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September, 2022 President's Report

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 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

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