Minnesota Trappers Association
District 1 Reports
PO Box 358
Babbitt, MN 55706
Director - Bert Highland
Summer 2019 Report
I’m hoping that when you read this you are finally enjoying nice summer weather, as I write this on May 24th we haven’t seen anything even resembling summer!! I told you in my last report that late winter and early spring were our busy times as a district and it certainly has been. We had our spring meeting back in March with about 65 members attending. I collected donated fur for the Tanned Fur Project and would like to again thank everyone that brought fur. Matt Carlson of Carlson Furs was also present to buy fur and I’m hoping he will continue to do this in the future. Between our raffle and monetary donations for the lunch served, I believe we set a record for the most dollars earned for the MTA in the 10 yrs. I’ve been in this position, thank you to all for this. I think we also set a record for the number of dishes brought for the lunch like I said before you people aren’t coming to listen to me, you’re coming to eat!! Thanks to all that donated food items. Also, we had quite a few officers and past officers show up from the other districts and I’d like to thank them for coming as well.
At the end of March, we had a booth at the Minnesota Archery in the Schools State Tournament held in Duluth. Myself, Frank, and Gary worked the event and sold quite a bit of tanned fur and raffle tickets. Our booth was the hit of the show and we answered many questions about trapping and I also think we wore out a bunch of fur due to all the hands touching it!! In early April Lloyd and Matt had an MTA booth at The Sportsmen’s Expo in Int’l. Falls. They advertised their upcoming Trapper Ed. class for this fall and said their display was well received. Matt and Lloyd are also doing an Introduction to Trapping seminar at the two day Outdoor Day’s Event for 5th graders held in the Int’l. Falls area in late May. This week Bruce, Jim, and I attended a presentation by our own Bill Berg on the history of wolf management in Minnesota from past to present, it was very interesting. Lastly, Frank and I loaded both our trucks with traps and other equipment that deceased member Al Dietz donated to the MTA and still have another load to get. Al wanted all the proceeds to go towards Trapper Education so beginning this convention we’ll put some items on the auction, we’re thinking of selling some items outright, some will be given to the youth on completion of Trapper Ed., and we’re tossing around the idea of putting some of Al’s equipment on the raffle at our fall district meeting, I’ll keep you informed.
The summer convention in Redwood Falls Aug.1-3 will be here before we know it. District 1 duties are working the front gate on Fri. from 7 am to noon and booth duty on Sat. from 8 am to 11 am. I hope you can attend the convention and help us out if you can. That’s all for now, we’re leaving for our annual fishing trip to Canada in the morning. We’re hoping for decent weather but packed the long johns and insulated bibs just in case!! Take care and 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