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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
Above is a photo of MN Conservation Officer Demo Regas tagging an accidental otter I caught this spring while nuisance beaver trapping. Officer Regas said he donated the otter fur to the MTA Tanned Fur Project. Recently a conservation officer in the Grand Rapids area died in the line of duty. I think it is time to start appreciating the work these officers do for us., so hopefully, you get this in time. I hope you have a good memorial day.
Fur now,  Jim Ojanen
Summer 2021 Report
As I got ready to drive up to the Legal Defense Banquet in April, I threw a couple of fur bags in my truck just in case there were donations to haul back. Donations to the Tanned Fur Project had been exceedingly slow due to no winter meetings and few district meetings and get-togethers in general. I should have brought a lot more fur bags as it turns out. On the way home later that night I had bear hides and bags of skunks and beaver in the bed of my truck, the backseat was full of fisher, coyotes, and otter. The passenger side of the front seat was occupied by bags of mink, muskrats, and fox. It was the first time many of us had gotten together in over a year. Members hadn’t forgotten about the Tanned Fur Project, they were storing fur until we could meet up. Thank you to all. I can’t wait to get it all back from the tannery this fall/winter.

Many of the fur donations are huge and will put us in a great position going forward, what a turn around. Donations are pouring in and in person learning at schools is getting much stronger. We’ve had more teacher requests for educational fur sets in May than any month since February 2020, great to see.

So many trappers have stepped forward to help process fur which has been a huge boost to the program. I was just at Don McGaffey’s place yesterday picking up more skins that he and our Vice President Dewey Schmitz had processed. Both Don and Dewey have done so much for the program along with others in their district including Roger Just and Dennis Meeks to name a couple. Not only did Mike Shaleen, Craig and Mac Hilburn, and Greg Flor donate a boat load of fur they also processed other trappers donations at Pelt Day 2021. My thanks to District 1 Co Director Paul Zeiroth for his donations but also for collecting fur from the CO’s in his area and processing them. So many good and generous trappers in this association, thank you kindly. Make sure that you look for future info in the Newsletter on Pelt Day in February of 2022. I plan to attend to get a lesson from Andy Shoemaker on pelt handling, his work is amazing. Speaking of expert fur handling I had heard that Rick Olson of Roosevelt was top notch and now I’ve seen it for myself. Rick sent down a donation of pelts and they were delightful to see, so clean and perfect.

The new Tanned Fur Project competition started August 1st for 2020-2021. Each specie has a point value for starters and then quality and whether it is carcass, green, or dried determines its final point value. A good quality stretched, and dried pelt is the ultimate donation but we have folks in place now to assist in the processing of carcass and green skins, so we are appreciative of any donation. Often I receive pelts second or third hand so please if your donation is not acknowledged by me in the newsletter get a hold of me. I don’t want to miss a single pelt donation.

Hoping to see all of you at the MTA Summer Convention in Barnum in July. Have a safe and enjoyable summer.
Fish On!
Tim Caven
Tanned Fur Project Coordinator

7444 County Road 27 NW
Pennock, MN 56279

Photo of youth checking out furs at 4-H show

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 2021 MN Trappers Assn. All rights reserved.
©️ Copyright 2019 MN Trappers Assn. All rights reserved.
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