Minnesota Trappers Association
NTA Director Report

David Chmielewski
2008 County Road 4
Carlton, MN 55718
(218) 384-9727


September - 2016


If you are all finally getting to the back of the newsletter, you have no doubt read about other directors addressing the MTA convention.  Perfect weather by my measure, but I would be just as happy catching alligators in Louisiana.  Being in a tin shed in August might be a bit hot for some folks (most trappers), but not this Pollock.

For all of you who signed up/renewed for NTA memberships, thank you.  People really stepped up.   If you are not signed up, give me a call or visit the NTA website and please sign up.  Please just do it, it will take 10 minutes.

I know there is less money in some pockets with fur prices lower, and therefore less income to spend on all these memberships thrown at you.  This is also a great time for the anti-trappers to try to remove the trapping heritage from your lives. 

Montana I-177 is  November 8th, 2016 referendum on all snaring and trapping on public lands in the State of Montana brought on by "Footloose Montana".   Imagine that?   See montanatrappers.org.  You can donate money to help them, because if the referendum is successful, I assure you, your state will be next.

Maine is also going to get pounded with an ITP challenge.  There are a number of other cases in various stages of the legal defense process across the nation.

The anti-trapping campaigns are well funded by people who think about the role of humans in the world in a way that I find incredibly difficult to understand or rectify in my mind, because logic or mutual respect does not apply in their way of thinking.  These are the folks I have begun referring to as "Tinkerbells".   Not my term, but it comes from a former State DNR director (not MN) and so I have borrowed it.

Looking back in time and talking to our "Elders", the NTA is evolving more and more into an organization that cannot just focus on providing fellowship and organization to people who like to trap.  We have become an organization that is the tip of the spear for all sportsmen, directing many of our resources to fighting for the right to trap furbearers and utilize this resource as they have been since the last ice sheets left North America.

In an instant, 20,000 years of Heritage can be wiped out, because some people have become too disconnected from nature.   Their ability to empathize with, and respect others, has diminished. 

And so, the legal challenges and referendums will never stop, and there will never be lasting peace. When you have something good that others want to take away, you have to fight to keep it.  That is defending the fortress.  That concept probably sounds exhausting, but it is just the way it is and it is only exhausting if you think of it that way.

There is a long road for many of us between the time we are born and the time we die.  There are useless distractions along the way that tempt us to waste the precious time we have in ways that mean nothing.  I encourage you to fight for something that matters.  If you don't have any money, volunteer your time, as it is more valuable than money.  Just contact me or anyone in this newsletter.   If you know other trappers and sportsmen, take the time to tell them what is going on.  As the song says, "You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything."  Never been more true.

For all of you that I saw bust your butts at the MTA Convention, and for those of you who attended, hats off to you, and thank you very much.  Special thanks to MTA district 4 co-director Tom Boser and many others who sat dutifully next door to me day after day and sold/redeemed raffle tickets, souvenirs and MTA memberships.  That is a lot of work and they never complained once.

They just got it done. 

David Chmielewski
NTA - Minnesota