History of United Trappers of Kentucky
The United Trappers of Kentucky, Inc. is a statewide sportsmen’s organization of Kentucky fur trappers. Founded in 2004, we are the largest trapping organization in Kentucky with our primary goal being the enhancement and perpetuation of trapping for present and future generations of Kentuckians.
We work with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen, the Kentucky Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and other groups regarding trapping and issues of wildlife management and conservation.
Objectives of United Trappers of Kentucky
Objective #1 Public Education about Trapping
UTK has achieved this objective by working nonstop to educate people young and old about what trapping really is. We regularly participate in outdoor expos and other events to let the public know about the benefits of trapping and the need for trapping as a wildlife management tool.
Objective #2 Cooperation with Groups of Common Interest
UTK has achieved this objective by joining forces with numerous groups to further our cause in Kentucky. Some of our partners include the National Wild Turkey Federation, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen, the UK Cooperative Extension Service, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Kentucky Hunter Education Association, the Kentucky Conservation Officers Association, and the Kentucky Wildlife Conservation Partnership.
Objective #3 Youth Mentoring
UTK has achieved this objective by two means. Many members allow youngsters and new trappers to accompany them on their traplines each year. This is the most beneficial thing any of us can do to recruit good, ethical trappers into our ranks. Also, UTK has conducted many hands-on trapping seminars just for youth. Our trapper weekends and school programs have reached hundreds of young folks who might not have otherwise known what trapping really was.
Objective #4 Representing the Interests of all Kentucky Trappers Regarding Legislation and/or Regulation
UTK has achieved this objective numerous times. When bills have been presented in Frankfort that would heighten or lessen the trapping experience in Kentucky, we were there voicing our position. When regulations were revisited for clarification, we were there offering our thoughts. Examples include trap size clarification, snare definition, otter and bobcat quota numbers, and trapper ID numbers for trap tagging.
Objective #5 Work with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
UTK has achieved this objective. We have a very strong professional working relationship with the department. There is constant conversation between the two organizations. We have provided assistance to the department with several issues and likewise the department has been there for us when we needed them. It is greatly appreciated that we have a fish and wildlife department that is willing to work with us and listen when we have concerns.
Objective #6 Conduct Trapper Training as a Part of Hunter Safety Training
UTK is still working on this objective. It may be that we need to work toward a trapper education program separate from hunter education.
Objective #7 Undertake a Structured Program of Regular Seminars for Trappers
UTK has achieved this objective. All of our statewide meetings and district meetings include educational demos aimed at improving the skill of all trappers regardless of age or level of experience. Trapping weekends in the northern part of the state always attract a crowd. Our school program in the southeast is a hit and draws new students each year. Without a doubt educating people, especially young people, about trapping is UTK's lifeblood. It is our future.