Tag Archives: members

Member Profile: Lawrence “Larry” D. Sills

Name
Lawrence “Larry” D. Sills

Occupation
Retired: Nuclear physicist, Mechnaical &Electrical Engineer—Current: Profesional Predator Trapper and Caller

Hometown
Cedar Rapids, Iowa & Halsey Nebraska

How did you get started in trapping?
Being a Farm Kid.

What is your favorite animal to target?
Yotes, Cats

What do you enjoy most about the sport of trapping?
The Money.

What is one of your most memorable trapping moments?
The time we got the pickup truck stuck during a mid night muskrat check with my new GF. Truck got burred so fast I didnt even get to steel a kiss. We had to walk 2 miles in cold wet snow. I carried her 1/2 mile on my back as she was cold and wet.

We arrived at the barn started the tractor and went to retrieve my pickup. That very petite beautiful girl became my wife 2 years later. She has trapped with me on and off for more than 40 of my 50 years of setting steel. This season my teen grandchildren began trapping.

What would you like to see changed as far as trapping regulations in Nebraska?
1) 72 hour trap check’s are allowed with the following exceptions. Except on identified public use areas, Wildlife Management Area, or Public Lakes/Reservoir.
Moreover. traps must be place 1/2 mile (880 yards) from any occupied residence.

2) Redefine Live trap: Cage traps and steel laminated jaw or rubber laminated jaw types with at least a 1/4 inch offset jaw space shall be considered live animal trap. 

What other hobbies do you have?
Longline Trapping is all season job.

Anything else you want the Nebraska Fur Harvesters to know about you?
I lived in Washington County, Neb for more than 18 Years. On an average season I will trap and call more than 225 square miles. 

Spring Meeting Reminder

This is a reminder to attend the Nebraska Fur Harvesters Spring Meeting.

The meeting will be Sunday, April 30th, 2017 in Seward at the VFW.   Meeting starts at noon and lunch will be served.  Map this location.

All current members are encouraged to attend.  Come bring your ideas and hear what we are up to.  We have a lot to cover this time!

As always, there will be raffle prizes and give-aways!

 

Spring Meeting Set

The Nebraska Fur Harvesters Spring Meeting will be held Sunday, April 30th in Seward, Nebraska at the VFW Club.  Meeting will start at noon.  Lunch will be provided.  This is a general business meeting for the membership to discuss and vote on matters of importance to the organization.  All current members are invited and encouraged to attend.

Click here for a  google map showing the meeting location.

Come hear what our organization is up to and be a part of it and voice your opinions.  See you there!

 

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 ericnfh@gmail.com

Member Profile: Tim Huntington

Name
Tim Huntington

Occupation
University Professor

Hometown
Seward, Nebraska.  Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana.

How did you get started in trapping?
My grandpa was a trapper, but he died before I was old enough to get to learn from him. I’d hear stories from my relatives about him, and sometimes I’d get Fur, Fish, and Game magazines with my lawn mowing money and read about trapping. Being a city kid never gave me the chance to try it, but that all changed when we moved outside of the city limits when I was in middle school. I found a rack of Duke traps at a sporting goods store and picked up a #110 body grip trap to give it a go.

I had no clue about what I was doing, and never caught much. I got a #1 coil spring trap sometime later and eventually got my first real catch: a skunk. I also made “monkey paw” traps that I read about in FF&G for raccoons and found some success with those. Looking back, I’m pretty embarrassed about how poor my techniques were back then, but without a mentor, the internet, or much in the way of books to help me out I was learning through trial and error. Emphasis on the error.

I got back into trapping a couple of years ago when I realized that I could take my kids with me. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

What is your favorite animal to target?
I consider myself a dry-ground trapper (coons and canines), but I think my favorite target is beavers. To me they represent the classic trapline animal, representing the primary target of early trappers and explorers, and they’re fun to catch. They’re also good eating.

What do you enjoy most about the sport of trapping?
I love spending time outdoors, especially with my children, and trapping is a great way to get the kids out there. Trapping is also like Christmas morning every day, because you never know what might be at the next stop.

I also think that trapping is one of the great unappreciated outdoor skills. When you think about what it takes to be able to put a small piece of metal in the exact spot where an animal is going to step, that’s a pretty amazing skill to have. It makes me proud to be a trapper when I think about that.

What is one of your most memorable trapping moments?
Probably when I caught that very first skunk when I was a kid. After who knows how many weeks or months of checking empty traps, there was finally something there. It’s a pretty exhilarating feeling that I still get every time I make a catch.

I would also add just about every catch that I make when I take my kids with me. They make the experience that much more fun and memorable.

What would you like to see changed as far as trapping regulations in Nebraska?
Based on what I’ve read about most other states, Nebraska’s trapping regulations are pretty hard to beat. Sure I wish we could have exposed bait (bones and feathers), but it’s hard to complain when you read about some of the restrictions that other states have to put up with.

What other hobbies do you have?
Hunting, shooting, fishing, and a few non-outdoor hobbies.

Anything else you want the Nebraska Fur Harvesters to know about you?
My handle on the Trapperman.com forum is “Maggot”

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

Member Profile: Mark Hajny

Name
Mark Hajny

Occupation
Computer Programmer

Hometown
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”.

Member Profile: Bob Miers

Name
Bob Miers

Occupation
Street Foreman, City of Seward

Hometown
Seward, Nebraska

How did you get started in trapping?
My 7th Grade math teacher was talking to 3 other boys and I overheard and asked how I could join the fun.  He invited all 4 of us to his garage that evening and told us to bring $3 each.   We did and he sold us each 3 traps #1LS and showed us a few muskrat and a mink he had drying.  I was hooked!

What is your favorite animal to target?
Beaver, just wish we had more around here! lol

What do you enjoy most about the sport of trapping?
Being one with nature. 

What is one of your most memorable trapping moments?
The day I came up on a set, it was a 330 in a narrow opening in an old dam.  I had already caught a few beaver in this set and I looked into the water and seen it was fired.  I pulled it out and no beaver but what I had was a muskrat on one end and a mink on the other, both in the same trap! It looked like the mink was chasing the rat and was about to nail him when thy both got surprised!

What would you like to see changed as far as trapping regulations in Nebraska?
Otter season.

What other hobbies do you have?
Hunt, fish, ref high school football, ride my Harley! and small time Fur buyer

Anything else you want the Nebraska Fur Harvesters to know about you?
I am a partly disabled combat veteran and a proud American.  I belong to the Nebraska Furharvesters, the Furtakers of America, the National Trappers Association and Furbearers Unlimited! 

Member Profile: Steve Zagozda Jr.

Name
Steve Zagozda Jr

Occupation
Field Manager

Hometown
Ralston, Nebraska

How did you get started in trapping?
My son (Eli) heard my dad and uncle talking about snaring rabbits with copper wire when they were young. I remember being a young boy and overhearing them tell the same stories. Similar to when a fisherman tells the story of the huge fish he had caught. I understand this well, because I tell these stories. These are not considered lies, but just slight stretches of the truth. Oh, and don’t get me started on how they caught “millions of them”.

I thought the idea of putting a wire loop in some random spot to get an animal to put it’s neck through it was the biggest game of chance and my time would be better spent fishing in a swimming pool. Eli was not going to forget the concept of this fishing story. So reluctantly I went and bought some copper wire and did some research on rabbit snaring.

We made some rabbit snares and set about a dozen of them. We didn’t get any that first night but we did see some snares pushed aside. The next day we snared two and I was more shocked than Eli was! That got my curiosity going. We went out and bought our first dozen snares.

The next morning I went to check the snares in the dark and as I was walking up on one of the snares I saw some glowing eyes looking back at me. I think I was kind of scared because I couldn’t see what it was and didn’t expect it to be in our snare. It finally hit me that we had trapped an animal. I got close enough to see that fat boar coon and sat and stared at it for a few minutes with this feeling of amazement.

At that moment I became a trapper.

What is your favorite animal to target?
My favorite animal to target is mink. This solitary little predator amazes me with its tenacity, range, and ability to take on prey bigger than itself.

What do you enjoy most about the sport of trapping?
The biggest reason that I enjoy trapping is because I love to be outside in nature. Also, you must consistently be tracking the animals to determine where they are, what they are doing and where they are going. Its like playing a chess match with the animals. And because I get to learn, teach and experience this American heritage with my four boys.

What is one of your most memorable trapping moments?
I will only mention one other than my first animal. Me and 3 of the boys went to check dog proofs along the river. We came through the brush and boom we had a triple right there. We were all so excited giving each other high fives, asking “did you see that one, what about that one”. It was a trapping moment with my kids that I will never forget. They will be telling their kids that “fish” story some day.

What would you like to see changed as far as trapping regulations in Nebraska?
Some people might not feel the same way about this, but I would like to see a 48 hour trap check for dry land.

What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy catching big catfish. Hunting is another great “love” of mine –  turkey, pheasant, duck and deer hunting. Bee keeping, vegetable and flower gardening are things I enjoy as well. You can say I really enjoy being in the outdoors as much as possible.

Member Profile: Dave Hastings

Name
Dave Hastings

Occupation
Secondary Teacher (retired!)/Trapping magazines editor

Hometown
Ord, NE

How did you get started in trapping?
Found some #1 longsprings in our old garage…just knew I could be like Jim Bridger. Caught a muskrat and a mink in 1963. Saw the mink go into a hole. Put a 110 over it, and went back daily, amazed that I didn’t catch him; until finally I did. Was pretty much ruined from then on.

What is your favorite animal to target?
I admire coyotes the most, but my favorite to trap is bobcats. They are always like an exotic trophy to me, and I get pretty pumped each catch.

What do you enjoy most about the sport of trapping?
Kinda like “who is your favorite child?” I like it all! The income has helped put the kids through college, bought my daughter’s first car, paid a lot of bills.
I totally enjoy matching wits with a wised up coyote or a spooked beaver.
I can’t explain how productive I feel at the end of season when I am putting my fur together to ship.
I just get overwhelmed sometimes by how amazing Mother Nature’s scenery and hijinks are…sort of stop and stare, mouth open, silent. I spend a lot of time being spiritual in my “church”…the outside one.
And one more surprise to me: I always feel a little bit out of place, especially in locations like big airports; but at a trapper get-together, I am at home. And I find trappers the same in Alaska or New Mexico; New York or Mississippi.

What is one of your most memorable trapping moments?
Again, there have been hundreds. Tried trapping coyotes for several years. Watched a demo by Tom Dearmont at a Doniphan NFH convention—5 weeks later on the first check of the season, I had a triple. I thought I was the coyote king. Then I discovered how much I still had to learn. I am a long ways from finishing my coyote education.
I have trapping photos of times when friends and family came trapping and those are all very special to me. My son ran a coon line when in Junior high and that was cool. Both kids have been on the trapline many times, and have called coyotes with me.
I have a young fella that I kinda taught to trap, and watching him become very proficient coyote and cat trapper is rewarding!

What would you like to see changed as far as trapping regulations in Nebraska?
I have several on my wish list. I hope to one day catch and keep a Nebraska lion. There are quite a few small “tweaks” I would change, if I had a genie in a bottle. For example, lots of states (including highly populated ones like Illinois) allow 330s to be part way out of the water.
I would like to be able to use real feathers for cat flags.
The NGPC has made some good improvements in the last few years, like being able to keep fur after season without those troublesome forms, and increased trapping opportunity on public properties that were once off limits. I have been involved with states where the DNR and the trappers were really at war with one another; glad that is not the case here.

What other hobbies do you have?
I take some heat because I don’t do all the stuff I used to. I was into bow hunting, bird hunting, fishing, backpacking, bullfroging, big game, small game…you name it; if it was outdoors, I was into it for a while. As the years pass, I spend less and less time on them all, and more and more on my trapping.
I really like writing, and even though I do some professionally, it still seems like a hobby to me. I guess that is the sign of a job you can stick with.

Anything else you want the Nebraska Fur Harvesters members to know about you?
Yes, there is. The first half or so of my trapping career I didn’t get involved with the social issues of trapping, either within the associations, or with government/society as a whole. Gradually I am farther and farther down that path. I have traveled the country over to meetings on things like the BMPs (I have seen a lot of exotic Holiday Inn meeting rooms…) Today, a day does not go by where I am not somehow, in some way, engaged in both association business, or in working to defeat the anti-trap movement’s efforts to end our way of life.
What strikes me most about this is how bad I was not to get involved earlier. I had my head in the sand. And that is not unusual. Nationally, fewer than 10% of the people who buy a trapping license so much as join their state association; even less a national one. Those who do are spending huge amounts of time and money to see that we will be trapping next year, and the next. The other 95% won’t chip in to pay dues. They go to convention, watch the demos, get their supplies, but don’t support the group that makes the convention possible. I am always amazed by guys who say that it costs too much to join all the groups and make contributions of time and money. I am always stopped short: what exactly is it worth to you to keep trapping? To have your grandson trap?
A few guys (the notoriously grumpy) find some kind of beef with associations—wrong location for convention, didn’t have my favorite guy do demos, “I just don’t like the president…” whatever. So when Obama was elected, these guys didn’t move to Mexico, did they?
The battle is expensive and exhausting. If more people would pitch in, both of those costs would be reduced dramatically. I’ll say one thing for animal rights activists: they put their money where their mouth is.