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Benefits Of Joining Your Trapping Organization

Danny Brown

It seems lately, that every time I get a chance to get together and talk with other trappers, the topic of membership in our trapper's federation always seems to pop up. To be more specific, the lack of members. Compared to most trapping organizations, the NBTFHF is lucky in the fact that we have a higher percentage of licensed trappers that opt to join the federation than most places do. Roughly 20 percent of licensed trappers in New Brunswick are also members of the NBTFHF. Some provinces and states have far less than that, including our national organization, the Canadian National Trappers Alliance. Ultimately, the discussion always ends up leading to the question, "What can we do about it?".

I think one of the biggest factors in trappers not joining their trapping organizations is that many have no idea what the organizations do. Others, don't even seem to realize that such organizations even exist. The common explanation of the purpose of trapping organizations is "They fight to allow us to continue trapping." Although this is 100% correct, it's a hard sell and doesn't mean much to trappers if they can't actually see the fight taking place. I think in order to convince more trappers to join, we have to show them the benefits of doing so. Are there benefits? I think anybody that is currently a member would agree, there are many.

I can honestly say that joining the NBTFHF is one of the best moves I could have made as a trapper. I have never been one for joining clubs or organizations but this is one I'm proud to be a member of. Our monthly council meetings are more than worth the cost of membership in the NBTFHF. The chance to get together with other trappers once a month and talk trapping is a benefit in itself. It allows trappers to share ideas, methods and theories that they can use on the trap line. It also gives the new or less experienced trapper the chance to pick up valuable tips and know how from the more experienced trappers in the council. Proper fur handling methods are also demonstrated at most meetings, allowing trappers to learn the proper method of putting up fur, resulting in better prices received for their fur when they sell.

Members are also kept informed on the latest happenings within the trapping industry. Trap standards, pending or new legislation related to trapping, new types of traps and equipment and upcoming events are just a small sample of information passed on to trappers at the council meetings. Being well informed is something that benefits every trapper. Members are also invited to attend social events throughout the year such as Summer Rendezvous and The Annual Convention. Members are invited to various social gatherings, instructional seminars and demonstrations, and events that the general public have no knowledge of or are not permitted to attend. How involved you become in the Federation is totally up to you, the opportunity is always there.

For too long, trappers were secretive and hard to ply any information from. Unfortunately, that attitude and approach hurt trapping immensely. Thankfully, that approach has changed and today, trappers have realized that we must be forth coming and willing to share our knowledge to enable us to continue trapping. A new generation of trappers are emerging, although smaller than past generations, we have the opportunity grow and ensure there will be trappers for generations to come. If every member of the NBTFHF could persuade one new member to join this year, we could double our membership. If we did this every year, imagine what we could do as an organization. If every trapping organization across North America could manage to do this, what a voice we would be!

There will always be those trappers that will never join or support their trapping organizations, even though they are benefiting from the work that organization does. Fortunately, there are many more that will if they are made aware of the importance of supporting such a group. Trapping is under constant pressure from animal rights groups who want to see it banned in it's entirety. Only a fool would think that trapping will survive if more support is not given to trapping organizations. If your like most trappers and want to see it survive for generations to come, join your trapping organization today! Work hard at encouraging other trappers to do the same, and if you get a chance, introduce someone new to trapping. You will never regret doing so!