Co-Director - Shannon Cohrs
Hi from the Frozen Tundra of Southwest Minnesota.
The trapping seasons are wrapping up here and it has been another successful one for most who took advantage of the weather this year. The coon numbers were down dramatically, due to a bad strain of distemper that went thru around the first of October. This traveled thru southern Iowa to central Minnesota, and you could see the results of it on the roads and highways. There were dead coon everywhere for about two weeks. People said, this is going to be a good season for them with the amounts of dead coon found on the roads. We were wrong, and once the season started it was evident that disease had taken its course instead. People trapped hard including me and had little amounts of coon to show for our long hours of trapping. Sign was there, but the coon were gone. I switched to coyotes after two weeks and still ran some coon traps. I started on the coyotes about the time we started to get the fall rains. Thank God for someone dreaming up the idea of Waxed Dirt! The wet weather and the freezing conditions didn’t slow me down a bit. And for the 2 weeks put in on the coyotes, this feller done well on them. I wrapped everything up after the coyote line and got stuff ready for our annual trip to the north country for bobcats. We went up on Thanksgiving weekend and did pretty well for the sets we had out. We took four in the two weeks, with a lot of walk by’s that didn’t seem enthused with my sets. After the first check on the cubbies, we set a few snares on the trails coming to and going from our baited sets. This paid off in the end, taking two of the four cats. We ended up catching an unusual amount of coon in the woods this year and temps weren’t all that warm. We caught eleven on one check. Some people said, you can catch more coons on one check up here then I try to catch all season. I say, once a coon trapper, always a coon trapper, they find me! We made it back home and started our late season coon and coyote line with varied results. We found some good spots for coon and made some good catches. Coyote numbers seemed down also and I did not find much sign of younger ones. A lot of the old dogs were up to their same tricks and some made their last and fatal mistake finding my snares. This time of the season is slow and all my fur is put up and shipped or waiting to be shipped. The market this year sounds very good for the people who put their fur up and sold late or will selling at the auctions. Remember spring beaver trapping is around the corner!
As far as the past season goes, I saw a few sets made by people that didn’t read the new regulations regarding bodygrips or they just don’t care to change. I did not over look it or turn the other cheek when I saw something out of place regarding illegal sets. I contacted the area C.O. and let them take care of it. This was not only in my area, but up north on my bobcat trapping vacation also. This is coming back to bite us in the butt again, and the Anti-Bodygripper group is gaining steam to fight us again. Please refrain from making posts on outdoor forums about the anti-bodygrip posts and what is going on and what we should do. It is in our best interest to keep our mouths shut and let the MTA Delegated Authority do their thing! If you want to help, contact your Senator and Representatives to let them know what you think. Be precise and to the point with the contact you make. Don’t beat around the bush with them as to what you think should be done; just tell them to support the trapping with bodygrippers. Not what the antis are dreaming up.
Looking forward into this year, the MTA Summer Convention will be in Litchfield this coming August. District Five will be looking for help to set up and tear down this event. Please contact Pete Jonas or Jerry Larson about helping out. District Five was a big help with our convention in Redwood Falls, let’s return the favor. Well that’s about all for now, so good luck to those pursuing spring beaver or selling the fur at the auctions. Be safe and we will see you on the line.