Wisconsin Trappers Association February 2009 Report

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


Hello friends,

I need to apologize for a lack of reports here the last couple months. My computer was down for about 10 weeks, but most of it works now. Once the printer is back online, life will be good. Let me tell you what is going on in the near future and then what has been going on this fall/winter.

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress executive committee will have a meeting in La Crosse on Jan. 9. This is the meeting they decide which questions are on their part of the spring hearings. Scott Zimmerman, the chair of the fur harvest committee and me, secretary of the wolf committee will attend. The questions we hope to forward from the wolf committee and fur harvest committee include statewide coyote season during deer season, changes to the bobcat season, funding for research on bobcats, extended trap checks for killing traps set in enclosures, (weasel traps) and pre-baiting for bobcat trapping. A wolf harvest season and colony trap question was forwarded through the WDNR.

The hunter’s rights coalition will hold a meeting Jan. 10 in Stevens Point. This is a large group of statewide organizations that is concerned with conservation in Wisconsin. Working together on issues shows the people in Madison that they are serious. Contact Bob Welch at 608-770-9787 for more info.

The Wisconsin Trappers Association board meeting will be on Jan. 24, at the PELLA town hall, W11021 CTY M. Marion, Wisc. Pella is just north of Marion in District 4. All members are invited to attend. You can contact Dan Schumacher for directions 920-737-2826. The Public Relation Committee meeting starts at 9 a.m. With the BOD meeting to immediately follow. Lunch will be provided by Adams meats and District 4. Thank you.

The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation wildlife committee and forestry committee will meet jointly in Stevens Point on Jan. 31. They will discuss new legislative issues and ones held over from the last legislative session. Some of these include road closing in the national forests, stewardship lands access, green fur bill, puppy mill legislation and the youth mentor law. If you are interested or have other ideas call me at 715-423-3229.

On Feb. 25, 2009, the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV) will again host lobby day. This is a great way to show your concern for conservation in Wisconsin. This year the four main areas of concern are global warming (climate change), an independent WDNR SECRETARY, clean drinking water and protecting Wisconsin’s water resources. This is a great way to show the representatives that there is a large group that cares. The WLCV does almost all the work; all you need to do is show up. And attend the appointment set up for your group. Appointments with your Senator and Representatives are set up for you. There will be someone to lead the discussion with your representative. You can speak as little or as much as you are comfortable.

Between meetings there are displays in the rotunda to view. The WTA will again have fur in the capitol. My favorite part is the wild game feed in the evening; I believe the Dousman sportsman’s club and WWF put it on for about $7 each. For the days events you will need to preregister with Jessica Garrels at 608-661-0845 or at www.conservationvoters.org.

On Oct. 14, the WDNR invited concerned groups to a bobcat management meeting in Stevens Point. There were over 30 people in attendance. This started from concerns over proposed changes in the bobcat season that were approved? At the spring hearings and tabled by the WDNR. They brought us together and everyone got to ask questions and say their piece. Not everyone agreed on everything, but the one thing everyone agreed on was to protect the resource. But how to use it efficiently was discussed at length.

After a few hours, a compromise was agreed on, a plan to move forward was planned, and in the weeks following, the WDNR agreed to put the new question on the spring hearings. With safe guards in place, such as 24-hour reporting, emergency closure, split quotas, split time periods and no zone expansion unless additional research can support, it will be a complicated question, but it is a move in the right direction. A big thank you to john Olson and WDNR for their hard work.

At the wolf committee meeting we worked on changing appendices J (the wolf harvest plan). It was written in 1998 or 1999 and is very outdated. The conservation congress wolf committee chairman al brown will hold another meeting this spring to continue working together with the WDNR and stakeholders on this document. The goal is to have this included in the WI wolf management plan update presented to the natural resources board in June of 2009. Any ideas send them to me or the committee. Thanks Scott.

In early December, the fall rendezvous committee met in Fremont. We will suggest a few changes to the rendezvous guidelines to the BOD in January, and then they will be printed in the WI trapper. Looking at the numbers we did very well in some areas and not as well in others. With the suggestions we received and a few from the others that attended, we will try to make changes in a few areas to help make a better profit and have a better event.

Being president, I get to deal with the bad things that happen or problems that arise. But I also get the good things! I have the real story behind at trap incident that got TV coverage. A Wausau TV station reported a person had a #160 trap on their foot. The real story involved the person stealing their trap, hiding the trap from the deputy, lying to the police, trying to run the trapper down on the road, 50 mph car chases, drinking/driving and an unpleasant night for the pair of trappers. When it hit the media, I decided to let it die quietly, which I believe it did. It does show very poor reporting skills as only one side was shown. I think the sheriff’s report would have cleared things up a lot.

I received a few thank yous from the National Trapper Association and Fur Bearers Unlimited for donations to their raffles. A big thank you from FBU for the WDNR letting them reprints the wildcards. A thank you from Steve Fitzwater from Idaho for getting his Wisconsin Trapper. I got a nice call from Eric, a past trapper ed student that thanked us for the information we gave him to go catch a fox. He caught a red and grey fox the first week, with just a few traps out. He believes his success is a direct result of attending a trapper ed course. It gave him a very good short cut to success. So, do help the beginner trapper! It pays off in many ways. It’s great to see someone succeed because of something you did or helped with. A big thank you to all the mentors and helpers that get involved with trapper ed or a show booth.

I have had two people express interest in the FTW Advisor position. With the BOD’s approval, I will fill the vacant position at our next meeting. They will need to work under the direction of the board and put some excitement into the kids’ group.

Thank you.

— Scott McAuley


Trapping season is getting tougher with the snow, but that is what it is all about when you live in the north.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and that the New Year will be kind to everyone.
The spring banquet is right around the corner. Try to attend and support the association and lend a hand. There will be elections held at the banquet this year for the position of president. If you cannot make the banquet, you can request an absentee ballot and vote. This does not take a lot of time or effort on your part and should be on the top of the list of things you need to do.

There are a number of events that the association will be present this year again. Please check the calendar and lend a hand when possible.

I made a mistake last month with the meeting notice; it will be in February and not in January as I had typed. I am getting old and can’t make my fingers type what my brain is telling them.
Time to start thinking about classes for the coming year and pick a date and get one set up. There is still a lot of interest and always seems to be an area that could use another class.
I don’t hear much of anything from anyone in the district. Either all of you are busy or think things are going well. It is a privilege to represent District 2 and I would appreciate any comments that any of you have, positive or otherwise.

Stay warm and trap smart.

— Mike Abrahamson


Mark your calendars!!!! Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, District 8 will hold their 2009 winter meeting at the Maribel Sportsmen’s Club from noon until 4 p.m.

Doors will open at 11 a.m. to setup for our meeting, and get ready for our lunch, raffles and ticket sales.

From 12:15 PM to 2:30 p.m. we will hold our program. The program this year will be the following.

Les Koeppel who is a local fur buyer from Two Rivers has agreed to be at our meeting and will buy fur during that time. Les has agreed to discuss grading and size, how to work with a local buyer and the fur industry as he buys the fur that is brought in that day.

If you have fur that you want to sell, bring those pelts with you and watch them being graded and priced and Les will offer his thoughts on why the fur was graded and priced as it was.
Please contact me at 920-693-8734 or my cell at 920-286-1890 or e-mail me at brla@tds.net if you are planning to attend this function. I would like to know how many are coming so I know how much chili and sandwiches to prepare and if you could give me the approximate number of pelts that you will be bringing, I can give Les a heads up. Les does not plan to bring any of his own fur. He will grade and price what we bring.

This will be a good time to watch fur being graded. Feb. 1 is only one day after the close of the ’coon season and green pelts can be sold up to five days after the close of the season. Bring some fur and an appetite.

The Maribel Sportsmen’s Club will be selling the beverages and we will be providing the food.

When we have completed the fur grading and buying portion of our day, we will hold our winter annual meeting.

By the time you read this report, each District 8 member should have received a personal letter regarding our meeting and a meeting agenda. Our goal at this winter meeting is to be able to establish a program of work for 2009 and have a budget category for each of the main areas we plan to do, support or promote. We need to establish a base amount that we want in our treasury so that we will be financially sound if we have a poor raffle or rendezvous etc.
Time permitting, we may have other demos or discussions that we feel valuable to our members.

We hope to have you on the road by 4 p.m. so you can arrive at your favorite Super Bowl viewing location for the 5:30 p.m. kickoff. We know it won’t be Green Bay for sure this year!!!

Trapping?? My season was short this year due to several issues and my first batch of ’coons is now at the auction house waiting to be graded and put into lots. I have another batch to send for the February sale and I will save back about 10 percent of my catch to have Les grade and buy at our winter meeting.

Chris Bezio, Bryce Larson and Tom Siegel will be presenting two seminars at the Conservation Dinner to be held at the Chilton High School on Saturday Jan. 17, 2009. This event draws up to 1,000 outdoor enthusiasts and we hope to have about a 100 at our two seminars. We will have a booth in the gym to promote trapping to all who are interested.
The WTA Board of Directors will meet on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009, in the huge metropolis of Pella, Wisc. I will update District 8 members at our Feb. 1 annual meeting the issues that were discussed at the BOD meeting on the 24th.

On Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009, District 8 members will be at a UW Extension 4-H sponsored outdoor seminar for youth at the Luxemburg-Casco High School. We will be giving four seminars that day on furbearer management, trapping history, wildlife management and trapping as a wildlife management tool.

The Green Bay Deer Classic is the Friday night through Sunday afternoon Feb. 27, 28 and March 1, 2009. We need to provide more volunteers to man the booth at this show this year and in the future. With the combined booth, it works best with two in the booth and that allows time for each to take in some of the show as well. Please contact me with your availability to help out. It would be nice to have enough so that each person or group does not need to spend more than two to four hours in the booths. I will contact Ken and have exact information at our winter meeting. Use the above numbers to contact me if you can help or have questions.

March 21 is the WTA BOD and general membership meeting and spring banquet at the Stony Creek Inn near Wausau. Mark your calendars and plan to attend and be a voice in our planning and then enjoy meal fellowship and prizes galore.

As you can see, we have a busy schedule for the beginning of 2009 and even though you are tired of shoveling snow and redoing the canine snow line, our Summer Rendezvous is only five and a half months away, Sunday May 17. Come to winter meeting and help plan our rendezvous demos and agenda.

I was just wiping down the last couple dozen later caught ’coons getting them ready to ship for the February sale and they look nice. The pride that we have and take in our fur should not be determined by the market that others set. High dollar or low dollar, we need to do our best. If I make good ’coons low value then that is my bad. If the market corrects, that is not something I can control, but I can control how I respond to negative issues.

— Bryce Larson


District 10 will have our winter meeting at NAFA, in Stoughton, on March 7, 2009. Greg Schroeder will show us grading on a few species of furbearers. This has been a very popular portion of the meeting the last two years and I can’t thank Greg enough. We can no longer hold advertised raffles for our district meetings, but we can have a raffle the day of the meeting. This will up the odds for those of you that attend, so make sure to be there. We will also have some door prizes and welcome any that you may wish to donate. Kirk Upperman volunteered to make fish fry for lunch for us. So, mark the date on your calendar and don’t miss this one. It is a good time.

We will be looking for a location around Milton for our summer rendezvous. I will update you as we find a spot. The date will be Aug. 22, 2009.

Our district is holding a 50:50 ’coon raffle at NAFA this fall. We encourage each trapper in the district to donate at least one ’coon to the raffle. Just drop the ’coon off at NAFA and specify that you want it donated to the District 10, 50:50 ’coon raffle. Proceeds will be split between the district and a drawing will be held to select the lucky trapper that will take home the other 50 percent of the proceeds. It is a fun raffle and will allow our district to do more good things for trapping in Wisconsin. The drawing will be held at our summer meeting.

See you at the District 10 Rendezvous on March 7, 2009, in Stoughton.

— Scot Stewart

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