President’s Report 2019

  Hello from cold southern Oklahoma. Hope your fur season went well for you. I know that it was a very different year than most years for me and several others. The coyotes were few and far between. I saw a lot of mange or just poor-quality fur. Most places that I trapped there just wasn’t much sign. I saw very few rabbits and pack rats. Most of the trappers that I talked to say the same. In February the coyotes quit working dirt holes but would happily work a flat set. Good to have different tricks to go to. I have started seeing otter showing up in places that never had any. It looks like as long as there is a creek with running water then they are traveling. I found several places that had beaver in them that was nowhere near a creek, river or other ponds. Dryland beaver, I guess.

  The 2019 fur sale is over. Cat prices averaged around $25.00 to $30.00 dollars. Coyotes averaged around $24.00 but some nice ones brought $44.00. Skunks averaged almost $7.00 and coons averaged $2.50 with a top of $4.00. I would like to thank everyone that came to the fur sale that sold fur, bought fur and that helped with the sale. Maurice Gray from McAlester was recognized by Jerrod Davis of the ODWC as having been a licensed fur buyer for 50 continuous years. Maurice said that 90% of the coon the bought when he started buying fur was dog caught, now 90% is trap caught. Times have changed. Maurice is one of a kind. Thanks, Maurice, for your support of the fur industry. Gary Jarman presented Tina Edgar with a plaque for all her hard work keeping the OFBA table going, Tee shirt sales, memberships, helping in the kitchen and support. She makes things so much easier for all of us. If she’s their things run a lot smother for us. Thanks, Tina, for all your help.

The OFBA has been working with Jerrod Davis the ODWC Fur Bearer Biologist to help get the Trapping Laws changed to benefit the trappers of Oklahoma. We have made suggestions to clarify the laws and be more trapper friendly. Please send your Senator a request to vote yes on House Bill 879. This bill was introduced by Senator Mark Allen and will allow ODWC to more easily respond to wildlife populations changes, trap technology changes, and hunter needs by establishing trapping season dates and methods of take through its Title 800 administrative rules process. Below is a partial list of the changes that are proposed:

  1. The posting signs at entrances will be eliminated on private land. You will still have to post Public Land.
  2. All double spring (2 coil, 4 coil and double long spring) will be permitted with a minimum on 1/8” offset jaws with an outside jaw spread of 8” or less for dry land trapping. 
  3. All double spring (2 coil, 4 coil and double long spring) will be permitted with a minimum on 1/8” offset jaws with an outside jaw spread of 8 1/2″” or less for submerged water trapping.
  4. The use of 330 size and smaller square or round body grip traps will be allowed for water use but they must be submerged. 
  5. You will no longer have to carry written permission to trap on someone else’s land. you still must get the land owners permission.

The spring meeting will be at Gentry Creek Campgrounds on Lake Eufaula May 18, 2019. We will have a directors meeting before lunch. We will have a fish fry at noon, and we ask that you bring a covered dish. There will be the dirthole contest for the kids with some good prizes. Plenty of camping space. Be sure to book a camping spot before you get there. There’s always a lot of stories and catching up to do. Hope to see you there.

  The 60th Annual NTA Convention will be at Springfield, Missouri on July 11 – 13 this year. It will be hosted by the Missouri Trappers Association. The OFBA is going to be there helping anyway we can. If you have never been to an NTA event now is the time to go. There will be plenty of demos and vendors. Get your supply list ready and go have a good time. If you would like to help, please call me at 405-238-0012. If you help your gate fee is free. Hope to see you there.

  We are going to have 2 Youth Camps this year. Lake Carl Blackwell at Stillwater will be December 20 – 22 2019. The Western Oklahoma Youth Camp at Lake Waurika will be January 3 – 5. If anybody wants to help at either youth camps, we would love to have you. We will need trapping instructors and a couple of cooks. The OFBA has purchased a Blackstone 36” griddle to help with the cooking. We used one last year and decided that we needed one. Come out and help get the kids interested in trapping and the outdoors.

  This is election year for the OFBA. If you would like to run for a Director or an Officer position, then we need to get your name on the list. You must be willing to work! We will have the results at the Fall Convention. Speaking of the Fall Convention We are working on a new location. We are trying to save the OFBA build rent money. Prices are going to go up this year and we are looking for another location. We have several in mind. It will still be a 2-day convention with lots of demos and vendors. Fish fry Friday night and lunch Saturday. We will keep you posted for the time and place. 

  The OFBA has decided to give away a $250.00 Scholarship this fall. You must be a member of the OFBA and enrolled in an outdoor field to be eligible to receive it. More details and application are on the OFBA website and the Facebook page. This is something new that we have started to help our young people with something for Collage. You must apply each year.

 This is my last year as the President of the OFBA. I have been fortunate to have some of the best people to work with and have met a lot of good people. We have made a lot of improvements and got a lot of kids involved in trapping. Some of my favorite memories are the kids at Youth Camp, Fur sales and the Fall Conventions. It didn’t matter what the kids caught at Youth Camp they were happy. I remember when they brought in a coyote that we put a cattle ear tag in and told Shannon Sheffert that we had caught a tagged coyote. They just had the best time with that. The next day Shannon’s kids caught a bobcat with the same ear tag. 

Remember to share some time with the kids helping to get them into trapping as they are our future.  R.C. Edgar