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January, 2024 President's Report

Greetings all. In my last report under General membership meeting I stated that Cody Hutton and Chris Grillot will remain our Vice President and Treasurer.  That info is correct, but elections in odd years are for VP and Secretary. With 2023 being an odd year Cody and Kristan Barclay were re-elected to their current positions. I apologize for that partially incorrect statement. Officer positions of president and treasurer will be up for election in 2024.


Last season I helped Mike Hankins, who was 54 at the time, catch his first coyote. While on his line last season he also saw his first bobcat which really excited him as well. I put up his fur due to circumstances with the cancer he had. He had only been a member of the ITA about 18 months, sold fur at the ITA fur auction, but really wanted to tan his coyotes. Last Spring we took his coyotes to Wellsburg for tanning and made the trip to pick them up mid June. October 4th he passed away, but at his celebration of life there was his 1st coyote tanned and on display for everyone to see. I also learned that I had been to his grandparent’s house many times in my younger days when mom and dad went there to play cards. He left instructions with his parents about where all his trapping equipment would go and donate any memorial money to the ITA. He did not get to catch a bobcat, but I was invited by his parents to trap their property as Mike had done. With any luck I will catch that bobcat for him on his line. RIP Mike!!


For those who have not heard, I lost the election for FTA General Organizer. I will continue to be a part of this dedicated group of trappers, like all trappers are or should be, to assist with retaining our rights to utilize and manage our natural resources. Thank you to everyone who voted for me as it was an honor to run for this position by those who entrusted me.


Trapping season opened on November 4th and closes February 28th this season, except beaver which will remain April 15th as in the past. Get out there and have some fun while taking a kid or adult along who has never participated. This is one way to get others involved and introduced to trapping for now and the future.

Since September 11th launch of our new ITA YouTube channel, there are currently 431 subscribers, 7 videos with 4833 views. The channel currently covers basics on traps, trapping and new regulation changes are explained. There will be equipment for loan, with a deposit, to members who wish to video for the channel. If you have not viewed it yet, go to YouTube and search for Iowa Trappers Association. Thank you to Justin Deaver, Luke DeMeulenaere and JD Rogge for all your work involved to get this channel launched and its viewing available.


Since my last report we had 2 new lifetime members join, Brandon Weyerman and Jeff Dodds. I do not know our current membership number, but can say that lifetime is currently at 505 members. The website is currently receiving the majority of our new member activity. Thank you to all our new, renewing and lifetime members of the ITA, everyone’s support is greatly appreciated.


With help from Kristan, I have setup an email list of current members to receive my report and other info when required to their personal email.  That list contained over 130 undeliverable emails which were deleted and some have been updated since. If you wish to be on this list and have not received my last report, send your email to me and I will get you on this list. My email is hightoweria@aol.com


The ITA Fur Auction will be held January 6, 2024 at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Boone. Dave Phipps and I will begin accepting seller numbers starting Dec 1st as in the past. You can contact Dave at 515 491-8214 or myself at 515-306-9385. When you get there pickup your seller card, this number will be your seller number for the auction. The issue we see most when lotting in 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. 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. Dan Roberts and Kristie Lambert will have food for lunch plus we will have doughnuts, pop and coffee like in the past. Hope to see everyone in Boone!!


March 1-3rd the ITA will have a booth at the Iowa Deer Classic which will be our first time at this event. We attended National Pheasant Fest from 2007 to 2015 with much success, but help in the booth became an issue. With the classic being in Des Moines it will be much closer to home and assistance. We will only have an 8X10 booth which will be tight for space we normally have for a layout.  Our booth will be number G31 located on the Upper Level Grand Concourse directly across from the middle seminar stage doors. If you attend, stop by and chat with us.


Our 22nd annual NTF (National Trappers Foundation)/ITA banquet to be held April 6, 2024 at Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel. This new location I located off I-80/I-35 at 1800 – 50th St in West Des Moines.  As I indicated prior, there are many other motels located well within a mile of this location. Save that date and we will see everyone next April at our new location.


July 25-27th we will have booth number 234 at the NTA National in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I will bet there will be an “Iowa campsite” like last year as well. Stop by our booth to join or renew your ITA membership while there.


The next ITA Board meeting will be held January 28th. I have yet to select a location for that meeting. I will let everyone know when I do. I am planning on April and June for the Spring & Summer meetings. As always, all current members are welcomed to attend any meeting.


That is about it for now. Hope everyone has a good holidays. Til next time - Craig

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