcome to come and eat. I am sure John would appreciate a little help also if you are able to donate a few hours.

Conservation Congress hearings will be held on April 13 at 7 p.m. in each county. Take the time to attend and vote on issues that concern us. There are several this year and they need to be addressed. You can go to any county to attend these so if you are out of town for work or what ever reason there is no excuse for not making it to one of these.

Summer is around the corner and a lot of things going on. Don’t forget to enjoy the days and I hope to see you around at a few functions.

— Mike Abrahamson


Ten months from “Social Security” and yes these deadlines seem to come faster now than when I was “more youthful”! I quit fighting with our Wisconsin winter in early December and have not had any steel out since that time.

We had a really good winter meeting. Thank you to the nearly 40 members who came to make this a good event and put together our plan of work for 2009. We will have a similar program next winter and with more lead time we hope to have more fur and more opportunity for members to meet, greet and learn.

I just received word from Chris Bezio that Terry Valitchka (age 54) passed away Sunday, March 1, 2009, with his family at his side. Our prayers and thoughts are with Terry’s family and friends during this time of grief. On behalf of all the members of District 8 and the WTA, we extend our sympathy to Terry’s family and friends. Terry had served as our district treasurer from June 2008 until this January.

District 8 also lost life time WTA member and avid outdoor enthusiast Mike Klaeser (age 58) on February 20, 2009 from an apparent heart attack. Mike owned and operated Mike’s Bait and Gun in Kiel for the last 20 years. On behalf of all district 8 members and all WTA members we extend our sympathy to the family of Mike Klaeser.
Brenda Keys, our new treasurer, is up and running with a checkbook, account and new e-mail so we are back on track and paying our bills. Brenda can be reached at 920-743-4195 or e-mail her at idlewildbrenda@dcwis.com.

I will give a brief financial statement in this report. We typically do not do that, but I want our members to be up to date as we have not been able to give a good financial report for a few months. Brenda deposited $4,081.64 in the new District 8 account at Associated Bank in Sturgeon Bay in early February. At our winter meeting, we approved buying $500 of state raffle tickets as a district, sending $300 to the FBU, paying the affiliation fees for two counties of $85 and donating $100 to the Maribel Sportsmen’s Club. We also are paying $499.75 of back invoices from the WTA for our calendar add, items we purchased at the WTA fall rendezvous auction and our rendezvous mailing.

The district reimbursed Bryce Larson $97.21 for $2 for a bank cashier’s check to mail the treasurer the winter meeting monies and $95.21 for the food for the meal at the winter meeting. With all the bills paid, we now have $2,499.68 in our account. Thanks to all of you for supporting our events. I did a quick report and we made $269 at our winter meeting. I talked with Chris Bezio and he suggested that since we are doing well and the WTA is extremely cash tight that we should buy $200 worth of tickets at the Spring Banquet for District 8 as we did the raffle tickets. I am authorized to spend up to $200 as the director and will plan to buy those tickets and help the WTA on behalf of District 8.

Feb. 21 was snowy and travel was slow but the action at the Luxemburg-Casco High School was exciting and fast. Mark Richard led our trapping and wild life management seminars that were offered to four groups of 4-H members and I was able to offer input as well. Sharing the furs and talking fur harvest to about 60 youth and maybe 20 adults is a neat experience and we had many good comments from those who attended. Mark, District 8 thanks you for sharing your knowledge and time with our youth.

I am in the planning stages for our May 17, 2009, rendezvous. That date will be on us quickly. I will need to have the agenda set for the April and May magazines. If you have good ideas for our day, contact me so we can review those options. I am currently in contact with some non-trapping outdoor persons to have some non-trapping demos that could double up with our trapping demos and hopefully bring some non-trappers or more attendees to our event. If you can help out that day, let me know. We will need to make some assignments as well. We have agreed to not do a major gun raffle as part our working with the state to make their raffle more successful. We will have a raffle for a good prize at the rondy, but you will only buy tickets there and need to be present to win. I have not decided what the prizes for that raffle will be. If any of you have some suggestions, let me know.

One last plug to invite you to our spring banquet on March 21, 2009. This is a neat event. Good times and good fellowship with 300 plus trappers. Buy a ticket and come and be part of our success. We will also be electing to general membership officers at this meeting. We will be electing a president and our NTA director. We need your voice in our organization.

I still have about 60 percent of my ’coons left after the January and February sales. It is hard to be optimistic with what we read and hear every day. I did have a reality check as to economics at the February sale. I sent up 14 opossums. They averaged $1.37 with three of them reaching a high water mark of 5 cents! That is the all-time low in my 30-year history. They were not the poorest, but the GRINNER market has obviously taken a turn for the worse. The spring meeting is the first day of spring this year. Come and be part of the new season.

— Bryce Larson

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