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Minnesota Trappers Association
General Membership Meeting Minutes
Location: Carlton County Fairgrounds
Date:  July 31, 2021
General Membership Meeting was Called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Vice President Dewey Schmitz

Welcome by Vice President Schmitz and introduction of the BOD/Staff

Approval of the January 3rd, 2020, General Membership Meeting Minutes.
  • Frank Brula motioned to approve the January 3rd, 2020; general membership minutes as written. Don McGaffey seconded the motion, motion approved.

President Remarks were provided by Vice President Schmitz

Treasurer Report: The Treasurer presented the current financials as of June 30, 2021, the annual 990 tax return is available upon request and highlighted program areas.

Current checking and savings account balance is $267,088.34. This includes two CD’s that were transferred to Crow Wing Power Credit Union to obtain a better rate of return. One CD is $20,000 for a one-year term and one CD is $133,341.78 for a two-year term.
Legal Defense Banquet raised $21,529 this year and 2022 tickets are available by contacting Katelyn Jindra.

Fundraising committee is working hard to find new ways to raise money for the general fund. The first effort is an antique trapper’s calendar. It has been well received at this year convention. You can pre-order the calendar by contacting Brian Fischer.
Membership Report: The Membership Coordinator presented the report to the General Membership. Current membership is at 2234. 75 new members signed up at this year’s convention.
Legal Counsel: Gary Leistico presented at the general membership meeting. Two bills were presented that would hurt trapping; however, no bills passed the last session. Please watch the website for updates. Wolf committee meetings are recorded and available on the DNR website. Also watch the FTA/NTA websites for future litigation updates.
MOHA Report: Randy Goldenman was unable to be here, however Vice President Schmitz provided an update. When Randy is called to contact Legislators, he has had a great response. It is best to email Randy and your legislators, and it really makes a difference. Trappers Day at the Capital is targeted for early March.
DNR Report: no report

Trapper/Youth Education: No report

NTA Report: Wayne Thompson provided an update about the NTA convention in Iowa July 22-24. Some great ideas were gathered, and we should consider at our state convention. NTA, FTA, Sportsman Alliance and the National Congressional Conference are joining forces. Grunwald fur buyer is requiring the trapper to sign off that you complied with state and federal law if you sell to them.

FTA Report:
Dan Collins thanked everyone who signed up at the booth and renewed your membership. Dan also attended the National Rendezvous was June 17-19, 2021, in Charleston Indiana. Next year’s convention is in Lawrence, Kansas and 2023 is in Wisconsin. MTA was presented a plaque for supporting the FTA. Dan appreciates the support from the MTA for the FTA so we can come together and stand strong. Stop by the booth to review the call-to-action form so we can contact legislators. Tim Hiller made a presentation at the convention that he is doing research and provides what the trappers are currently doing. Tim Hiller, along with 80 authors are updating a book and looking for support this effort. This could be an educational expenditure.

Education Raffle Report:
2021 raffle is doing well, and approximately $91,000 tickets have been sold.

Tanned Fur Project report:
Tim Caven provided an update. Tim has been doing the project since 1997. This year’s Conservation Officer of the Year was Officer Demo Regas, Blackduck. Runner-ups were Officer Tricia Plautz, Officer Troy Richards, Officer Dan Starr, and Officer Andy Schmitt.

District Competition – Winner is District 3, 2nd was District 4, and 3rd was District 1

Processer of the Year – Don McGaffey

Individual Donor of the Year
    • Michael Shaleen, Sr – 177 muskrats, 81 beaver, 17 mink, 8 otter, 7 ermine, 5 raccoon, 1 red fox, 1 pine marten.
    • Runner up – Eric Maijala,
    • 3rd – Dale Jindra, Tie for
    • 4th – Allan Golden and Tom Boser,
    • 5th – Flor Hilburn/Hilburn Team Trapline,
    • Tie for 6th – Paul Zieroth & Art Klipping,
    • 7th -- Walt Gessler,
    • 8th – Doug Abel & Doug Padgett, Tie for
    • 9th -- Andy Shoemaker & Dewey Schmitz,
    • 10th – Bert Highland,
    • 11th -- Rick Olson,
    • 12th -- Keith Friedsam, and
    • 13th -- Joe Jewitt.
Thank you to all who support the tanned fur project.

Awards: President’s awards:
  • The first president’s award goes to an individual from district 4, who has been a trapper all of his life. They enjoy spending time trapping most all of MN furbearers, but really likes getting after the fox and coyotes with snares. They have been active in the MTA for many years serving as District 4 Co-Director and Director for many years. This individual helped with the Legal Defense Banquet for several years. In addition, he has assisted with vendors and vendors spacing for many years with state and national conventions in MN.  

    This person is always willing to pitch in and help whenever they are called upon. This person’s can-do attitude has been a great help to the MTA and the people who work with him.

    Their dedication to the MTA with and continued volunteer efforts on behalf of all is to be commended.

    I ask the membership to please help in giving a round of applause and recognize our first President’s Award recipient of 2021, Buzz Neprud.

  • The next President’s award goes to an individual who has been around for many years and has given countless hours of volunteer time to the MTA. This person has been a life-long trapper, trapping a variety of animals with mink and bobcat being some their favorites. The passion this person has shown for traps, trappers, and trapping over the years cannot be overstated. Their desire to educate trappers and entertain them with stories of their trapping adventures has graced the pages of countless trapper publications throughout the years. This person has served in many different capacities from District Director, President, and currently as the MTA Education Coordinator and Editor.

    His passion for trapping and teaching people about it in on all levels is to be applauded. The continued work he does for the MTA to make the organization a stronger and better one is paramount to helping trappers continue to have meaningful trapping in MN.

    It gives me great pleasure to ask the membership recognize Shawn Johnson MTA Education Coordinator and Editor with applause as he is presented with an MTA President’s Award.  Shawn Johnson

  • Just when you thought we were all done with this right!? There is one more President’s award to give out this year and it goes to an individual who has been a life-long trapper starting a young age pursuing many different furbearers with their favorites being the fox and mink. Over the course of years this person has given of their time, energy, and passion they have for trapping to support the MTA. This individual has served as a co-director and director of their district chairing and hosting state conventions in their district. They have supported and helped at multiple national conventions held in the state taking on a variety of responsibilities with those as well. They have help with wild game feeds, served on the Legal Defense Fund committee, and helped wherever and whenever something was needed to be done to support the organization.  In addition, they have been an active trapper instructor hosting annual classes to pass on the knowledge, skills, and passion to the next generation of trappers in our state.

    The list could go on but suffice to say, this person has been a consummate volunteer and supporter of the MTA for many, many years.  They have and are always willing to pitch in and help whenever they are called upon without wanting any attention or accolades for the work they do. Instead, preferring to remain behind the scenes and just get it done. Their dedication to the MTA with continued volunteer efforts on behalf of all trappers is to be commended.

    Please put your hands together and help recognize our current MTA Vice President Duane Schmitz the guy we all know as “Dewey” as he is recognized with this final President’s award of 2021.

  • The final President’s award goes to a young individual who has been a trapper since a young age. They have trapped with their family pursuing a variety of different animals enjoying the time outdoors. More recently associated with the MTA, this person has been actively involved volunteering by attending conventions, winter meetings, and legal defense fund banquets. They have helped with wild game feeds at past conventions, set-up/ tear down at the convention and winter meetings and assisted with MTA auctions. They have always been willing to step up and volunteer with anything that needed to be done. In addition, they have served on the Legal Defense Fund committee and this past year this young volunteer took on filling the role of handling all the ticket sales for the banquet.

    This young person’s dedication to helping support traps, trappers and trapping on a regular basis, not to speak of the time and hours they have given to support the MTA is to be commended and recognized. It should be an example all young volunteers recognize and look to model as they volunteer and support the organization.

    I ask you to help me in recognizing Katelyn Jindra with a round of applause as she is presented with this MTA President’s Award.

MTA Awards committee: Tyler Thompson presented the following awards.

  • Hall of Fame – Submitted by Terry McElmury – I would like to nominate a trapper for the MTA Hall of Fame. He willingly volunteered to be a co-director years ago without knowing what it really entailed, and a short time later became our District Director. From his leadership and good-humored personality, we saw our district meetings attendance grow from single digits to 60 to 70 people! Suddenly we had whole families and friends coming just to see what this trapping deal was all about.

    He’s volunteered at Eagle Bluff Learning Center when we used to have trapping classes there. He would help with both of the highway clean-ups in our district and always took his turn sitting behind a booth at the Winona, Olmstead, Filmore and Steele County Fairs.

    He served his country in Vietnam as a Marine, and he has served his fellow trappers as well. It’s time we acknowledge this trapper for all he has generously given to the MTA. Mr Dale “Gabby” Hayes.     

  • Jr Tapper of the Year – Submitted by Caleb’s mom – I nominate Caleb Englund as Youth Trapper of the Year. Caleb age 15, began his trapping at an early age of 8 trapping gophers. His goal was to beat his older brothers yearly total of 112 gophers. He fell short each year but came close one year and trapped 100. Each year he averages 80-100 gophers. As he grew older, he became more interested in larger animals. He soon began trapping beaver for a family, but knew his passion was getting those coyotes. He had the privilege to tag along with Don McGaffey a couple of times and became more interested in trapping coyote, fox, raccoon, and fisher. Caleb completed his field day testing and received his trappers license this year. Caleb has become the “go to” kid for trapping needs in the area. He has received numerous calls from landowners to help trap nuisance animals. Caleb is always willing to help out. This year Caleb set 100 plus snares, numerous conibear and foothold traps. His total catches this year is 25 coyotes, 12 fox, 2 fisher, 2 mink and 2 otters. He also learned how to flesh & skin his animals from a family friend. As his mother I am blessed to have a child who not only loves nature and spending his time in the outdoors but understands the importance of wildlife management. Other past time interests include duck/goose hunting, deer hunting and fishing.

  • Jr Trapper of the Year – Submitted by Don McGaffey. I am respectfully submitting Evan Rollofson for the honor of Junior Trapper of the Year. Evan is an amazing young man that contacted me regarding his interest in learning about trapping in the spring of 2020. I met with him and showed him the basics of spring beaver trapping. He rode along with me on a small section of my spring beaver line several times and never hesitated to ask questions, get down and dirty, and learn. He has an amazingly keen eye for the smallest of details and remembers every little detail.

    In his first full year of trapping on his own, he has caught raccoon, beaver, muskrat, and otter. He has honed his beaver trapping skills well enough that he is already doing an impressive job at some ADC beaver trapping for the county he lives in as well as some surrounding farmers. I believe he has 20 beavers to his credit as of this writing. And the kid can’t even drive yet! (Thank you, dad!) When Evan is faced with a difficult situation on his trap line he doesn’t consider it an impediment, but instead, -accepts the challenge as an opportunity to learn.

    Evan promotes trapping to everyone he knows and is a great ambassador for the sport. When anti-trapping legislative bills were being considered in St. Paul, Evan was on his computer firing off e-mails to elected officials expressing his views as to why these bills needed to be stopped.

    Evan is an active member of the MTA. He has attended every district 3 meeting that has been held since he became a member (again, thank you dad) and actively participates at those meetings with insightful conversation.

    Evan is the type of young man that will be a future leader in our organization. He is very charismatic, intelligent, polite, hardworking, and dedicated. Evan is everything you would want in the teenager next door. He’s also the guy you want pursuing the beaver that’s cutting the trees down along your shoreline!

  • Female Trapper of the Year – Submitted by Leon & Denise Windschitl. She stepped up and proudly supports the MTA. She has served on several committees along with her duties as the treasurer and working with the Legal Defense Banquet Committee. She greets you with a smile. She is always willing to answer questions and responds in a timely matter to any correspondence.

    We nominate Brenda Jindra for Female Trapper of the Year. We believe that she deserves this for all her time and efforts she has put into the MTA.

Old Business: No old business

New Business:
  • 2022 Convention site will be Wadena County Fairgrounds, August 4 – 6, 2022.
  • 2021 Elections – Nominations are Brian Fischer, President and Bert Highland, Vice President. No other nominations the MTA recognizes Brian Fischer, President and Bert Highland, Vice President.

Tweety Highland motioned to adjourn meeting and Wayne Thompson seconded, motion approved.
Meeting adjourned at 3:56 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Brenda Jindra, Acting Secretary
©️ Copyright 2021 MN Trappers Assn. All rights reserved.
©️ Copyright 2021 MN Trappers Assn. All rights reserved.
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