Greetings all. First I will start with news of a NEW banquet location for next year. The 22nd annual FBU/ITA banquet will be held April 6, 2024 at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel. The hotel is located at 50th and University Ave. in West Des Moines, which is on the east side of I-80/35 at the west mix master. The hotel can be easily seen from I-80/35 University Ave exit. The Sheraton has easy access off the interstate as the Ramada, but on the west side of town instead of north. This facility is much larger which will better suit our needs for space. We had been at the Ramada since 2010 and was time for a venue change. There are also many other motels located well within a mile of this location as well. Mark that date down in your calendar and we will see everyone next April.
It has been a busy month for travels. June 3rd I was at Lake Icaria for the SW Iowa Trappers Get-together hosted by Mike Fletchall and Justin Stiens. They had 30 kids and about that many adults attend and when asked none of the kids had attended last year. The number of kids attending doubled from 2022 which was great to see. All kids left with information, traps, bait, lure, setters, magazine and other items to enhance their trapping adventures this coming fall. Also, Mike Fletchall and Brad Person both donated a 1 year membership w/pub to 2 youth who attended. Thank you to Mike and Justin for hosting this event and Mike and Brad for donating youth memberships.
June 11th found Dan Roberts, Kristie Lambert, Cody & Tracy Hutton, Rod Husman and I up early traveling west of Winterset to serve breakfast and lunch at Raised at Full Draw youth bow camp. We served 80 some for breakfast and about 200 for lunch. During lunch when parents were present, I presented info about different traps and trapping to the group. While serving, I got to chat with a young man who hunts on the boss’ farm. His abilities with either a bow or gun are quite good. I do know there has been a lot of meat put into the family freezer by him over years, plus he is interested in getting into trapping as well.
June 17th Kerry Baetsle, Bruce Rhoads, Tony Evans, Mike Long and I set up at the Iowa County Outdoor Adventure at Lake Iowa. There were 176 kids that had registered to partake in the various activities related to outdoors. We explained different traps, pelts and aspects pertaining to trapping. I was a very nice day and all kids left with trading cards for animal identification.
June 19th I left for the FTA Rendezvous in Jefferson, WI. I had a good time while there and apologize to the Sleepy Creek gang for keeping them up all night. There were quite a few attendees from Iowa that I saw and got to visit with. As I stated in my last report, I accepted nomination for FTA Governing Board. On May 29th I received a phone call asking me to run for FTA General Organizer as well. Upon arrival at the FTA Rendezvous, I was asked again to accept a nomination for General Organizer. After some in depth talks, and bylaws indicating only one Board position can be ran for, I decided to decline my Governing Board nomination and accept nomination for General Organizer. I know there are quite a few people from Iowa who have held positions with the FTA in the past. If elected, I will not disappoint those people or members of the ITA or FTA here in Iowa. I will say, my heart is here in Iowa and my dedication to Iowa will not change, I will extend that commitment to the next level. I will know the outcome sometime in October as to those election results.
Men’s trap setting contest comprised of Iowan’s Rick Hemsath, Pogo and I. Between the 3 of us we took a majority of the top 3 places in all categories. In the “Wo”-“Mens” barefoot bear trap setting contest, the men got our butts whipped by Skye Goode/Defourneaux, who performed an amazing job of setting that bear trap. As you can see I put the letters “Wo” in front of Men’s to be correct since she placed first. Congratulations Skye on your placing 1st!!!
June 9 and 10th was the Miss Iowa Teen/Miss Iowa Pageant in Davenport. Tom Walters presented the ITA’s sheared beaver coat to Miss Iowa 2023 winner Alysa Goethe originally from Bettendorf and sheared beaver vest to Miss Iowa’s Teen Juliana Clark who lives in Clinton. Both gals will be present Saturday of convention as they have in the past. Tom will give them a tour, then be at the ITA booth normally later in the morning. Congratulations to Alysa and Juliana on your new adventure over the next year.
ITA Fall Convention and Sportshow will be held Sept. 8-9th at the Mitchell County Fairgrounds in Osage. There will be 26 electrical hook-ups and locations for primitive camping onsite as well. Fairgrounds are located 4 blocks south of Hwy 9 on South 10th St., which runs straight into the main grounds gate. The address for the grounds is 1006 Chestnut St for those using GPS. 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: Funke Trap Tags, Cumberland’s, Mill Creek Trap Supply, No B-S Lures, Roberts Trading, R&M Lures, Kansas Trapline Products, Keg Creek Baits & Lures, Dakota Prairie Baits, MJ Enterprises, Fiber Tuff, AJ Skinners, Sleepy 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, Top Lot Stretchers, Billingsley Brand Lures, Last Step Trap Supply/Tanning, Cook Fur and Accessories, Max Ort, Jerry’s Trap Supplies, IA Bow Hunters, Delta Waterfowl, NRA, DNR, FTA, NTA, Iowa Firearm Coalition,NWTF, and ITA. The 2 dealer buildings and demo area are close to each other as well. It was decided at our summer meeting to enact some minor changes to our convention schedule. On Saturday, we will now close dealer buildings at 5 P.M. instead of 6 and move the mountain man race from 6:30 to 5:30 P.M. Main reasons are - 1) most dealers have wrapped up by this time, 2) the crowd has greatly decreased, 3) this will allow more time after the mountain man race to organize and setup clerking for the auction beginning at 7:30.
NOTICE -- as I am writing this: It sounds like ABOVE ground fire pits will be allowed on the grounds barring any “burn bans” being activated. They DO NOT want any ground fires, so please keep all fires off the ground.
Also, don’t forget the ITA photo contest, mail your photo/s to, Tom Walters 1723 20th St. Bettendorf, IA 52722 or bring them to convention and get them to him prior to the General Membership meeting for judging. Be sure to put your name on the back of the photo as well. Categories include: Animal in Trap, Trapper and Catch, Multiple Catch and Youth (16 & younger).
On July 9th our Summer Board of Directors meeting was held. Guests were Judy Sells, Peter Fritzell, Jeff Milner, Justin Stiens and Justin Deaver, Thank you to everyone who attended. I received an email from our FTA Director George Shaw indicating he was stepping down due to family requirements. George has served as our FTA Director for 6 years. We appreciate his time and efforts in performing those duties, Thank you George!! I will be our interim FTA Director until someone else is interested. If anyone is interested, requirements are to be a current member of the ITA and FTA, attend FTA Board meeting in June, update reports of FTA at our 4 Board and membership meeting at convention, and be a liaison between FTA and ITA. If anyone is interested contact me for info.
Kristan reported that our membership has been steadily increasing. Our newest lifetime member is Josh Jones. Thank you to Josh and all our new and renewing members for your support. Since August 8th of last year, 100 people currently have utilized our website for joining or renewing memberships online. The new website and online option for purchasing of memberships has worked quite well. Also, we have our ITA History book available for $25 postage included online as well for those interested.
Tom Walters announced our 4 ITA scholarship winners for 2023. Each recipient will receive a $750 scholarship. Those recipients are Ben Johannes, Kylee Eastwood, Bailey Knouse and Leo Sells. Congratulations to Ben, Kylee, Bailey and Leo for receiving those scholarships. Hope to see all of you at Osage to receive those awards. Thank you to everyone who applied for those scholarships.
While on the subject of scholarships, a very good suggestion was received from one of our lifetime members. Starting next year the ITA will select our scholarship winners at our spring (April) Board meeting instead of our Summer meeting. We will notify scholarship recipients BEFORE graduation so those scholarships can be announced prior to graduation. Thank you to Mr. Wayne for suggesting this little change that can make a big difference in the public’s future awareness of the association.
The DNR and ITA have joined forces to hold 8 beginner trapper classes around the state. These classes teach skills and information needed in trapping furbearers to anyone who has little to no trapping experience. The eight workshops will feature several knowledge and skill building sessions with instructors that teach the basics of trapping. Classes will be held August 12 - Spencer, IA, August 26 - Forest City, IA, August 26 - Knoxville, IA, September 23 - Mt. Pleasant, IA, October 7 - Otho, IA, October 21 - Hazelton, IA , October 22 – Dixon, IA and November 18 – St. Charles, IA. For more information or to register for a class, go to Iowa DNR website look under Learn to Hunt program/beginner fur harvesting workshops.
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.
That is about all for now. Have a good summer. Til next time - Craig