Director - Bert Highland
Well, our time has finally arrived and boy does it feel good to be out setting and checking traps and putting up a little fur. Everything is going good for me except it was 7 above last night on November 1 and we might not have much more than a week of good open water. I took our 10 year old grandson out on opening morning to help him get his 'line out, his 5 year old brother insisted he tag along also. You know grandpa can't say no, so off we went. On the way into an old beaver flowage we spotted an otter hunting for frogs and crayfish in the shallows not 30' from us, unaware of our presence. We must have watched it for 10 minutes or so. If you could have seen the look on both boys faces, totally focused, not moving a muscle, nor uttering even a whisper. The moment was priceless and I hope the memory stays with them forever. Experiences like this are not learned in front of a TV set or video game. Later in the day when I was out setting my area up, grandma took the kids out for a wheeler ride. Tyler wanted to check his traps so she reluctantly let him wear his hip-boots fully knowing his traps hadn't been in the water but a few hours. Imagine their surprise when he had a drowned female mink in his first set [Nothing to this trapping game]!! He has since added a nice buck mink to his catch, so he's off to a good start.
Brian Fischer co-director from District 7 will be in charge of youth demo's at our Summer Convention in Bemidji. It was Brian's idea to have a separate demo area and demo's geared exclusively for the kids. I think it's a great idea and should make it a lot more comfortable for the kids to interact with the instructors. Brian will also be giving away 2 grubstakes packbaskets in a drawing for all participants. At this past Summer Convention in Barnum 17 youth completed their in-field training by attending specified skinning and trapping demo's. This option will also be available in Bemidji. The more events we can have for our youth the better as we all know they are the future of this sport -- let’s teach them right!
District 8 has brought a non-resident trapping proposal to the board of directors. It has some restrictions that they feel might be acceptable to the membership. We'll discuss and decide which way our district stands on this at our spring meeting in Cotton on March 21. It would then go back to the board and if enough districts were in favor of it, the proposal would go to the membership for another vote.
Again I urge everyone to be careful with dry land body-gripper sets. The anti-trapping groups are still out there spreading their lies and using their bullying tactics trying to sway the public and other sporting groups into thinking we're the bad guys. It's more important now than ever before to talk about and demonstrate how trapping is a very ethical and important wildlife management tool. Our district will have informational booths at the Deer Classic in Duluth; Sportsmen’s Expo in International Falls; State High School Archery meet in Virginia; Duluth Retrievers Club Youth Day; and Tall Timber Days in Grand Rapids. If you know of any other events you think we should attend, please let me know.
I think that's all for now. I hope to see you at the Winter Meeting and Legal Defense Banquet in Askov on January 3rd. From my family to yours here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.