Director - Bert Highland
I'm finishing up this report on the eve of the firearms deer opener. 13 degrees this morning and lots of mink sets froze in. Mink and rat populations seem down in my area and have been for a few years now, although more juvenile mink have been showing up in my catch this fall and I believe that's a good sign. Lots of competition is out this year, probably more than in the 80's. Higher fur prices and the split opener are the main reasons for this. One thing I will say is other than guy's setting right on top of you, I haven't lost any fur or traps and that's a good thing! I've been carrying MTA memberships with me and telling the non-members the benefits of joining us. If you haven't, please read Jim Spencer's Editors Call in the October issue of TPC. He states less than 10% of trappers belong to any trapping organization at all. I don't know how we'll do it but we have to get these trappers to join an organization. There's strength in numbers and that is the only way our sport can survive.
Frank tells me we have the lumber all lined up for this year’s marten nesting boxes. As soon as trapping and fur handling chores slow down we'll start putting them together. Frank plans on having a marten nesting box class for the kids at next year’s convention in Barnum. We'll set aside 40 kits for this. Shawn has also received word from the regional DNR Wildlife Office in Grand Rapids that we have the state’s blessing to place our nesting boxes on state managed land (not to include state parks or sna's). All are good things as this project continues to move forward.
I'm starting to get things lined up for next year’s convention in Barnum August 1, 2 & 3. Mike P. is in charge of putting the demo schedule together and I'm sure he'll do a good job and make it very informative. As I've said before we'll be needing many volunteers to help out, particularly on Wednesday to set-up and on Sun. to take down. Give me a call if you can help.
I hope to see you all at the winter meeting in Askov. DNR personal will be there to register otter and 'cats, several fur buyers will attend, both auction houses will be picking up fur, and dealers will be there if you need any supplies. Please remember if at all possible donate a quality pelt to MTA's Tanned Fur Project. They are much needed as quantities are currently very low. Any species donated will be greatly appreciated. That's all for now. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. God Bless.