Hamburg, N.Y. — New York state will host the National Trappers Association annual convention in 2015, the organization has announced.
The New York bid emerged from several other proposals to be selected to host the 2015 national event, which will be held at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg, July 30-Aug. 1.
The selection of the western New York site represents a major victory for the state and the Northeast, officials said.
“Most of the NTA national conventions are held in the Midwest, based around the largest concentration of trappers in the country,” said Tamara Masterson, the NTA’s convention coordinator. “Despite that, we’re confident in the New York selection and believe it will be an exciting convention with high attendance because of the strong trapping history within the state and surrounding area.”
The selection process for the 2015 event was officially kicked-off during the 2013 NTA national convention, whereby a committee first considered bids presented from several states and trapping associations.
“Factors that go into the decision-making process include facilities, pricing, location, timing, and the overall capabilities of the local or state trapping associations,”
Masterson said. “We were really impressed by the New York submission and the New York State Trappers Association (NYSTA), and it ultimately won out. This will be the second time the national convention has come to New York, with the only prior one being held in Syracuse many years ago.”
Attendance at the national conventions can be significant, ranging from 5,000 to 8,000 visitors. Masterson said the event is often welcomed locally as an economic boost.
“The convention brings in a lot of related business for the community for several days,” she said. “Everything from hotels to restaurants can economically benefit from the convention’s draw.”
The overall purpose of the NTA’s national convention is to bring awareness of trapping to the general public. “Really, we want to show to the public at large that trapping can be a responsible pursuit. The convention provides educational opportunities to showcase trapping’s benefits and that we, as trappers, are not the bad guys,” Masterson said.
In addition to the educational focus, other highlights of the convention include an awards presentation, a dinner banquet, an official NTA meeting, and perhaps the most anticipated aspect for trappers – the camaraderie.
“I think that’s the big thing to keep in mind,” said Masterson. “Trapping can be an individual pursuit and there are not many opportunities for trappers to interact with one another on such a grand scale. Being able to meet and talk trapping with other trappers from around the country presents a unique experience.”
Part of that experience includes numerous demonstrations and seminars. The NTA’s national conventions regularly bring in the trapping industry’s big names, such as Johnny Thorpe and Slim Pedersen, many of whom put on elaborate demos showcasing trap set construction, discussions about targeting specific species, and a variety of other topics. A demonstration schedule for the 2015 event is currently being developed and Masterson said to expect “several New York experts in the lineup.”
During the three-day convention, attendees will also be able to visit a dedicated dealer space, where trappers can interact with a wide range of trapping-related companies and buy items to prepare for the upcoming trapping season. “Trappers at the convention get to meet face-to-face with trapping-specific companies and actually check out items they wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to,” Masterson said. “Instead of ordering through a catalog or online, they can physically handle and test the merchandise to determine whether it is exactly what they want to buy.”
Wayne Jones, vice president of NYSTA, said that “now everything is in place and that the wheels are in motion, the association has a strong responsibility to support the convention.”
The association plans to offer numerous volunteers to help with the administration of the event, including the set-up and teardown of equipment and the preparation of the facilities.
“This will be a great opportunity to not only have a national convention in our backyard, but a chance to show the rest of the trapping community just how great New York and New York trappers are,” Jones said.