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