Florida Trappers & Fur Hunters Association November 2008 Report

President — John Whitfield, P.O. Box 1989, Keystone Heights, FL 32656; phone: 352-475-1904;
e-mail: huntfishwriter@aol.com
Vice President — Dane Dwyer, 426 East End Rd., San Mateo, FL 32187, phone: 386-325-9642;
e-mail: fortdwyer@hotmail.com
Secretary/Treasurer — Carol Lokken, 7047 Spinnaker Blvd. Englewood, FL 34224; phone: 941-475-1206; e-mail: beachbum5253@comcast.net
NTA Director ­— George Dykhuizen, 8110 Casa De
Meadows Dr., Englewood, FL 34224;
phone: 941-697-7634;
e-mail: principal1@embarqmail.com
Membership Options
• Family membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Lifetime membership: Contact one of the officers above — $100

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
Carol Lokken
7047 Spinnaker Blvd., Englewood, FL 34224

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Nearly 50 Florida trappers and fur hunters from all over Florida gathered — some for three days — in Mt. Dora, FL, over the weekend of Sept. 26, 27 and 28, for our 2008 Fall Rendezvous.

Many of our trappers arrived a day early and camped out — some in tents and some in RV’s. All had fun, fellowship and the opportunity to learn more about our interests and heritage. Some of the stories told around the campfire were hilarious and the continual visit by the park raccoon all evening, just added to the flavor.

We would like to extend a very special thank you to our officers, directors and the many helpers who all pitched in to make the Rendezvous a rousing success.

After coffee and donuts, on Saturday morning, Bo Carlton walked over the edge of the lake and called a gator up to the shore, and then he started us off with a demo on “Raccoons,” followed by Randy Engleman on ”Wild Hogs.” Mike Townson covered “Water Sets” and Bill Weeks (Mr. Coyote) told us some great stories about coyotes and updated us on the coyote problem in Florida.

After a terrific catered lunch, Past President and NTA Director George Dykhuizen led a great study on “Pelts, Furs and Handling—how to sell your furs.” This was very informative and helpful to all our trappers. Gary DePalma covered “Nuisance Animals in Florida,” and, our last demo was actually a “Question and Answer Panel,” led by all our directors, where they fielded questions from the trappers on any subject. (Collectively, our Board of Directors has over 100 years experience in trapping).

We concluded the day’s activities with our Famous Auction, masterfully conducted by Mr. Dave Enfinger, with an assist from Ron Braxton and Terry Mayne. They did a terrific job and raised nearly a thousand dollars for our association.

Larry Ziemer displayed his Mountain Man art and logos and answered a lot of questions about logos, t-shirts and merchandise.
And, a very special thanks to all our friends, vendors, associates and merchants who donated items to the auction. We really appreciate your help and assistance. Your generosity has greatly helped our association and contributed to our mutual effort to preserve and pass on our great American heritage of trapping and fur hunting.

And our last thank you goes out to Carol and Len Lokken, who have tirelessly worked for months, behind the scenes, to ensure that everything connected to the Rendezvous and Auction was a success. Carol and Len — a job well done. You are the best!

Business Meeting — Conducting a brief business meeting, John Whitfield told the attendees how much money we had in our account and also announced that next year’s Rendezvous, our Thirty Year Celebration, would be held at Dave Enfinger’s farm in Chipley, FL, where a three-day weekend of event is being planned — including a Black Powder Shoot, a frying pan toss, skeet shooting and a Chili Cook Off on
Saturday night. Thanks in advance, Dave — can’t wait!

Also, as our Vice President Dane Dwyer has requested a medical leave of absence, Mr. Terry Mayne has generously offered to help us out until Dane gets back. Thank you, Terry. Dane, our prayers go with you and your family at this time.

Comments — The time around the campfire, chasing off that raccoon, watching the Gators hunters at 3 a.m. in their air boat (they really needed a muffler on that thing!), all the stories and information exchange and all the grand support for the auction — a great weekend for all, and a great foundation for the future.

Web site — We will be expanding the Web site soon. In the mean time, if you want to be put on our “E-mail Update” list, please just shoot me an e-mail and I’ll include you on all our updates. Your questions and input are always welcomed.

Let’s head to the woods! — John Whitfield

SECRETARY’S MESSAGE

Hi everyone,

As I am writing this, we are gearing up for our annual Florida Trappers Rendezvous on the Sept. 27. As you are reading this, it’s over. And we know we will be reporting what a resounding success it was, packed with fun and information. All the details will be in next month’s column.

Our membership is growing and changing. We have a lot of new members from the nuisance wildlife sector and we give them a heartfelt welcome. We are still reaching out to any and all in Florida who are trapping enthusiasts, no matter the manner, reason or passion for trapping. We encourage everyone to take advantage of our membership gift card incentive appreciation and add to our numbers.

I feel that there is a wealth of potential members who are, as of yet, untapped. Each time I get a new telephone directory, I browse through the yellow pages and make notes of any businesses that might be advertising their trapping services. These companies can be contacted and encouraged to join us. I encourage you to do that same. I will gladly send fax or e-mail membership applications to anyone needing them.

Our membership currently stands at 122. Of that number, 29 are lifetime members. We need to grow! With the creation of our Web site and its ongoing development, we hope to be able to provide information and resources to people throughout the state and country. Check us out at: www.floridatrappers.org and keep looking for changes!

As to subscriptions to the Trapper & Predator Caller magazine, we have it all sorted out! All expiration dates are correct. I will contact members to ensure that membership dates and subscription dates coincide. And I am asking anyone who has a change of address to not only contact the magazine, but also contact me. We are working together to make sure that all issues are delivered, as well as our own quarterly newsletter.

If you are a past member of the Florida Trappers Association and are no longer getting your newsletters and are borrowing this magazine to read and you want to renew, please contact me and we will get you back on the rosters. We miss you and we need you.

We offer several membership options. Regular membership is $25 a year and includes a one-year subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller. Associate membership is $15 a year without that subscription. Lifetime membership is $100 without a subscription. For lifetime members, we offer a two-year subscription to the magazine for an additional $25. All members receive a quarterly newsletter.

We have Florida Trappers Merchandise! Our hats, patches and window decals can be easily shipped. All are hunter green with our Florida Trappers and Fur Hunters Association logo on them. Hats are $13, patches and window decals are $5 each. There will be a shipping charge as well. Please contact me is you wish to purchase any of these items. Support your association!

In closing, I know many of you are gearing up for the trapping seasons and, likely, the fall and winter hunting seasons. As we grow, we would love to share your stories with our membership. Your passion, your interest and your support will only serve to make us stronger.

Thank you and be safe out there. — Carol Lokken

NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Many activities of the National Trappers Association (NTA) impact directly on its affiliates, including our own Florida Trappers Association. One such activity is the “BMP” Program, or Best Management Practices for traps and trappers. BMP is a federally sponsored scientific effort to discover and improve mammal traps and trapping systems. BMP specifications have been developed under the supervision of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies with expertise provided by numerous state game agencies, trap manufacturers, trapper associations and trappers themselves.

BMP trap specifications have been (or are in process of being) developed for each individual species of animals. Approved traps must be field-tested under a scientific regimen during actual trapping seasons and pass all tests for efficiency, selectivity, practicability, safety and humaneness as determined by international animal-welfare standards. As each new BMP specification is approved, descriptive literature is printed and made available to interested organizations. It is anticipated that many state wildlife organizations will factor these BMP standards into their state trapping regulations.

A link to the current BMPs may be found on the opening page of the NTA website at www.nationaltrappers.com. — George Dykhuizen

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