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Greetings all. Hope everyone is enjoying mushroom and turkey hunting this time of the year. All our planting and field work was finished on April 28th . A couple repairs to be made and I will be done for this part of the season.


The ITA Spring Board meeting was held April 2nd at CrossRoads Shooting Sports in Johnston. Guests were Kristie Lambert, Sandy Eckhardt, Joice Hill, Judy Sells, Dale Rowson, Jeff Milner, Justin Deaver, Tim Anderson, Peter Fritzell, Laurent & Jase Sarrazin. Thank you to everyone for attending. We currently have 1,189 members with 479 lifetime. We had 18 new members join in February/March and 2 new lifetimes since my last report who are James Roe and Craig Kunkel. Thank you to all our new and renewing members.


The ITA website now has the ITA History book available for purchase. There are 14 chapters with 194 pages of ITA history and information from inception to 2019 which was our 60th anniversary. Mike Sells spent a lot of time gathering info for writing of this book. Also, Jim Mesler, our first ITA President and Dean (Lucky) Hoffman, longest serving director at 51 years, assisted with funds to publish this book. There is a lot of good information and reading contained within those 194 pages for a low cost of $25 postage included. Check out our website for membership options as well.


The legislative “NUISANCE” wildlife bill, which has been in the Statehouse for 2 sessions, passed recently pertaining to raccoon, opossum and skunk. Under this bill an owner or tenant of agricultural property or an associated residence, may take, capture, shoot, or temporarily possess, for the purpose of destroying or disposing of, a raccoon, opossum, or skunk without receiving prior permission if the owner or tenant deems the animal to be a nuisance. The bill also specifies that the taking of the animal can only take place outside of the corporate limits of a city; allows for only the use of cage traps or dog-proof traps; and adds the legal standard of “good faith” that would be required for anyone who wishes to take a nuisance animal. This bill will take effect July 1, 2023 and does not change what nuisance wildlife control operators can currently do inside city limits. This bill is NOT the same as what the DNR is currently proposing. The DNR proposal is different which includes extending of regular trapping season to February 28th , except beaver which will remain April 15th,, and a continuous open season on raccoon. Final wording is not out currently, but hear some changes will occur from the original wording due to our input. I expect that release sometime in the next couple of months.


Mike Fletchall and Justin Stiens will be hosting a SW Iowa Trappers Get Together Saturday June 3rd from 1:00 to 4 P.M. at Lake Icaria North of Corning. They have a shelter reserved by the marina which is located on the south side of the lake. There will be both youth and adult demos during the day. Youth will also receive a trapper starter kit due to some generous sponsors. Last year had a good turnout and expecting the same again this year as well.


During the meeting, I announced that I had been nominated and accepted that nomination for the FTA Governing Board. My hopes are not high on being elected due to other names that are running. No matter the outcome I will not be disappointed and will hear the outcome this fall.


ITA officer positions up for election this fall are Vice-President and Secretary. Nominations from the Board are Cody Hutton for Vice-President and Kristan Barclay for Secretary. Nominations from the membership will remain open until the General Membership meeting on Sept 9th for these positions. To be placed into nomination for either position you must be a current member of the Iowa Trappers Association and consent of the nominee is obtained prior to being placed into nomination.


The ITA fall Convention and Sportshow will be held Sept. 8-9thth at the Mitchell County Fairgrounds in Osage. There will be electrical hook-ups and locations for primitive camping onsite. Fairgrounds are located 4 blocks south of Hwy 9 on South 10th St – S.10th street runs straight into the main gate of the grounds. The address for the grounds is 1006 Chestnut St. There are 2 motels in town, AmericInn and Super 8 both are a little over a mile from grounds on east side of town. I have 20 rooms blocked at AmericInn under Iowa Trappers. Their direct number is 641-832-2200 when you call state your with the ITA to get those rooms. The Super 8’s direct number is 641-732-1800. My current vendor list is: Cumberland’s, Funke Trap Tags, Mill Creek Trap Supply, No B-S Lures, Roberts Trading, R&M Lures, Kansas Trapline Products, Keg Creek Baits & Lures, MJ Enterprises, Fiber Tuff, AJ Skinners, Sleep Creek Tannery, Mike (Red) O’Hearn, Hutton Valley School of Taxidermy, Bret Smith, Backwater Baits, Papio Creek Trap Supply, Cedar River Pheasants, Cedar River Taxidermy, Life is now Outdoors, FTA, NTA, ITA and looking to invite other outdoor groups as well. All buildings are close together and connected by concrete making easy navigation between them.


The Summer ITA Board of Directors meeting will be held July 9th, 10 A.M. at CrossRoads Shooting Sports 5550 Johnston Dr. in Johnston. For those who have not attended before, enter the building from the rear (south) side of the building. All current ITA members are always welcome to attend any of these meetings. The fall Directors meeting will be held 1 P.M. September 8th at the fairgrounds in Osage. The General Membership meeting will be held at 1:30 P.M. Saturday September 9th on the grounds as well.


That is about all for now. Be safe and have a good Spring.


Til next time - Craig

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Greetings all. The ITA Winter Board of Directors meeting was held February 5th. At that meeting Rod Husman presented himself before the Board interested in the NTA Director position. After speaking about himself, Rod was voted to fill that position. I thank and welcome Rod to this position on the ITA Board.


Kristan reported on our current memebership which is at 1171, Our launching of the new website on Aug 8th where you can now renew or join the ITA has had a positive effect. As of February, there have been 66 memberships processed via our online process. In February, we have also included an online “donation” option as well. We were limited to three “dollar amount” options for which we chose amounts of $25, $100 and $200.


I presented the 2022 President’s Award to Jim Obradovich for his 15 years of service as our lobbyist at the Statehouse. Jim keeps us updated as to what is going on and who to contact if needs arise. We thank Jim for all his valuable input over the years.


After that presentation, Jim covered the nuisance animal bill currently in the Statehouse. This bill had negative language which was covered. During February, we attended 3 House and Senate meetings where we presented negative effects contained in language as it was written. Those meetings have gained positive results in some rewording through our presence and comments.


Now on to the DNR’s proposal, which is totally different than language in the legislative bill. This proposal currently contains wording for extending “regular” trapping season from January 31st to Febuary 28th, except beaver April 15th, and a continuous open season on hunting and trapping of raccoon. After close of “regular” trapping season, only use of cage traps and dp’s would be allowed. There will likely be some wording changes that occur to this proposal due to input from trappers. At this time, it looks as if this extension of trapping season will occur PROBABLY with the 2023/2024 season and open season on raccoon to occur after regular trapping season closes. I will keep everyone posted as I find out on the legislative bill and DNR proposal.


The Board also approved donations to the NTA & FTA sweepstakes and a plaque for the Best Furbearer mount at the Iowa Taxidermy Association’s annual competition.


February 19th I attended Harvey Drewelow’s visitation. Harvey & son Bill have operated North Iowa Fur for many years. Both have been fixtures in buying fur, attending conventions and our fur auction over the years. Harvey will be missed by his family as well as all who knew him.


While up there I stopped by the Mitchell County Fairgrounds to look over the grounds. The grounds are located 4 blocks south of Hwy 9 on South 10th Street. South 10th Street will run right into the main gate of the grounds. The 3 buildings we will be using are less than a 100 yards from each other with paving in between. There are 2 motels in town, both on the east side of town off Hwy 9 a little over a mile from the grounds. I have blocked rooms at the AmericInn under the Iowa Trappers. Their direct line is 641-832-2200 and you will need to say you are with the ITA to get those rooms. The other motel is Super 8. I was not able to block any rooms there, but their direct line is 641-732-1800. There will be 26 electrical hooks-up available on the grounds and plenty of space for primitive camping.


The ITA’s annual Legislative Breakfast was held February 23rd at the Statehouse. This was our 12th year were we had a display of pelts, coats, fur teddy bears and other fur accessories. We had multiple Senators and Representatives stop by, chat and look over our display for fur items.


This event has become very effective for us over the years. Many Senators and Representatives attend every year as well as welcoming some of our new legislators. This event has become effective in getting to personally know many of our legislators as well as a low cost way to meet and greet them in a more personal setting.


On February 25th our long time Director Jim Noneman’s wife of 68 years passed away. Mary Lou attended many conventions, meetings and banquets with Jim before going into assisted living. In 2021, Jim and Mary Lou donated money which established an ITA scholarship fund in their names. Cody & I attended the funeral on March 6th and got to sit with Jim and his family afterwards listening to his trapping stories. At 91 years young, he is hoping to get back on the trapline next fall and restart his trapping and history class at the Harrison County Welcome Center next April/May. You have to admire a person like “Trapper Jim” for his assisting in educating people to fur harvesting and its’ history. Jim and his granddaughter also attended the banquet and we were glad to see them there again this year.


The ITA held our 21st annual FBU/ITA banquet March 11th in Des Moines. 8 inches of snow in the Des Moines area caused a few people to stay home, but ended with about 270 people attending. The banquet overall went well as to funds received and peoples generous support of this banquet during the evening. Good thing was main roads were back to normal by the time the banquet was over for attendees return trip home. Thank you to our 8 corporate sponsors, 27 sponsors and many people and businesses who donated items for the evening. Also, Thanks to Cody and Tracy Hutton, Bret Smith for being MC and auctioneer, CrossRoads Shooting Sports for our firearms as well as all the committee members and everyone who attended. But, especially thanks to those who showed up early, when asked, to help with setup due to circumstances that morning. We are currently planning year 22 for next year about the same time. Mark your calendar for 2024 to ink in your plans for attending next years banquet.


I received a call Monday morning March 13th from Jodi Sayre to tell me that Allen had suffered a heart attack Sunday evening. He was transported to Des Moines where a stent was installed. Received a call Tuesday morning from him stating he is doing good and will be going home on Wednesday or Thursday. He has been instructed to take it slow for a couple weeks. Allen is on our banquet committee and had helped with the banquet all day Saturday. Glad you are feeling better!!


The Spring ITA Board of Directors meeting will be held April 2, 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. I have scheduled July 9th at this location for the summer meeting as well. All current ITA members are always welcome to attend any of these meetings.


That is about it for now. Be safe!! Til next time - Craig

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Greetings all. Trapping season is winding down for another year. Hope everyone has enjoyed their season. I have been helping a neighbor, Mike Hankins, put up his fur and catch his first coyote. He saw a bobcat the other day while checking, so that species is his new target animal. I finally got started on my 50th season on January 1st. It has been a little slow, but I am ok with just being outside side at this point. December 16th I went down to Seymour High School to do a trapping presentation to the FFA class. Some in the class currently trap, including Ms Beary, and most in the class are involved in other outdoor activities that most of us partake in. The 45 minutes went fast with everything I wanted to cover and was glad to assist her class with questions and other information.


I received a call from Jim Mesler asking if I knew that Marilyn Gilman had passed away. Marilyn’s husband Tom was the ITA’s District 5 Director for many years before stepping down in January of 2010. Tom and Marilyn operated a fur buying business for over 30 years in Farmington and were present at many conventions over the years. Both Marilyn and Tom were super nice people to talk with. Every year Marilyn would come up to the booth at convention to renew their memberships while Tom was out talking to everyone. Both will be greatly missed!!


Since my last report we had 2 new lifetime members join, Michael Hagen and David Peterson. At this point, I am guessing we are close to 1100 members including 477 who are lifetime of which about 450 of those members are living. If I remember correctly, 2020 at Cherokee we had about 815 members including 430 lifetime. With that, the ITA has had about a 35% increase in membership numbers in a little over 2 years. Back in 2018 when I was secretary we only had about 750 members. With the markets like they are membership usually follows that trend, but we as an association have went the other direction. As always thank you to all our new, renewing and lifetime members for all your support of the ITA.


The new website with membership options, which went operational Aug 8th of last year, has went over very well with our membership numbers as well. Due to the time frame of getting it done prior to convention last year we did not include a “donation” tab. We are looking to add that as another “tab” option here in the near future.


As most know by now, the DNR is proposing extending trapping season on all species from January 31st to February 28th. Beaver season would remain at April 15th as it is currently. They are also looking to have a continuous open hunting and trapping season on raccoon. After the close of regular trapping season, they are proposing to only allow the use of cages or dp’s as trapping tools in the off season. The ITA provided input into some minor wording changes we would like included in this proposed rule. This new rule being proposed was ok’d by the DNR Commissioners’ on Dec 8th with public input to follow.


January 7th was the ITA’s 13th annual fur auction. Attendance and amount of fur being sold was down from the sale last year. Prices received were better on some species while others were about the same compared to last year. Thank you to everyone who sold fur and to the buyers who attended. Buyers in attendance were --- 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, Stark Fur – Ernie Kovacik Stark, KS, Hutton Valley School of Taxidermy - Roger Hutton, Hindman Fur - Al Hindman, Midwest Bone & Fur - BJ Deaton, Mountain Man Outdoors - Jeff Filloon and Dennis Carlson.


Those helping with setting up, lotting in, carrying fur during the day were Chad Thede, Peter Fritzell, Dave Phipps, Cody Hutton, Pat McAninch, Calvin Barber, Curtis Barber, Brock Holker and Allyson Oser. Bret Smith was our auctioneer, Nat Hill & Tracy Hutton - clerked, Dan Roberts and Kristie Lambert cooked and oversaw the food area. Funke Trap Tags (Allen Sayre) were present selling supplies, Sleepy Creek Tannery (Ben Deters) accepted fur to be tanned and had some on display.


As mentioned above, we had 11 buyers present, 32 sellers and 301 lots of fur. All lots of fur sold, some sold for 10 to 25 cents per pelt which greatly effect averages. "F" is for finished -- "G" is for green. On bobcat and otter I combined green and carcass animals together. We did have 1 odd color carcass raccoon and a carcass badger. This was the first sale that we have had Iowa caught or any weasel for that matter. All were caught by either Chad Walker or Brad Phillips. Also, thank you to everyone who graciously donated fur with proceeds going to the ITA. Below are sale results:


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

Coon …F…343... $10.50/.25.... $4.61…$1584.55…. Dave Phipps

Coon… G…756..$10/.10…$4.37… $3304.10 … Kelly Jessen 1-$20 carcass coon Keaton Jones

Coyote..F…76..$21/$4…$11.58…$880.50…Craig Sweet

Coyote… G...36... $21/$5…$8.36…$301…Jason Oloughlin

Muskrat… F...173…$6/.10…$3.81…$660.70…Steve Grulkey

Muskrat… G… 32…$3.50/.10…$2.70…$86.50…Brian Burrows

Mink…F...42…$10/$3…$7.14…$300… Craig Sweet

Bobcat...F…7..$56/$25…$48.14…$337… Tim Anderson

Bobcat...Carcass/G...11..$135/$10…$65.04…$715.50… Chad Rowson

Skunk…F...58..$15.50/$5..$11.06..$642…David Countryman

Skunk…G…37..$20/$8…$11.37…$421…Keaton Jones

Red Fox...F…9…$24/$16…$20.77...$187… Donated to ITA

Red Fox…G…2..$14/$14…$14…$28…Lonnie Archer/Keaton Jones

Badger…F…3..$26/$14…$18.66…$56..Tim Anderson

Badger…Carcass/G..4..$30/$22…$25…$100…Chad Rowson

Otter...F...3..$26/$10…$18…$54…Brian Burrows

Otter…Carcass/G..21..$30/$20…$32.52…$683…Steve Grulkey

Beaver...F…39...$30/$5…$15.10…$589…Brock Holker

Beaver...G...52..$18/$1…$11.38…$592…Brian Burrows

Opossum...F...31... $10/.50.. 2.61…$81… Craig Sweet

Opossum...G...5..$1/$1…$1…$5…Brian Burrows/Brock Holker

Gray Fox...F...4..$25/$11…$18.75…$75…Donated to ITA

Weasel...F…3…$5/$2…$3…$9

Weasel...Carcass...5…$10/$10…$10…$50… Donated to ITA

Castor…6#…$49.16...$295

Squirrel Tail…13...50c…$6.50

Beaver tail...19...38c…$7.25

Deer Hide...11…$3...$3…$33

Total...$11,978.60


February 23rd will be the ITA’s annual Legislative Breakfast at the Statehouse from 7 A.M. to about 9 A.M. This will be our 22nd year hosting this event. This has been very good over the years as we get to meet legislators in a more relaxed atmosphere and speak to them 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. This has become a “must attend” event for those that have attended in the past. If you are interested in attending or making a donation contact me at hightoweria@aol.com or call or text at 515-306-9385 Hope to see you there.


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.

That is about it for now. Be safe!!


Til next time - Craig

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