Greetings all. I will start this with the Winter Directors meeting. Guests present were, Ed Grillot, Kristie Lambert, Judy Sells, Jason & Jordan Fisher, Rodney Husman, Justin Deaver, Jamie Cook, Craig & Sandy Eckhardt, Ray Eserhaut Jr. and Joice Hill.


At this meeting, Mike Cope stepped down from his Director at Large position to accept the District 17 Director position which was accepted by the Board. With the Director at Large position now open, we had 3 gentlemen attend interested in accepting this position. The three gentlemen were Ray Eserhaut Jr, Justin Deaver and Rod Husman. After telling about themselves, they were asked to step out of the room for discussion. The Board voted Ray Eserhaut Jr. to fill the remainder of Mike’s term. Before the meeting I pulled all 3 aside to talk. We have not had this kind of interest in a position since September 2010. I indicated no matter the outcome there are County Director positions available in their respective districts. Again, I want to thank Justin & Rod for their interest and attending the meeting.

Kristan Barclay reported that the association now has 1060 members with 463 lifetime members. The new lifetime members are Chad “Possum” Walker, Phillip Sadler, Scott Denkman, George Shaw, James A, Taylor, Kenneth M Simpson, Gretchen M Simpson and Peter Fritzell . Thank you to all the new lifetime, new and renewing members.


Chris Grillot handed out the budget sheets and I explained the proposal for 2022. As every year in the past since we started doing a budget, the ITA has come in substantially below the proposed figure.


Tom Walters has ordered a fur coat and vest for Miss Iowa & Miss Outstanding Teen again as we have in the past.


The Board approved donations of funds or prints to the NTA & FTA sweepstakes, FBU and fundraiser for Randy Mitchell. A plaque for the Best Furbearer mount at the Iowa Taxidermy Association annual competition was approved as well.


Board also approved raising the scholarships we give from 3 to 4 and the amount from $500 to $750. We also created a Jim & Mary Lou Noneman scholarship for their generous donation of funds last summer to the scholarship fund.


We are looking at a new website as our current website is no longer updateable due to a new platform. I know Chris has received info on 2 avenues at this time. Hopefully we can have this resolved well before convention.


With the passing of Randy, the Executive Council voted Spencer Hill as interim Vice-President back in October until the Winter Board meeting. With that, the board voted Cody Hutton to fill the remainder of Randy’s term as Vice-President.


Saturday, April 30th there will be a benefit for Randy Mitchell. The Randy

Mitchell Memorial Benefit and Auction will be held at the Central Iowa Fairgrounds, 1308 Olive St., Marshalltown, Ia. 50158 at 3 P.M. There will be a potluck and auction with camping available. There is a link on the memorials facebook post or contact Hannah Manning (Randys’ daughter) at 630-212-9572. Hopefully the weather will be nice for the weekend and everyone can have a good time in memory of Randy.


The ITA fall convention will be held Sept. 9-10th at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Washington. There will be plenty of electrical hook-ups with water also plenty of locations for primitive camping. The fairgrounds are located about 1/3 mile south of Hwy 92 on Hwy 1 on the SW side of town. There are 2 motels in town Hometown Inn (was Super 8) and Hawkeye Motel (Ma & Pa type). Both are within a couple miles of the grounds on the west side of town. I have rooms reserved under the ITA at the Hometown Inn. Their direct number is 319-653-6621 when you call state your with the ITA to get those rooms. The Hawkeye motels direct number is 319-653-7510. The address for the fairgrounds is 611 Iowa 1 Washington. This entrance is new into the fairgrounds, so DO NOT use the old entrance off of 250th St. as this will create issues with traffic into the grounds. If you use the Hwy 1 address it will be much easier, plus it is just past HyVee on the opposite side of the highway.


Tony Evans is overseeing an ITA lifetime member metal cutout sign for lifetime members only. The cutout is circular, 18 inches diameter, has the lifetime logo with your lifetime number. Signs can be painted yellow, glossy or matte black. The cost is $250 with proceeds going into the lifetime fund. Contact Tony via text at 319-548-0029 or agevans1961@gmail.com for info or ordering one. An added FYI is the payment will need to be paid to Tony if you order one. There is a picture of this cutout on the ITA’s facebook page or Tony can text a picture to you as well.


The FBU/ITA’s 20th Annual Banquet was held March 12th at the Ramada Inn in Urbandale. We had 10 - $1000 Corporate Sponsors, 29 - $250 Sponsors and around 300 people attended. Thank you to Matt Lumley, Vice-President of the NTA, for speaking to attendees and telling about how money raised at events like this are being utilized. Thank you to Bret Smith for being MC and auctioneering, Nat Hill clerking, Tracy Hutton for organizing ticket reservations, Crystal Karnatz for organizing the evening and keeping everything on schedule. The following committee members have many hours involved to make this event occur – Tracy & Cody Hutton, Crystal & Mark Karnatz, Pat McAninch, Roger Hutton, Brady Foreman, Tadd Davis, Dave Phipps, Calvin Barber, Allen Sayre, Tanner Miller, James Vasey, Peter Fritzell. Over the years John & Judy Newlin have donated gift cards for a special drawing in conjunction with the silent auction. Thank you to John and Judy for doing this over the years. I also want to thank the many people and businesses who donated items for this banquet, as well as everyone who attended, without all of you this would not be possible. Hope to see everyone again next March for our 21st banquet.


The Spring ITA Board of Directors meeting will be held April 3rd 10 A.M. at CrossRoads Shooting Sports 5550 Johnston Dr. in Johnston. For those attending, enter the building from the rear (south) side of the building as the front door will be locked at that time. I have scheduled June 26th for the Summer BOD meeting there as well. All current ITA members are welcome to attend any of these meetings.


Have a good Spring! Til next time - Craig

Greetings all. Hope everyone had an enjoyable and memory filled season. I had 3 hours to spare on Nov 30th so got a dozen traps set that afternoon here by the house. I added a few here and there over the next week til I had about 70 sets out. Filled my 3 bobcat tags in 6 days plus had to release a couple more for another day. Had another enjoyable and memorable season to add to the memory bank.


I had a new trapper, Aaron Mason, contact Bruce Rhoads after Bruce posted on the ITA facebook page about assisting new trappers. Aaron lived close to me so Bruce gave him my contact info to assist him. After some explanation, text and pictures, he set a couple footholds and some Dp’s over his Christmas break from work. Dec 30th he came over and rode along with me, asked more questions and watched as I remade sets. After getting back home, he left to run his few traps. About an hour later he called all excited to say he had caught a big bobcat. After some talk, he decided to get it tanned to hang on the wall. Congratulations Aaron on your new home décor!!


Our 11th annual ITA fur auction went over better than expected for the number of sellers and amount of fur that was present. As you can see below, prices were not the greatest but almost everything did sell. Thank you to all who sold their fur, but a big thank you to the buyers who attended and were willing to buy fur in this market --- North IA Fur - Bill Drewelow, NE IA Fur Exchange - Rick Hemsath, Otter Creek Fur - David Raber, Midwest Taxidermy - Ben Trumblee, Miller Fur - Don Miller Plymouth, IL, Hutton Valley School of Taxidermy - Roger Hutton, Hindman Fur - Al Hindman, BJ Deanton, McNutt Fur - Marvin McNutt, Baetsle Fur - Kerry Baetsle and Mountain Man Outdoors - Jeff Filloon

Help with setting up, lotting in, carrying fur during the day were Chad Thede, Peter Fritzell, Dave Phipps, Cody Hutton, Pat McAninch, Randy Porsch, Tony Evans, Roger Hutton, Calvin Barber, Joe Wheatly, Colter Beck and Allison Oser. Bret Smith - auctioneered, Nat Hill & Tracy Hutton - clerked, Dan Roberts and Kristy Lambert ran the food stand. Thank you to everyone who assisted during the day. Also, Funke Trap Tags (Allen Sayre) and Backwater Baits (Bruce Rhoads) were present selling supplies as well. I also want to thank Mike Mazur for all the fur that he donated with proceeds from the pelts going to the ITA.

We had 11 buyers, 52 sellers and 445 lots of fur. We have not had this many sellers and lots of fur since our 2013 and 2014 sales. All fur sold EXCEPT 1 lot of 5 black opossum which was mine. As you can see some fur sold for 10 to 25 cents per pelt, but it sold!!! "F" is for finished -- "G" is for green. On bobcat and otter I combined green and carcass animals together.

Species... Number... High/Low... Average... Total..

Coon …F…814... $9.25/.25c.... $4.51…$3672.50

Coon… G…1372..$6.50/10c $2.34... $3224.05

Coyote...F…151..$24/$3…$13.82…$2087.50

Coyote…G...75... $20/$2…$8.98…$674

Muskrat…F…616…$5/.25c…$3.29…$2030

Muskrat… G… 36…$3.25/25c…$2.34…$84.25

Mink…F...31…$8/$1.50…$4.08…$126.50

Bobcat...F...9..$37/$15…$17.50…$157.50

Bobcat....Carcass/G…11..$80/$11…$43.63…$480

Skunk...F…25..$14/$10..$11.52..$288

Skunk...G...41..$14/$6…$12.53…$514

Red Fox...F..14..$18/$7…$17.21..$241

Red Fox...G…16..$16/$2…$9.46…$151.50

Badger...F...2..$21/$14…$19.50…$39

Badger...G...8..$28/$13…$15.12…$121

Otter...F...4..$24/$12…$20.75…$83

Otter…Carcass/G...9..$29/$22.50…$26.72…$240.50

Beaver...F...9...$11/$3…$8.88…$80

Beaver...G...78..$9/$1…$6.69…$522.25

Opossum...F...21... $3/0.00… 89c...$18.75 --- 5 No Value

Opossum…G...5..75c/50c…70c…$3.50

Gray Fox...F...8..$25/$20…$22…$176

Kit Fox...1...$11…$11…$11

Nutria...F..1...$3.25…$3.25…$3.25

Groundhog...1...$2…$2…$2

Castor…#4.9…$42.85….$210

Squirrel Tail...4…50c…$2

Beaver tail...8...50c…$4

Porcupine hair…$8

Total…$15,058.55

The 20th Annual FBU/ITA Sportsman’s Banquet is once again planned for Saturday March 12th at the Ramada Inn on Merle Hay Rd & I-35/ I-80 in Des Moines. As in the past, doors will open at 4:00 P.M. with dinner at 6:30. The usual array of games, silent and live auction items will be a part the evening activities. Meal tickets last year were $30 each for adults and there were options to purchase different packages for the evening. If you have never attended before and are interested, you can contact me and I will get that info to you as soon as I have it which is usually late January. We are normally done about 10 to 10:30 and will have a block of rooms reserved if someone wishes to stay overnight at the motel. This has been well attended every year since we started this event in 2003. Mark that date on your calendar and plan to attend – hope to see you there!!


The Spring ITA Board of Directors meeting will be held April 3rd 10 A.M. at CrossRoads Shooting Sports 5550 Johnston Dr. in Johnston. For those attending, enter the building from the rear (south) side of the building as the front door will be locked at that time. I have scheduled June 26th for the Summer BOD meeting there as well. All current ITA members are welcome to attend any of these meetings.

Take care and be safe.


Til next time - Craig