Upper Peninsula Trappers Association to hold July convention in Escanaba

Sarah Gomez is all smiles as she admires a large beaver she harvested. (Photo courtesy Sarah Gomez)

ESCANABA — The 62nd annual Upper Peninsula Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo will be held in mid-July in Escanaba.

Running from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, July 12-13, it will be held at the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds.

General admission is $10 per person with kids under 12 years old getting in free. Camping on the grounds will be available.

Organizers say there will be activities for all ages, with games, prizes and raffles available. Vendors will offer trapping supplies along with outdoor-related merchandise such as knives, socks, army surplus, food, outdoor equipment, fur-made items and tanned fur.

Among the activities geared especially for children will be supervised free fishing, pellet gun shooting and archery. The Kids Cave will include kids’ trapping demonstration and activities called Bandage a Bear, Pan For Golf and Build a Mink Box.

For all, the event’s popular Friday night fish fry will include locally caught fish. Limited tickets for this are available by calling event director Roy Dahlgren at 906-399-1960 or emailing him at trapperroy@outlook.com.

A number of well-known outdoor experts will also make presentations, specifically about trapping and predator calling, and will include multiple women presenters.

“Having ladies doing demos at the convention is excellent!” said Ron Phillips, a longtime member of U.P. Trappers. “This can be a real confidence booster to any ladies or other new trappers who are pondering trying trapping but may be intimidated.

“Hearing about it from ladies who overcame that to become accomplished trappers on their own can give the confidence boost to get them started.”

They include Mary Theoret presenting “Being a Beginning Trapper,”, Laura Gidney along with her son Zac speaking about foxes and coyotes, and Sarah Gomez, who will talk on coyotes with cable restraints.

Joining these presenters will be Jeff Hagerty on minks and muskrats, Jeff Dunlap on beavers and otters, Rick Friedrich on western bobcats, Jim Engel and Roy Dahlgren on martens and fishers, Les Johnson of Predator Quest on calling coyotes, and Paul Antczak of the TV show “Mountain Men” on western wolf trapping.

Gomez, an accomplished trapper in the state, said she is grateful for the people who took the time to help her get started.

At first, she didn’t know even the basics, such as what to do, how to do it, where to place a trap and how to connect the trap. The help she received early on is what drives her to now help others get started. Gomez said she feels a strong bond with all trappers, but especially young girls and women.

She is actively involved with the Women’s Trap Camp in Wisconsin, where 40 women each year learn the basics of trapping. She has trapped in Michigan, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Dakota and Texas for many species of furbearers, putting up amazing numbers on each species.

Gomez started the SheTraps.com website and Sarah’s Trapline Lures with a goal of making superior products that any trapper would feel confident using.

She also enjoys skinning, scraping and stretching her catches as much as she loves trapping.

More and updated information about the convention is also available at the U.P. Trappers website at www.uptrappers.com.

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


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