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As I write this I’m looking out at six inches of new snow with 20 mph winds. Our general trapping season ends in two days and I had planned on pulling traps today as tonight the temperature plummets to -2 and will stay very cold the next couple of days. Pulling traps frozen into the ground is not my idea of a good time – but neither is pulling in fresh snow with blowing winds. As trappers, we all deal with the weather philosophically –it is what it is.
I’ve been watching state association auction results on Facebook and overall the results have been higher than I suspected. We all are looking to see the results of the Fur Harvester March auction. This will be the sale that sets the pace for wild fur this season, now that NAFA is out of the picture. I suspect the coronavirus will severely disrupt the Chinese trade in wild fur for the foreseeable future, but I hope I’m wrong and this passes quickly. Wild fur has had enough body blows in the last few years – we certainly don’t need another.
NTA fundraisers for the year are all up and running. I hope everyone has their cash calendar? NTA members should all have received notification of the new Plant The Seeds fundraiser. We are expecting a rash of anti-trapping legislation this spring and the NTA needs to stand ready to defend trapping rights. California lost ALL trapping rights last year and already bills have been introduced in states such as New Hampshire, Kentucky, and New Mexico that would curtain or eliminate trapping altogether. To defend against this legislation requires cash. Please consider donating. It may not be your state this time, but we’re all in the same boat and what hurts one of us hurts us all. Send your donation in today, and while you are at it, sign up a new member!
We are continuing to solicit gun sponsorships for the Sweepstakes. If you normally donate, or wish to start this year, please call the office and they’ll get you squared away. This is one of the NTA’s major fundraisers so please consider getting your association to donate.
As I mentioned last month, the NTA will be working to expand outreach this year. As I write this President Daniel is at the National Wild Turkey Federation annual event in Nashville to promote the NTA. Groups like the NWTF are natural allies of trappers and we need to raise awareness with these groups about how trapping benefits them. We are planning participation in more events such as this in the coming year. I’d welcome any ideas from any of you out there – we’re always open to new ideas.
The 61st Annual Convention in Kalamazoo will be here before you know it. I know many of you will plan to attend. For those who have never been, it’s a real adventure. Total immersion in all things trapping for three days running. We are planning a vastly expanded program of youth activities this year. We will have a building dedicated strictly to kid’s activities. Workshops and hands-on activities will be the focus. We are planning to have a wide variety of sporting enterprises, not just trapping. Also included will be a demo area where young adults will be giving trapping demonstrations (the idea being that kids are teaching kids…). There will also be activities for the little ones – the idea is to make this a place to bring the entire family.
We are going to need volunteers to pull this off. If you know you will be in Kalamazoo and would like to help, let me know as soon as you can. We will be running the activities from 11:00am-3:00pm each day and I’m looking to fill 2 or 4 hour shifts. It should be fun and it’ll be great to be a part of making this the place to be during the Convention.
I’ll be making some state association events this year. Hopefully I’ll see you in your state. Last month I closed with saying I had to dig some MB550s out of the mud. This time I need to go dig them out of the snow, so I don’t have to dig them out of the ice…