Category Archives: Nebraska Fur Harvesters News

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

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 ericnfh@gmail.com 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

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! 

Spring Meeting Held In Sumner, Nebraska

The Spring meeting was held in Sumner, Nebraska on April 10th, 2016.  Topics discussed included furthering the education program, getting volunteers to help at the convention and to help with education classes, etc.  The possibility of holding a State Association Fur Auction was tossed around.  If you have interest or opinions on this contact Eric Stane.

Bob Miers was introduced as the new Secretary for the Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association.  Thanks, Bob and we are glad to have that position filled after being vacant for so long.

Some discussion was had about where to hold the 2017 convention.

Sam Wilson giving his report
Sam Wilson giving his report

Sam Wilson, Furbearer Program Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission gave his report on some regulation terminology changes, Otter numbers, and Furbearer Harvest numbers.  Thanks Sam for making the trip out and providing the valuable information.

 

 

 

 

If anyone would like to volunteer to help at the convention, education programs, or anything else with the Nebraska Fur Harvesters, please contact our President Eric Stane.  We are always looking for volunteers.

A big thanks to all who attended for making the trip.  Thanks to those that donated lure, bait, tools and hats to be drawn out and given away as door prizes.  There were a few items left over and those will go in Eric’s youth education box to be given out at the future youth education seminars.  Also a huge Thank You to Monte for hosting and providing lunch!

Have a good summer and see you all at the convention!!!

Spring Meeting Attendance in Sumner, Nebraska
Spring Meeting Attendance in Sumner, Nebraska

Spring Meeting Details Announced

The Spring Meeting of the Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association will be held Sunday, April 10, 2016 in Sumner, Nebraska at the Sumner Community Hall.  Meeting time is 10:30am.  Monte is arranging for lunch and it is being provided for a good will offering.

Topics being discussed include:

Expanding the Trappers Education Program
Building a list of volunteers for events
Introducing our new Secretary
The 2016 Convention
Proposed regulation changes
The new website
Any other new business or concerns

Click this link to see the location on google maps.

Door prizes will be given away.  Shane Claeys from Papio Creek Trapping Supply has a box of giveaways, as well as a few things from Hornady and M & M Baits and Lures.  There will probably be more by meeting time.

If you have questions please contact Eric Stane at this email address, or use the Contact Us page.

All Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association members are welcome to attend.  If you are not currently a member, Visit our membership page and join today or join at the meeting.

There is currently a thread on trapperman.com about the spring meeting.  Make a post of you need to carpool or have any ideas:  http://www.trapperman.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/5448563/Nebraska_Fur_Harvesters_spring#Post5448563

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.

Hastings, Nebraska Trapper makes local headline

For those of you who do not see the Hastings Tribune, this article appeared on the front page of the Saturday, January 30th, 2016 edition.  Mr. Raney provides a good reminder to all of us to act responsibly, make sure you are working “by the book” and your traps are tagged and you have obtained proper permission.

This article was written by John Huthmacher, and has  been re-printed with permission from the Hastings Tribune, and publisher Darran Fowler.

Trapper explains activity

MAN SET TRAPS NEAR PARK TO SNARE FOXES TARGETING 4-H BIRDS AT FAIRGROUNDS

JOHN HUTHMACHER
johnh@hastingstribune.com

Matthew Raney of Hastings was alarmed when he learned Monday that someone’s dog had wandered outside of Brickyard Park and tripped one of a handful of traps he had set with permission on private property just outside park grounds.

The spring-loaded trap reportedly did not cause injury to the dog, but the incident was nonetheless reported by the walker to local authorities and posted on social media sites.

Fearing that someone reading about the found trap may attempt to uncover additional traps he had set in the area, Raney — a certified line clearance arborist by trade — pulled them for the time being, though he says they are technically protected by law.

“That guy who reported it should come forward and let the media know he was in the wrong from the beginning,” Raney said. “It would have been illegal in the park, yeah. But it was on private property outside city limits about 200 yards from park property.”

So far, Raney has yet to make contact with the man who turned his trap over to authorities, he said.

Raney said he set the traps — with permission from the property owner — to target a skulk of foxes that had been killing chickens and ducks after dark at Adams County Fairgrounds. With his own children involved in 4-H activities, he felt compelled to intervene “so that the kids have something to show for 4-H,” he said.

Since the incident was reported, he has cooperated with Hastings Police and animal control and had his trap returned without penalty. He later showed an animal control officer where it had been placed.

The trap’s tag, which contained Raney’s driver’s license number, was left beside where the trap had been placed before it was turned over to police, he said.

“The tags are attached by a small wire and are smaller than the pencil lead that goes into a mechanical pencil,” he said. “Sometimes, if you don’t notice, you can rip a tag off and not know it. This tag was still laying by the hole where it was set up.”

The trap was one of two spring-loaded leg traps he set on the property, along with a live cage and snare traps. To date, he has trapped two foxes and a raccoon there. He is unsure when or if he’ll resume trapping on the site, but has yet to uncover any ordinance prohibiting it.

“I went down to the city attorney’s office Tuesday to look through ordinance books and never found anything prohibiting trapping within city limits,” he said. “You’re not supposed to trap within 200 yards of a dwelling unless you have the owner’s permission, which I did.”

While he concedes that being snared by a spring-loaded trap can sting a bit, he notes it is designed to provide optimum tension without causing harm to the animal. Its purpose is to catch and hold the animal while allowing the trapper to release unwanted catches unharmed.

“They’re not big enough to break bones,” he said. “If a person steps in that trap, it more than likely wouldn’t hurt you, especially if you had shoes on.”

 

The link to the online story is here.  There are also a couple stories about this leading up to this story.