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1974 John Parker AZ
1975 George Liljestrand MN
1976 Raymond Thompson WA
1977 Ed Marks NJ
1978 Frank Terry CA
1979 Ben Sudul OR
1980 Joe Tennyson MS
1981 J. C. Woodard OH
1982 Wilbert Pierce ND
1983 Tom Landers KY
1984 Louis Krumwiede IL
1985 Milt Wernsman IL
1986 Red Edgemon TN
1987 Omar Shipley MO
1988 Don Nichols OR
1989 Ivan & Connie White NE
1990 Charles Park IN
1991 Kermit Sterns PA
1992 Pete Rickard NY
1993 Tom Wright SR IL
1994 Red Edgemon TN
1995 Pete Askins PA
1996 Gary Jepson ND
1997 Charles Andres IN
1998 Charles Dobbins OH
1999 Tom Hammond IL
1999 Dean Mitchell IA
2000 Ron Cauble IN
2000 Robert (Hawk) Hassfuther IN
2001 James Lee KY
2001 Roy Greenfield NE
2002 Jerry Hall SR KY
2002 Jerry Joe Barnett IN
2003 Wally Schmieg MO
2003 Ron & Pete Leggett MD
2004 Dave Hastings NE
2004 Kenneth Jones TN
2005 Gary Armstrong IL
2005 Dorothy Lee KY
2006 Elliot Murdock IN
2006 Ed & Mary Helterbrand MO
2007 John Wilson IL
2007 Dave Plueger IA
2007 Robert Wilson MO
2008 Major Boddicker CO
2008 Paul Brown KY
2008 Ken & Elaine Schwarzhoff IA
2009 Irv Schirmer IL
2009 Jim Mahoney IN
2010 Tom Fisher
2010 Joe Papa
2011 Larry (Doc) Green
2011 Bennie Bailey
2012 Gary Isbell
2012 Carol Krumwiede
2013 Gene Beeber KY
2013 Charlie Masheck IN
2014 Ardel Grawe ND
2014 Owen Hall IA
2015 Art Scott OH
2015 Tom Dearmont NE
2017 Gene Purdy
2017 Tim Julien
2018 Robert Himmel IL
2018 Gayle & Arlene Kirchner IL
2019 Glen Sterling WY
2019 Nancy Mahoney IN
FTA Hall Of Fame

Current FTA News

Rendezvous 2020 Done, undone, redone, and undone yet one more time. If there were points for “best effort” we would have piled up a few, but our FTA/WTA Combined Rendezvous scheduled for September has been canceled. It was Covid-19, and a combination of things like insurance, and a recent uptick in cases in the town of Marshfield, and of course the ever-present “legal liability” question. We are deeply sorry to cancel. The “FTA Family” has always had its best moments at our Rendezvous. The organization also garnered a good number of new members, and renewals, at the Rendezvous. And of course the Rendezvous were always a source of income for the association.
Being trappers, it just is not in our nature to dust off our hands and walk away. To partially offset the blow of the cancellation, we are holding TWO on line auctions:
The first auction will be soon: Bidding will begin on Saturday, July 25 at 00:01 a.m., and end at midnight, Friday, July 31. This auction features three or our Adventure Outings: 1. Missouri self-guided turkey/deer hunting trip Donated by Beth Hakala. 2. Northeast Alabama Turkey or Deer hunt donated by Jason Wisniewski, and a Northern Maine Marten and Fisher trapping experience, donated by Emerson (Butch) Borman. The purchaser of this trip last year (David Heft) did a summary story in the May issue of the Fur Taker, and the trip was the “dream trapper trip” we all imagine it could be! Don’t miss out! Go to http://www.32auctions.com/FTAAH2020 to set up an account. This must be done in order to bid. (For those of us “long in the tooth and short on technology, get that nephew or niece to get you all set up!)
The second auction will take place beginning Sunday, September 13, 2020, at 1:00 a.m. and end Monday, September 21, 2020 at midnight. To place a bid for any of the outings listed below, go to https://www.32auctions.com/fta2020. This auction features SEVEN Adventure Outings:
1. TX Water trapping for beaver and otter, with Jeff Dunnier
2. Kansas Self-guided Turkey Hunt donated by Lee Steinmeier
3. Lake Mille Lacs MN Ice Fishing Trip with Andy Gherdts
4. Catfishing trip in OK with John Borror
5. Catfishing trip in TN with Doug McKenzie
6. Maple Syrup making weekend with trapper Mark Zagger
7. Beekeeping with Trapper Phil Brown
We will have additional high-interest items for auction added to the second (September) auction, beginning with a hand-made, “autographed” knife by legendary Pete Askins.
The FTA takes our mission seriously, and we take any financial support seriously, so we are committed to giving the trapping community a great “bang for the buck” when it comes to membership and support. Given these challenging times, we could use that support now
We are committed to hold our September Trappers College as planned; unless, of course, the state determines that it cannot be held.
The FTA Furbearer Research Grant Committee is supporting furbearer research. A wolverine research study has been granted support, as well as other furbearer studies. However, like everything else, discretionary spending is simply suspended until we see if the major fundraising projects underway bear fruit—the upcoming Christmas Blanket Raffle, the Rendezvous, On-Line Adventure Auctions, general membership numbers…the unknowns outweigh the knowns. It simply is not wise to spend, even on worthy projects, until we have a better handle on what our financial efforts will produce. If you want a plan to personally help fight the fight, be sure to watch for the Christmas Blanket Sweepstakes, and register to bid at the FTA On-Line Adventure Auctions. (PROACTIVE)
Oregon sets the example of how a coalition can win against the huge leviathan anti trap groups There was a huge push by anti conservation folks to push a beaver trapping ban on state and federal lands in Oregon. The funding was there, the Wildlife Commission had several anti conservation people appointed to tip the scales, the internet was abuzz with a rally to ban beaver trapping “…in order to improve salmon habitat” …the deck was stacked. However, the trappers in Oregon are not ignorant about the efforts of anti-conservation groups. (OR is located between CA and WA…it is a tough neighborhood for fact-based scientific wildlife management.) They went to work and a broad-based coalition of interests flooded the Commission with fact and data, and pointed out very clearly that the data to support the ban was simply not there. The game was “rigged” but the bright light of fact sent the anti groups back to the drawing board. Dozens of wildlife conservation organizations, ag and business organizations, and politically active groups like the Congressional Sportsmens Caucus and Sportsmen’s Alliance, and our untied trapper organizations all submitted testimony, and instead of being a tiny group of local trappers, the coalition became a national voice of diverse concerns, which all delivered pretty much the same message: Science and fact should determine wildlife management policy, not advocacy or world-view, or “fund raising machine” special-interest groups. It demonstrates what power we have when we unite the conservation community. (PROACTIVE)
The FTA continues to participate in the upgrade the Furbearer Management Textbook (sometimes referred to as the “Furbearer Management Bible”) Again, Tim Hiller moves in a proactive way to do an upgrade and revision of the textbook most often used as the guide for colleges and universities to educate future wildlife management professionals. FTA (Trapping!) has direct input; we are composing text. And there are requirements on some of the support grant funds that demand that non-consumptive use proponents will not have input!! The Chapter on “Trapping Associations” is nearly a completed draft and the book should be out by fall. (PROACTIVE)
FTA/NTA Collaboration FTA, NTA, and Sportsmen’s Alliance continue to work for our common goals, and in addition, we continue to see the big picture of uniting conservation-minded groups across the country that have taken advantage of decades and decades of our individual separations. We need one another in the trapping community, and we need all the related conservation advocates. United, we can be a force of great influence. The 2018 HSUS tax returns document the fact that their income in 2018 was $128,828, 801. And that is only one of the anti-groups. We stand as David facing Goliath, and the fact that we are still standing demonstrates that no matter how many “Philadelphia Lawyers” and smooth talking influencers you can afford, the consistent, stubborn battle to communicate with fact, truth, and science can win out, and turn this past century’s tide shift away from wise wildlife management. It’s time to get on board. (PROACTIVE)
MI Trappers and Predator Callers Recruitment. MTPCA have taken it upon themselves to donate memberships to the FTA and NTA. When a new member joins MTCPA, the organization “gifts” them a membership in both national organizations. It is a way to donate that directly helps build new member recruitment, and MTPCA is to be commended for finding a great way to help. At one event this spring, the MTPCA garnered 33 new FTA members. (PROACTIVE)
The FTA has been working steadily on political challenges to trapping and furbearer management. As horrible as the Corona virus is, the one tiny bit of blue sky on an otherwise darkly clouded horizon is that most state legislatures are out of session, and can do no harm. Several states are exploring contingency plans, and we are monitoring so that some process is not addressed and an animal rights issue pushed through some back channel. It continues as a possibility. (PROACTIVE)
The FTA has contracted with a Social Media Communications expert! Facebook has exploded for the Fur Takers, Trapperman.com. as well as Instagram, etc. (PROACTIVE)
The FTA Has Several New Committees The Political Response Committee, and the FTA History Committee are two of the most recent. Others this year include The FTA Carol Krumwiede Trapper Education Grant Fund, The FTA Furbearer Research Grant Fund, the FTA Youth Outreach Committee. Check out opportunities at furtakersofamerica.com (PROACTIVE)
The FTA continues to connect with Canadian Trapper Leadership. We know that sometimes our politics differ from our brothers and sisters to the North, but we also know that we share a common bond, and we hope that by building alliances there, we will improve the future of trapping for both countries. (PROACTIVE)
The FTA officially has over 80 Chapters and Affiliates across the country. This number has doubled since 2001. When the FTA comments to a politician, or in a public position statement, etc., it speaks for tens of thousands of American trappers.
Dan Schweisthal and the Education Committee have distributed a conservatively estimated 100,000 sets of animal cards. That means kids across the country are reading about furbearers, and come away from public events with a “gift in hand” that they enjoyed. (PROACTIVE)
The FTA sponsors a booth at The Wildlife Society National Conference The Nevada Trappers stepped up to man the FTA booth at the TWS in Reno, NV. Joel Blakesley, President, organized a team and met with attendees to discuss modern trapping in NV and across the country. TWS is the “brain trust” for research, science, and publication of wildlife materials. It is an extremely influential group, and trapping has to have a spot on their agenda. TWS supports trapping as a wildlife management tool. (Check out the TWS Policy Statement on Trapping at furtakersofamerica.com, and the pro-trapping articles in the most recent issue of The Wildlife Professional.) (PROACTIVE)
The FTA continues to regularly support the Sportsmen’s Alliance If the Anti Trap folks ambush a state’s trappers, calling in the Sportsmen’s Alliance is like the “coast guard” for a sinking ship. Ask an active trapper in states under siege like New Mexico if SA has been helpful. By supporting SA, the FTA has a legal and political “swat team” who have trapper’s backs. From Alaska, to D.C. to many state legislatures, SA has been assertive, effective and successful. It seems the only time SA doesn’t jump in with both feet is when they are not invited; and more and more, folks are learning that it is very helpful to invite them!
We continue to be thankful for Bruce Tague, VP of Political Affairs and Jacob Hupp, the new States Representative. Their expertise has really been put to use, most recently in New Hampshire and New York. IF YOU HAVE A POLITICAL CHALLENGE, call Bruce at SA immediately.
The SA recently noted that over the years, the Fur Takers has donated to them over a quarter of a million dollars. (PROACTIVE and REACTIVE)
The FTA has taken a proactive role in communicating with trappers internationally. The avenues of communication remain open through our Spanish friend, Albert Roura, who is moving Europe forward into 21st Century wildlife management. We have a central difference between US and European trapping, in that “fur harvest” does not exist in Europe as it does here. Damage control, protection of human public health, research, and invasive species management is the European norm.
We have also begun the process of building a rapport with the Canadian trappers. Maybe there is a “North American Trappers Association” on the horizon? (PROACTIVE)
Trappers College continues to hit home runs year after year. The College continues to fill year after year, and maintains a waiting list. We are thrilled to contribute to the education of trappers of all skill levels in the most comprehensive trapper education curriculum in existence. In addition, two-thirds of the students continue to be agency people; Conservation Officers, Wildlife Biologists, USDA Trappers, “Naturalists for Public Properties” and a host of similar occupations—the real background of tomorrow’s decision makers in state and federal government. The college continues to improve curriculum; in addition to the recently enhanced bear, lion, and wolf trapping data. There are also a cost share and scholarship opportunities…visit the FTA website and the College page. (PROACTIVE)
The FTA continues to work on a national level with furbearer biologists on the Association of Fish And Wildlife Agencies, Furbearer Taskforce Working Group (AFWA/FTWG).
This involvement began as a product of the BMPs for trapping, and continues in various other projects. The FTA “Improvement of Trapping Devices Committee,” chaired by Gary Jepson, has had influence on BMPs, on snares, on research, and as mentioned, on bodygrip projects. Attending these working group sessions also keeps the FTA up to speed on state, national, and international trapping issues.
Current topics include public and Agency outreach, dispatch methods, and selectivity studies on 220 bodygrips. Most recently discussions on lethal snares has been on the table. A great deal of recent work has been spent preparing science-based documents called “One Pagers” that summarize the data. These documents have the potential to be used by State Wildlife Commissions, media outlets, and a variety of venues where the participants do not have a clear picture of what modern management means. The documents address the topics of Humane Treatment, Sustainability, and Selectivity. Once completed, these tools can be easily reproduced and distributed when needed (PROACTIVE and REACTIVE)
The FTA continues to promote the DVD on Non-Target Release procedures. Dan Schweisthal, Education Committee Chair, has created this DVD which is based in part on the Minnesota Trappers Association “Zip Tie” method of releasing a pet from a bodygrip trap. It also shows the uninformed how to safely release a pet from a foot trap and a snare.
It is currently available on the FTA website, and on furbearermanagement.org Dan Schweisthal has copies for distribution; contact him for one. (630) 851-7119 varmintsheriff@hotmail.com It is also available on the FTA YouTube channel. (PROACTIVE)
The FTA DVD Trapping in Schools Project/website/DVDs produced by Rick Schoonover continues to distribute and promote the materials. (Millions of “views.”)
Furbearereducation.com hosts great classroom materials and continues to be upgraded, with a segment under production to be incorporated into the “Attributes of the foothold trap/BMPs” DVD.
It also hosts the “Animal Traps, How to Release Your Pet” DVD, which is good information in general, but of particular value in targeting pet owners, a potential source of conflict for trapping. This DVD moves forward to help prevent issues from arising, rather than hoping to defend ourselves if and when they do. Furbearereducation.com is a free resource for trapper education, offering lots of trapping education materials and video presentations. Once again, a proactive extension of outreach to schools and youth. (PROACTIVE)

The FTA is a small determined group of individuals who accomplish a great deal, and get a lot of mileage out of every nickel we receive. Our guess is that if “Charity Navigator” was to evaluate the FTA, our numbers of “Dollars spent on fundraising and infrastructure” would be an absurdly low percentage compared to other non-profits; and it is fair to say that the vast majority of the work we do is proactive…meaning we are not “…putting out forest fires, but cultivating and managing wildlands to prevent future burns.”
“No one person can change the world, but one and one and one add up.”
-- Sylvie Guillem