Go to content
Tanned Fur Project
Organization > Program Chairs
Minnesota Trappers Association
Tanned Fur Project

Tanned Fur Project Coordinator
Tim Caven
7444 County Rd 27
Pennock, MN  56279
(320) 599-4176
Spring/Summer 2020 Report
Donations to the MTA Tanned Fur Project came from the following generous members and Conservation Officers:

Matt Carlson – 2 Marten, 1 Otter
Leon Windschitl – 2 Raccoon
Dennis Meeks – 1 Beaver
Ben Kasa – 1 Awesome Ermine
Alan Golden – 25 Beaver, 3 Raccoon, 2 Red Fox
Vince Vesel – 1 Red Fox, 1Mink
Frank Brula – 3 Muskrat, 2 Mink, $100 Check Towards Our Tanning Bill
Dallas Erickson – 1 Fisher
Wayne Johnson – 1 Badger
Eric Berg – 6 Muskrat, 1 Mink
Drake Jackson – 6 Mink, 4 Ermine
Tyler Thompson – 1 Grey Fox
Michael Shaleen Sr. – 60 Beaver, 65 Muskrat, 8 Mink, 7 Otter, 2 Raccoon, 1 Fisher, 1 Ermine – All Put Up
Frank Moser – 1 Beaver, 1 Skunk, 1 Muskrat
Jim Ojanen – 2 Ermine
Dick Wilken – 1 Mink
Bert Highland – 4 Ermine, 4 Red Squirrel,  4 Muskrat, 2 Mink
Artie Barnes – 4 Opossum, 4 Squirrel, 3 Muskrat, 1 Raccoon, 1 Ermine
Jeff Bussler – 2 Raccoon, 1 Red Fox, 1 Mink
Isaac Hahn – 2 Raccoon, 1 Muskrat
Dan Stout – 2 Mink, 2 Muskrat
Craig & Mac Hilburn & Greg Flor – 6 Red Fox, 6 Beaver, 4 Opossum, 3 Coyote, 3 Grey Fox, 3 Raccoon, 2 Mink
Dale Jindra – 10 Beaver
Dewey Schmitz – 1 Red Fox
Eric Maijala – 19 Red Fox 5 Raccoon, 1 Grey Fox, 1 Mink
Rob Caven – 4 Bobcat, 1 Coyote
Barry DeGroot – 3 Coyote, 1 Red Fox
Mike Ardolf – 4 Squirrel
Mike Reger – 4 Mink
Dan McGaffey – 6 Skunk, 5 Raccoon
In Memory of Jill Thompson – 5 Silver Fox

Officer Tricia Plautz – 6 Fisher
Officer A. Goodman – 1 Otter
Officer Troy Richards – 9 Muskrat, 2 Otter
Officer Regas – 10 Muskrat , 2 Raccoon
Lt. Dan Thomasen – 1 Otter, 1 Marten
Officer John Velsvaag – 2 Marten
Lt.  Matt Frericks – 3 Marten, 2 Otter, 2 Muskrat, 1 Bobcat, 1 Fisher
Officer Ben Karon – 1 Marten
Officer Dave Shottenbauer – 2 Otter
Officer Don Murray – 5 Beaver, 1 Bobcat, 1 Marten
Officer Sean Williams – 1 Bobcat
Officer Anthony Bermal – 2 Marten, 1 Fisher, 1 Mink
Officer Marc Hopkins – 2 Fisher
Officer Darren Kittelson – 1 Marten
Officer Adam Seifermann – 1 Marten, 1 Otter, 1 Bobcat
Officer John Slatinski – 1 Otter, 1 Fisher
Officer Tony Salzar & Officer Tim Maas – 8 Beaver, 6 Fisher, 5 Mink, 1 Muskrat, 1 Marten

Every piece of fur is appreciated and needed. Whether it is the first ermine caught by young Ben Kasa or huge donations from folks like Michael Shaleen Sr., and Eric Maijala, we thank you.  Many longtime supporters such as  Alan Golden, Bert Highland, Frank Brula, Dale Jindra, Greg Flor, the Hilburn family, and others have donated portions or their entire catch every year for 20+ years. Donations to the Tanned Fur Project were very low at the winter meeting in Brainerd until Michael Shaleen Sr. came forward with his huge donation. Not only did he donate 144 pelts but they were all expertly stretched and dried. I can’t wait to get these pelts  back from the tannery, they are really going to dress up our collection. Eric Maijala came to the shop a couple weeks ago and donated 19 of the nicest stretched and dried red fox that I’ve seen in a while, thank you Eric, we needed them.

Each month we have new Conservation Officers working with us, their support is vital and appreciated. For items such as bobcat and marten they are by far our main source of pelts. It is a two way street as we try to make sure they have tanned pelts at their disposal to support the talks they do on wildlife management at schools. If your local Conservation Officer isn’t currently working with the MTA, please have them call or email me and I will be happy to discuss the Tanned Fur Project with them. As always we thank Officer Scott Staples for being the glue between the Conservation Officers and the MTA.

Thank you to all the folks that have stepped forward to process fur for the Tanned Fur Project, this has been a tremendous help. On Saturday Feb. 29th the second annual fur processing  day was held at the Mac Hilburn residence. Craig and Mac Hilburn as well as Andy Shoemaker put a lot of time and effort into this event, thank you gentlemen.  Plans are already well under way for Fur Processing Day 2021. I’m sure that Craig, Mac, and Andy will have a report in the Newsletter and on the MTA website on their event. Not only does the MTA get its fur processed but it is a great place to learn proper processing techniques or hone the skills you already have. I talked to a couple guys this week that were very happy that they attended and learned a lot by working side by side with many excellent fur processors. Plan to attend Fur Processing Day 2021.

Good luck on your spring beaver lines and save a flat tail or two for the Tanned Fur Project. Be safe, see you in Barnum.

Tim Caven, Tanned Fur Project Coordinator
Photo of youth checking out furs at 4-H show
7444 County Road 27 NW
Pennock, MN 56279

Photo Right:  
"Thank you to the Minnesota Trappers Association for the use of your furs. Our youth enjoyed learning about the animals and being able to touch the pelts. This has helped them to prepare for upcoming competitions."
             --Benton County 4-H Shooting Sports and Wildlife

For years I had heard of a Stillwater Area High School teacher who does an incredible job in teaching High School Biology Courses.  He has been employed there for over 30 years.  

My three children had all been students of this teacher and all said the same thing, he makes learning really fun, is interesting, and teaches in a way that makes students interested in the subject, even when they thought they wouldn’t be.

A licensed Master Falconer, this teacher has been involved in Peregrine Falcon restoration since 2002, and regularly hunts with a variety of hawks and falcons.  Live hawks or falcons are kept in the classrooms at the High School, giving students up close and personal experience with Birds of Prey they normally would never see or learn about.

This teacher has involved students in live trapping raccoons on the school Environmental Learning Center (ELC) fitting them with radio collars, and studying movement patters and denning locations.  Deer have also been live trapped and radio collared there, so movements can be monitored.
Every year, a trail camera collects hundreds of animal photos from the ELC which get posted on a Facebook site, and in the classrooms, showing students just how many animals are present in the suburban setting.  

A member of MOHA (Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance) this teacher has represented the Minnesota Falconers Association on issues relating to the sport of Falconry.  

Almost every year, I will bump into young hunters in the Stillwater area.  Always interested in youth hunting/trapping, I ask them where they got started or how did they find this hunting spot? In many cases, they say the same thing, we got interested in hunting from a Stillwater Biology Teacher, and he gave us directions on where to go!
On December 3rd 2019, I was able to meet with Stillwater Area High School Teacher Andrew Weaver, at the High School Biology Area, and presented him with a set of tanned furs, collected by Trappers from Minnesota, donated by Trappers from Minnesota, and tanned through the MTA’s Tanned Fur Project.  He will now have beautiful tanned furs on display in their classrooms for students to see and touch and be used for animal identification.  All will know that the furs were donated by Trappers and the MTA.  He was very appreciative and couldn’t wait to display them in the classrooms.

Special thanks to Trappers who donate to the MTA’s Tanned Fur Project, and to Tim Caven of Minnesota Trapline Products, for heading up the Tanned Fur Project!  Consider donating some furs this year!  

Andy Shoemaker

Photo #1: Biology Teacher Andrew Weaver, with tanned furs.
Andrew Weaver, biology teacher, with a Goshawk

Photo #2:
Stillwater Area High School Biology Teacher, Andrew Weaver’s class rooms have lots of interesting things in them.  This is a female Goshawk, captured by Weaver and used for teaching students, and for hunting.  

Photo #3:
Another photo of teacher, Andrew Weaver, with the Goshawk.

©️ Copyright 2020 MN Trappers Assn. All rights reserved.
©️ Copyright 2019 MN Trappers Assn. All rights reserved.
Back to content