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March, 2023 President's Report

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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