Born: July 23, 1947
Hometown: St. Paul, MN
Gary Meis started trapping in 1957 at the age of 10 catching pocket gophers with a friend. He soon graduated to muskrats and raccoons making his own boat in order to access the swamps to catch muskrats. Gary’s trapping career was only interrupted once for 4 years while he served his country. After serving in the USMC and beginning a family a 1971, Gary got to make it to the trapline running a few dozen traps each fall.
In 1986, Gary was introduced to the Minnesota Trappers Association (MTA) by a friend. He immediately got involved at the district level, starting the MTA Tanned Fur Project in 1989. Since that time, Gary has served as District 6 Director, MTA Legislative Liason, MTA Education Director, MTA Raffle Director, MTA Director, and MTA President. Gary has worked during these tenures to continually support trappers and trapping in Minnesota and beyond. He established a good working relationship with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and has been a constant champion of trappers’ rights. He has worked to diligently build the MTA into a strong organization by promoting sound management and fundraising to ensure a strong MTA in the future. Tirelessly working to promote trapping to our youth, he has pushed for trapper education classes for youth around the state. Gary has supported other trapping organizations such as the National Trappers Association and Fur Takers of America in their efforts to combat efforts by groups to take trapping away. Along the way, Gary has received numerous awards for his years of service to the trapping community.
Gary has been inspired by many people to take that path he has with trapping and fighting for trapper’s rights. One of these was Sid Berg who said Gary had the knack for politics and encouraged him to get involved with the MTA. Others included Joe Bamenek, Ed Eide, and Merlin Ladd, all people who mentored Gary and helped teach him some of their finer points of trapping various animals. Gary has always had a soft spot for coyotes and loves to pursue them and bobcats the most. He can successfully trap all animals and has had the opportunity to trap not only in Minnesota but in Texas as well.
Gary continues to trap whenever possible and is still involved in the MTA on many different levels. His burning desire as a trapper and a politician in the MTA is to teach and promote this wonderful sport of ours to present and future generations of trappers.