hope this newsletter finds everyone doing well and enjoying the last of
the summer. This is my last official letter as your president. I
consider it an honor and a privilege to have served the membership of
TFHA and represent trappers of Tennessee.
Our annual fall meeting at Fall Creek Falls is just around the corner
and there will be an election for the following offices; President, Vice
President and State Organizer.
If you are a member in good standing with your dues paid current you
will find the official ballot enclosed with this newsletter. If you did
not receive a ballot, use this letter as a reminder to renew your
membership. You can either mail your ballot in to our membership
secretary, Debbie Ross-Smith at 13740 Birchwood Pike Birchwood, TN 37308
or bring it to Fall Creek Falls and personally put it in the ballot
box. If you chose to mail in your ballot allow enough time for it to be
received by September 28, 2017. If you are bringing your ballot to Fall Creek Falls, the ballot box will be available Friday, September 29, 2017 until noon central time on Saturday, September 30, 2017. No ballots will be received after 12:00pm noon central time on September 30, 2017.
There will be no ballots available to pick up at Fall Creek Falls. You
must vote with your official ballot that was mailed to you.
Enclosed you will find a letter from each of the perspective
candidates. I would encourage each of you to put thought and informed
knowledge of the candidate into your selection. TFHA has made great
strides in the previous years to earn a reputation as a respectful
professionally run organization. Our fur sales are well organized and
run like a well-oiled machine. Our relationship with the TWRA and
elected governmental officials is at it's highest level since TFHA
began. Our finances are sound and stable, and we host several
educational booths throughout the entire state throughout the year.
These booths are manned primarily by your elected officers. Travel
expenses to and from fur sales, booths, TWRA meetings etc... Are mostly
not covered by TFHA but instead covered by the volunteers and/or
officers representing TFHA. If TFHA had to fund most of these activities
it would limit us greatly on our effectiveness throughout the state. As
you cast your vote keep in mind the people you elect will be the face
of your organization. The way they conduct themselves in public and in
social media will be a direct reflection on your organization. If you
don't feel that you are informed enough to make a good decision I
encourage you to talk to a member who regularly attends our events and
is more familiar with the candidates and ask their opinion.
Now, more about our fall meet at Fall Creek Falls. We will once again hold our annual crawfish boil on Saturday night. There will be a dessert-only Dutch Oven Cook-Off Contest that will be judged Saturday evening just prior to the crawfish boil. There will be a Director's meeting on Friday evening at 7:00pm Central.
Remember, we are hosting the NTA Southeastern Regional Convention and Sport show in Crossville, TN October 20,
and 21, 2017. Be sure to mark your calendar to attend this event. We
have big name trappers coming from across the country to share their
knowledge at this event. The vendor building has been sold out for
months and we are currently trying to make room for the vendors who
still want to come. There will be a free Southeastern Trappers Feed on Saturday
night followed by a fundraising auction. If you will like to bring a
dish for the feed contact Toby Hutcheson at (256)627-4704 or you can
reach him through Facebook or email at [email protected] We still need volunteers so if you can volunteer to work a shift please contact myself or Debbie.
Don't forget our District 1 and 2 meet at Panther Creek State Park on November 4, 2017.
As most of you know by now, Clarence and I worked for about a year and a
half to get some of our trapping regulations changed in Tennessee. As a
result, trapping is no longer regulated by legislation but is in the
hands of the TWRA where it should be, the same as hunting and fishing.
We can now use specified laminated jaw traps and cast jaw traps and
double jaw traps that are a minimum jaw thickness of 1/4" to trap on
land along with the padded jaw trap. We now have a 72 hour check on
lethal sets. At the NTA
awards banquet this year several Tennesseans received National awards
because of these accomplishments. Our Vice President Clarence Dies
received NTA's Trapper of the Year East. Chris Richardson; assistant to
TWRA's director Ed Carter, received NTA's Conservationist of the Year.
Senator Mike Bell received NTA's Congressional Merit Award for
sponsoring the bill that removed trapping from legislation. Representative Ron Lollar received the NTA President's Award for co-sponsoring the bill.
To my knowledge, for the first time in the history of TFHA, we have a
half-page ad in the Hunting and Trapping Guide promoting our
association. This ad is a result of some bartering I did with the TWRA.
I'd like to thank Don King and Director Ed Carter for making this
I am very
proud of the accomplishments of TFHA during the four years that Clarence
and I have served as your President and Vice President. Having a man
like Clarence to work with and having the confidence that if something
should have happened, and I could have no longer
served as president, that he was more than capable and willing to step
in and devote the time and talents to be the head of our organization.
My hat's off to you Clarence Dies, my good friend and right-hand man.
I look forward to seeing everyone at our upcoming events.