Arizona Trappers Association November 2008 Report

President — Rick Van Horn, 4185 N. Irving Street, Kingman, AZ 86409; phone: (928)757-3860; e-mail:
Vice President —  Mike Burris, 5452 E.  Farmdale Avenue, Mesa AZ, 85206; phone: (480)654-1411; e-mail:
Recording Secretary — Grace Van Horn, 4185 N. Irving Street, Kingman, AZ 86409; phone: (928)757-3860; e-mail:
Treasurer — Mike Hull, P.O. Box 3355, Chinle, AZ  86503; phone: (928)674-9542; e-mail:
Membership Secretary — Amanda Prosser, P.O. Box  4111, Chino Valley, AZ 86323; phone: (928) 499-2114; e-mail:
Fur Auction manager — Bill Strauss, P.O. Box 183, Seligman, AZ 86337; phone: (480)375-1183
NTA Director — Cindy Seff, P.O. Box 762, Seligman, AZ 86337; phone: (480)390-0723; e-mail:
Scent Post — Winter/Duncan Davis, P.O. Box 86783, Phoenix, AZ, 85080; phone:(623)466-6799; e-mail:

Membership Options:
• Adult membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $30
• Junior (under 16) with subscription — $20
• Family membership with subscription — $35
• Oldtimer membership with subscription — $75
• Lifetime membership with subscription — $275

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
ATA, Membership Secretary
Amanda Prosser
P.O. Box  4111, Chino Valley, AZ 86323
Phone: (928) 499-2114


Hey Trappers,
Hope all is well with everyone.  My first couple months as the newly elected ATA President has been quite the learning experience, there are many issues to consider & procedures to get used to, but all in all everything seems to be going okay.

I want to thank those of you that have gotten back to me so promptly with your votes on the two recent issues. The first issue was regarding Mike Huffer taking Grace Van Horn’s position as Recording Secretary & second issue pertaining to donating $100.00 towards a rifle to raffle in memory of Fred Cronk.  His family wishes that the money go to Don Martin, who works with Hunt of a Lifetime, to sponsor a hunt for a terminally ill youth.

Raffles are really good, especially when you win!  So support this one as it goes to a very good cause, “cause you might win!” I never thought I would say it or do it, but …… the Internet is soooo much faster than I ever believed.   Hell, I just called my sister on the rotary phone, yes, the put your finger in the hole & turn it phone. When I get on the Internet & have to type, yup it is hunt & peck so bear with me. I lean on my wife, Grace, a lot for my typing & I thank her for that.

I am looking for a convention Chair person, someone that will take on the responsibilities of organizing the 30th annual Arizona Trappers Convention.  If you are interested call me at home, 1-928-757-3860 or the trapper phone, 1-480-300-8684.
If you have ideas, let someone know, maybe your idea is the one we really need.

With the economic outlook for our country it is going to be tough to get out there & trap, but I hope & pray that everyone gets out there as much as they can.

Keep those stretchers full!! — Rick Van Horn


Dear Friends,
Where has this year gone!!  We are only one month, 30 days, from deer season.  We didn’t get drawn for elk this year so we need to make the best of it and hopefully we’ll both fill our tags.

Our traps are tuned because Rick got them all ready in the summer, lure & bait is bought so now it is just the waiting game for trapping season, after we get our deer.

I need to update you on some changes with our positions in the Arizona Trappers Association.  Since Rick & I are active in the American Legion in our area,   Rick currently is the Chaplin and I am in the auxiliary and with Rick being   elected the New President of the ATA, we have had to regroup, as they say.   So although I have enjoyed talking to you all for the past 16 years, I am stepping down as Recording Secretary.  Mike Huffer has kindly accepted the position with your votes in approval, which will give me more time to help the association in other ways.  I will still be active at the fur sale in January and if ever you think you may need to contact us for help or questions our phone number is still the same.

So in closing, I just want you all to know how much I love the association and I have loved telling you about us & our experiences with hunting & trapping.

Thanks for listening my fellow trappers & we’ll see you all out there soon.
Always. — Grace Van Horn


Made contact this week through the sale of the book, “Strait Talk on Bobcat Trapping,” with a gentleman from Pennsylvania, Ray Spackman. Ray spent 20 years in my part of the world, chasing cats and coyotes. We have trapped and hunted many of the same areas. I really enjoyed the the conversation. Hunters, trappers and fishermen are just good people. Trapping season is just around the corner. The price of furs looks good. Wishing you the best with your hunting and trapping. Regardless of your politics, pray for our troops. — Mike Hull


Dear ATA Members,
This month I have renewed the following members: Escofffief Family, Michael Walker and Family, Geral Muir, Mark Mosher and Earl V. Carter. If anyone has any questions about your membership please contact me. 
Thank you. — Amanda Prosser


How fast time is flying by. Hard to believe it is time for another report.
The NTA sweepstakes did very well at the National Convention hopefully each of you that got tickets in the mail sent yours in.
It will be time before you know it for the NTA cash calendars for 2009 please make sure you send those calendars in . Who knows you may also be a lucky winner besides supporting the NTA. This is a great gift idea for family and friends as well. They may get lucky and get a prize once or more thru out the year. So get your calendars purchased when they arrive.

To date the regional conventions for 2009 that are scheduled are: SE will be held May 1, 2, 3 2009 at Williamson, NC. We have not confirmed a state or date yet for the NE and the Western. If anyone is interested please contact our Vice President Karola Owen our convention coordinator Dan Skurski. The NTA is working on a sponsorship program for the conventions. If you are business or know of any that may be interested keep your eyes and ears open for the details. In addition don’t hesitate to contact Karola or Dan for more info.
DNIA, Dave Miller attended the FWTH meeting in Washington, DC on Sept 15, 16, & 17. He has also mentioned that the state of Maine is involved in another lawsuit filed by Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and Wildlife Alliance of Maine (WAM) because 8 lynx were accidentally taken again this last season. If the Maine Trappers need the NTA we will be there. It is no secret that the anti’s will be using the Endangered Species Act as a route to limit or eliminate trapping. The need for reform of the ESA is evident and we’ll be interested to see what happens with this in the future.

The new editor Mike “Buddy” Marsyada has the first edition of the American Trapper at the printer so you should be receiving your copies before to long.

The NTA EC made a donation to sponsor Massachusetts Committee for Responsible Wildlife for $300.00. This group was created by Herb Bergquist from MA. This coalition is working to educate and inform the public the need of wisely managing wildlife population. In addition the NTA has been working with Herb by providing him with educational materials he can use to distribute to interested parties. The Mass Trappers Association President and some of its members have been working closely with Herb Bergquist, the Committee for Responsible Wildlife Management president since its conception over a year ago. They have provided a tremendous amount of input on informational content and volunteer support at display booths. Through the Association and their members to date, they have invested monetarily and through supplies and services, that have gone directly toward fulfilling the CRWM mission. Please visit the website for more information: <>

The NTA has made every possible attempt to attend as many state conventions as possible this fall which included; SD, NE, MI, MO, OH, WI, MT, IN .

The National Trappers Association belongs to an organization call “Ballot Issues Coalition” (BIC) which when needed provides funds to help support or defeat a state ballot initiative that deals with wildlife management. During this past year BIC has distributed a total of $95,000 to the Alaskans for Professional Wildlife Management to combat an initiative that would limit the state’s authority in methods of predator control. This anti measure was aimed at eliminating aerial hunting of wolfs which the state uses as a control method. The ballot measure was defeated in Alaska’s August election 55% to $44%. Many animal protection organizations sunk large amounts of money into their proposition and still lost the fight. With the necessary seed money from BIC, the AFPWM did a remarkable job protecting Alaska’s wildlife management.

There are several other ballot issues that we are monitoring that could be on the November 4th ballots. A proposal to limit game preserves that would pit hunters against hunters appears to have failed to qualify enough signatures in North Dakota. No matter how you feel about this proposal, it is not healthy for one wildlife user group to oppose another. Oklahoma will be considering a Right to Hunt and Fish Constitutional Amendment and Minnesota will be considering a 3/8ths-cent increase in the sales tax to fund conservation and habitat management.

The use and abuse of the Endangered Species Act by is again surfacing with a filing by Earth Justice filing a 60-day Notice of Intend to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to list the wolverines in the lower 48 States. Earth Justice filed this notice on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, Conservation Northwest, Friends of the Clearwater, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Wyoming Outdoors Council plus four other Anti groups. The groups contend that the FWS violated the Endangered Species Act when it refused to protect wolverines in the U.S. because a healthy population still persists in Canada. Knowing the past track record of the USFWS when threatened with a suit, the possibility of wolverines being listed in the future is in the cards.

Conservation Director Jim Curran will be attending the White House Conference on North American Wildlife Policy which is going to be held in Reno, Nevada on October 1 – October 3, 2008. In August of 2007, President Bush signed Executive Order #13443 Facilitation of Hunting Heritage and Wildlife Conservation directing relevant Federal departments and agencies to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities and the management of game species and their habitat. This upcoming meeting will develop a ten year plan for implementing the Executive Order. He will be making every attempt to include trapping and furbearer management throughout the document.

The NTA is in the process of getting the regional leadership conferences set up and ready to go for the upcoming year. The dates will be available in the next couple of months with all the details.

If you hear of any potential issues facing trapping it is important for you to keep the NTA informed. Please don’t hesitate to contact the NTA when you have something you want help with.

The NTA is working on a program to assist our affiliates in dealing with issues on the USFWS Refuges. This is a very important effort and we’ll be relying on our friends to keep an ear and eye out for any notices for comment or revisions to usages on the refuges.

The NTA is currently working through friends in Washington DC to set meetings with other ranking members of congress as well as agency
directors that can help trappers and other sportsmen’s groups. There will be more on these meetings as they progress. With the pending elections and the assured changes that will take place within these agencies, the NTA must be knocking on doors early and often.

The NTA has an award program that is designed to recognize individuals inside and outside of the trapping community for work that is done on behalf of trapping. The NTA also has award options for individuals who work at the legislative level on behalf of trapping and also there is a “Conservationist of the Year Award” given in recognition of an individual who shows outstanding leadership in protecting and conserving our wildlife resources. This year the NTA Awards Committee voted to give the “Conservationist of the Year Award” to Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. This committee voted on this on August 5th. Originally it was decided she would receive the Congressional Award but was later determined the Conservationist Award would better suit her efforts to protect the moose and caribou calving areas by having that states agency implement a predator control effort on the wolves. Showing courage and leadership in the face of those who would
do away with wolf population control.

That about sums it up for this month. We are getting our traps ready and are looking forward to this years’ season. Hope you all are to. Don’t forget to make plans to take a kid trapping as well!

The link to the NTA website is: Stop by and visit for current information as well as contact info for your national organization.

I will finish this newsletter off with the request that if you are not a member of the NTA please get yourself signed up. You can send your $30.00 for your year’s subscription to the NTA, which includes the American Trapper magazine to:
National Trappers Association, 2815 Washington Ave., Bedford, IN. 47421.
I am only a phone call away so don’t hesitate to contact me with concerns or comments.
Catchcha Next Time. — Cindy Seff


IT IS JUST LIKE THE MOUNTAIN MEN USED TO DO. Coming together that one time of year, to meet, trade and have friendly competition. The Arizona Trappers Association (ATA) held their Annual Convention on Aug. 1, 2 and 3, 2008. This is one Event that I do not miss, not even for bear season, which also opened on Aug. 1st as if you allow yourself to get involved; it can be a great weekend of fun and learning! The learning comes from attending the many seminars and demos that were given. Subjects such as learning bobcat sets from a successful trapper that traps between 200-300 cats a year, learning about cage trapping, taking part in the skinning/fur prep demo, learning to (attempting to in my case, there was a conflict with the Calling Championship) make fur caps out of your tanned furs, learning predator calling tips and know-how from predator gurus John Henry (the Coyote God) and Gerald Stewart plus so much more.

The fun came from participating in and/or watching the various competitive contests that were held. All of these were free to enter with a $100 bill going to the winner of many of them! Contest such as the Camo Contest, trap setting, pie eating, ladies frying pan toss and the muzzleloader toss paid $100 to the winner! The Arizona State Varmint Calling Championship was also held here with $100 plus a trophy going to the highest score of the Expert/Novice categories and $50 plus a trophy going to the highest Youth score.

Guest speakers this year were trapper extraordinaire Joel Blakeslee and predator hunter John Henry (the Coyote God)! Also attending the Event was Gerald Stewart! Gerald also sat in on the calling seminars, was one of the judges in a couple of the Contests that were held as was John Henry and had a great biography-type PowerPoint presentation about his dad, Johnny Stewart and how the Company came to be.
There was also the usual Convention attractants like the vendors selling their wares like traps and trapping supplies, trapping lure and various urines, fur-handling equipment, cage traps, furs, predator calls plus much more. Miss Rodeo Arizona 2008 also made an appearance. She stood for pictures and also helped out in the selling of some of the raffle tickets. She was also presented with an absolutely stunning bobcat vest that the ATA had made especially for her. This presentation of a fur coat to the reigning Miss Rodeo Arizona is a tradition that the ATA has had for some time. Besides the assorted Raffles there was also a Silent Auction and a pretty good Live Auction. We can’t forget the food from the kitchen either. This Convention is the main fundraiser for the ATA.

Kurt B. gave the Trappers Ed Course on Sunday morning and as usual there were quite a few faces in attendance. Congrats to the 2008 graduating class! It is good to see that an interest in trapping remains. All in all it was a great 3 days and I almost can’t wait for next year! Hope to see you there!

ONE MORE IMPORTANT THING THAT HAPPENED at the Arizona Trappers Convention was the electing of a new President, Rick Van Horn. Rick is a dedicated member with a lot of knowledge and a deep love for the art of trapping, trapping ethics, teaching the youth and the new trappers, educating the public, etc. as was past President Cindy Seff. I am sure that Rick will do an excellent job. Speaking of the past president, Cindy Seff has been the President of the ATA (except for 1 partial year recently) for as far back as I can remember and that has been a long, long time. This woman along with her husband George has probably done more for not just trappers but also you the average hunters (bird, predator, small & big game) privileges than anyone who is not in political office (and this is questionable, she’s probably done more than them too) including you and you probably didn’t even know it. She has been involved in so much over the years in fighting for and trying to protect these privileges, yours and hers. When they stopped trapping on public land, it was a big blow to a way of life and it was one more of our privileges that were taken away. Thankfully trapping is not totally gone. This woman, her husband, the ATA, the predator calling groups and a few others who came together is a big reason for this. We DO NOT need another privilege taken away and must fight and constantly STAY VIGILANT «r they will be taken away. Cindy is the MOST VIGILANT person I know and she tries to keep us vigilant also. Those many e-mails you get that you usually ignore are there for a reason. Cindy and her husband George HELP US ALL! I THINK THAT CINDY AND GEORGE DESERVE A STANDING OVATION FOR THEIR MANY, MANY, MANY YEARS OF SERVICE!!! Though she may not be the President anymore, you can bet that she WILL still be in the picture.

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