Trappers convention coming to Escanaba
By Journal Staff
ESCANABA — The largest trapping event in North America, the National Trappers Association Convention and Outdoor Show, will be July 27-29 at the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds in Escanaba.
Many legendary trappers from around the U.S. will sell their wares, giving demonstrations or just enjoying the show.
An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people will attend the event, which will run each day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for a one-day pass and $20 for a three-day pass, with children admitted free of charge. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase, and camping is available on the grounds.
One of the featured speakers will be Heimo Korth, known to viewers of the Discovery Channel program “The Last Alaskans.”
In 1975, Korth flew to Alaska to take a job as a packer for big game hunting guide Keith Koontz in the Brooks Range. The two men became friends and Koontz helped Korth get set up with a cabin for a winter of fur trapping. The cabin was located in a remote wilderness 70 miles south of Fort Yukon on Beaver Creek.
Korth was alone with meager provisions and no experience with trapping or wilderness living. At first, times were tough, and he barely survived. But he hung on. In 1978, he built his own cabin which he trapped out of for the next 40 years.
Among the furs Korth harvests in this northern boreal forest include wolf, fox, marten, wolverine, lynx and beaver. He has had several seasons with over 100 martens harvested.
Korth received the Alaska Trapper Association’s Fabian Carey Trapper of the Year award in 2003.
Korth will give two demonstrations: one on Arctic fox and the other on wolf trapping. Many other cast members from the show also will attend the convention. In addition, Marty Meierotto, a former cast member of the History Channel’s “Mountain Men,” will attend.
Korth’s friend Al Dubord, who grew up in the Flat Rock location a few miles outside of Escanaba, was instrumental in getting the cast members of “The Last Alaskans” to come to the convention. Dubord has also lived in Alaska for many years. He will present a demonstration on marten trapping.
A “Kids Cave” attraction is expected to keep kids entertained. See a full list of Kids Cave activities at bit.ly/44RF9UC. Kids will build several useful things to take home. They will also take part in the coin scramble, where kids dig through straw for cash and prizes and more.
The U.P. Steam and Gas Engine Antique Village on the fairgrounds will be open during the convention. The village offers visitors an interactive learning experience. Local artisans demonstrate traditional handicrafts such as glass blowing, knitting, spinning, weaving, quilting, pottery and woodcarving. Many of the goods produced are available to purchase.
The village also features a blacksmith’s shop, granary, barber shop, general store, cook shack and ice cream parlor. Exhibits include a steam-powered sawmill, railroad depot, schoolhouse and an 80-ton Fairbanks diesel engine.
Find out more about the convention at bit.ly/3K3mhKg. For more information, contact event organizer Roy Dahlgren at 906-399-1960 or firstname.lastname@example.org