Upper Peninsula trappers group sets convention, expo for July in Escanaba

Alpena-area trapper Jeff Dunlap shows two coyotes captured in close proximity, known as a double in trapping. (Photo courtesy Jeff Dunlap)

ESCANABA — A pair of Upper Peninsula trappers will take the stage and share their knowledge of trapping beavers in this part of Michigan at the 60th annual U.P. Trappers Convention and Outdoor Expo to be held July 15-16 at the U.P. State Fairgrounds in Escanaba.

Bob Steinmetz of Escanaba and Ryan Koivu of Ontonagon County join a lineup of nationally known trappers who include Red O’ Hearn, Ed Schneider, Mark June, Jeff Dunlap, Sarah Gomez, Al Dubord and Jeff Hagerty.

Steinmetz and Koivu have many years of experience and success in trapping beavers as their demonstration will concentrate on fall, winter and spring seasons. Their clinic is set for 8:30 a.m. on July 16, according to a news release from the sponsoring organization, the U.P. Trappers Association.

The full convention and expo runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $10 for both days with children 12 years old and younger admitted free.

Steinmetz has been a trapper for 50 years and Koivu for 46 years. Each may be a bit uncomfortable in front of crowds, but are biting the bullet to share plenty of their knowledge, UPTA said.

While attendees will get the usual tips, techniques, methods and lure placement, the pair will also demonstrate use of tools for different situations and seasons. The proper, legal, safe and humane use of footholds, body grips and under-ice beaver snares will be explained. They will also speak on proper fur handling of the catch to ensure top dollar with fur dealers.

“Steinmetz and Koivu are superb beaver trappers,” U.P. Trappers member Rich Bartoletti said in the news release. “One can sure learn a lot by attending their demo. They engage the audience and encourage dialog and questions.”

Camping on the fairgrounds is available as the event is meant for families. Hundreds of vendors, tailgaters, crafters and antique dealers, among others, will fill the grounds. Food vendors will offer local favorites and kids can be entertained by games, contests and free fishing in the Pocket Park, with all their activities adult supervised.

There will also be raffles and a Friday night fish fry.

More information is available on the UPTA website at www.uptrappers.com and clicking on “Convention” and “Convention Information.”

The events is put on by volunteers. For more information about the convention/expo, to volunteer or to reserve tickets for the fish fry, call Roy Dahlgren at 906-399-1960 or email him at trapperroy@outlook.com.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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