Upper Snake River Trappers of Idaho, Inc.
Trina Johnson Memorial College/University Scholarship
The 2021-2022 Scholarship ended on Dec. 31st, 2020.
The Scholarship for the 2019-2020 school year was awarded to Alex Billings. She will be attending the University of Utah.
The 2018-2019 Scholarship was awarded to Brenda Estrada. She will be attending the College of Eastern Idaho.
The 2017-2018 Scholarship was awarded to Rialey Ballance. He will be attending The Lincoln College of Technology in Denver Colorado.
2016-2017 Annual Scholarship Award to Kaitlyn Davis.
Trapping has been around since the time of man. And was quite an intricate part of life for the early American settlers. Over the years as America has become more colonized and more advanced, and sadly as a result the popularity of trapping has decreased. However, despite this, I do believe that trapping has a bright future ahead.
One of the reasons why trapping will stay alive is that it will always be necessary. Unless animals were eradicated, animal control is needed. If the public cannot trap, then the government will have to- otherwise the populations of species will become overgrown, or on the opposite end, extinct. We can see a great example of this a few years ago when more wolves were introduced into Idaho, and no one was allowed to trap or hunt them. Their numbers greatly increased, and in result, the number of elk (their prey) greatly decreased, which resulted in not as many elk tags for hunters. It can also cause a lot of other imbalances in the eco system as well. I like to think of it with the analogy of mowing the lawn. Just as the need of mowing your lawn never goes away, the need to manage our animal populations will not go away either.
Another idea of why we will always be in need of animal control is that as the population of people grow, they are in constant need of animal control because people move into the animals habitat, and the animals move into the people’s space (such as in attics, or under porches)- causing problems. I have heard of cases where people were protesting against animal control, and then later called the animal control specialist because a beaver had cut down a tree, and it landed on their car. Or because there were squirrels and raccoons getting into their garbage and gutters.
I know that there is so much protest from various animal rights groups that are against trapping, and I know that we will continue to receive criticism. However, I do believe that we can close the gap and live more harmoniously with one simple solution. Education. We currently live in a society of information and education. And I think what we need is education on both sides. We need to teach our trappers to trap in ethical, humane ways. And we also need to educate the general population on the benefits and necessity for the community that trapping brings.
I love education, and I thoroughly believe that it is our solution for success. It is my hope for the future that more people can be educated on the “why’s and how’s” of trapping. I feel that there would be a lot less bias, and a lot more appreciation, as well as more people would even be interested in going out to trap themselves. Which could also have positive effects for more trapping freedom from our legislators.
In conclusion, trapping is so important to our heritage, and will always be needed. I hope that by our efforts we can see many more generations enjoy the freedoms of trapping that we have so enjoyed in its most natural form- out in the field.
The Upper Snake River Trappers have the pleasure of announcing the winner of the 2014
Annual Scholarship Award to Tanner Ballance of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Tanner is attending
college at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
The Earth revolves around the Sun. The Moon revolves around the Earth. The life of a teenager revolves around the internet. Similarly to those examples, my family revolves around the lifestyle of trapping furbearers. This lifestyle largely revolves around the trapping season, but also expands to the selling of furs and conventions held specifically for trappers.
First and foremost, the trapping season in the fall and winter months is very important to my family. Hours, days, even weeks, are spent in preparation for and participation in the trapping season. Dozens upon dozens of furbearing animals are cycled through our property. Whether they're muskrats thawing in front of the fireplace, raccoons hanging in the garage, or beavers waiting to be skinned, fleshed, and stretched, there is always an abundance of furbearers at home. It doesn't matter what day of the year it is, even if it isn't trapping season, one is always guaranteed to see beautiful pelts of various species somewhere around the house.
During the latter part of the trapping season, my house is often full of furs ready to be sold at the Upper Snake River Trappers sale in January or to be shipped and sold in the NAFA auctions. Both sales allow for this important hobby of my family to be profitable and even more rewarding. These fur sales encourage my family and I to continue to trap, and the sales introduce us to interesting and unique people who share our interest in trapping.
When the trapping season is over and the fur sales are all said and done, the summer begins and so does the long wait for the next trapping season to begin. However, during the summer, trapping conventions are held, and my family and I often attend them. Like the fur sales, attending and participating in the conventions has introduced my family and I to many people from all over Idaho and the States. It's always nice to take a day off and go have some fun at the USRT convention, whenever and wherever it is held. It's also a blast to take a week or so off and go on a road trip to the National Trappers Association's convention in the summer. It's that time of year when my family and I get to spend quality time together doing new things, going to new places, and meeting new people.
My family does a lot with trapping and all of its trimmings, and much like how the Earth revolves around the Sun and makes four seasons, my family revolves around trapping and makes great memories. Even though the trapping season, fur sales, and conventions, aren't everyday occurrences, not a day goes by that something trapping related isn't brought up at the dinner table or in the family room. Trapping wasn't a part of my family until my mom married my stepdad, three years ago. Now it's been about three revolutions since then, three great revolutions around the trapping lifestyle.