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Seven Trappers arrived from Spain in Indianapolis on the 19th. Their arrival was late and just in time to have a meal at Waffle House and get a night’s sleep. In the morning we left Indy with our first stop to the Hoosier Trapper Sully store in Greenwood, IN. Board Member Charlie Maschek was generous to loan us an additional three dozen traps to make sure we had enough.
A trapping supply store is quite the novelty for these visitors and they enjoyed it
The next stop was the Gander Mountain store to purchase needed licenses, with a Wal-Mart located right next door; it became a very long stop.
On to Paoli by early afternoon where our cabin neighbors and wife uneasily awaited the group with a welcome luncheon. We enjoyed lunch, handed out equipment, and got ready for a few days of travel and trapping.
We received great support from the community of Wildwood Lake: delivery of firewood, meal prep support, getting permissions on local private properties, hosting meals at the clubhouse and private homes.
The group was divided with five of the visitors trapping and two deciding to go after Whitetail deer. A friend, Frank Hallauer, offered to help with the Deer Hunting and provided a great experience with a button buck and a beautiful Ten Pointer being harvested.
The trapping group had a great time and was even able to harvest a coyote, raccoon, a few opossums (great trophy or novelty, since there are none in Spain). A few non-targets were captured and released. I think over all they experienced the big picture of fur taking in America.
On the last day in camp we enjoyed venison and rabbit, harvested during the visit. They enjoyed American specialties such as biscuits and gravy, beans and cornbread supper provided by neighbors Carol and Tom, and a welcome treat were the chocolate chip cookies provided by neighbor, Vicki.
The group was able to experience a real southern Indiana trapping adventure with harvest successes and great viewing opportunities. They observed beaver and American Bald Eagles in the wild, Whitetail deer and even a grand display by Sandhill Cranes on our ride back to Indy.
The European trappers represented career types equal to our State Director of Natural Resources, a college student, wildlife field technicians, professional guides, law enforcement and other wildlife professionals. All seven had different jobs within the private and public sector, and we hope all could compare the American experience to their lives in Spain.
It has been a very interesting last three years for FTA and the international trapping world.
The fur market is at a record low and Spain approves the sale of raccoon and American Mink pelts, both of which are invasive species in Spain.
In early March of 2017, the third International Trapping Conference will take place in Viva Real, Portugal. I plan to attend and everyone is invited. Cost is similar to a conference here in the states of this nature, with the exception of the travel costs. With travel being tax deductible for those in the trapping business, it makes it manageable. I will try to post the conference agenda and details as they are known.
In fall 2014 we hosted a Spanish trapper to the Trappers College. In spring 2015, we were invited to attend the second International Trappers Conference held in Toledo, Spain, and hosted in part by the Spanish Trappers Association. Three American trappers where able to attend, as well as two American presenters. The two presented the BMPs and a long-term wolf research project in Minnesota. FTA had a presence and was well received.
In the fall of 2015 we hosted the member of the Spanish Trappers’ Association to ride-along with my damage control company in Indianapolis for a couple weeks prior to his attendance to the Trappers College for a second visit.
In 2016, the Spanish Trappers Association held its first, hands-on, in-the-field trappers training, based on what was learned at the FTA Trappers College. My wife and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend the first days of the training. On the opening slide was the FTA logo proudly displayed. I was able to give a short presentation and answer a few questions. The FTA awarded participation certificates to those in attendance to show our support for their efforts.
In August of 2016, the trapper, Albert Roura, was able to return to the states with his wife and be a tourist for a few weeks. While here, we were able to coordinate a week of American trapping for furbearers here in Indiana this fall. Seven Spanish trappers visited the woods and streams of southern Indiana to experience first-hand what many of us take for granted.
They came from a land that allows four traps: cage, Belile foot snare, Collarum, and the WI Cable Restraint. Some regions don’t allow the cage traps because they are not species specific; if you can imagine that.