Michigan Trappers Association November 2008 Report

President — Gary Schinske, 10781 Baker Rd.,
Greenville, MI 48838; phone: 616-225-8680
Vice President — John Caretti, 30803 Iroquois,
Warren, MI 48088; phone: 586-573-8553;
e-mail: lcaretti0111@wideopenwest.com
Secretary — Becky Widrig, 10819 Oak Ln.,
Belleville, MI 48111; phone: 734-699-1625
Treasurer — Bill Lyons, 12988 State Rd.,
Nunica, MI 49448; phone: 616-848-3826.
Membership —Diana Harris, 19245 Frost Rd.,
Merrill, MI 48637; phone: 989-643-7454;
e-mail: dianaharris55@aol.com
NTA Director — Kevin Syperda, 17504 Briggs Rd.,
Pierson, MI 49339; phone: 616-636-5594;
e-mail: syshome@cmedic.net

Membership Options:
• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $40.50
• Junior membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
MTA Membership Secretary
Diana Harris
19245 Frost Rd., Merrill, MI 48637

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

What a convention for the trappers of Michigan. Mark June stated on one of the forums how great the Michigan convention was and how serious we are about our fur taking in Michigan. He quoted his brother saying, “Wow, what a lot of families here at this show. That is super neato!” There were more families than ever with over 300 kids signing up for the kid’s raffle. Paid attendance was down less than 20 from our record setting last year. While paid attendance was slightly down, with the addition of more families and kids our overall attendance was up. All the vendors had such a good convention that they all reserved their spots for next year. Mark your calendar for Aug. 21 and 22, 2009, for next year’s convention. We also signed up over 40 new members at this year’s convention. That is great and we need to continue recruiting new members every month. Only through a strong and growing membership will Michigan Trappers Association be able to be a viable entity to protect the privilege to trap in Michigan.

The General Membership Meeting was well attended. Having the fur auction lot numbers prior to the meeting was a great aid for a more organized meeting. Many awards were given out with Fritz Ehinger of West Branch being inducted into the Michigan Trappers Hall of Fame. Everett Emery was Trapper of the Year and Forrest Whipple was Junior Trapper of the Year. Diana Harris, Membership Secretary, received the President’s Award.

I also gave out three more President’s Awards. They went to Northern Great Lakes Fur Harvester, Mid-Michigan Independent Trappers and UP Trappers District #3. I gave these three organizations the award for their foresight and dedication for the future of trapping. Those organizations and Michigan Trappers Associations have talked for the last couple of years of putting the past behind us and speaking as one voice for trapping in Michigan. This year we created formal guidelines and procedures to create the United Trappers Council of Michigan. Each organization held a meeting and a vote to join the newly created Council. Every organization voted overwhelmingly to join the Council and have their President be their representative. This is a giant step for the future of trapping in Michigan and says a lot of the ability of the Presidents of all the associations to put differences aside and work together for the protection of our privilege to trap. The Wildlife Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is also pleased that they can now communicate/negotiate with one entity rather than four. It has also upgraded trapping’s creditability with the MDNR. A Council representative has traveled to Lansing numerous times to meet with the MDNR on various trapping and trapping related issues. These meetings have also had representation from Michigan United Conservation Club and the Hunting Dog Federation. They have been very constructive and will grow in benefit to help protect the privilege to trap in Michigan.

In the coming trapping season, you as an individual trapper can do a lot to help protect our privilege to trap as well. With the report of strong raccoon prices a lot of you will have your main target as raccoons. That is fine as long as you remember to be an ethical trapper. When you go to make a set, please think of what other animals may travel past your set, especially someone’s pet. If dogs are in the area, please do not set a baited conibear cubby set. Even if the dog’s owner does not have permission to have his dog on that property, don’t make the set. Every time someone’s pet gets into a trap, especially a conibear, we are at risk of more restrictions on our privilege to trap. Perception is reality, and every time a trapped dog gets in the newspaper – the trapper loses! Even though you may not lose anything on that particular incident, it is building a public perception of trapping that is not favorable. We have two such incidents that happened last year that could still cause us problems. Even the price of a XXXL prime ’coon hide is not worth the chance of losing the use of a #220 or a #160. If we just use our heads a little when it comes to trap type and placement, we can still catch just as much fur and have a brighter looking future. It is not the other guy I am talking to here. It is UP TO YOU, the individual TRAPPER!

Our fur auction dates were given out at convention, are posted on our Web page and will be listed in this publication. Here is a recap of the dates and places: Dec. 20, 2008, Jays Sporting Goods in Clare – joint sale with Mid-Michigan; Jan. 10, 2009, Ravenna Conservation Club; Jan. 24, 2009, Community Center in Otisville; Feb. 21, 2009, Kalamazoo Fairgrounds in Kalamazoo; March 21, 2009, Jays Sporting Goods in Clare – joint sale with Mid-Michigan. We can use additional help at all the auctions. You do not have to sign up ahead of time, just show up and ask to help. With a brand new sale in Otisville, we will really need additional/new help for that sale.

Here is my challenge to you for the coming year; take a youth trapping, get your buddy to join Michigan Trappers Association, sell some Michigan Trappers Association raffle tickets, donate a prime pelt to Michigan Trappers Association and bring a new trapping friend to your 2009 Michigan Trappers Association Convention in Evart, MI on Aug. 21 and 22. I hope you have a prosperous and safe trapping season.

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