Minnesota Trappers Association Scholarship Program
Information & Application

Minnesota Trappers Association Scholarship Program

The Minnesota Trappers Association (MTA) was organized in 1959 for the primary purpose of “helping to perpetuate the nation’s oldest industry- the fur trade” as the Association approaches its sixtieth anniversary we proudly reflect on our long history. Consequently, our ongoing obligation is to practically educate the public on the rich heritage of our sport as well as the importance of continuing to practice the trade for the health of both human and animal populations across our great State. To that end, the Association continues to promote a strong conservation ethic in all we do and to work closely with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in order to accomplish shared wildlife management goals in addition to maximizing opportunity for those interested in participating in fur harvesting activities here in Minnesota.


  • The MTA stands head-and-shoulders above other State trapping organizations in its total commitment to public education in all facets particularly regarding the development and guidance of first time trappers.
  • The Minnesota Trapper Education Program was developed with the cooperation of the MN DNR Wildlife Division with the initial funding provided by MTA in the early 1980’s.
We, as an organization understood that such an investment in the future would help ensure that first time trappers had a working understanding of state game laws regarding trapping, practical trapping techniques that treat furbearers respectfully as well as understanding the importance of ethical conduct in the field when interacting with other citizens and fellow sportsmen.
Beginning in early 2000’s MTA advocated legislation requiring trappers seeking to be licensed for the first time in Minnesota to complete what was previously a strictly voluntary program in order to legally purchase a Minnesota trapping license. While elected officials applauded our commitment to such a goal, we were not surprised to learn that sufficient funding necessary for the State to administer and staff such a worthwhile program was simply not available in the State budget.
Undeterred, the MTA agreed to shoulder sole responsibility for the funding and administration of the Program and in 2007 entered into an agreement with the Commissioner of Natural Resources which became state law fully implemented in 2008. Since that time MTA has certified (free-of-charge) nearly five thousand first time trappers for licensure here in Minnesota without a dime of taxpayer money spent  This milestone was accomplished exclusively by volunteer trapping instructors certified through the Association in cooperation with MN DNR.
Our primary source of revenue for administering this Program is through our annual MTA Gun Raffle in which the Association gives away more than a dozen firearms, an ATV, wild fur clothing and other useful prizes all for the benefit of our statewide Education efforts. In accordance with our MN Charitable Gaming License (which governs raffle activities) all profits must be spent on Education. For the past twenty plus years, MTA has annually offered college scholarships to individuals who understand the importance of the role modern fur trapping plays in attaining wildlife management goals, the depth of the outdoor experience and keeping alive the proud traditions of our ancestors that explored and settled what would one day become the Great State of Minnesota that we know and love.
In keeping with our long-standing commitment to education, we are proud to offer college scholarships to deserving students. If you are an individual that understands the importance of what we do, you are strongly encouraged to apply as a candidate for scholarship consideration.
We wish you the best in your higher education goals.
Application and instructions below:

MTA Scholarship Application/Narrative Instructions

Greetings Students,

The MTA Scholarship Committee is looking forward to reviewing your application and personal narrative for scholarship grant consideration. By following the guidelines provided below, you will greatly increase the odds receiving one of our scholarship awards.

NOTE: Applications and accompanying narratives must be received/postmarked between June 20 and July 1st annually.
You may choose to submit these by regular mail or electronically, but handwritten narratives will not be accepted. However, the application itself may be filled out legibly by hand and reproductions of application are completely acceptable. Be certain to identify your scholarship application as such by including “MTA Scholarship Application” on the subject line if submitting electronically or writing “MTA Scholarship Application” or similar wording on envelope if submitting application to MTA Secretary by traditional mail service:

Shawn Johnson
6122 McQuade Road
Duluth, MN 55804
(218) 525-4970

Please take this opportunity seriously! Regard the scholarship application and the narrative as a two part job application. Be mindful that this is a competitive process. Consequently, detail and content are extremely important. Follow directions provided and make every effort to present yourself as someone who desires to be seriously considered.

Share yourself with the Committee and give us a brief glimpse into your life as this will be the only means we have to get to know you at some personal level since there is no follow-up person to person interview in our review process.

Although identifying an MTA member by name on the application itself is required to verify membership status, resist the urge to “name drop” in the narrative portion and diligently guard against doing so unintentionally. We don’t solicit references or recommendations from MTA members on behalf of candidates so substitute member names for neighbor, teacher, wife/husband etc. Your narrative should be an autobiographical short story and not simply a list of personal accomplishments and awards received. Although some of these items may be part of your narrative, it shouldn’t read like a formal resume or an informal open letter to an individual or organization. Either extreme defeats the intention of the narrative portion.

In contrast to most organization’s scholarship programs, awards are not based on previous academic performance but rather on the presentation of the individual. Your narrative should give the Committee a sense of who you are as an individual, where your interests lie and what you view as important in life. Feel free to tell us a story about an experience your life, the outdoors, trapping etc. What did this experience mean to you? Any life lessons? Personal stories give the Committee a better sense of you as an individual and what kind of impact life experiences have had on your formation as an adult.

Last of all, have others read/review your application/narrative for accuracy, clarity and overall content before submitting. Misspellings, typos, missing words, wrong words etc. can negatively add up in the final evaluation between you and other candidates also under consideration.

If you’re serious about landing the job you’re applying for, take the time to do it to the best of your ability.

Note to previous applicants/award recipients: If reapplying for award consideration, be certain not to simply submit a narrative from a previous year. Take time to reflect and write an original narrative for consideration this cycle. You may obviously include some of the same information but the narrative needs to be fresh and original in overall content.

Those that simply forward previous submissions will be evaluated accordingly.

2021 MTA Scholarship Awards Committee Comments

Sadly, although I spoke to several people over the course of the year regarding scholarships only seven individuals ultimately applied to be considered for grants. One applicant has won MTA scholarships previously as well. Please encourage anyone attending or planning on attending college/university or trade school to apply for MTA scholarship consideration. Applications and directions for completing them are always available on the website www.mntrappers.org under the Education tab. However, applications are only accepted between June 20 and July 1st annually and I anticipate the BOD will approve a similar award structure as in recent years. Please encourage all interested individuals to apply. In spite of the turmoil experienced last year MTA awarded four scholarships to applicants. The top four scoring individuals were: $2000. Samuel Juidici- Hibbing MN, $1000. Shaelyn Predmore- Pine Island MN, $1000. Cade Predmore- Pine Island MN $1000. Bridget Bazile- Tigerton Wisconsin
Committee Members Brian Fischer, Andy Shoemaker, Brad Wobbrock, Gary Nelson, Steve Phalen and Wayne Thompson. However, Steve and Wayne did not participate in this year’s selections/scoring.

Our 2022 MTA Scholarship Award Recipients

MTA Scholarship Award Bios and Letters

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