June - 2016
Well let's start off with some legislative stuff. Last year’s bill that was defeated was raised up again. It was defeated again. As of this time there is another bill that hopefully will lose as well. The new bill had some bad language in it as far as just trappers would have to have written permission on private land, as well as giving the DNR commissioner the right to close the beaver season when he wanted to without any reason other than just because. They have no data as far as to why they would like to do this. I'm sure we will see this type of bill come up as well next year. Now that I'm on that a few legislative subjects - I will take some time to comment on the group that thinks we need to see body grip traps completely off the landscape. They were kind enough to post my report in their little repot to their members. First I want to thank them for putting a link to the report so it could be read in its entirety. Also the emails I received from this group were cordial except for three or four, which were a little on the vulgar side. This group claims to want to negotiate. But when we meet with them the only thing they would like is all body grips off land. Seems a little stubborn on their part, but yet they say we don't budge. When asked of any other ways of compromising, they say “NO!” just get the body grips off land. No let’s see if we can ask the DNR to shorten grouse season and start bobcat season in December; or getting a clear defined meaning of roadways; or maybe have some tougher dog leash laws when dogs are being walked or run on sides of the roads; or when pets are roaming around the country side . The other tactic they use seems closely related to the animal hater groups such as staged trap pictures and sound bites to scare dog owners that traps are everywhere, and even making public scenes of the terrible trappers. Now that being said, the reality is that I would bet 90% of trappers have dogs and hunt with them. We have come up with the backsets of baited boxes, zip tie kits, and a page in the DNR synopsis. Was it because we don’t care? I think not. We have been working with hunting groups and trying to help work and educate hunters about body grips. Also, this group is trying to say body grips are not a meaningful way of trapping. Well they need to look at how long these traps have been around. Mr. Conibear was invented and had actual awards for his efforts back in the 1950's, and I personally have books explaining the usage from the late1960’s. If you would like to help please do so. Let them know that they should work with us instead digging in their heels. But I ask that be kind and respectful.
Now off my soap box. It is very encouraging to hear so many members stepping up and getting out there to educate and help out at fairs, shows etc. The membership only gets stronger with individuals like these fine people. There already is good interest in classes for September. We also have been doing a great job answering questions from new and non trappers. Please keep this up. It is not just kids anymore. Media shows like Mountain Man, movies such as The Revenant, have helped us educate folks about trapping.
Our summer convention is coming up in August. As always if you can give a few hours to help out, it is greatly appreciated. Many people do not realize all the work and coordination that goes into the convention to make it run smoothly. Those individuals that are always helping are looking for help and maybe pass some of the volunteer hours off to somebody willing to step up. Dewey and the District 3 ladies and gentlemen have been plugging away. One concern we are asking for some help with, is little kids games. In the past we have done a treasure hunt in a pile of hay, an identification game, sack races, etc. If anyone has a knack for this type of thing, please let myself, Dewey or any board member know. We will find you space and any material you would need to help the little people have some more fun things to do.
Hopefully the markets will begin a recovery soon. It has been very grim for a little while now. But we all know we have to take the good with the bad. Talking to buyers and auction houses, everyone is keeping their fingers crossed. But we also have an obligation to be trappers and stewards of the resources. If you have some things you would like brought up to the board, please get in touch with your directors, so we can talk about it. If you would like to host an education class please get a hold of Shawn J. He can help you out on what you need to help in that. I hope to see everyone at the convention.
Also before I forget, I need nominations for Trapper of the Year for man, woman and junior; and for the family award. So please email or send a written nomination letter. Also, if you have anyone interested in the scholarship award, please forward the applications to me postmarked by July 1, so the committee can look them over and choose the winning applicants.
Well I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful summer.