Category Archives: Nebraska Fur Harvesters News

News pertaining primarily to the Nebraska Fur Harvesters and its members.

NFH and Gary Macke Sponsoring Kids Fur Raffle

Gary Macke of Macke Fur and Hide, Royal, Nebraska, will again be sponsoring his Kids Fur Raffle.

The raffle is open to all kids ages 16 and under.  All they need to do is get a finished fur (or furs) to Gary by February 1st, 2017.  Gary is a fur buyer and the NAFA agent for Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming and will be making scheduled rounds around the state (find the schedule here)

All the proceeds from the sale of the fur will be used as prizes.  50% of the money will be paid out to three winners drawn from the pool of contributors.  The other 50% of the money will be used to buy prizes to be given to the remaining participants.

If you need help getting a fur finished (skinned, fleshed and dried) you can contact the following people to help you:

Dave Hastings, Lemoyne, Nebraska:  (308) 355-2439
Eric Stane, Springfield, Nebraska:  (402) 658-8012

If you are interested in helping finish fur for a kid who doesn’t have a way to do it, please contact us at

If you can’t find anyone to help, contact us and we will find someone to help you get your fur finished.

You can contact Gary at (402) 394-8117.


Big Win For Trappers In Montana, Kansas, and Indiana

Beneath the hype of the presidential elections there were some key issues on ballots in other states that affect us as trappers.

Montana has defeated Initiative 177, which would prohibit trapping on public land.  To us in Nebraska, when we think public land, we think pheasant grass and duck marshes on 160 acre plots.  In Montana, public land consists of 1/3rd the state, over 30 million acres!  Initiative 177 was defeated soundly in Montana by a 64% to 36% vote.  The defeat of I-177 will allow Montana trappers to continue to utilize public ground for trapping.

I got in touch with Toby Walrath, president of the Montana Trapper’s Association.  He had this to say about the victory:   “Montana Trappers have won a major victory in protecting our rights to trap on public lands.  The Montana Trappers Association is grateful for the outpouring of time and money spent by individuals and organizations from all over the country in supporting  our efforts to defeat an initiative that threatened our way of life.”

Indiana and Kansas both had ballot issues which would make hunting, fishing, and trapping a constitutional right.  This would make it harder for the antis to get a foothold, as once it is amended to a state’s constitution as a right, it is harder to take away a citizen’s right to do something.  Both of these issues were soundly passed with Kansas voting 81% and Indiana voting 78% in favor.

Playing “what if” is pure speculation. But it stands to reason that without the financial help of the Sportsman’s Alliance, National Trappers Association, the Furtakers of America, and numerous state trapping associations (including Nebraska) and the many individual contributions, to Montana, the Montana initiative would have passed.

Your membership dollars were put to good use, to preserve our way of life.  Remember to join your local state trappers association, the NTA,  FTA, and Sportsmans Alliance.

— Mark Hajny, Clay Center, Nebraska


Highlights From The NFH Business Meeting

The 2016 convention is in the books and a good time was had by all.  Underneath all the vendor booths, tailgaters and demos is always the Nebraska Fur Harvesters general membership meeting.  This is where policy and decisions are made by the organization, and this is open to all NFH members in current standing who desire to be a part of the direction and decision making of our organization.

Usually the biggest item on the agenda is where to hold the convention for the upcoming year.   A couple guys from Sidney were here and made a very compelling case for their city.  It was put to a vote and decided that next year’s convention will be in Sidney, Nebraska, September 22 – 23.  Note:  Someone please get me the names of these two gentlemen so I can update this article to give them proper credit.

In other items of importance, it was decided to send more money to help out Montana in their fight against Initiative 177 which would ban trapping on public ground in that state.

The youth trapping education program was discussed, as well as Gary Macke’s youth program he helps with.

Nebraska Game and Parks Furbearer Biologist Sam Wilson gave his report.  It is looking good for a discounted fur harvest permit for seniors and veterans.  Things are also starting to look good for an Otter season in Nebraska, but it is a long process and the specifics are still being worked out.

The positions of Treasurer and Vice President were up for election this year.  No one contested, so Monty Arnold (VP) and Jason Reynoldson (Treasurer) will retain their offices.

Gary Macke presented the Nebraska Fur Harvesters with a check for $800 from NAFA.

NFH Spring Meeting will be held in Seward Nebraska,  April 30th, noon, at the VFW.

Some new things coming to the website will be online membership signups and some NFH merchandise sales.

If you have any questions, use the Contact Us link at the top of the page or email Eric Stane at

Convention Raffle Tickets

The Convention Raffle Tickets have been mailed out.  The tickets are $1 each or 10 for $8.  Two great prizes are being raffled off this year.  They are a Savage B-Mag .17 WSM rifle with Simmons scope and a $500 Cabela’s gift card.

Make sure you fill out the top part of the card, and if you have a preference between these two great prizes, please write your choice on the part you turn in.

Bring your tickets to the convention or send them with someone who is going.  Drawing will be September 24th, and you need not be present to win.

If you have any questions or need additional tickets, please use the Contact Us link.

2016 Convention Raffle Tickets
2016 Convention Raffle Tickets

Nebraska Fur Harvesters Helps Montana

The Nebraska Fur Harvesters has made a donation to the Montana Trappers Association to help combat Initiative 177.  The $1,000 donation will be used by the MTA to help spread the word and promote the facts about trapping, and how initiative 177 is a special interest maneuver more so than a wildlife protection measure.

This affects us in Nebraska and every other state  because if it passes, the anti trappers can (and assuredly will) use the Montana initiative as a precedent to expand their agenda into other states.

It is times like these, where your membership in one or more trapping associations provides the much needed funds to help sustain our way of life and proper wildlife management.

If you would like to make a personal donation to the Montana Trappers Association, you can do so by clicking this link.  Any amount is helpful.

Take charge of your future and support the National Trappers Association (NTA), the Fur Takers of America (FTA), and the Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association.  With membership in any of the three mentioned associations, you receive a free subscription to a top notch trapping magazine!

Trapper’s Education Class being held

There will be a Trapper’s Education class sponsored by the Nebraska Fur Harvesters.

When:  September 11th, 2016, 9am to 2pm
Where:  Louisville Rod and Gun Club, just south of Springfield, Nebraska (Click this link to see location on google maps)

Classroom, demo sessions, and hands on time.  Lots of raffle prizes!  A free trap will be given to students 18 and under.

We will be having coon, coyote and bobcat demos by local trappers with decades of experience.

Come learn the basics and meet some great people.  Lunch will be provided.

For more information contact Eric Stane at or (402) 658-8012.

NFH Sponsors Nebraska State Taxidermy Association Award

The Nebraska Fur Harvesters sponsored the Best Small Mammal award this year at the Nebraska State Taxidermy Association in Columbus, Nebraska.  On hand to represent the NFH and present the award was NFH President Eric Stane.  The winner was Steve Rollen of Colorado with a Lynx.

The NSTA holds an annual convention and competition where taxidermists can enter their works and compete with others.  At conventions you have the opportunity to attend seminars given by experts as a way to help you learn more, as well as admire the work of your peers.  This year’s convention was held June 3rd-5th at the Ramada Inn, Columbus,  Nebraska.

Eric Stane presents award to Steve Rollen.
Eric Stane presents award to Steve Rollen.  Click for full size image.

Member Profile: Mark Hajny

Mark Hajny

Computer Programmer

Clay Center, Nebraska

How did you get started in trapping?
As a kid I remembered hearing my dad talk about he and his brothers catching muskrats in the marshes around where we lived.  My grandpa Tyler was also a big outdoorsman and I loved listening to his stories.  My older brother got some traps and I started following him around, picking up a few rats of my own here and there.  I made a lot of pop and candy bar money with the old Victor #1 long springs.  We started getting Fur, Fish and Game magazine and my parents grew tired of having to pay the UPS man for all the C.O.D. orders that showed up at the door.  As I grew older, sports and other things took over and trapping went by the wayside.  Real life kicked in and it seemed like there wasn’t enough time for anything extracurricular.  Now, within the last few years with the kids grown and out of the house, I find myself with the time and resources to get back in to all the things I used to do.  I guess you can say I am a born-again outdoorsman.

What is your favorite animal to target?
It is hard to pick a favorite since each species is unique and poses its own set of challenges.  I seem to be finding myself always going back to ‘coon trapping.  It just seems there are so many different methods and locations in which to target them.  But if I had to pick a favorite it would be the coyote.  There is something about going nose to nose with the apex predator of our region.  Each one of us trying to outsmart the other.  At the end of the day, you hope they have educated you more than you have educated them.

What do you enjoy most about the sport of trapping?
Trapping is a constant learning experience.  I have become a student of the sport, and of several of the great teachers (June, Dobbins, Barringer, Carman to name a few).  As long as you continue to learn, the challenges of trapping are never ending.  You can construct the textbook perfect dirt hole set and walk away with confidence. When you check the next morning and find a freshly laid scat on your unfired trap pan, you know you still have much to learn.  I enjoy the solitude it provides, the heritage, the nostalgia, and I also like the fact that I have something productive to do outside in the winter time.

What is one of your most memorable trapping moments?
I was following my older brother around checking muskrat traps we had set in a farm pond.  He pulled out his can of Skoal, put in a dip then offered me the can (I was probably 10 at the time).  Thinking I was a trapper and could handle it if he could, I put in a dip.  Not knowing what nicotine was or how it affected you, I suddenly got very dizzy and fell in the pond.  Swallowing most of that chaw in the process.  He never stopped cussing me out as we took off on the three-wheeler heading back home to get dry clothes.

I remember when I caught my first coyote.  Like most people when they catch a first something-or-other, you do a double take and look again to see if it really is what you are seeing.  To this day, when approaching a location in the dark where I have sets, I will stop and listen to see if I can hear that ghostly “jangling chains” sound in the wind.

What would you like to see changed as far as trapping regulations in Nebraska?
We are pretty fortunate here as far as regulations.  Nothing really hinders me in the way I trap.  If anything, it would be nice to use real feathers for bobcat attractors, but I work around it.

What other hobbies do you have?
I have more hobbies than I have time for.  I hunt (deer, turkey, upland game), predator call, shooting (target, trap), fish and make fishing lures.  I have recently gotten into tanning furs and making my own trapping lures and baits.

Anything else you want the Nebraska Fur Harvesters members to know about you?
I am always willing to help and answer questions about trapping or anything I am passionate about.  I remember some of the older generation trappers who would clam up when you asked them anything.  I don’t want to be “that guy”.