Reminder: Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association president Eric Stane will join Hal Hodges on The Greg Wagner Great Outdoors Show tomorrow at 9am CST to talk trapping. This is broadcast on The Zone 1620 AM out of Omaha. If you can’t pick it up over the air you can listen online at http://player.listenlive.co/52371
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
Our friends in Montana could use our help.
Ballot Initiative I-177 has made it onto the general election ballot for 2016. This initiative was created by animal rights activists and will prohibit trapping on all public lands in Montana.
Among other things, it bans Montana citizens from trapping on public ground. This can ultimately lead to additional trapping and hunting bans in the state. Read the text of I-177 here.
Before you stop and say, “but how does this affect us in Nebraska?”, consider this: If the anti-trapping/animal rights movement gets a foothold in Montana, it will set a precedent to move in to other states. Similar anti-trapping laws have already been passed in California and Colorado.
This link takes you to a page on the Montana Trapper’s Association site where you can read more about I-177. There is a Donate link at the bottom of the page.
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.