Category Archives: Outdoor Industry News

News from the outdoor world in general.

River Otter Delisted In Nebraska

In a textbook example of management by science – not emotion, The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved removing river otters from the threatened and endangered species list in the state.

It was determined that the population of otters in the state would support being removed from the threatened and endangered species list.  Nebraska trappers are still hopeful that someday there will be a season on otters in some form, and this action paves the way to that goal.

You can read the full article on the Lincoln Journal Star Website here.

You can also read a little bit about a study that UNL did on the abundance of river otters in Nebraska by clicking this link.

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

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


Montana ballot initiative

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.

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.