Minnesota Trappers Association
District 6 Reports
Director Andy Shoemacher
2020 Spring/Summer Report
As I wrote my last District Report on February 20th, 2020, little did we know what was to come. My, how things have quickly changed. Here’s hoping that this report finds all trappers and families healthy and safe! I hope all had a chance to run a spring beaver trapline. As I write this report, the Morel mushrooms are popping. I’ve had some recent luck with them!
Due to the Worldwide Covid-19 Pandemic, many changes had to be made to protect each other during the virus spread, which resulted in cancellations and closings of important dates/events. Cancellations were not considered lightly or arbitrarily. We did not want to cancel any event, but felt a responsibility to our members, their families, everyone. So much was yet to be learned and understood about the virus and its effects. Still safe to say that a lot more is yet to be learned and understood. If a District 6 member has any questions as to why an event, including our Summer Convention, had to be cancelled, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to explain why we did so.
One thing District 6 was able to host on February 29th, 2020, at the residence of Mac Hilburn, was our Tanned Fur Put-up Day. Huge thanks to Mac and Craig Hilburn and family, as the hosts for the 2nd Annual event. Craig Hilburn hosted our first Tanned fur Put up Day the previous year. Many Trappers from all over the State came and assisted in skinning, fleshing and stretching donated furs. Also, a huge thanks to Tim Caven and the Caven Family, for accepting donated animals and all they do for the Tanned Fur Project. I easily filled the bed of my truck with animals and pelts donated by trappers to the Cavens.
The Hilburn residence was a great location for our project. Mac Hilburn’s shop is unbelievable for fur put up. Lots of room, great lighting, it was really enjoyable. Of course, great food and drink was also provided. Thanks to anyone who donated to the cause, or helped. Shows us how much good work can be quickly accomplished when everyone pitches in.
The Trappers Day at the Capitol, District 6 Spring Trappers Education Classes and Field Day, and District 6 Spring Meeting all were cancelled or postponed. We still would like to have a District 6 get together as soon as we can safely put one together. Venue and date to be announced once things get figured out. Possibly an outdoor, summertime event? Love to hear some feedback on your thoughts. What you are comfortable with, what you wouldn’t be.
I have been contacted by several people who want Trappers Education. I have recommended that they do the course work on-line, then contact me after they have completed it. I will schedule small group Field Days, limiting it to just a few people at a time, at an outdoor venue where we can safely conduct the training. Again, contact me if you are interested. My contact information is in the newsletter, and on the MTA web site. We’ll get you taken care of!
During the initial weeks of the virus outbreak, many people turned to the outdoors for recreation. The MN DNR is projecting record numbers of fishing licenses sold as people looked for healthy activities they could do alone or in small groups. I had received a number of phone calls from individuals who know nothing about trapping, yet felt compelled based on recent world events, to become knowledgeable in fur trapping as a way to have a secure food source. All questions were answered and each was encouraged to check out our web site and consider joining the MTA.
It is my sincere hope that maybe the eyes of those not part of the trapping world will realize that not only is trapping a part of our heritage, it is also a healthy and safe form of recreation, which provides beautiful furs, and when necessary, food and security in our modern world. I trapped virtually every day this spring, stayed healthy and safe, and helped provide for my family. Thank God I’m a trapper!
Co-Director - Frank Moser
Spring 2020 Report
As we come to the end of another challenging trapping season, I would offer a few words of encouragement and suggest a few ideas.
Every season is tough. We deal with wet, dry, cold, snow, heat, flooding, you name it everything mother nature throws at us we take in stride and make the best we can of it. Take a moment to write a journal of your season and thoughts of what you would like to fix or change for next year. For instance, I had a goal this year of filling my otter tags and boy it was a complete disaster on that front. I didn’t catch a single otter, mostly, okay all my fault, I didn’t put in the work. I need to get out from behind the computer desk and take a walk through my areas. Take a few pictures, write myself some notes, seal it in a Ziplock bag and throw it into my trap storage box. It’s the best place for me to remember what the heck I was doing when I start my trap prep in August and September. Speaking of walking through my area, I need to go and talk to those landowners and offer at least a verbal report of how things went, things I noticed, were there more turkeys, any damage that occurred to fences during the flooding. While landowners know their land, they might appreciate knowing if there is something out of place or an increase in certain wildlife.
I would also encourage you to get involved with your District and State Leadership to help support a Trappers Field Day, Volunteer for a shift of something at the Summer Convention. These are great ways to help promote our sport. I understand that we are all a little reclusive in our interactions but remember what started you in this lifelong pursuit and share that with some others.
Get out there and do some scouting!
District 6 Co-Director
Cell (206) 915-9072