Director - Bert Highland
I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the warmer weather. It was kind of a strange beaver season with the low water and cold temps at night, the beaver never really moved like they should have. I had one check after the only rain we had that they moved a bit but nothing major. None the less it was good to get out and catch a few.
It's been a real busy spring; we had our district meeting back in March that was very well attended. The non-resident trapping proposal district 8 brought forward was discussed and voted on, our district’s vote was not in favor of this and I brought District 1's NO vote to the BOD meeting the following weekend. At the board meeting 6 districts voted in favor of it and 2 voted against it, with Districts 1 & 4 casting the NO votes. The general membership will vote on this proposal at the winter meeting in Askov.
We had our best district raffle ever. A big thank you goes out to MTP for their always very generous donations and to everyone else who donated items and money. For the first time we ran out of food for lunch despite having more than we've ever had. Thanks again to my wife and everyone who brought food items. I'm starting to think people aren't coming to listen to me; they're coming for the great food!
Jim Rognerud did a clean beaver skinning and boarding demo for us that everyone enjoyed. He makes it look so easy and the finished product is perfect. I suppose after doing many thousands of beaver he can do it in his sleep. I'll have to talk to Frank House and maybe we'll try to get him to do one blindfolded next time! Thanks Jim, great job!
Jerome Blazevic gave me a Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources trappers handbook, a detailed week by week trapper survey for the entire season. On the last pages of the booklet they ask the trapper his opinion on furbearer populations and how he or she believes the populations are trending. I think this a great idea for fur managers to take into account the opinions of the trappers as to what they believe is going on in the woods. I plan on showing Jason and John this booklet and get their thoughts. And by the way Happy “90th” Birthday this year Jerome, I wish you many more and thanks for all you do to promote trapping.
In early April we had a booth at the Minnesota State Archery meet in Virginia. I didn't know what to expect at this show but was surprised when over 1000 shooters came through the door on Saturday alone. People really liked our display and we sold a lot of raffle tickets. Thanks Shawn for letting me use your fur collection and a special thank you to Mr. Terry Knuti for letting us display his beautiful tanned fur collection, it was absolutely gorgeous!
I attended a recent meeting of the Advocates of the Knife River Watershed along with four other district members. This group is very concerned about DNR Fisheries beaver eradication program that has been ongoing for many years now, to supposedly improve trout habitat and populations on the Knife River. John Erb gave an excellent slide presentation on beaver habits and their life cycle. Most of the data suggested that beaver improve trout habitat and actually studies have shown that water temps were cooler downstream from beaver ponds. I wish the trout groups and fisheries people would look at the bigger picture and see how the beaver pond community benefits moose, ducks, trout, frogs etc. and stop managing for one species and manage for all. On the other hand when I was a kid growing up on the Knife River there were lots of beaver and lots of trout and I don't believe we managed for anything then, go figure eh!!
Frank, Harold P., Fred P., Butch S. Mike Z. and I got together and built 115 pine marten nesting boxes. Mike Z. again did the lion’s share of the work by cutting all the boards and drilling the holes. It sure makes it easier putting them together this way. So if anyone would like some to put out give Frank or me a call.
I think this is enough for now; I have to save something for Trappers Post. Go catch some fish and get that garden in.