Minnesota Trappers Association
Post Convention Reports and Information
District Three - Post Convention Report
We were very excited to host the 2022 MTA convention in Wadena last summer. There were countless hours invested, emails sent, and a trip to several meetings in order to line up all the details. We were honored and humbled by all the compliments received over the course of the event. Speaking as the united leadership for District 3, we acknowledge a few of those many behind the scenes whose contributions are vital to producing a great convention. Dewey helped a ton and deserved a lot of credit for getting us in contact with all the people in the town and county, and they often did that vital work personally. Buzz took care of the vendor issues and coordination beginning way back in January. Paul took charge of camping and campers and again Dewey tailgating. President Fischer once again stepped up and led the way for the demonstration solicitation, scheduling, and coordination, and there were many positive comments on how well-organized it was. Cory Van Driel showed up Wednesday and constructed the demo areas in no time at all. I saw him pull into the fairgrounds, and it seemed like a mere thirty minutes had passed, and suddenly everything was complete and ready for use. That man knows what he is doing in a skid steer. All Districts that followed through with their assigned gate duties helped ensure a smooth flow of conventiongoers. There are many others to thank for running the games, trap-setting contests, auctions, and other events as well. We simply could not accomplish this monumental hosting task without all the volunteer members that step up to do this year after year. Sean Uselman was asked to head our free-will donation meal on Friday night. His son Damian collected donations from local businesses and individuals. Due in no small part to his efforts, the meal was completely paid for by donations alone. I went to their camp on Thursday evening to thank Damian personally. He had countless pork butts prepped and ready, and he tended to that smoker both day and night on Friday By the time the food was done, he was understandably exhausted. Thank you to Damian and his crew for an exceptional job well done. Thanks to our generous donors. Mast Construction, Sean & Becky Uselman, Bluff Creek Outdoors, Damian & Ashton Uselman, Minnesota Valley Irrigation, Ron & Dian Kleinschmidt, Nyhus Family Sales, Dave & Carol Graham, and Bear Creek Tavern.
This organization is always looking for ways to improve our events and will always consider potential improvements members suggest. Thank you to all who made it to the convention, and we will see you next year in Litchfield.
Don, Eric & Keith
The Wadena convention was a very exciting time at the MTA souvenir booth with lots of enthusiasm from the membership and brisk sales. The new shirts were once again a very popular item that sold out again, in spite of ordering 30% more inventory than the previous year’s sales. Additional inventory was ordered and is now available for sale on our website. This year we had members vote on next year’s featured furbearer and member participation far exceeded my expectations. Even some non-furbearers (black bears) and even non-mammals (walleye) were suggested. The beaver eventually came out on top and will be the next in our series. I look forward to seeing just how popular this shirt proves to be with the membership in Litchfield this summer.
A special thank you goes out to Mary Beth Miller for volunteering to be my full-time assistant behind the booth and for providing me with breaks to attend to other convention duties as well as most importantly allowing me the required time to get my shopping in for next fall’s trapping season as well. She was simply remarkable behind the booth, and I remain convinced she could successfully sell ice to the locals at the North Pole. Thanks to all the volunteers behind the booth that helped with putting body gripper release kits together. They helped assemble 300 kits and have a bunch more prepped awaiting only the zip ties currently back-ordered. A special thank you to the McElmury family for helping to prep about 200 additional bags to finish later. See you in Litchfield.
Eric Maijala (pronounced- my a la)
MTA Convention Dealer Survey Report
This past winter your MTA Board of Directors decided it would be worthwhile to poll our trapping supply vendors to see if there was anything we could do differently to improve upon our summer conventions. As we all well know without our vendors our conventions would not be what they are today. A committee was formed consisting of myself, Brian, Buzz N., Bill A., and Andy S. We came up with a single-page survey with 6 main questions each with several sub-categories a, b, c, etc. Overall, the responses were very positive with 19 of 21 surveys returned. What we found out was we are doing a good job and the dealers are very pleased with the way we organize and run our conventions, but there are things we could do differently to improve their experience. Room permitting the survey with responses will be printed in this issue. I’d like to thank the committee for helping with this. Here are some of the responses to the open-ended questions #5b & #6.
- Stagger times between land & water demos and have some lag time between demo’s
- Do nothing differently this is the best state convention in the nation (9 similar)
- Louder intercom and announce all demo’s and events
- More advertising, possibly Twin Cities TV stations
- Better access to cash/ATMs on grounds
- More lodging near the convention site
- Go to a 2-day convention Fri. and Sat. (2 similar)
- Love the dealer appreciation meals (6 similar)
MTA Summer Convention Dealer Survey
Welcome to this summer’s annual MTA convention. The MTA values your attendance. It is businesses such as yours that keep trappers and their families coming to our conventions year after year. The MTA is committed to working with our vendors to further enhance their experience and in turn, the experience of all attendees. Please complete this short survey. We look forward to collecting and reviewing them. We will be taking your thoughts into consideration to try to improve our conventions in the years ahead. Thank you for attending this year’s convention and participating in this survey. We wish you a safe and profitable year ahead! Sincerely, MTA Survey Committee
1.) Each year the MTA selects a fairground in a different part of our state representing all eight districts to have our summer convention. Do you like this idea? Yes-10/No-2
a.) Would you like it better if the location was more centrally located? Yes-10/No-2b.) Would it serve you better if we made the location permanent? Yes-3/No-11c.) Did you like this year’s location? Yes-15/No-1d.) Were there enough hotel/restaurant accommodations in the surrounding area? Yes-13/No-3
2.) Were you satisfied with the washroom/restroom facilities on site? Yes-15/No-2
a.) Cleanliness Yes-15/No-2b.) Distance from your space? Yes-18/No-1c.) Number of restrooms on-site Yes-18/No-1
3.) Were you satisfied with the location of your space? Yes-18/No-0
a.) In relationship to other dealers? Yes-17/No-1b.) Did the flow of attendees in your building attract enough potential customers? Yes-19/No-0c.) Do you feel you were treated fairly by MTA staff? Yes-19/No-0d.) Did MTA staff introduce themselves and thank you for attending this event? Yes-17/No-1e.) In the past two years the MTA General Membership Meeting is held at 3 pm on Saturday. Do you like the day and time? Yes-13/No-2
4.) Did you feel the number of food vendors onsite was adequate? Yes-19/No-0
a.) Were the food choices varied enough? Yes-18/No-1b.) Was the food available up to your standards? Yes-19/No-0c.) After hours were there enough restaurants in the surrounding area to get a meal? Yes14/No1
5.) The MTA provides meal tickets to each vendor and their employees in appreciation of them attending our convention. Do you like this idea? Yes-18/No-0
- Should the MTA continue this? Yes-17/No-0
- In your opinion what could the MTA do to improve upon this?
6.) In your opinion overall what could the MTA do to make this convention a better experience for all?
The MTA is committed to working with all of our vendors to make this convention a great experience for all who attend.
Land & Water Demos Report
It’s been approximately 19 years since Wadena last hosted an MTA convention and it was exciting for me to scope out new demonstration locations for twenty of each both water and land trapping presentations. The Show Arena ended up being the ideal spot for creating realistic in-field scenarios thanks primarily to Cory Van Driel for all his creative and sweat-stained work and to Gary Jorgensen for his expertise with the sound systems. For the very first time, I didn’t hear a single complaint from convention goers. We do plan on upgrading our system and are currently considering better quality less cumbersome headsets for the future.
The lineup of demo presenters provided greater variety and some vendors were offered the opportunity to promote their products as well to boot. Individual trappers are always welcome to join the team. Ten new presenters gave their first demos to an MTA audience this August and my library list of future presenters continues to grow. If you want to share your methods and are willing to present a demonstration in Litchfield next year, give me a call. 507-276-6322.
In response to our dealer survey from Wadena, we will be testing out various ideas that have been suggested to create more interaction between spectators and vendors and to increase opportunity and commerce. Twenty-plus students both young men and women attended qualifying field training demonstrations and completed their trapper certification requirements at this year’s convention in Wadena.
Thank you to the presenters that helped me out with writer’s cramp signing student paperwork and to DNR officers for agreeing to quiz kids on four major questions.
It is so well worth the effort.
Pass it On
Beginner Trapper Connection
Wow, did we have the kids this year! All demos took place in the Horse Arena with plenty of room for interacting. A big thank you to Dan Greenwald for supervising the program both Friday and Saturday. The demos, for the most part, were all well attended five had twenty youth and one had thirty. This was unexpected but welcome however, this did put a larger financial burden on a few vendors due to the numbers. Remember after all beginner demos have been attended participants are encouraged to visit specific vendor sponsors to receive incentive merchandise. Please take the time to thank our generous sponsoring vendors. A phone call or a positive Facebook post would be much appreciated. If you’d like sponsoring vendor contact information simply review the listing from the last Newsletter or Facebook listings or reach out to me, at 507-276-6322. Thank you for all the cash donations on behalf of BTC, I guarantee those funds will be used appropriately.
Luke Jackson, Craig Hilburn and I are already kicking around some new ideas for next year’s BTC activities. Trap fishing, coyote shoot and other hands-on ideas are being considered for implementation. I thank these gentlemen for stepping up and giving me suggestions that provide greater variety each year. In the future, we will strive for greater coordination with Kid’s Games activities to avoid time conflicts that force youth to choose one or the other. The Kid’s Games draw many youth and we want young people to have the opportunity to take it all in and not miss a thing unnecessarily. Thanks to our Kid’s Games Committee for their fine work.
“Smells and Attractions” is a very cool demo presentation that is well received year after year. Unfortunately, our scheduled presenter had to cancel at the last minute due to family issues and I was initially at a loss. However, scanning the crowd, I asked three girls that have gone through this program previously if they were up to the task. Eight years back they did a BTC demo together and the three same girls now in 2022 are regular presenters.
Making connections is what it’s all about!
Pass it On
Brian Fischer- Coordinator