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Spring Banquet Reschedule Date

The Spring Banquet has been re-scheduled for Saturday, June 1st, 2019 at the Seward VFW.   Social Hour starts at 5pm and Dinner is at 6.  Speaker will be Furtakers of America President Dave Hastings.   There will be a silent auction and lots of furtaking talk.  Tickets can be purchased in advance or let us know you are coming and you can pay at the door.  Tickets are $20.  See you there.

Fort Kearny Outdoor Expo Volunteers Needed

The Fort Kearny Outdoor Expo will be May 9, 10 & 11 at Fort Kearny State Recreation Area. We will have a trappers tent that will focus on types of traps, pelt identification and why we trap. Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association Members are invited to join Nebraska Game and Parks efforts in education youth and adults about trapping. I am currently looking for members of our association who would be interested in volunteering. Contact Jessica at for volunteer information.

Nebraska Trapper Featured In Local Newspaper

Nebraska’s own Joe Jack was featured in an article that appeared in the Grand Island Independent by author Jeff Bahr.  Here is a link to the story.  I have also reprinted the story below (with permission).  Jeff Bahr can be reached at  Joe is a lifetime member of The Nebraska Fur Harvesters.

Wood River man has enjoyed trapping for 70 years

WOOD RIVER — When Joe Jack was 12, his brother-in-law got him started trapping muskrat and mink. Seventy years later, Jack is still trapping.

Jack, who lives in Wood River, worked in education for 40 years. Twenty-seven of those years were at Wood River Rural Schools, where he was a guidance counselor.

Although he spent his education years inside, Jack loves to be outdoors. While he’s out trapping, he enjoys seeing small birds, rabbits, squirrels and wild turkeys.

Through the years of rising and falling fur prices, Jack has never missed a year of trapping.

He has learned a lot about the tendencies of animals. But the education continues. He learns something new about wildlife every year.

A native of Loup City, he graduated from Kearney State College in 1958. While there, he participated in football and track.

When he was in college, he ran mink lines on the Loup and Platte rivers. With the money he earned, he paid almost all of his college expenses.

After he entered the working world, Jack checked his traps before going to school in the morning.

“All my trapping for all those years till I retired was by flashlight in the morning before school,” he said.

On the weekends, he could tend to his traps during daylight hours.

“But otherwise it was getting up at 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning and running traps before school.”

Jack, 82, traps beaver, muskrat, badgers, fox, coyotes and raccoons.

He sells the pelts through North American Fur Auctions, which is based in Toronto.

“It’s a sport and it’s a challenge,” he said. “A lot of people say that it’s brutal and the animals don’t have a chance. And boy, that’s not true. Coyotes are really smart, and so are fox. You have to be able to fool them to be able to trap them or snare them.”

The toughest animal to trap is the coyote.

“You have to do a number of things right in order to be able to catch foxes.” But to trap a coyote, “you’ve got to do everything right.”

“Coyotes will kill a fox because they’re in competition for food,” he said.

A coyote “usually can’t flat outrun a fox.” But coyotes can often bring down a fox when two of them team up. One coyote will start out chasing a fox, and a second coyote — fresh and ready to run — will take over when the fox tires.

To catch a coyote, you’ve got to dye and wax the trap first, so that the animal won’t detect any human odor.

In addition to trapping, Jack likes to hunt for pheasants, grouse, quail, deer and turtle dove.

Until 1996, he also bought fur from other people.

“I do a lot of snaring nowadays, because it’s very hard for me to get up and down at 82. I don’t just get down on my knees and just pop back up. I’ve got to have something to get ahold of to lean against and get up.”

Before coming to Wood River in the fall of 1971, he taught in Spencer, Farragut, Iowa, and Elm Creek.

Along the way, he got a master’ degree in guidance and counseling.

For 13 years, he was a head football coach. He also coached track and taught driver’s training. In his last five years at Wood River, he coached cross country. He retired in 1998.

Nancy, his wife of 59 years, died in September of 2017.

They had four kids, three of whom are still alive. A son in Omaha, Greg, often comes to hunt and trap with him.

Jack also receives plenty of assistance from his yellow lab, Lady Hunter.

Jack obviously loves trapping.

“A lot of it’s for fun,” he said. “But some years when we had four little kids and one teaching income, trapping money bought all of our Christmas presents and stuff like that.”

Right now, coyotes fetch the best prices.

Some years, when prices are high, Jack makes money at it. But last year and this year won’t be profitable.

Critics thinks trappers “just go out and slaughter” animals, Jack said.

But they don’t know the whole story. Traps have evolved, he said. So much research has been done that traps are more humane than ever.

In addition, regulation is strict. Most traps have to be checked every 24 hours. Trappers have to put their nametags on each device.

Snares, Jack said, have two kinds of locks. There are kill locks and there are relaxing locks.

Jack usually uses relaxing locks because he inadvertently catches a dog once in a while. A relaxing lock makes sure those dogs get out OK. Dogs are accustomed to wearing collars and leashes, so they won’t fight the snare. When the dog stops applying pressure, the snare relaxes, and the dog survives.

Jack does use a kill lock when he’s trapping in remote parts of the Sandhills, where dogs are less likely to turn up.

There are more raccoons, coyotes and fox around now than ever, said Jack, who’s a lifetime member of Nebraska Fur Harvesters, the National Trappers Association and Fur Takers of America.

Most trappers, he said, are upstanding people. They are great conservationists and they love animals, he said.

Money from taxes and licenses goes toward the conservation of wildlife, he said.

Jack loves watching baby foxes and raccoons at play. “I’ve even raised a few baby raccoons.” Eventually, he turned them loose where there was no chance he would trap them.

If certain types of animals become too abundant, their numbers will be curbed by the forces of nature.

When there are too many coyotes around, mange appears. Raccoons might get distemper. The effect on those animals can be brutal. In other words, the overpopulation problem is left up to Mother Nature.

“And what Mother Nature does to them is not pretty — ever,” Jack said.

Why We Need To Be Responsible, Now More Than Ever

I just read a sad article.  This story in the Sudbury (Ontario) Star reports on a coyote who had to be euthanized because it was “missing both back legs” from being caught in a trap that was “set improperly and not checked”.

Before you go accusing me of caving in and being a softie, the part I am sad about is not what happened to the wild canine, but rather the way this incident was reported upon and the reaction it garnered.  You have more than likely encountered anti’s in your dealings, across facebook, in real life, wherever.  One thing consistent about them is the absence of facts and the tendency to judge on emotion rather than fact.  This is clearly the case in the article.

You can read it if you want by clicking the link above, but here is the synopsis.  A coyote was allegedly caught in a snare or foothold trap just above both back feet and somehow escaped the confinement by chewing out, evidenced in the fact that it had a foot bone wedged in its mouth.  It was not, as reported, “missing both back legs”, rather it had been missing its feet.  They combed the area looking for this canine and found it huddled under a trailer, gave it a shot to sedate it, took it to the vet where they determined the best course of action was to euthanize it.

There are other things that could have caused this animal to become entrapped other than a snare or trap.  Likely it was a snare or trap but no one knows this for fact.  And if it were a snare or trap this animal had been caught in, who is to say that it was “set improperly and not checked” as reported?  I do not know what the laws in Ontario govern as far as the use of traps or check times.  But it is possible that if it were a snare or trap, it was properly set and properly checked, but the animal had freed itself from it before the time to re-check.

Yet the reaction in the comments section set the anti fire ablaze.  It sounds like they are about ready to form a mob and string up the person that supposedly set this trap.  Comments such as

  • “So disgusting ! Ban trap and snare for good ! Ban this cruelty !”

  • “why is snaring not banned.”

  • “Post the name and address of the p***y cowards who use these traps. Let Karma run it’s course. They would be begging for the chance to chew off their leg”

  • “trapping and snaring have no place in todays world. What a disgusting horror that poor animal had to live through, No excuse. This should not be legal”

This is why, fellow trappers, that now more than ever is a time to teach responsibility and act responsible in the field.  It has been harped on a lot, but in order to minimize these occurrences such as the one in Ontario we have to act responsibly.  Follow your check laws, set responsibly, remove your equipment when finished.  The people that write these articles and read these articles are voters like us, and incidents like these fuel the fires of ignorance.

Educate, educate, educate…

-Mark Hajny, Nebraska Fur Harvesters member and NTA Representative

NTA Alert — New Mexico Ant-Trapping Bill to be heard this week.

**NTA Alert – Opposed to HB366 **


Thursday, February 7, 2019 – 8:00 A.M. – Room 317

The Anti-Trapping bill will be heard!!

We need to pack the room!! Please arrive in ROOM 317 by 7:00 a.m. to secure a seat. This will be the only bill heard that day and is expected to have a lengthy discussion.

If you attend:

Park in the free parking garage on the west side of the capitol.

Arrive at 7:00 a.m.

Be prepared to be present for 2-3 hours

Call and take 5 friends

Call and email all legislators everyday leading to Thursday!!!!

If you are unable to attend the meeting in person please send emails and make phone calls to all the legislators in House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee.

HB366 Wildlife Protection & Public Safety Act (Anti-Trapping Bill) “view bill here”

If passed, this bill will directly impact the welfare of hardworking men and women of the middle class who rely on the sale of furs. Trappers also contribute to the growth of game species by helping regulate the numbers of predator species.

Contact the following legislators and STRONGLY OPPOSE HB366! When emailing, type “Opposed to HB366” in the Subject line. Please be respectful when contacting legislators.

House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee

Representatives Emails:

Representatives Phone Numbers:

McQueen (505) 986-4423
Rubio (505) 986-4227
Akhil (505) 986-4464
Anderson (505) 986-4450
Ferrary (505) 986-4338
Montoya (505) 986-4758
Romero (505) 986-4254
Sarinana (505) 986-4227
Scott (505) 986-4450
Small (505) 986-4438
Stansbury (505) 986-4336
Strickler (505) 986-4220
Townsend (505) 986-4758

NTA Alert — Help Get Wolves Delisted

H.R. 6784 (Manage our Wolves Act) has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 196 to 180. The purpose of this is to “To provide for removal of the gray wolf in the contiguous 48 States from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife published under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.” — Effectively delisting the gray wolf from the endangered and threatened list.

Please contact Senator Ben Sasse, and Senator Deb Fischer by clicking on their names and tell them to SUPPORT THIS HOUSE BILL, and to pass HR 6784.

We need to get this passed by the senate and signed by President Trump.

This is our chance to once and for all be free of all the lawsuits, each time wolves are delisted. And everyone who lives in Upper Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (and many other states) should know that our wolves are no longer endangered and that they should now be properly managed by the respective states and the professional wildlife managers in those states.

Again, this is supporting sound science and wildlife biologists, NOT EMOTIONAL PROTESTERS

NFH will be at GunStock 2018

Look for the Nebraska Fur Harvesters booth at Gunstock 2018 this year.  Public Relations Director Jessica Power will be hosting the booth.  Gunstock is a show featuring new products and accessories from gun and ammo manufacturers and dealers.

The show is on October 27th and 28th and runs from 9am to 9pm.  It is sponsored by the Omaha Gun Club.

Jessica is seekeing fellow NFH members to help work the booth.  If you are interested, contact her at (308) 539-2703 or

Fall Meeting Summary

The Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association met Saturday at noon during the fall convention.   The following are some high points of the meeting:

  • G&P Furbearer Biologist Sam Wilson gave an update on the process to have an otter season in Nebraska.  The process is more complicated than one might think, with lots of meetings and due diligence.  Hats off to Sam, as he is pushing as much as he can to get us the season.
  • Two vacant officer positions were filled.  Ted Howard will be our new Legislative Representative.  Jessica Power will be our new Public Relations Director.  We wish both of these people well in their new endeavors and we know they will do a good job for us in the Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association.
  • The guys from Bassett came and gave a good presentation and put in a good bid to get the 2019 Convention.  The members voted unanimously to have it there.  2019 Convention will be in Bassett next September.
  • Dave Hastings and Mark Hajny gave their national association reports from the FTA and NTA respectively.  Dave’s knowledge of trapping happenings on a national level is invaluable to our association.
  • We sold the trailer.  For those who do not know, the association owned a trailer which held all the tables and chairs, cooking equipment, coolers, totes, etc.  The trailer got some hail damage, we ended up buying 2 new trailers, a large one and small one.  At the convention we sold the old trailer.
  • We kicked off a vendor advertising program this year.  You will now see vendor advertisements on the website and you will see vendor reviews on the facebook page.

If you have any questions about what was discussed please contact any of the NFH officers.