This past weekend in Lima, OH Shannon Sheffert was named as the NTA director of the year for always helping whenever and with whatever they asked him to do. Thank you Shannon for representing the rest of us so well to the NTA!
Some people have already been asking for applications for this falls youth camps. I have uploaded the application here and on the facebook group page. I hope to see you all there.
Monte Merle Dodson left us on November 5, 2020 in Oklahoma City, OK to be with his heavenly father. He was born to Merle Wilson Dodson and Ellie Veach Baumgartner in 1925, growing up in Oklahoma. Monte is survived by his wife, Margaret Dodson, his only daughter, Karen Dodson Williams, three granddaughters, Shauna Riggs, Carmen Walker, and Erin Daves, six great grandchildren, three great-great grandchildren, his sister-in-law, Sharon Zellinger, his niece, Susie Brantley, great nieces and nephews, as well as many friends.
Monte spent his entire life enjoying nature and loving the outdoors. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Oklahoma in Fish and Wildlife Management, and put his career to work in that field for Oklahoma and the Federal government. On two occasions he held Game Refuge Manager positions in Texas and Arizona where he managed three game refuges.
He had a passionate love of trapping and was heavily involved with Trappers Associations where he held leadership positions and wrote regular articles for various publications. Monte was a mentor to younger trappers and set the bar high with his integrity and compassion.
A graveside service will be held at 1:00 pm at Rose Hill Burial Park, 6001 N.W. Grand Blvd. in Oklahoma City on Monday, November 9, 2020. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Oklahoma Furbearers Alliance.
Hello from Southern Oklahoma. Both OFBA Youth Trapping Camps were a great success and blessed with very good weather for December and January. The Lake Carl Blackwell Camp had 85 people there for lunch on Saturday. We had 36 kids sign up for camp. There were lots of mom’s and dad’s present. There were a lot of excited kids going home with a lot of memories, fur and trapping supplies. 2 bobcats, 2 coyotes, beavers, coons, opossums and a skunk were caught. A big thanks goes out to the camp cooks that kept everyone feed and happy. They were Rhonda and David Marsh, Dana Wyskup, and Pam Waggoner. Instructors were Gary Jarman, Brad Thomure, Shannon Sheffert, Noah Smith, Terry Waggoner, Evan Crosby, Dale and Ayden Cyson, Katie Wyskup, Tom Mitchell and R.C. Edgar. Larry Barnes, longtime trapper and OFBA member, donated all his trapping equipment to the kids at this camp. Everybody received some type of trapping equipment or fur handling equipment. The OFBA would like to thank Larry for his generosity to help the kids. We also had Richard Thornburg with us Saturday. Richard donated over a thousand CD’s on predator calling. We gave away a lot of these and most people donated money to the Youth Camp. Thanks, Richard, for your help with Youth Camp. The OFBA presented plaques to both Larry Barnes and Richard Thornburg for their generosity. Jerrod Davis, Fur Biologist, from the ODWC was there to help answer questions and give updates on the fur bearers of Oklahoma. We also had Kelly Adams, Information Specialist from the ODWC taking pictures of Youth Camp. This was one of the biggest camps that we have had in a long time.
This was the first time for the OFBA to have a Youth Trapping Camp at Lake Waurika. I would like to thank Allen Harper with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for all his help with getting the area for the kids to trap on. We had Jerrod Davis, Michael Taylor and Matt Farris from the ODWC. They talked about trapping regulations and the fur bearers in our state. There were 24 kids signed up for the Youth Trapping Camp. Lots of moms and dads came with their kids. Lunch Saturday had about 52 people attending. The camp went very well, and we are expecting many more camps there. 3 bobcats, 2 coyotes, 1 beaver and many coons, skunks, and opossums were caught. Lots of memories were made and a lot of fur will be tanned. We had Makenzie Burk from Channel 7 News out of Lawton come over and eat lunch with us. She will be running a video of the Youth Camp. We are very pleased to have Makenzie to help us promote the youth and trapping in our great state. A big thanks goes out to the Camp Cooks that kept everyone fed. They were Dana and Katie Wyskup, and Rhonda and David Marsh. These people always go above and beyond to help make Youth Camp Great. Our Instructors were Gary Jarman, Shannon Sheffert, Noah Smith, Mike Bond, Jeff Jones, and R.C. Edgar. We met Jeff Jones at the NTA in Springfield Missouri and we were talking about youth camp. He was very interested in what we were doing for the kids and wanted to help. Jeff came up from Texas to help. We hope to see him again. The kids got to try some fried bobcat that turned out very good. I encourage anyone that wants to help at the Youth Camps to get in touch with any of the directors or officers. We would appreciate your help. Both camps had some of the best weather we have had to trap in.
The Spring Meeting will be March 6, 2020. That is the Friday night before the Fur Sale. We will setup the building Friday afternoon starting around 4:00 pm. Please contact Gary Jarman at 405-207-4840 or Brad Thomure at 918-944-8673.
The OFBA fur sale will be March 7, 2020 at the Okmulgee Fair Grounds. The doors will open at 7:00 am and the sale will start at 9:00 am. You will need to contact John Weygandt at 918-645-5667 to get your sellers number. Only carcass animals allowed will be Bobcats. All other animals you can sell stretched or green. Be sure that they are thawed before the sale.
Twin Bridges Trapperman 12th year spoonbill weekend will be March 20 and 21 2020. Friday night there will be a fish fry. Saturday dirthole contest and some nice prizes for the winners. We have shelter 3 reserved and paid for so that we will have a roof over our heads. We need RSVP as soon as possible so that we know how much we need for the main course. Please bring a side dish to help out at the meals. As you know this event is paid for by donations to be raffled off Saturday so bring your trap related items. Cash donation are welcomed also. Please contact Cletis Richards at 417-529-1060 or Brad Thomure at 918-944-8673. Hope to see you all there.
Remember to share some time with the kids helping to get them into trapping as they are our future.
Well Summer is here again and I’m writing this from the NTA Convention in Springfield Missouri. Hope that you had a chance to make it up here. There were a lot of great demos and a lot of good deals on supplies. There were a lot of old friends that I had a chance to talk with and a lot of new friends. I would like to everyone that helped with the OFBA table. Gary Jarman, Nolan Sweetman, Gene and Cloyce Calloway, Ken Smith, Darrell Woodward, Noel Carruthers, Brad Thomure, Tracy Anderson, BJ and Janice Johnson, and Shannon Sheffert. I would also like to thank the dealers that made donations to the OFBA Youth Camp and Auction. Rusty Johnson, Le Reuwsaat, Jeff Dunlap, Apple Road Tomahawk Trap & Supply, Winter Wildlife Control, Coon Dagger Volker’s Trap & Supply, Backwater Baits, Minnesota Trapline Products, Fur Fish and Game, Ernie’s Feed and Supply, Southern Snares, and RBG Traps. We also would like to thank the many State Associations that donated also.
The Oklahoma Department Wildlife Expo will be September 28 and 29 2019 at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma. The OFBA has been helping do demos and informing the public about trapping. If you would like to help and maybe do a trap setting demo, please call me at 405-238-0012. We would love to have you come by and help answer any questions about trapping.
The Fall Convention will be October 18 and 19 2019 at Okmulgee County Fairgrounds, 1901 N Oklahoma Avenue Okmulgee, Ok. We are working with many vendors to help you get your supplies and do demos. Some of the Vendors are Rusty Johnson Predator Lures Georgia, Nick Beder Wisconsin, Mitchell Simpson Texas, Cletis Richards Apple Road Bait Missouri, Ed Schneider Kansas Trapline Products, Dave D Anglo Minnesota Trapline Products, Okie Cable and Trap, Dakota Harmon Peaceable Creek Fur, Darren Cheek Missouri, and Justin Elliott Missouri. There will be many more added to this list as vendors and demos.
I would like to thank Richard Thornburg for his donation of the many Predator Calling DVD’s that he made. With this donation we were able to give other state associations some DVD’s to give to their young trappers or auction off for their youth camps. We were able to collect $749.00 at the NTA Convention from donations for the DVD’s that will go to the Youth Trapping Camps that we will put on this year. Richard Thank you so much for your help to support the young trappers in our state and the many states that we donated the DVD’s to. You don’t see many people like that. Again, Richard Thanks so much for your help with the young trappers.
Remember to share some time with the kids helping to get them into trapping as they are our future.
Oklahoma Fur Bearers Alliance President’s Report
Hello from wet Southern Oklahoma. Spring is finally here. The creeks and rivers are full, and the fishing is getting better. Hope everyone can get out and enjoy the fishing. As you read this the Spring meeting will be over and we are getting ready to go to the 60th Annual NTA Convention at Springfield Missouri July 11-13, 2019. It will be hosted by the Missouri Trappers Association and it will be held at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, 3001 North Grant Ave. The OFBA will be helping at the event. We need volunteers to work the gates, help setup and clean up. If you help, then you get a free pass to the event. Please call me at 405-238-0012 and let me know if you want to help. If you get a chance to go, I’m sure that you will not be disappointed. You will be able to see lots of demos and there will be plenty of vendors. This would be a good time to stock up on supplies for this fall.
The OFBA Fall Convention will be at the Okmulgee County Fair Barns on October 18 and 19 2019. We have been looking for a better location for our meetings and fur sale and Okmulgee has so much more to offer. We are in the process of getting more vendors and more Demos for you. This will be the third year for a 2-day event. I believe that we are drawing a bigger and better audience than we can with only a 1-day event. We will have the Fish Fry Friday night and we will provide the meat for the noon meal Saturday. We ask that you bring a covered dish and enjoy the food. There will be an Auction Saturday afternoon. If you have anything that you could donate to the Auction, we would appreciate it. This helps offset the cost of the Convention. We will get a list of vendors and demos out on our websites soon.
This election year. If you would like to run for a director or officer position, then let me or Shawn Bell (405-238-4061) know so that we can get your name on the ballot. Please be willing to work to help improve the OFBA if you want to run for a position. Election will be at the Fall Convention.
We are planning 2 Youth Trapping Camps this year. The first will be at Lake Carl Blackwell near Stillwater, Ok. The date for it is Dec. 20, 21, and 22 2019. This will be the weekend before Christmas. The second camp will be at Lake Waurika near the town of Waurika, Ok. in southern Ok. We have not set a date for it yet, but we are working with the Game Warden from Cotton County. This will help to get some more kids involved that may not make to Stillwater because of the distance. If there is anyone wanting to help with any of the camps feel free to call me. We would really appreciate the help.
I would like to thank several people that have made donations to the OFBA. Richard Thornburg donated almost 1,000 new Predator Calling DVD’s to the OFBA. We will be handing them out at the upcoming events so be sure to pick up a DVD at our upcoming events. Tracy Anderson and Gene Callaway has donated cash to be used for Youth Camp supplies. Thanks so much for the donations.
The OFBA would like to help one of our young adults that is going to college. We are offering a $250.00 Scholarship to help with college expenses. We will have it posted on our website with instructions. It will need to be filled out and sent into us by September 1st. You or your family must be a member of the OFBA to qualify for the Scholarship. The winner will be announced at the fall meeting.
Remember to get a kid involved in trapping they are our future.
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:
- The posting signs at entrances will be eliminated on private land. You will still have to post Public Land.
- 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.
- 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.
- The use of 330 size and smaller square or round body grip traps will be allowed for water use but they must be submerged.
- 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
On December 1, 2018 Gary Jarman and I met with a group of students from OSU doing a study on Bobcats in Oklahoma. We were asked about habitat and how to collect hair samples. They have asked for help from the OFBA to help with the study. Our help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, R.C. Edgar.
A REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE
My lab at Oklahoma State University is conducting a large-scale study of Oklahoma bobcats in conjunction with the University of Central Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Resources and the ODWC Furbearer Biologist, Jerrod Davis. As one of the most sought-after furbearer species in the state, this research will result in a great deal of information of use to management and harvest of this resource. Recruiting students from OSU, Southeast Oklahoma State University, and Southwest Oklahoma State University, we will collect hair samples using hair snares in the students’ home counties over the winter break. This simple, inexpensive sampling method will give us state-wide information on bobcat distribution and population trends over time. In addition, we will be using hair snares to collect DNA samples for genetic capture-recapture analysis in 3 intensive study areas – James Collins WMA in eastern Oklahoma, and Packsaddle and Sandy Sanders WMA in western Oklahoma. A very interesting side project, conducted by colleagues at the University of Central Oklahoma, is to address subspecies differences between eastern and western Oklahoma bobcat populations. Differences in spotting patterns/intensity are known to occur in eastern vs. western bobcats. Our interest is to determine whether there are genetically distinct subspecies, and if so, whether there is a hybrid zone in central Oklahoma. There is even some older literature that suggests a third subspecies might occur in south-central Oklahoma and Texas.
When you are trapping this season, we would be grateful if you could save (frozen) the tongue of any bobcat harvested. This tissue would give us a tremendous amount of genetic material, from different locations across the state. It would be important also to have the location (county, at least) in which the animal was harvested. This must be associated with each sample. We can arrange to pick up the samples or have them shipped at the end of the trapping season. Please keep all samples separated and frozen.
Thank you for considering our request and contributing to this study of an important Oklahoma resource.
Dept. of Natural Resource Ecology and Management
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078