TENNESSEE FREE TRAPPERS ASSOCIATION
Chris Jacobsen, State Organizer
TWRA’S ANNUAL SETTING OF THE SEASON’S COMMISSION MEETING: was held on May 30, 2002 in Nashville, TN. President Robert Campbell and myself attended the meeting to set the 2003 Hunting and Trapping Season. Three traps were accepted and added to the TWRA’s list of legal traps. As follows: Tom Beaudette’s rubber jaw coyote cuff traps - BRJ #33 (bonded rubber jaw with 6 1/2” jaw spread), and the BRJ #22 (5 1/2” jaw spread), J.C. Conners rubber jaw “Jake Trap”. If you hate the hassle of modifying your stock rubber jaw traps or just don’t have the time or equipment, these traps are ready to go out of the box. There is also another specie specific dog proof coon trap that has been added to the list that is very similar to the coon cuff which is already legal in Tennessee. It is called the “Lil’ Grizz Get’rz”. If you were not aware, these specie specific raccoon targeted traps still just fall under the regular non rubber jaw foot hold type criteria meaning that they must be placed inside a Hole a minimum of 12” deep or set in the water. They cannot be set on top of the ground out in the open.
Trapping Season will begin on November 22, 2002 and end February 15, 2003. The counties which had an experimental otter trapping season last year can now take otter thru the entire trapping season with no limit. All counties west of, and including Scott, Morgan, Roane, McMinn and Polk are now open to otter trapping for the entire trapping season with no limit. All counties east of and including Campbell, Anderson, Loudon, and Monroe will have a limit season. Otter trapping season in these counties begins November 22 and closes December 15th with a limit of four otter taken per trapper for the entire season. The trapper is responsible for tagging all otters taken and reporting to the TWRA in which county it was trapped. This is how the TWRA keeps track of how the otter population is doing and their migration. This CITES tag is also required to be fastened to the pelt in order to sell it at any fur auction.
Remember to refer to the New 2002-2003 Hunting and Trapping Guide.
Myself and TFTA President, Robert Campbell attended the ‘Setting of the Seasons’ meeting at the TWRA Regional office in Nashville on May 24th. The commission panel has agreed to a limited river otter trapping season. In the past years, otter could not be taken East of the Tennessee River. I believe the input of fur trappers and the turning over of their incidental otter catches in part of the state that in the past could not take otter, have helped to show a positive otter population East of the Tennessee River. Whether you were fur trapping in season or doing ADC work in off season throughout the years, the numbers of otter captured and turned over have been reflected and had an influence on the TWRA’s and commissions decision. While trapping during fur season, I know of several local trappers close to me who took some incidental otter in sets targeted for other furbearers and turned these unintended in. I myself have turned in several incidental otter for the past several trapping seasons. I’m positive this had a great impact on our state biologists records for obtaining records to now know how the otter population has grown eastward. Once again, on behalf of all Tennessee trappers, thanks to all who turned in your incidental otter catches. do forget to tag them yourself, to be able to bring the pelts to an auction.
As the commission agreed, the season for otter will start November 16th, 2001 and will close Feb. 15 with no limit. There will be an experimental season in the portion of Tennessee North and East of Kentucky Lake and Pickwick Lake excluding Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties and all counties in TWRA, Region IV. The restrictive experimental season in Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties is November 16th and will close December 15th with no limit. Also, as stated previously all River Otters harvested must be tagged by the harvester with the Tennessee U.S. Cites tags.
Thanks to Bob & Darlene Best of R.C. Best Traps and Trapping supplies for the generous donation for the three different sizes of the “round type” NACO body gripper traps. These fine traps are designed for animal control trapping, however in my evaluation, they are also some good applications for fur trapping. Very interesting. Check ‘em out. We will display these traps at our meets , fur sales, etc. and then eventually auction them off! To contact this supplier, write them for more information. R.C. Best Traps, Box 103, Knox, PA 16232.