Pennsylvania Trappers Association November 2008 Report

President — Rod Zullinger, 4886 Raccoon Valley Rd., Millerstown, PA 17062; phone: 717-589-7594;
Vice-President East — Joel Whitehead, RR #2 Box 90, Thompson, PA 18465; e-mail:
Vice-President West — Ned Weston, 120 Swope Rd., West Sunbury, PA 16061; phone: 724-894-2239;
Secretary — Tereasa Houtz, 300 Flint Ln.,
Landisburg, PA 17040; e-mail:
Treasurer — Ed Price, P.O. Box 327,
Union Dale, PA 18470; phone: 570-679-2318;
Editor — Russ Ford, 309 Pine Dale Rd.,
Carlisle, PA 17013; phone: 717-249-7271;
fax: 717-249-8509; e-mail:
FTA Director — Mark Kasten, RR 2 Box 2287, Hallstead, PA 18822; phone: 570-278-2553;
NTA Director — David Shuttleworth, 5452 Tamarack Drive, Sharpesville, PA 16150; phone: 724-962-4260; e-mail:
Public Relations Director — Mike Gontar, 87 West 7th St., Jim Thorpe, PA 18229; phone: 570-325-4974;
fax: 570-325-4974; e-mail:

Membership Options:
Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
Individual membership without subscription — $10
Junior, age 16 and under without subscription — $5
Lifetime membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $300
Lifetime membership without subscription — $100

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
PTA Treasurer
Ed Price
P.O. Box 327, Union Dale, PA 18470


The 2008-2009 trapping season should just about be underway by the time you are reading this report. The fur market looks well at this time and everything to be set for a great season. I am sure the high fuel costs will weigh heavily on some, but trappers are an adaptive group and I am positive we will all overcome these crazy fuel prices. The Trappers Educational Park committee has met with our CPA and lawyer for the start up of our new foundation. They will be having many meetings to do get through this process. I will keep you informed as we proceed through the process. The state banquet was a great success again hi year. I had a great time at this event and would like to thank District 11 for hosting the banquet. I know they worked hard at putting this all together. I would like to personally thank Brian Mohn, Mike Spittle, Ralph Wagner and all the District 11 members for hosting this banquet. Great job! I have been contacted by the PGC on the start of a study for our muskrats. I am attaching the contact information at the end of the repot. We need trappers to get involved in this study. The information that trappers provide is extremely important to the study. If you are concerned about giving out information on your hot sports or honey holes, don’t be. This information will be strictly confidential. We need this study for our muskrats and our habitat. Take the time to introduce a young person to trapping this year and be safe. Thanks.

Attention Muskrat Trappers! The Pennsylvania Game Commission is initiating a muskrat habitat study beginning this fall in management units 1A, 1B, 2C, 2D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4E, 5A and 5B. This study will assess the effects of streamside vegetation on muskrat harvests. We are asking for cooperating trappers to provide harvest information during the season. Prior to the seasons, interested participants should contact Wildlife Biologists Stephen Repasky at or 724-482-4800, ext. 113 or Larry Crespo at or 7724-834-3979, ext. 119. — Rod Zullinger


Nearly here! Our time to do our thing: Trap. Yes, fall is our time of the year. We get to get out and enjoy the Great Outdoors. Enjoy it to your fullest!

Not much news to report on this month except that I am under the impression that the “Trappers Park” is moving ahead. Meetings have been held to get this legalized and running. It looks like things are going as planned.

September and October have been busy months for many of our districts. There have been meetings, training schools, cable restraint classes and other goings on. Your districts and your districts’ “doers” put in loads of time, effort and, yes, money to help keep this association not only strong, but also growing. And we are growing. We are reaching the public in an increasing number of ways. Reaching and teaching those who are not aware of our sport and our association is a vital need that we must meet. Thankfully, over the years, we are meeting this need. We are gaining new grounds in informing many that trapping is alive! I can say this, I am really proud with these gains. Also, I will say this, we owe our thanks to everyone from the past, present and future who have led this effort. I do thank you!

A little thought about what fur markets will be this year. As of now, I personally think it may turn to be a bad year for fur takers. I am leery about not only our economy, but the world economy as well. At this time, things are not looking too perky for most people. Money will be getting tighter to hold on to. Costs are continuing to rise on many things we need to get by on. This leads me to say this: I am not putting much faith in the pre-season fur price predictions that are somewhat optimistic. Of course, I never could figure out the fur-market game, so as always, I will tr4y to trap and harvest what fur I can. As over the many past years that I have been playing this game, I have learned on important fact: I will not be able to predict prices. But whether they are good or bad, I will trap. Win, lose or draw, trapping is a part of my

Enjoy the upcoming season. Be careful.

Til next time. — Russ


Hello to all,

It’s that time of the year. Trapping season is just around the corner. Hopefully you have everything ready to go. I atteneded the National Convention in Mason City, IA as planned. It was very well atteneded. The weather was good all week, which was good for the many tailgaters. The dealer buildings stayed busy all week. If you needed or wanted something it was there.

Board of Directors meetings started Tuesday morning, there was a lot covered. I will try to touch on the main issues.
Charlie Rath and Dave Roberts reported on the profit and loss budget vs. actual, Jan.-June 2008. The financial statements and independent auditors report and recommendations were presented After a budget overview for 2009, the proposed 2009 budget was adopted. The NTA currently has no credit card debt. The California lawsuit is being paid down. Money that the NTA owes itself from borrowing for the lifetime funds will be paid back at 5 percent interest.

Contracted employees are Dave Miller-Director of National and International Affairs; Buddy Marsyada-Editor; Dan Skurski-Convention Coordinator.

Matt Lumley and Chris McAllister were elected as directors at large. Russ Voelker was elected as board representative to executive council.
It was reported that executive council adopted the following motion at the executive council meeting held prior — that we apply for the IFTF grant if eligible.

Legal counsel Gary Leistico reported on the Minnesota and Maine lawsuits.

Matt Lumley showed a video on the FBU (furbearers eliminated) which is used to promote donations to the FBU. Charlie Sykes, the District 1 director, and I had a meeting with Matt Lumley and Cody Hutton from the FBU on Friday. During this meeting, Charlie discussed the fact that very few members and/or people know what the FBU is or what their main objectives are. You should start seeing more about the FBU in the near future.

By a roll call vote, Wayne Stottlar was accepted as an NTA member.
The following received awards at the awards banquet: Appreciation Award-Iowa Trappers Association (most money donated); Trapper of the Year East-Brian Cogill of Maine; Trapper of the Year West-Gary Meiss of Minnesota; Leadership Award-Karola Owen of New Hampshire; Director of the Year-John Daniel of Tennessee; Pioneer Award-Late Joe Kelley of Illinois; Affiliate of the Year-Iowa Trappers Association; David Reed Award-Wisconsin Trappers Association (most education at booth); Presidents Awards-Chris McAllister of South Dakota, Sam Smith of Louisiana and Brian McMillan of NAFA. There were no Hall of Fame inductees this year.

In closing, the Board of Directors meetings and Convention went very well. It’s great to tsee the NTA moving in the right direction. Next year’s convention will be held in Lima, OH. The 2010 convention will be in Wisconsin. Sorry for being so long winded, but I wanted to pass on as much information as possible. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss anything, feel free to contact me: E-mail or phone 724-962-4260. — Dave Shuttleworth


Hello Members,

The Fall District Meeting was well attended on Sept. 27 at the Harthegig Conservation Club. We had six dealers with a full array of supplies. A special thanks to Coon Creek for donating $40 to the district. The district voted on whether to have meetings on Saturdays or Sundays. The vote was 27 to three in favor of Saturday meetings. The following awards were presented for this year: County of the Year – Dave Shuttleworth of Mercer County, Trapper of the Year – Jim Murphy of Erie County and Lady Trapper of the Year – Michelle Steffy of Erie County. Thanks to everyone for all your efforts over the past year.

Derrick Cross is working with the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission and the HTE classes and is looking for fur to be donated. If you have fur that you can donate, please contact him at (814) 664-0873. Thanks to Dave Filer and Jason Taylor for taking care of the Boy Scouts in Saegertown. We had another successful CR class with 21 students. Thank you to Brian Bilski and the other instructors for conducting the class.

The district decided to give each active county a skunk teddy bear to be used as a fundraiser for that county. If you can help with this, please contact your county leader.

On Oct. 5, we had a gun raffle meeting at King’s Family Restaurant in Meadville. If you did not attend, but can help with the gun raffle, please contact Jim Murphy at (814) 382-2561.

By the time you get this, trapping season will have started. With archery season and several Saturdays of meetings, I hope you are more prepared for the season than I am. I wish you the best of luck.
God Bless. — Charlie Sykes


We had our fall expo on Sept. 13. at the Armstrong Hunting and Fishing Club. It was a busy day. There was a good turn out of dealers and of trappers.

We had a Chinese Raffle of supplies that were donated by the dealers. I would like to thank all of the people who donated items to us.
I’d also like to thank all who put on demos too.

Trapping season is close at hand. Have fun, be safe and if you can, help a young trapper out. It pays. For more information, contact Greg Bell at 724-224-2197.


Hope this finds everybody prepared and ready for the fast approaching season. It will be here and moving way too fast before you know it. The winner of our raffle for the .17 caliber rifle was Wayne Reedy of Washington, Pa. Much thanks to all who helped with the raffle, either at the fairs or by selling at home, work, etc. I mentioned names last month, and remembered I forgot someone right after I sent the report. A belated thank you to Paul Polansky for delivering the gun and ticket stubs back from Westmoreland County after the fair. Sorry Paul, thanks for your help.

One other item I forgot to mention in the last issue (better start writing things down ahead of time) is concerning the trap setting contest at the last state convention. Two District 3 members placed in the kids competition, Morgan Wilkinson – 2nd place in the 6 years and younger, and Jacob Hudson – 1st place in the 6-12 year olds. Congrats to both of you, and thank you for representing District 3. You make us proud.
Our district’s trappers school was held on Sept. 20, at the Hecla Sportsman’s Club in Westmoreland County. Thanks to John Wilkinson for setting up this year’s school. It was attended by 40 students of all ages, and everyone was eager to learn. Thank you to all of our members who helped all day at the school. Our staff for the day included, Bob Jameson, John Wilkinson, Don Stifler, Doug Bergman, Greg Grimm, Joe Pegher, John Poorbaugh and Rege Denne (who said he doesn’t cook, but we have the pictures to prove it). A big thanks goes to John Poorbaugh for providing lunch for 60 people, including homemade ramp relish and pickled ramps, if everyone smells the same, no one will notice. Pretty incredible to see, flipping burgers and dogs on three grills at the same time. Lunch must have been impressive, some of our students gave us donations right afterwards. Thanks to all of you guys, for giving up a whole Saturday, when I’m sure you had more pressing things to do, for our future trappers.

By the time you get this, our fall rendezvous will be over, I’ll report on it in the next issue, hope you made it out and don’t forget our fur sale, Jan. 25, at the Washington County Fairgrounds. — Dave Eckels


One more year has gone full circle and trapping season is just about here. I am hoping we all had time to get ready for a successful season. Buying new lures, traps or gadgets to try improving our success. Learning from demonstrations at our local state or national conventions.
District 4 has held a trappers trainers weekend the last weekend of September for 14 years, and this one seemed to be as successful as the last many. With nearly 60 trappers or children signing up. Saturday’s rain held off to get as much of the classes taught as possible, covering everything from trap preparation and maintenance to the basics on cable restraints. It seemed that even the teachers were students with so much good input from long time trappers. I would personally like to thank the many vendors and tailgaters that braved the inclement weather to help supply the needs of the new and avid fur takers.

Sunday always proves interesting with so much and so many things being accomplished long before the membership meeting starts around 2. Once again, the home-baked pies always seem to bring interest along with the other menu items. At the memberships meeting, much was discussed, many minutes were committed to the future of the Trappers Park and many questions were answered with the help of Joe Mast (Park committee). Much of the park is still up in the air while bylaws and the logistics are worked out. Other notes of interest are new years trapper trainer weekend (the 15th) scheduled for September 26-27 meeting Sunday at 2. January’s fur sale held at Sacred Hearts Activity Center at St. Marys, PA. is being held Saturday the 17th with buyers’ incentives still being offered. The possibility of an April beaver sale will be confirmed in January. Other items, what about summer meetings? What’s a good day? What’s a good time? What’s a good location? Our district seems to cover so much area with our active members so widely dispersed its tough for us all to get together. If you have any input on this, feel free to call 814-781-7539.

The state convention is being planned for Ebensburg downs around Altoona somewhere on June 18-24, 2009. That seems to be about all that I can think of at this particular time. Let’s hope for high fur prices, a dry season and memorable encounters. Hope to see you at the Fur Sale. — Jeff Dornisch


Plans have changed! My efforts to receive a bobcat permit have paid off and I received mine in the mail this week. I had planned on focusing my efforts on raccoons this year but now the focus has definitely shifted. If anyone has any hot tips on bobcats in my area, please keep me in mind.

District 5 will hold a meeting on October 19, 2008 at Gander Mountain in Johnstown, PA. The meeting time is 1:00 PM. Please attend if you can.

Planning is already started for the 2009 state convention that district 5 will be hosting. I encourage everyone to get involved and help out if you can. This will be the 72nd Annual Pennsylvania Trappers Association Rendezvous and it is being held at the Cambria County Fair Grounds, Ebensburg, PA on June 18 – 21, 2009. Gates will open Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm to allow dealers and tailgaters to set-up displays. Dealer Contact Information: Art Crossman: 471-7565. Advertising contact: Pat Wess 347 Elbert Street Johnstown, PA 15904 (814) 262-9455. Informational updates will be posted on the Pennsylvania Trappers Association Web site at
I hope you are ready and you have a safe and successful trapping season.

Please feel free to contact Pat Wess @ (814) 262-9455, Todd Harteis @ (814) 547-0076 or myself with any information you would like to see in this report or any questions you might have. Thanks for reading. — Brian Stern


On Sept. 13, District 7 held their mini-convention at Booneville. We had a good turnout of dealers and buyers. There was also a cable restraint class, which had 32 pupils, 30 men and two ladies. I would like to thank Rick Macklem from the North Central office of the PA Game Commision for teaching the class. We had our fall meeting that afternoon. We voted to join the FTA as an affiliate member. And we discussed the upcoming fur sales and the Christmas party. The Christmas party is on Dec. 13, fur sale on Dec. 21. On Sept. 20, there was a youth field day at the Buffalo Valley Sportsmen’s club. The trapping booth was manned by John Hummel and Bruce Graham. On Sept. 27, Bill Becker and John Carey manned a booth at the Clinton Co. Farm and City Fair. I would like to give these four men a big thank you for donating their time teaching the public about trapping. We have convention traps and baskets and cookbooks for sale. These would make nice Christmas presents. If anyone would like to purchase any, please contact me. I hope everyone has a good and safe trapping season this year. — Pete Rake


The leaves should be falling by the time you receive this issue of Trapper & Predator Caller. I hope you have all your traps ready to make your sets. The season is here if you are ready or not! The cool nights will surely get you in the mood to get out there and set that steel. Good luck to you all!

District 8 held our Marysville Sportsmen Show on Sept. 6. We had a fairly good attendance for enduring a hurricane. Thanks to everyone that helped out. On Sept. 20, we held our trapper training school at Port Royal, Penn. We had 32 students in attendance and 15 that signed up, but did not attend. These students surely were eager to learn. I believe they will all turn out to be great trappers. I would like to think Juniata County Sprotsmen’s Association and Port Royal Lions Club for the use of their facilities. Thanks to all the trappers that volunteered their time to help with the trapping school.

Oct. 19, 2008, Cable Restraint Certification Class, 7 a.m. at Grounds Blain, Penn., and Oct. 25, 2008, Cable Restraint Certification Class, 7 a.m. at Cumberland Valley Engine & Machinery Association (CVEMA) Show Grounds on Twin Bridges Road, Chambersburg, Penn. You must call Ash Bricker to register at 717-263-7986.

Oct. 19, 2008, District 8 General Meeting, Blain Picnic Grounds, Blain, Penn., noon. Lunch at 11:30 a.m. Bring a covered dish. Drinks are provided. Come early to reminisce.

For more information, call 717-486-7573, cell phone 717-226-9623, e-mail or by mail to Allen Eppleman, 4232 Carlisle Road, Gardners, PA, 17324. — Allen Eppleman


Some of the members are wondering when I would write an article, so here I go. We held our annual 2-day Trappers School at Camp Lackawanna with 39 students. This year we invited our NE Division PGC-WCO’s. Seven officers attended. We have scheduled next year’s classes for Sept. 12 and 13,2009. Anyone interested in attending can contact Ed Price or myself to get on the mailing list.

We held our District Mini-Redezvous on Sept. 14. The highlight of the meeting was choosing our District 9 Trapper of the Year. This year the recipient was Laura Anderson. Other issues were discussed for season and bag limits. We feel that we are being ignored regarding our abundant bobcat population here in the northeast. In our opinion, the regulations should be changed one bobcat per licensed furtaker or have a quota allocation by WMU’s to address the problem.

Another is to review our beaver setting regulations for WMU-3C. Some members feel that setting on the dam and house is taking too many otters that we legally cannot trap. We are frustrated to not have a chance to trap the excess numbers here in our district. Members want a season to match with New York and New Jersey’s river otter seasons in WMU’s 3C and 3D. Along with that I would like members to help get some data on river otter this season in their areas. If the water trappers would collect samples of otter spore at the toilet locations to be tested for contents. Simply, carry some plastic food storage bags and a marking pen when in the field. When you come across a toilet, put some contents in a bag, seal it and mark the bag with date, time and location (stream or pond) and freeze the samples. Flag the location for future reference. If we get enough cooperation from you, we will have the samples tested to find out predation patterns on trout, other aquatic species and muskrats.

We are observing a severe predation in our streams and ponds due to established river otter populations for the last 25 years and being unable to control the numbers in the Northeast. If we ever expect to get an otter season, we need to get involved which might make a difference. Contact me for further information and handling of the samples.

Our only fundraiser of the year, the Northeast Regional Coyote Hunt is scheduled for Jan. 31, Feb. 1 and 2, 2009. We are working on a great gun package for the raffle again this year. We can use all your help to get posters and applications out there in all areas. Get in touch with Ed Price or myself. We need to maximize our efforts to get as many hunters signed up for the hunt. We had 610 hunters in 2008. If every member could sign of two or three new hunters, that would be great! As a District lets keep our Coyote hunt the second largest in the state. As always, our district members will get a postcard on upcoming events. The dates for our two annual fur sales will be set soon. You can also check the PTA Web site.

I wish to thank the following members and friends for helping with all our events throughout the year, including local fairs, youth field days, coyote hunt, trapper school, NWTF jake days, conservation schools, Girl Scouts, game dinners, seminars, fur sales and District meetings: Roland and Laura Anderson, Rich Bohn, David Costanza, George Fila, Don Ellsworth, Steve Garnecki, Frank Hares, John Isaacson, Diane Kalinauskis, Mark Kasten, Olive Lutz, Terry Lutz, Fred Mislevy, Harry Mislevy, Joe Mast, Deena Oakey, Jordan Oakey, Don Perri, Ed and Sue Price, Joe and Sandy Rusin, Tom Shamberger, Richard Sheldon, Max Simcoe, Barry Warner, Mike Weiss, Joel Whitehead, Willie Wright and Bill White. Sorry if I missed anyone. Hope you all can get out and take a few furbearers this season. Good luck. — Bill Kalinauskis


Hello to all. By the time you read this, trapping season will be underway. It would be best to wait until mid November before stringing any steel. Fur prices look favorable and if you put your fur up, do it properly to receive top dollar.

Monroe County Youth Field Day was held back in September. There was a nice group of kids that went through many different stations of outdoor activities. Thanks to Randy Schuler, Steve Wentzel and whoever else helped out to make it a great day for the kids.
District 10 will join the FTA as an affiliate. The state would like each district to join so Pennsylvania has more voting rights. Now we only have one vote. If all the districts join, we will have 13 votes. I hope the other districts do the same.

There is a proposal for a license fee increase for the 2009/2010 season. Adult resident licenses will go to $25 and doe tags to $12. There has not been an increase in 10 years so it is well over due.

A bill to overhaul the controversial dog kennel regulations I wrote about a few months ago has stalled in the House Committee. The bill will probably be back in the 2009 legislative session. This bill will correct 25 of the 28 bad points of the original bill.

The District Fur Sale will be coming up on Jan. 17. We will need help Friday night and all day Saturday. Please come out and support your district by selling your fur or helping out.

That’s about it for now. Enjoy the upcoming season and good luck. God Bless. — Scott


Our trapping schools held on Sept. 13 and 20 each had about 45 students in attendance. Both schools went well thanks to the great staff of instructors giving their time and talent. I want to again thank the guys and gals that helped me with the Dauphin County school and I know I speak for Brian and Ron in saying thanks also to those who helped at Auburn. Between the four schools we did this year, we had a total of about 150 students. We want to again thank Duke Trap Company for donating the traps for our schools this year.

By the time you read this, trapping season will be all but ready to get underway. Hopefully you are all geared up and ready by now. I was happy to see the start date this year at the end of October, something we have been suggesting for years. I wish all of you great success on the line this year. When you get all that fur put up, I would like to invite you to bring it to our District Fur Sale. It will be held at the Berks Co. 4H Center in Bernville on Jan. 10, 2009. Doors open at 7 a.m., sale will start at 9 a.m. You must be a PTA member to sell fur at this sale. All licensed fur buyers are invited to attend.

We will hold our District Meeting Oct. 5 at Middlecreek Wildlife Center. Hopefully you were there, but if you missed it, I’ll you about it in next month’s column. — Mike Spittle

Quick Links:

Discover new techniques for finding and trapping more fur, how to make the most of your catch with harvest trends and prices, skinning techniques that can increase the value of your furs and more all in Trapper & Predator Caller. Subscribe Now

Related Posts

  • No Related Posts Found

Leave a Reply