NEW JERSEY FUR HARVESTERS WELCOMES ALL Members and Interested People
(Please note during the meeting only members may have a say)
Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education
7th Street and Navajo Drive
******** MARCH 20 2010********
RAIN OR SHINE,
10 AM — NOON
Fur Collection and Bagging
Noon until we get done
-FREE LUNCH -
Business Meeting and Wrestling Matches-
Referee - Jay Mounier; Cut-Man - Fred Stine
All NJFH Members are encouraged to attend. Your support and input are the only way for your organization to survive!
We hope to see you there
A WORD FROM OUR PRESIDENT
You are all invited to our spring meeting and fur collection for North American Fur Auction. If you would like to ship your furs to NAFA please bring your dried and stretched pelts. The fur collection will start at 10am and will run until noon. Coffee and donuts will be provided. Beginning at noon we will be supplying lunch immediately followed by our meeting. It should be a full time because we have a lot of stuff to cover. Even if you don’t have anything to ship please make time to come to the meeting - don’t forget - This is your is your club and we need your input and ideas for the good of the organization.
This year we will be holding our spring meeting at the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education in Waretown N.J.
If you have a GPS use 7th St and Navajo Dr Waretown, NJ.
From the Garden State Parkway North or South – use exit 69. You will be exited onto Wells Mills Rd. (Rte. 532) go east to the first traffic light at Rte. 9, turn right onto Rte. 9 South, proceed about ½ mile to the next light which is Barnegat Beach Dr. Turn left onto Barnegat Beach Dr. (you will see Light House Tavern on the corner) go around the small circle and make a right on 7th St. Proceed and make left on Navajo Dr. Go through gate and down into the back of the property.
You can also go on their web page. experiencebarnegatbay.org.
Look for small signs that say NJFH with an arrow.
Bring your fur or just come to see what other people bring in (you will need a lawn chair to watch Joe Pappai unload). Stay for lunch and the meeting and most of all bring your ideas and stories.
See you at the meeting Ron.
P.S. If you need more help getting there - call me (908) 783-3090. Ron
TRAPPER EDUCATION CLASS UPCOMING
Place : Goodsports Gun Club, 57 Union Rd. Millville, NJ
Date April 9 and 10 check NJF&G website to be sure – register or walk-ins accepted
Call Ron for details
TREASURER/MEMBERSHIP OFFICER REPORT:
I hope everyone had a safe and successful trapping season and had a fun time! I hear the north part of the state had plenty of snow this year. I feel we were lucky down here in the far south because we got hit hard in December but just had cold weather after that.
I am still learning the Treasurer/Membership Officer job but I’m trying hard to do it right. If you have any questions regarding your membership or the T&PC magazine feel free to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me (609) 927-5773.
I hope to see everyone at the Spring Meeting with plenty of fur!
FUR MANAGER’S REPORT
By Rick Kern
Well, it is that time of year again. Trapping season is coming to a close and our NJFH Spring meeting is right around the corner on March 20th. That day we will be collecting fur to ship to NAFA. Anyone wishing to ship fur to NAFA through the NJFH for the May sale should make an effort to make the meeting. If you can’t make it to Waretown you can contact me prior to the day of the meeting. See contact info below.
***If you have shipped fur in the past please have your paperwork with you and make sure it is filled out. This makes the whole process go smoother and faster.
***If you have never shipped fur to NAFA, I will have all the necessary paperwork you will need.
***Everyone please have your Conservation Identification number (CID #) available. This needs to go on the paperwork to show you have a trapping license.
***If you are uncertain on how the process works you can check out the NAFA website. http://www.nafa.ca/page.asp?trapper/shipping/index.asp. This is very informative or you can contact someone who has shipped to NAFA in the past.
The fur market overall looks pretty good. China and Asian countries are still playing a big part in the auction seats. This is due to the Northern Lights program NAFA has had in place in Asia for the past few years. The Russians are also becoming more active at the auctions than last year. At the Hong Kong Fur Fair, I was told there was not much resistance of the slightly higher fur prices. If these prices are to stay stable, the retail market of the 2011 Fall season will be a determining factor. Since the articles of wild fur are higher that means the garments will see an increase. It seems the trend is setting up to be more trim driven using longer hair goods, such as sable, fisher, coyote and cats.
These are some highlights from the February 2011 NAFA sale:
- Muskrats 420,000 sold 100% at an average $6.66
- Ranch mink average were higher with top lot of $22 15-20% higher than Copenhagen’s sale
- There were over 450 fur buyers in attendance
- Had most successful ranch mink sale in NAFA history
These are a few things that caught my eye from the February auction report.
Hope to see everyone on the 20th of March in Waretown. Beaver Skinning
Demo by Ken Luedtke
This is my contact info: cell phone is best.
609 780 4015 and home 609 861 1591
See you on the 20th
GETTING OLDER AND WISER OR LAZY AND LOSING AMBITION?
By Curt Haberman
This tidal muskrat trapping season looked like it was going to be a big let down for me. In December I needed hernia surgery and needed 6 weeks to recover. The entire time I was recovering I kept telling myself that once I get out there I am going to trap every day regardless of weather. Yeah, right! Once the doctor said that I could trap the high temperature was 25 degrees and needless to say the marsh and river was covered in ice. My trapping buddy Curt Corson and I kept looking at the weather and kept trying to figure when we can get out there again but it seemed that there was no end in sight.
Finally the temperature hit 40 degrees and the ice started to break up a little. I decided to give it a try but Curt couldn’t go because he had a meeting to attend. I decided to just canoe and set what ever I could set. As I got closer to the river all I saw was plenty of ice. I noticed Steve Leeds already had his canoe in and was breaking ice with it. This got me excited! I filled my canoe with traps and stakes and I started to paddle up river. I can’t say it was a quiet canoe trip because the entire time all I heard was the ice breaking against the canoe. At least I was trapping again! I waved goodbye to Steve and started to set traps. I noticed the tide stopped going out and it was only ¾ down so I was setting the traps as fast I could so I would set them all. That night I caught 31 muskrats – nothing great but at least it was a start…
Over the next three weeks Curt and I caught 600 muskrats. It was mid February and we were on a roll! We were having a late day tide and the moon was full but we figured that we should have three more nights before the tides were too late in the evening and too early in the morning to make it worth it.
Friday morning I put on the Weather Channel (something I do every morning during trapping season) and the forecast called for a clear night, heavy winds and full moon. Oh, crap! 20 years ago I would have laughed at that forecast and just figured we would have a good blow out tide and have plenty of time to reset. But now I ask, “Will the muskrats move with the clear night and full moon? Will they move with wind gusts up to 50 mph? With a late day tide will our catch be nearly as good as it is when we have a good morning low tide?”
I don’t know if it is because I am getting older and wiser but I couldn’t see going out in the mud and “hope” we catch some muskrats and risk playing Gilligan for a three-hour tour in 50 mph winds! So Curt and I agreed to pull the traps for a few days until the moon isn’t as bright and we will have a good morning tide. Lazy or wiser, who knows?
As a side note, young and ambitious Rick & Butchy Kern didn’t wimp out and went trapping that day and caught 20 muskrats. Good going guys!
THE LURE OF TRAPPING
By Scott Smith
I have been a firearm hunter for over 42 years and a fisherman ever since I have been able to hold a rod. I pursue all types of game and I have raised my two sons to be ethical and proficient hunters and fishermen. We continue to hunt together as much as possible although their lives have gradually become busier with their new careers in teaching and law enforcement.
I have always taken the time to observe and point out any clue as to an animal’s presence to my sons when they were young boys. Both have taken beautiful racked deer before they were 15. I am proud to say both of my sons are excellent trackers and woodsmen today. I am very proud of both of them afield and in the “real” world.
I spent my early years crawling through the woods in a small suburban South Jersey town where I was fortunate enough to be able to hunt small game and waterfowl right out the back door with no one ever batting an eye or calling the police. When I got married, my wife and I settled on a house that is literally across the street from the Wharton State Forest. My sons and I can still walk out the door and start hunting. With all my time spent in the woods as a child and later, as a hunter, I never knew any trappers. Just from reading sporting magazines I was always impressed by the trapper’s ability to observe the smallest clues and put together a successful set in a place where the average person would have noticed nothing out of place. The understanding of scents, habitat and normal animal movements fascinated me and still does today.
In 2007 a group of fellow sportsmen at Square Circle Sportsmen of Camden County, where I am a Board of Directors member, requested and hosted a sanctioned NJ Trapper’s Education class. Ron Jones headed the class and we probably graduated about 20 future trappers, including myself. I immediately joined the NJ Fur Harvesters and have attended the last four conventions at Atsion. At each convention I attended the seminars, watched the skinning demonstrations and purchased quality equipment from the vendors.
In my first year of trapping I headed off to the big woods and started hanging snares in areas I knew were used for travel by fox and coon and I tried one area for coyote. It didn’t take long to realize that snaring wasn’t as easy as I thought. My trap line is limited to areas that are easily checked on a daily basis before or after work, which in itself, made success a little elusive. Even though I had plenty of State woods out the front door, coon and fox numbers are not high in my area.
The first season, I had a short line out for 4 weeks and had several knock downs but no catches. Seasons two and three were similar, lots of enjoyable time in the woods and valuable learning experiences but no catches. In January of this year, a week after shooting my first called coyote during permit season, I had my first successful snare, a prime red fox vixen.
I had walked down into the cedar swamp where I have my snares set and I didn't see one of my setups in its proper location. Upon closer inspection, I saw the fox. She had gone up about six feet from the path I had set and was behind some brush. The extension cable and the snare gave it enough slack to get off the trail. She was wrapped up pretty good and dispatching was not necessary. She had a flawless full winter coat. After all the work and time, I am having a full body mount done to preserve the memory.
I have been educating myself on trapping since getting my snare certification in 2007 and until now, I had been striking out. I read posts on some trapping websites and I read Trapper and Predator Caller as soon as it hits the mailbox. It looks like I finally got at least one set right.
I reset the same trail where I got the fox and I have also set a cross over logon a stream about a half mile from the fox catch. A few sets of coon tracks were in the snow for the last few weeks in that area and with the warmer weather coming, I am hoping for a little more action before the season ends.
Trapping has fulfilled an inner drive in me that I didn’t really know that I had. It forces me to look at the signs of animal presence and movement on a level that most people would ignore or just not understand. Most importantly, trapping places you in the woods, rain or shine, every day, to check your line. I check my line routinely and my hours often have me in nearly dark woods. There is a real feeling of excitement as I walk the edge of a creaking cedar swamp looking for movement or disturbance on the line. This mandatory daily routine of trapping transports me to a place a far removed from the hectic, civilized, daily work or life routine that was left behind just an hour before.
I look forward to many more years of trapping and I can only imagine that my success rate will slowly improve. If it doesn’t, I will never regret a moment that I have spent in the woods in this pursuit.
THE OTHER SIDE AND HOW TO HANDLE THEM
By an anonymous NJFH member
After along hard week of snow work & very little sleep, I was finally able to put in a couple of promising Beaver sets today. After the 3 sets were put in I was on my way back to my truck, with high hopes for my first check. (Actually had a beaver leave his underwater den just minutes before I was ready to drop my set). I then noticed as I was leaving someone on the other side of the pond, chopping at the ice with a shovel. I thought I had the place to all myself, but I figured it must be another trapper. I decided to leave the area, with the hope that he would be respectful of me, and I would respect him as well.
After getting back to my truck I decided to take a slow ride by the pond just to see where the (other trapper) had gone. As I drove by the pond I saw this individual in the process of destroying one of my traps! This man was so occupied in destroying my property, he didn't even notice me!!! Finally, after the damage was done, he looked up and when he realized I witnessed what he did, he began to take pictures of me. I exited my truck to confront him, and ask why he did this. As I came closer, he began to yell at me that this area was a Wildlife Management Area. I then said to him "if this is as W.M.A. sir I am allowed to trap here!!! Well then it's public land he said!! I then said well if this is public land then I am allowed to trap here as well!! I then said sir (wanting to make a good impression as well wanting to show a good trapper image) that just because we both have different points of view doesn't mean we cannot talk like men and he agreed. I also expressed to him that if it were not for trappers there wouldn't be any beavers!!! He then told me that he was a photographer, and that he comes here all the time to take pictures.
I then began to tell him that I was in possession of a valid trapping license and I have a valid beaver permit, for this zone. I also told him that the state issued 5 permits for this zone and each trapper is allowed to take 8 beavers. I then told him that to manage the beaver population trappers need to harvest the surplus and that the state would like to have a certain amount of beavers harvested from each zone. He then began to apologize to me for what he did, but he did say that he would to call Fish & Game to verify that the information I gave him. After he continued to apologize to me, I asked him if I could have my trap back, and he handed it to me.
NJFH would like to commend this member because of his outstanding restraint in this situation. As we all know two wrongs do not make a right. This member handled himself properly and didn’t throttle the offender even though he deserved it. It may also be wise to contact law enforcement prior to engaging someone in the field in a similar situation.
NEW JERSEY FUR HARVESTERS
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