Minnesota Trappers Association
District 1 Reports
PO Box 358
Babbitt, MN 55706
Director - Bert Highland
Spring 2019 Report
Quite the winter we’ve been having. As I’m preparing this report I’ve got 30” of snow pack at my place and I’ve heard reports of 40” or more up the Gunflint Trail. This along with the cold temps are really going to hurt the deer herd. Despite what the experts are telling us our deer population was already very low in the Arrowhead region and this winter along with the wolves are going to about do them in. The only deer you see are near the towns, this is very concerning as the wolves are going to go where the food is.
We just finished up representing the MTA at the Duluth Boat, Sport, Travel Show/Deer Classic at the DECC. We sold a lot of tanned fur and raffle tickets and the attendee’s were very supportive of us. I think it is important that we attend these shows and show the public that trapping is alive and well in our state, a big thank you goes out to Gary, Jim, Bruce, and Frank for helping with this for all 5-days every year. Also a researcher from the NRRI stopped by and spoke with us about his upcoming Fisher Nesting Box study. He was familiar with our Pine Marten Nesting Box Project and thought it was a very worthwhile endeavor. It sure was nice to finally get some recognition for all the hard work we’ve put into this.
Myself and four other District 1 members made the trip to St. Paul on Feb. 5th for Trappers Day at the Capitol. I don’t consider myself a political person but I learned this is a very important event that we should attend every year. It shows the legislators that we take our sport very seriously and are passionate about preserving and protecting trapping going into the future. Looking over our membership list most of the members reside in the Duluth, Ely, Int. Falls, Grand Rapids, and Hibbing / Virginia area’s. It would be nice if we had at least a car pool of members coming out of each of these area’s next winter, I know the guy’s that rode with me want to go again next year. If we had 20-30 or more people from our district show up it would show our legislator’s we are very serious about this.
Well that’s about all for now. We’re supposed to get 3 to 6” of snow today with more coming on the week-end, hopefully by the time you read this spring will be showing signs of waking up! Good luck spring beaver trapping if you go and above all be safe!
Co-Director - Frank Brula
Spring 2019 Report
The thirty plus years “Isle Royal Wolf Experiment” almost extended for its entirety but didn’t quite make it. So much for the scientific method of experimentation and a great deal of P.R. hype about how great a closed ecosystem would be. It ended with a study, however, that was never really completed. Researchers decided to add new wolves to Isle Royal to help “balance “ nature. They were to add twenty to thirty wolves over a period of years. Only a few were introduced initially. One died in captivity, one died on the island, and one came back across the ice bridge that formed this year. Remember, the original wolves crossed an ice bridge to get there. Best of all, they shot six moose to help the wolves learn to hunt them down for something good to eat. Also, some extra moose meat was saved so it could be added to other locations later on. Having come from Minnesota, Ontario, etc. the wolves already knew instinctively how to kill moose for food. The only way the wolves would not have known how good moose meat is would be if they had never truly experienced it.
Because our winter has been very “shovel friendly”, with no end in sight, I , like many other trappers, have yet to be able to trap beaver through the ice. Much time has been spent in the garage working on traps-checking tags and fixing broken parts. Due to new DNR regulations, we are going to be required to use release devices on our snares in the future...another garage project finished. I put 285 lb. releases on my snares; the DNR will require 350 lbs.
The NRRI (A unit of the University of Minnesota) has now taken on a fisher nesting box program. Awhile back, we gave them our marten nesting box plans plus all the information we had collected. They said they would contact us when they were putting out boxes, and hopefully that will happen in the fall. Their purpose is to increase the low fisher populations. This sure sounds like why we started a six year project and produced seven hundred boxes that seem to be working . Talking to numerous deer hunters from various areas, most reported seeing marten and fisher while hunting. Too bad we still have a limit of two and a six day season. That surely doesn’t encourage youth to get out and enjoy nature.
Trap ‘til I die