Illinois trappers hold annual convention
The Illinois Trappers Association convention was held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7-8, at the Macon County Fairgrounds in Decatur, Ill.
There was a full demo schedule each day. Topics included beaver, muskrat, coyote, raccoon, and bobcat trapping with a few other subjects such as the use of baits and lures thrown in as well. Demos, as usual, were well attended.
This has never been a large convention. Over the years folks have complained about the dates, which often coincide with the opening of bow season and the youth firearms season for deer. Unfortunately, September and early October are chock full of Midwestern trapping events. If you look around, there are no open weekends to move to without sacrificing the attendance of a number of loyal vendors. The time of the ITA convention was set well before a bow season for deer became a “thing”, let alone the advent of the youth deer season. There has been some exploration of moving the date, but nothing has come to fruition.
As noted, this is never a large convention. However, most likely because it is just about the last convention of the year here in the Midwest, the folks who attend come to buy. It’s the last chance to fill in the holes before trapping season on baits, lures, traps, and other trapping paraphernalia without have to pay sales tax or shipping. Attendance was down this year (as it has been at most every convention) likely due to a terribly depressed fur market for most Midwestern species. Oh, and gas prices – don’t forget gas prices. Regardless, vendors overall reported they did ok – expectations were not particularly high.
One of the best aspects of attending any trapper convention is that you get to meet a lot of old friends as well as make lots more. The trapping community is pretty tight, but very welcoming of new trappers. It’s not so large as for people to get lost in the shuffle. Go a few years and you’ll know dozens of like-minded folks who just love to share in their trapping experiences. Listen a bit and you’ll learn a lot from these folks – and have a great time as well.
If you ever get a chance to attend, you’ll have a great time – bow season permitting, of course.
Read more about the ITA convention in the Oct. 21 issue of Illinois Outdoor News.