Chuck Sykes – The Management Advantage Consulting

I wanted to keep you informed of the progress the FTA and The Management Advantage are having on promoting the trapping message.  It was a huge step for the FTA to agree to the sponsorship of The Management Advantage this season and I needed to let the FTA members know how much their decision has impacted our viewers.

Each week we receive some form of validation that we are both doing a great service to the public.  Our two organizations have never been the kind to take the road of political correctness or fall victim to knee-jerk emotional propaganda.  We follow fact based information based on scientific data.  However, with a subject as emotionally charged as trapping, we are sure to ruffle a few feathers along the way and we have had several viewers that were not too thrilled with us promoting trapping.  But, the overall response to the FTA Trapping Chronicles has been extremely positive.

Some weeks the positive comments come in the form of email.  Here are just a few of them:

As your readers can see, there are quite a few people out there that truly appreciate what we are doing.  As the editor of the Fur Taker, you know how hard it is to get positive feedback.  Just like you, we typically only hear the things we did wrong.  This response speaks volumes as to the need of what we are doing.

Some weeks the validation comes though personal contact with our viewers.  We worked the National Wild Turkey Federation convention and sports show in late February and we were able to visit with many of our viewers.  We did not receive any negative feedback about the FTA segment or the trapping show that we produced this year!

I guess the most disappointing thing to me is the general lack of knowledge that most of the hunting public has when it comes to the importance of trapping.  Growing up trapping, I just assumed most hunters, even if they had never trapped, at least knew why it was important.  This is definitely not the case.

As you know, I have a wildlife consulting business as well as produce the television program.  Over the years, I have stressed to all of our clients the importance of trapping in upland game bird management.  Removal of nest predators greatly influences the success in brood rearing by turkey, quail, and pheasant hens.  Now, quite a bit of money is spent each year on supplemental feeding programs for whitetail deer.  We are now placing emphasis on removing raccoons and opossums in our deer management plans and have explained this in our television programs the past two years.

Trapping Predatorsknow we are reaching viewers in presenting a positive trapping message not just by receiving email or working consumer shows, but also with our consulting clientele.  Last week I visited with a new client in central Mississippi.  Before we even started viewing the property, he insisted on showing me some of his trail camera photos.  Typically, this means looking at deer.  Not in this case though.  He started showing me photo after photo of raccoons eating his deer feed.  His main concern was how to remove them.

He needed to know where to get the traps and just some basic trapping techniques.  These are the types of people that can truly benefit from The Trapping Chronicles.  These are also the people who will be purchasing trapping products found in the Fur Taker.  I certainly hope that we can continue our working relationship into a new year and a new show season.  If we do, I strongly suggest that we structure the new topics to more hands on teaching of proper trapping techniques.  We did a great job this year introducing our viewers to the FTA and its members.  We also tried to dispel some of the myths about trappers and trapping.  Now it is time to start teaching!  Thanks to all the members of the FTA and especially the board members for taking such big step in expanding the FTA mission.  I am looking forward to another year.