Wisconsin Trappers Association March 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


Just got back from seven days at the central Wisconsin state fair in Marshfield. It was a hot one the last three days. We sold over $750 dollars of raffle tickets and quite a few tails. With the four-wheeler, it’s easy to sell tickets. Many people in the Marshfield area are excited about us being there next week and are honored to have the nationals in 2010. I think the support of the community will help us have a wonderful event. We talked with many people that are not trappers, but come to our rondy because it’s neat and interesting.

The cable restraint season will start on Dec. 1 this year. Think. Think before you set in an area that hunters are using dogs for bird or cat hunting. I will be using double stakes for sure to anchor the cables as we don’t have frozen ground to hold disposable stakes real well.

We are still looking for weasel carcasses for a study at UWSP. You just need to bag them and label the date, township and county of harvest. Get them to me and I will get them to the grad students. Thank you.
By the time you read this, our rondy will be history. I would like to thank everyone that helped at the fair, Marc Bangsburg, John Irwin, Dan Carroll and my family. And thanks to everyone that helped at the fall rondy. If everyone helps a little, big things happen.

John Irwin has volunteered to develop an e-mail list of WTA members that we can use to send alerts on legislation and other quick needs. We could have used this last year for the Eau Claire dog hearings last winter when they wanted to ban all trapping on county lands.

Send your e-mail to your district director, John Irwin (jdi1956@yahoo.com) or myself. Thank you.

— Scott McAuley


The 2008 Demo DVDs from the 2008 convention are now in stock and on the Web site along with the new hat and some past 2006 and 2007 DVDs at discounted prices. Also, old convention merchandise is cheap.

The NTA has also applied for a large grant to monitor legislation and help with funding Director of National and International Affairs, litigate lawsuits, work with the USFWS and conduct regional media training. We believe we have a very good chance at receiving the grant, but we won’t know until April or March.

The board has provided the Executive council with a solid and responsible budget for 2009.

The Michigan Trappers Association has gone above and beyond the norm by giving any new member of the MTA a free membership to the NTA as long as they are not currently a NTA member. This resulted in at least 100 new members for the NTA! Great job guys.

As you probably know by now, the antis wasted no time bringing another lawsuit about lynx, this one in Maine. The NTA is involved as an intervener. Gary Leistico says the case is set for trial starting April 13 and is expected to last about four days.

The NTA has been a member of Fur Wraps the Hill for many years. This is where many in the fur industry go to Washington D.C. and talk to our Reps there about anything pertaining to the industry and also to the agencies that are involved with the resources.

You may have heard of Herb Berquist from Mass. Herb has created a group called The Committee for Responsible Wildlife Management. This is a group that educates the public on the need for wisely managing wildlife. The NTA has provided him with educational materials and the Mass. Trappers have also been working closely with him.

The NTA Conservationist of the Year Award this year was voted to go to Governor Sara Palin of Alaska. This was for her efforts to protect the moose and caribou calving areas by implementing a predator control program for wolves. Showing courage and leadership in the face of those that would not like to see any type of wolf control.

We are faced with a political swing in Washington D.C. that will demand that the NTA has a stronger and more frequent presence on Capitol Hill. So, any extra financial support you can muster will be used wisely.

The NTA sweepstakes was successful in 2008 and we will be having another in 2009.

Jim Curren was at the White House Conference on North American Wildlife Policy. The importance of NTA being there is to make sure that trapping is included in the definition of hunting at the federal level.
We are also involved in the National Miss Rodeo America Pageant. Jerry Westphal of South Dakota NTA director has coordinated this effort for many years. A beautiful full length raccoon coat was presented to this year’s winner.

Jim is also working on having three different 50th anniversary traps that will be sold with a royalty going to NTA.

The new Secretary of the Interior will be Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado. I don’t know anything about him, but Colorado has not been trapper friendly in the past. The scuttlebutt is he might take a more restrictive view of hunting and trapping on national lands.

— Chris Bezio


I hope you trapping season is going well and the fur buyers are willing to be generous for all you hard work.

District 2 winter meeting has a tentative date of Feb. 21, 2009, and plans are being made to hold it in Menomonie at the Fish and Game club house. There will be a post card mailing to confirm this to all current members of District 2 before hand. There are a few items of business to take care of so please plan to attend.

The lawmakers are back in session in Madison and it is once again time to check and keep track of issues that will affect what we do in the outdoors. Take the time to call, write letters and make a difference or sit back and accept what they give us out of the land surrounded by reality.

Conservation Lobby day is coming up and it is worth the time to go. This is a good time to get to meet with the people that represent you and talk with them face to face. They do listen and get back to you with concerns that you have.

Spring hearings are also right around the corner, please attend and bring a friend or two with you and voice your opinion on issues that affect us.

Hats off to District 2 trapper education program with 135 graduates in 2008. Maybe we can top that this coming year. If possible, get your classes scheduled as soon as possible so they can be put in the Wisconsin Trapper and on the Internet.

There are a lot of county fairs in District 2 in the summer and I would like to hear if anyone is interested in setting up a both at one or all of them to promote trapping. There are also other outdoor shows that we could do, but it will take some commitment and time to make this happen. Think about it and bring some ideas to the meeting.

— Mike Abrahamson


I hope all of you have had a good winter and trapping season. It sure seems like the economy is affecting everyone in one way or another. I hope none of you are facing real hard times and that things turn around soon.

By the time you read this, I will no longer be District 3 Director. I have had a long enough run and sure did enjoy representing the district members. I also enjoyed putting together our summer rendezvous, spring meeting, attending board meetings and seeing and hearing from each of you. However, I am ready to move on to other things. It will be nice to have someone new, who has fresh ideas to represent you and me as Director.

Get your trapper education classes set now and then let Mike Kortenhof know, so he can get you your supplies and the class announced. Right now, I know that there are three classes set within the district for the month of April and one in September. Check out the WTA or DNR Web site to find the dates or contact Mike.

You’ll likely be reading this just prior to the spring WTA meeting and banquet. I hope to see many of you there. The very important WTA elections will be held at the meeting. It is also our year to lend a hand at the banquet. Please help out if you plan to attend.

Our summer rendezvous will be on June 13 in Hawkins again. I don’t think that we will be having our own gun raffle this year. With the economy the way it is and the state raffle needing help, I think it is best for us to just sell and purchase tickets for the big state raffle. Those winners will be drawn at the spring banquet in March, so sell quickly! All proceeds from that raffle will get split 12 ways. Half will go to the WTA and the rest will get split 11 ways for each of the districts. We will definitely have raffles during the day of our rendezvous.

Remember that the 2010 NTA convention will be in Marshfield! Start planning to attend and lend a hand. This event will require a lot of help from WTA members. Let’s make it an event no trapper will ever forget.

I am glad to have represented you as district director and I look forward to helping the WTA in other ways. Be sure to keep supporting trapping and the WTA!

— John Gillen


Our winter meeting was held at the Fur Shed in Trempealeau on Jan. 17. We had a turnout of 40 people. A super meal was prepared by the guys from Trempealeau. We had beaver, turtle, elk, catfish, northern and several desserts prepared by some ladies. Thank you everyone.

This year was election year and a list of elected officers are as follows:
Director – Greg Repinski
Treasurer – Jr. Prudlick
Secretary – Keith Bollinger
Sargent at Arms – Jack Bemis
County Directors are:
Buffalo – Tom Roskos
Eau Claire – Jim Gordon
LaCrosse – Ray Heidel
Pepin & Pierce – Steven Sievwright
Trempealeau – Bob Myers

A motion was made, seconded and carried to have a booth again at the Arcadia Antler Classic which will be held on Saturday, March 21. This falls on the same day as the WTA Spring Banquet in Wausau. It is our districts turn to work the tables at the Spring Banquet this year, so we will need help at both events. If you are at one of these events stop in and ask if you can relieve someone for a couple hours.

Chuck Glowcheski was elected chairman of our District 5 Summer Rendezvous, which will be held at Arctic Springs, Galesville on Saturday, June 27. Motion was made, seconded and carried to donate $50 to the Galesville Trout Club for use of their facilities. After a lengthy discussion a motion was made, seconded and carried to have our own raffle for our Summer Rendezvous instead of participating in the WTA 50/50 raffle. After this year we cannot sell tickets for our own raffle except on the day of the rendezvous.

Also a motion was made, seconded and carried to donate $200 to the Whitetails Unlimited Kids Day again in August. We are always invited to have a booth and give a presentation.

Our Trapper Ed Classes will be giving a free one-year WTA membership at each class plus prizes (traps, lures, etc.) purchased from vendors at our Summer Rendezvous.

Spring is just around the corner so relief is in sight.

— Greg Repinski


Hello District 6,

I hope your trapping season is going well.

District 6 will have a meeting to plan our summer rendezvous on March 6, 2009, at the Pittsville Community Hall. 6 p.m. to ? Please attend and help plan our rendezvous.

The Personnel and Finance Committee will have a recommendation for a permanent Treasurer to present to the BOD at the board meeting in Wausau. See you in Pittsville on March 6.

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

— Michael D. Leiser


I decided to be a fair weather trapper this year and yes the day before our nine-day deer gun season seems to be a long time ago already. I did run a few early December raccoon traps and was rewarded with half a dozen really good WI ’coons and my all-time biggest opossum. I just decided not to fight the 50 inches of snow we got here in December.

There are many events that District 8 is involved with this winter. Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties continue to affiliate as county associations with all of the other sportsmen’s clubs in our counties. We have a state senator or our local assembly rep at each of our monthly meetings here in Manitowoc County that is good contact to have.

Jan. 17, 2009, Chris Bezio and Tom Siegel from District 8 presented two trapping seminars at a local large Conservation seminar that drew about 600 outdoor enthusiasts. Chris and Tom were slated to help me, but my father-in-law passed away and I needed to be in Illinois and, as is typical in District 8, people stepped forward. We hope to be invited in the future again.

On Jan. 24, I attended our WTA BOD and Public Relations meeting in Pella, WI.

I am also on the personnel and finance committee and we are working on several budget related issues as well as working on staffing and personnel concerns and issues so that we can continue to meet the goals and mission of the WTA. I encourage all members to become active in our WTA.

We have had some significant shortfalls in our last raffle fundraisers for the state. I am encouraging each member of the WTA to contact a director or our PR staff and ask for some raffle tickets. The drawing will be at our banquet on March 21 at Stony Creek Inn.

Our District 8 winter meeting was held on Sunday Feb. 1, 2009. Super Bowl Sunday. We met from Noon to 4 p.m. so that pigskin fans could be home by kickoff time.

The main program for our meeting was that we invited a well-known local fur buyer Les Koeppel to be at our meeting and we would have a mini fur sale or buying time if you will. Les agreed to talk about fur grading, marketing, working with a local buyer and also his thoughts on fur put up etc. Below I have listed the rough results of our small sale.

We sold 57 ’coons for an average of $9.57; 204 muskrats for an average of $2.94; 20 opossums for an average of $1.25; four red foxes for an average of $16; two grey foxes for an average of $17.50, six skunks for an average of $4; four mink for an average of $3; and 16 coyotes for an average of $16.87.

District 8 trapper Dave Kobylorz shared his experiences with the last couple years of cable restraint harvesting he has done locally. He gave a demo and shared photos with our group. The last two years have been very heavy in snowfall and that has been challenging for our cable restraint users. Our attendees really enjoyed watching about 300 pelts being graded and purchased. Thank you Les for your knowledge and your willingness to buy furs and let us in on the knowledge you have gained over the years. This was Dave’s first demo ever and he did a great job. Thank you Dave you did a great job. We will get you on the circuit!

We held our annual meeting and established a program of work for 2009 with a budget for each item that we have chosen to initiate.

At our meeting we voted to do the following.

We voted to have a $1,500 contingency fund or base line for our District 8 budget.

We will hold our winter meeting with a similar format as the one we just had as we had almost 40 members attend this event. We are looking at a longer day event on a Sunday in Mid January to early February.

We voted to purchase $500 worth of WTA raffle tickets.

We voted to send $300 to the FBU for them to use toward a gun purchase for their fundraisers.
We voted to pay the $50 and $35 affiliation fees for Manitowoc and Sheboygan County trapping associations to join their county conservation organizations.

We voted to donate $100 to the Maribel Sportsmen’s Club for all their support for our activities.
Rick Winans is donating on behalf of District 8 at $300 value fishing charter for the WTA spring banquet. The members of District 8 thank you Rick for your generous donation to the WTA spring banquet.

Our current treasurer Terry Valitchka is battling cancer. Our prayers are with Terry and his family as they struggle with this battle. Brenda Keys from Door County has stepped forward to take the treasurer’s position. Bryce Larson has been authorized by the WTA BOD to conduct the financial business of District 8 until the new account and treasurer are set up and on board.

On Feb. 21, 2009, members of District 8 will give a trapping and fur heritage presentation at the Luxemburg Casco High School to local 4-H youth. We have four seminars scheduled.

On Feb. 27, 28 and March 1, 2009, District 8 is in charge of staffing our WTA and Trapper Ed booth at the Green Bay Deer Classic. This show is one of the better events for the WTA.

Don’t forget the spring banquet and annual meeting at Stony Creek Inn on Saturday, March 21, 2009. This is a festive and good time. It would be good if District 8 could fill up a couple of tables this year and show our support for the WTA. This is also the meeting where we will be electing our president and our NTA director. Mark your calendar and put this on your “must do” list for March.

Remember our Spring Rendezvous is scheduled for May 17, 2009. District 11 has decided not to hold a rendezvous this year. I talked with Tom Olson and he plans on being at our event. Thank you Tom for your support for our event, we always look forward to your being with us on that day.

Please give some thought to becoming a trapper ed instructor. Contact Nicke Schumaker or Chris Bezio for details. They typically have instructor training sessions at the spring banquet event on Saturday morning.

None of my ’coons sold at the January sale. I now have another bunch up there as well for February along with some rats, grinner’s and mink. Some good economic or fur market news would be nice but the really good news as I ran a line this fall and enjoyed that activity and improved my mental and physical health while doing so.

— Bryce Larson


Ya der hey. Boris Badenoff writing to you again. Fearless Leader and I took a trip down to Holy Hill area to scout around with what others call big foot, he and I know him as goat man. The difference from what I understand is the track, big foot is self-explanatory and goat man has a foot like a goat. We thought with all the snow we got in December at 48 inches it would be a good time to try and catch him with cable restraints. We set a few and anchored them down with seven cable stakes each. We picked the spots by close inspection of the tracks, as Fearless Leader is world renowned in track ID. It is very hard to tell the difference to all novices between deer and goat man tracks.

The next day, we went checking and looked like we had a hit on the first trail set. The cable was closed, all the way to what we forgot about was the deer stop. We looked around to see what story the tracks could tell; when off an outcrop of stone above us I was swatted to the ground by a hairy beast. Fearless Leader with quick thinking jumped on the beast’s back and had him in his deadly chokehold maneuver.

Goat man did a roll and tossed him off, and started a charge at him. Fearless stood his ground and with precise timing kicked him in the groin, which sent goat man, screaming off into the brush and he has not been seen in any form since. With that update to our trapping of the only critter that might have made us a profit for the season, I want you all to keep an eye out in your mail boxes for a letter from Fearless, to inform you about the rondy this year. That’s if Fearless lets goat man alone till then. And last note I want you to give a big thank you to Tuffy Sabish, Steve Moratz, Dan Sabish and Tom Weiss for representing our district at the fall rendezvous in Marshfield. Happy New Year to all of you.

— Boris Badenoff


Good News fellow District 9 members, our spring meeting is just a few days away — Feb. 28 in Boscobel at the Sportsman’s Club, starting at 9 a.m. If you have a door prize that you would like to donate, please feel free to bring it. Also, if anyone wants to bring a snack to pass around, it will be appreciated. It is also an election meeting for district president.

If you would like to run for president or know of someone who would, please let Denny Knuth know, 608-524-2255. Also, if you have any old or new business you would like to bring up to our district, this is the time to do it. For extra info, contact Dan Carroll at 608-847-5538 or Tom Roessler at 608-727-2800.

— Denny Marsh


District 10 will have our winter meeting at NAFA in Stoughton, on March 7, 2009. The address is: 205 Industrial Park Dr. We will begin at 10 a.m. We will have a fish fry for lunch and 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 might wish to donate. 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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