date: March 2, 2014
Presidents column...........(new news)
Good morning trappers;
I had -33.5 degrees F. this morning, and we are buried with snow. Only a few hardy trappers are trapping beaver under the ice.
For the August Convention, we need some arts and crafts vendors to round out the offerings. Pottery, wood work, glass, signs, kids stuff, etc..... please contact us right away.
The deer started coming to the feeder again after I took a walk on their old trails and made a good trail for them. The snow was waste deep in the open areas, and about knee deep in the woods. I just packed the snow with my boots and followed the old trail until I found where they were moving.
We have contacted the DNR about the spring (2014) beaver season. By state law it ends May 15. But the DNR is going to close it on April 30. The forest zone will be frozen and ice locked. We need the season to end on May 15. Remember, the beaver will be trapped anyway (all summer long) by a few contract trappers. Call your county commissioners and get them to contact the DNR about extending the season. DO IT !!!!
I finally listed our officers in the association, on page 2.
The winter meeting on Feb. 26 was well attended even though it was cold, snowing, and windy. A floor motion was taken, discussed and passed to continue with current leadership. Thanks to all.
We will need help setting up in Aitkin on March 7, call Ray for the exact time. Sunday is take-down day, we need help then also.
Ray and I will continue to 'fight' for common sense trapping rules. It should not be a 'fight', but we are being forced to stand and not let down our guard.
Our input has been largely ignored. But, we will not quit. No other sport in Minnesota has been severly restricted as trapping. We live in Minnesota, not California.
The DNR has to get all their departments on the same page, or the future of hunting, fishing, and trapping in Minnesota is in jeopardy.
I was contacted by a snowmobile trail group. They have a beaver problem on the trail in the 7 Beavers area. The trail is flooding. It goes right by the beaver house. He told me you can see steam rising from the house, so it is active. He wants someone to trap them. There is another house about two miles down the trail, and this has beavers also. Call me right away if interested. You will need a snowmobile to get to these two spots. 218-865-4323
You can listen and watch the wolf meeting held at the MN DNR Legislative committee under Dave Dills leadership, in St.Paul on Jan. 28, 2014. You can listen to the people talk who do not now anything about wolves. It is amazing how many ignorant people are out there. Here is the link:
By watching this, you can understand the need for trappers to join an organization.
A field editor for Outdoor News made some comments in 1/17/2014 issue. He stated that the dog groups and trappers have to come up with something to prevent dogs from conibear traps.
The trappers have met two times in St. Paul with the dog lovers. We have presented compromises, they gave nothing; absolutely nothing. All they want is to restrict trapping. And they have financial backing from the Hound Associations. They too want to severly restrict trapping and snaring.
It is too bad he (the field editor for Outdoor News, MN.) didn't do any research before writing what he did.
During this trapping season Oct. 2013 to Jan. 2014, there has been only 6 dog/trap incidents, and, NO dog deaths. (4 with foothold traps and two with body-grippers)
I have said it over and over; "I valued my dogs too much to let them run free". At home and even while hunting, the dog was never out of my sight, or it was in the kennel.
When hunting, I kept it under control. I was a responsible pet owner; Unlike a lot of people who just let their animals run all over, even on the neighbors property. My dog was never 200 yards ahead chasing things while hunting. It was too valuable to me to let it get hurt. My dogs were "hunting machines" and too valuable to just let them run free.
As a result, my dogs lived to an old age, and passed on. Of course, they had scrapes and cuts while hunting, an were brought to the vet.
One of the problems of dog ownership, is that the owner tries to think like a dog, and the owner thinks the dog can think like a human. Dogs are not self-training. Dogs need to be trained and the owner will be a lot happier. A person who does not train his dog to obey, on every command, gives up and lets the animal run free. Some owners think it is cute or fun to let their dog jump up on people, or let their dog bark all the time.
You have to be smarter than the dog.
Check this out:
Interesting article from Alaska:
In 2006, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) surveys revealed extremely low calf recruitment (fewer than 1 calf per 100 cows survived to four months of age) on the Southern Alaska Peninsula caribou herd (SAP) despite overall good health and high calf production. All available evidence indicated that predation on very young calves was very high. Although the small amount of hunting was eliminated, bull numbers continued to decline. Based on herd composition and our understanding of caribou biology, managers determined that bull numbers might get very low and prevent the herd from recovering to huntable status.
In 2008–2010, ADF&G implemented a selective wolf control program on the SAP calving grounds that dramatically increased calf recruitment (more than 39 calves per 100 cows were surviving to four months of age). The program was so successful that it has been paused and will only be re-implemented if calf recruitment drops below 20 calves per 100 cows. Only 22 adult wolves were killed over three years. Young of the year were euthanized in dens (relocation was not possible due to concern for rabies).
I got some fisher trapping sets and snow pictures on page 2 .
Fisher/Marten trapping started on Sat. Nov. 30 and ended Thur. Dec. 5 (only 5 nights). The limit per trapper was cut to two, and on top of it all, we have site tags that must be marked at the trap site, when an animal is caught. You cannot use your trapping partners tags, only your own.
I questioned the length of the season and the DNR response to me was that a longer season would make more trappers more successful in catching their limit of 2.
I had to think about that comment for a while. My opinion is that the DNR doesn't want us to be successful. Maybe its just me, but we are being severely restricted in trapping, as well as hunting and especially fishing. It's no wonder there are fewer and fewer licenses being sold.
I set traps on Sat. and Sun. It started snowing heavily on Monday, so I had to drive (on Monday) and pull some traps that were on non-maintained roads. The snow kept on all night, and Tuesday morning, I drove east of my home towards Two Harbors and pulled those traps that I had set on Sat. (we have a three day check on body-gripping traps) The snow was getting deeper. Wed. morning, it was still snowing, so I pulled all the traps I set on Sunday.
Towards Two Harbors, there was over two feet of snow. The side roads were impassable, You would have needed a snowmobile to get your traps, but I got all mine and was done trapping on Wed.
Nature determines the length of the trapping season, but the DNR tries harder.
From what I could determine, the animals quit moving when the snow storm began, and it resulted in a very short season 2-3 days.
I did get an early season wolf hunting permit on the 2nd chance lottery. I shot an adult female wolf on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. It was cold, so I had to start skinning it right away (at the hunting shack NW of Cook). It was a healthy animal, no mange, and lots of fat on its back. On inspection day, Nov. 25, the Dnr took a tooth sample, meat sample, and the uterus. This animal had a lot of fat inside as well.
'Tongue in cheek' I asked if the wolf got all the fat from eating snowshoe hares. He smiled and said they eat deer and moose. I knew that, and expected that response.
I got the tanned wolf hide and the cleaned skull back. From the nose to the base of the tail, it is 55" long.
Another important item:
We now have a DVD available that demonstrates how body-gripping traps function and how to release your pet/dog from the trap. It will be available very soon. It was done professionaly and is quite detailed. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Our MFZTA Banquet was super. We gave away 14 guns, 3 canoes, and lots of traps and trapping supplies. I have not had time to post pictures yet.
A big thanks to the vendors who contributed something to the raffle table. I will make the list of vendors and post it here. ASAP.
A couple of contributors: USA FOXX, Havalon Knives, Tom Florin Trapping Supply, more to follow.....
* The summer beaver trapping went fast for the counties who hired a private firm to trap beaver. I heard that the money was gone in July for St. Louis county, so they are using regular county employees to trap nuisance beaver. What a waste of tax payer money.
All the county had to do was to call the DNR Commissioner and ask him to extend the season in the spring.
Please read below in "WHY NOT" about joining a trapping organization. There are way to many trappers out there who are on a 'free ride', when it comes to protecting trapping. For the price of two muskrats, or one mink, or one X-large beaver, you can spend the money and join and help us 'fight' to have common sense trapping rules based on sound biological data, not 'personal opinions' like we are subject to now.
The trappers convention went really well. There was a lot of visitors, lots of supplies were obtained. The vendors were happy. The weather was perfect on Sat. The temp was around 70. In the evening, it cooled down to about 48 degrees. Lots of food, and lots of people. On Sunday, we could have had a few more members to come and help put all the tables away. Next year, there will be a list of helpers....
In 2014, The convention may be Aug. 8-10, You can reserve a spot for next year by calling Ray S. right now. Don't miss out.
PLEASE READ THIS:
* One member at the convention stated that he didn't want the spring beaver trapping to be extended so that the beavers can recover. (this way, he does not have much competition.)
BUT, these beavers will be trapped all summer long by nuisance contracts anyway.
AND, not everyone traps in the winter. I dare say that there are more spring beaver trappers than winter trappers. Extending the season (2014) would have given more opportunities to more trappers to trap beaver.
The stream trout and wildrice departments of the DNR consider beaver a problem and try their best to get them out of their projects. The wildlife departments limit trapping, but these other departments have trappers out there 12 months a year.
The DNR has to get all their departments on the same page, or the future of hunting, fishing, and trapping in Minnesota is in jeopardy.
One nuisance beaver trapping contract with St. Louis County, allows the nuisance trappers to blow up to 5 dams on a flowage/creek to a maximum of 20 miles upstream. The surrounding counties in northern Minnesota probably have the same wording. These beaver will not get a "rest" . We could have trapped them when they were still worth something, Now they will be trapped all summer. I would rather have regular trappers get them, rather than contract trappers.
* "Wildlife Services" Trapping Company, out of Grand Rapids, Mn., has contracts for nuisance beaver trapping in St. Louis , Itasca, Carlton, and possibly more.. They will be trapping beaver as soon as conditions allow.
Since the weather didn't cooperate, the trappers could not trap and remove beaver that will become 'nuisance' later on in May, June, July, August, etc.....
They will be 'removed' by someone else who gets paid to do it.
Trapping by a private company, hired by the County Commissioners of each county, with the MN DNR knowing about it, is a huge 'blow' to trappers in Minnesota.
A lot of trappers in the state do not belong to a trapping organization.
I ask you "Why Not ?"
Almost all of you working non-members belong to a union that protects your rights while on the job. You join the union to ensure that you recieve the proper rules and regulations while working.
By joining a trapping organization, you are helping to protect your trapping rights, the same as joining a union.
Just by reading above and understanding what I said, should be enough to get a trapper to join.
If you are reading this, you are (probably) a member of a trapping association, but your neighbors or other trappers that you might know, are probably not. Talk to them, get them to join.
THINK ABOUT IT ! Trappers need to JOIN NOW !!
We had a station at MDHA youth day event on Sat. Aug. 3, 2013. at the Hibbing shooting center, just west of Hibbing. I brought small longspring traps for the kids to set. The large majority of them had never set a trap. All of them were successful with a little help.
The trail camera took pictures of a fisher, (3 different days), a skunk, and 98 pictures of a weasel. I moved the camera to a spot that deer and coyotes are traveling. (April 26)
BIG NEWS: The moose herd population estimate has dropped to about 2300 animals (from 4200 estimated last year) Check the DNR website for more moose population data. Wolf and bear predation can be a factor. The research going on right now by the DNR, using new gps collars on adult moose, should help determine the cause of the declining moose population.........
The only change I saw, was that the wolf quota for the 2013 hunting and trapping season, was cut almost in half in the Moose range. How does that help moose ? AND, the bear permits were cut by 25 % statewide. It is hard to understand the reasoning behind these changes. I am beginning to think that the rules and regulations being changed are to control the sporstmen and not the species. That's just me, but, that's what I see. AND, I believe I am correct.
The moose population is continuing to decline. They will be extinct if someone doesn't act soon.
Use this llink to go to the DNR moose research page
current data and reports can be found here. check it out.......,
I know a hunter who went caribou hunting in Dec. 2012, in the James Bay area (east side) of Quebec. Every morning (required), they attended a safety meeting with a Quebec wildlife biologist. He did state that this particular herd that winters in this area, has declined from around 425,000 caribou to well under 100,000. (in just a few years) The reason: wolves and black bears...........
Some Elk herds in the western mountains have been reduced almost 50% by wolves, cougars, and bears. Certain Alaskan moose herds have recovered dramatically when the predators started being controlled.
The state of Maine has updated their moose population from 33,000, 8/9 years ago to over 67,000 in 2012. There are no wolves in Maine; there are bears, and they are hunting strongly........
I finally got pictures of our MFZTA hats, look at page 2.
On page 4, I have started to list companies that have begun to send donations. Please visit their sites and check out what they offer..........
Page 5 is the "links" page. I am starting to put websites of the company's that have their logo on our wild life display trailer.
MORE IMPORTANT NEWS:
Our new website address is now
www.mfzta.com The site hasn't changed much yet, I will work on it in the next few weeks/months. You can email me at email@example.com if you have suggestions on what to include in the site. We have a bigger site with more 'pages' available. Let me know what changes may be needed. Try www.mnforesttrappers.com ane let us know what you think.