Greetings all. Another season is underway and colder weather has set in as I write this. Markets appear to be down some from last season for most species here in Iowa as most everyone knows. Most will set some to fill the bug in themselves, myself included. At this point, it looks like the week of Thanksgiving before I get sets out. Take a kid or other person along to get them involved.


All the Trapper Ed classes to this point all have been well attended. We have a class November 19th at St. Charles with 23 signed up. Hear that 8 so far are under the age of 20.

The ITA Fur Auction will be held January 7, 2023 at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Boone. I have contacted buyers and all are planning to attend again as of the first part of November. Dave Phipps will begin accepting seller numbers starting Dec 1st, contact him at 515 491-8214. Some contact me, which I have no problem with, and will relay that info to Dave. My phone is 515-306-9385. The issue we see most when lotting in fur is “bad” pelts mixed in with good pelts. If you have blue or damaged pelts put them on a separate string. Those blue or damaged pelts will only downgrade the value of your good pelts even more so this season from the reports I have heard. Once your fur is lotted in, all fur MUST cross the buyers table before it can be pulled for “No Sale”. Let us know when we are lotting in your fur the minimum price you are wanting so that can be written on your seller sheet. For any “No Sale” fur, the commission is calculated off the last bid received. Commission as in the past will be 3% for “No Sales” and 5% for sales. Pay the clerk via cash or check only as we will not accept debit or credit card. After paying your commission, a sheet will be given for you to take to the buyers which purchased your fur. Doors technically will open at 7 A.M. and auction will begin at 9. Like last year we will have doughnuts, pop and coffee. Dan and Kristie are willing to prepare pulled pork or loose meat for lunch and staff that area during the auction. We will have a few vendors present as in the past. If you need something special contact Allen or Bruce to have them bring it along.

February 23rd will be the ITA’s Annual Legislative Breakfast at the Statehouse from 7 A.M. to about 9 A.M. This should have been the 25th year for hosting this event, but being 2020 and 2021 were cancelled it will be 22nd year. This has been a very good event over the years as we get to meet legislators in a more relaxed atmosphere and one on one.

The 21st annual FBU/ITA banquet is planned for March 11th in Des Moines. When the flyer info gets updated we will get that out to attendees. I am giving everyone a heads up so you can get this date on your calendar. As in the past, we will be asking for any type of donation for the evening. Hope to see you there.

The Winter ITA Board of Directors meeting will be held February 5th 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 April 2nd and July 9th at this location for the Spring and Summer meetings as well. All current ITA members are welcome to attend any of these meetings.


Hope everyone has an enjoyable trapping season. Be safe, take care and take a youngster along as they are our future.


Til next time - Craig

Greetings all. The new ITA website is up and operational as of August 8th. The site has a few more tabs and looks a lot nicer than the old one. If you have not viewed it yet, go to www.iowatrappers.com to view it. You can now also sign up or renew your ITA membership online as well. In the small amount of time since going live with the new site, there have been quite a few people utilize the new online shop option. All my reports, officer/director list, fur auction plus other items are available for viewing. Check it out.


Well another convention is now history and rain held off until about 6 P.M. Saturday. Tuesday evening while sitting around, the spindly tree next to the camper caught my eye. I told Dan & Kristie that this poor tree looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree and needs some lights. We went to the store, got lights and made this little tree the most beautiful tree and center attention of the camp grounds – how our minds work and the fun times we can have at times over little things. I want to Thank Tony Evans for all the work and effort he put in to make this convention possible. On Saturday, Tony organized a beginner trapper event. There were 48 who signed in plus a few others that came after starting. Each person received 2 Dp’s, stakes, bait and setters before leaving. Tony had many donated items as well, fishing pole, dvd’s, knives etc., that were raffled off to attendees as well. He also went around the area and aquired sponsors to assist with the purchase of the beginner trapper supplies each person received. Overall this event went far better than expected. Talking to vendors, sales were very good considering current market trends. Attendance was good, auction on Saturday evening was way better than normal, even had a couple items bought then resold. We have some very generous people attend our convention, even from out of state. We sold hardcover ITA History book #8 to Allen Sayre, Ken and Gretchen Simpson brought their pig to pass around, fill with money and sell, Chad (possum) Walker made a custom smoker to raffle, there was a really cool muskrat skull clock someone donated, Chris Kilmer donated a raccoon chainsaw carving and the list goes on. ITA is very grateful to all our members who generously donate items for our auction. Thank you all for your generous donations and support, it is greatly appreciated. A few years back, there was a gentleman that put up money if anyone could beat a certain person in the 330 trap setting contest. Well that tide has turned as well, as that persons’ son set a 330 in 3.0 seconds this year beating his father and his personal record. There may be some fun and games at times, but it all comes down to a having a good time with great like-minded people.


The week was also a working week as well. I always carry tools wherever I go, so there were a few repair jobs required for everyone to get back home – a U-joint, pair of trailer bearings, front wheel bearing in a pickup, a front fuel tank strap broke -- used a ratchet strap and Sunday I had a very low tire to repair on the pickup. There was another low tire over the weekend, but that got it repaired in town. I have had to do a few repairs over the years, but this year was the big winner. At least everyone was able make it back home.


At the Board meeting on Friday there is not much to tell. Guests were Matt Lumley, Curt Koch, Shane Burmeister and Craig Eckhardt. Kristan reported our current membership at 1080 with 469 lifetimes prior to convention. By end of convention, we had 6 new lifetimes, 28 new members plus all the renewing members as well. Our new lifetimes since my last report are – Brandon Kay, Shane Burmeister, Wesley Lyons, Sam Caster, Calvin Barber, Mason Barclay and Frank Keeling. Thank you to all our new and renewing members as your support is greatly appreciated.


There were 2 Director at Large positions up for election this year. Those positions were currently held by Joe Pannhoff and Mike Sells. We had 3 nominees’ from the Board for the 2 positions Joe Pannhoff, Mike Sells and Craig Eckhardt, so that requires a membership vote to fill those two positions.


At the General Membership meeting, a ballot vote was taken for the 2 Director at Large positions. After ballot voting Mike Sells and Craig Eckhardt received the top 2 votes cast and were voted to 3 year terms on the Board. Thank you Joe for your 9 years of service with the ITA. Chris Grillot and myself were re-elected to our current officer positions for another 2 years as there were no further nominations from the membership.


Matt Lumley read and I presented the ITA Young Trapper Award to Allyson Oser for all her work and assistance for trapping. Allyson has done demo’s at the Iowa Outdoor Journey for Girls the past 2 years, built Kid’s Cave demo area this year and performed a demo there as well. Thank you Allyson for all your assistance and hard work.


Matt also read the bio for our 39th inductees into the ITA Hall of Fame – Cody and Tracy Hutton. Through some undercover work, I found that Cody has been attending ITA conventions since he was 2 ½ years old. Both he and Tracy are a huge part of what the ITA is today. Both work at conventions, fur auction over the last 12 years, but also the work involved with hosting the FBU/ITA Banquet over these past 20 years. Thank you both for the hours spent over the decades for the betterment of trappers around the state and country. Cody read the bio for our 40th inductee into the ITA Hall of Fame Phillip Choquette. I was introduced to Phil at Lima Ohio in 2009 while sitting eating breakfast on the grounds. His famous way to remember his last name is a classic as well. That morning, I went to pull my pen out of my pocket and flipped it into his biscuits and gravy. I was a little embarrassed, but Phil just laughed about it. I got to know Phil pretty well over the years, got to hear stories and see pictures of all his life happenings. All I will say it is pretty amazing where he has been and who he has met – pretty cool life stories for someone who is a trapper at heart. Congratulations to Allyson, Cody, Tracy and Phil – your awards are well deserved!!


Emily Lerch, Miss Iowa’s Outstanding Teen and Bailey Hodson Miss Iowa were presented their sheared beaver vest and coat by Tom Walters at the Membership meeting. The gals were present from about 10 to 3 on Saturday traveling the grounds, participating in some games and sat in the ITA booth for a time. It is always great to be able to have these girls attend conventions and functions for the ITA. A few times in the past, highlights of their year had included ITA functions which was pretty cool to see. I will remember our 2018 FBU/ITA banquet where Chelsea Dubczak carried a bear trap for the live auction, pretty impressive. She had also accepted Tom’s invitation to go to a shooting range to shoot. Having never shot a gun, if I remember correctly, Tom was impressed with her abilities starting with a 22 then working up to larger calibers. Thank you to Tom and gals for all they do for the association.


As a heads up, the 2023 ITA Convention and Sports Show will be Sept. 8-9th at the Mitchell County Fairgrounds in Osage. Osage is located about 30 miles NE of Mason City. Put that on your calendar for next year and hope to see everyone there.


I attended the FTA Rendezvous in Lawrence, KS June 22-26th, NTA National in Lima July 25-31st where I sat in on all the Board meetings, Trapper Ed at Knoxville Aug. 27th and ECI 16 Rendezvous at Central City Aug. 28th. The IA DNR/ITA will be hosting a Trapper Ed class Nov. 19th in St. Charles at Hutton Valley School of Taxidermy. If you are interested in attending please go to the DNR website to get signed up. I know at the Knoxville Trapper Ed class there were 34 attendees including a father/son who drove up from west of Kansas City to attend. They wanted to get involved with trapping, but Kansas requires the taking of a trapper ed course so they came up here.


The ITA Fur Auction will be held January 7, 2023 at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Boone. Dave Phipps again will begin accepting seller numbers on Dec 1st. You can contact him at 515 491-8214. Some contact me, which I have no problem with, and will relay that info to Dave. My phone is 515-306-9385. When you get there you will receive a card with number, this number will be your seller number for the auction. This system helps with the lotting process as Dave, Cody and myself no longer have to inquire which seller number we are currently on and much easier to keep track of. Also, the issue we see most when lotting in fur is ‘bad” pelts mixed with good. If you have blue or damaged pelts put them on a separate string. Those blue or damaged pelts will only downgrade the value of your good pelts if they are mixed in. Once your fur is lotted in, all fur MUST cross the buyers table before it can be pulled for “No Sale”. Let us know when we are lotting in your fur the minimum price you are wanting so that can be written on the seller sheet. For any “No Sale” fur, the commission is calculated off the last bid received. Commission as in the past will be 3% for “No Sales” and 5% for sales. Pay the clerk via cash or check only as we will not be able to accept debit or credit cards. After paying your commission, a sheet will be given for you to take to the buyers which purchased your fur. Doors will open at 7 A.M. and auction will begin at 9. Last year Dan Roberts and Kristie Lambert provided food for lunch plus we will have doughnuts, pop and coffee like in the past. We will be doing the same again this year as well. Hope to see everyone in Boone!!


Trapping season will open November 5th at 8 A.M. Hope everyone enjoys their time outdoors during this special time of the year. Take a beginner along to and get them involved as they are our future.


Have a good season. Til next time - Craig

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

1
2