Public finds furs, fun at B.C. Trappers Convention

Jackson and Bentley Lipsett both purchased their own furs at the BC Trappers Association Convention on Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jackson and Bentley Lipsett both purchased their own furs at the BC Trappers Association Convention on Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Richard Arundel keeps his balance while competing in the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Richard Arundel keeps his balance while competing in the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
South Cariboo Search and Rescue members conduct a mock water rescue in the 100 Mile Marsh. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)South Cariboo Search and Rescue members conduct a mock water rescue in the 100 Mile Marsh. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
South Cariboo Search and Rescue’s Amanda Oilfield paddles towards shore while Nathan West helps Emily Poulin and Ruth Lee the dummy onto their boat. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)South Cariboo Search and Rescue’s Amanda Oilfield paddles towards shore while Nathan West helps Emily Poulin and Ruth Lee the dummy onto their boat. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Emily Poulin, a member of South Cariboo Search and Rescue, pretends to drown in the 100 Mile Marsh with Ruth Lee the dummy while demonstrating a water rescue. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Emily Poulin, a member of South Cariboo Search and Rescue, pretends to drown in the 100 Mile Marsh with Ruth Lee the dummy while demonstrating a water rescue. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
South Cariboo Search and Rescue’s Nathan West (left) demonstrates a water rescue with Amanda Oilfield and Emily Poulin. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)South Cariboo Search and Rescue’s Nathan West (left) demonstrates a water rescue with Amanda Oilfield and Emily Poulin. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
South Cariboo Search and Rescue’s Nathan West (left) demonstrates a water rescue with Amanda Oilfield and Emily Poulin. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)South Cariboo Search and Rescue’s Nathan West (left) demonstrates a water rescue with Amanda Oilfield and Emily Poulin. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
A display at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention showcasing old traps no longer in use in BC. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)A display at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention showcasing old traps no longer in use in BC. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Attendees of the BC Trapper Association’s Convention peruse booths at the South Cariboo Rec Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Attendees of the BC Trapper Association’s Convention peruse booths at the South Cariboo Rec Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
100 Mile House Wranglers volunteers man the grill Saturday at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)100 Mile House Wranglers volunteers man the grill Saturday at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Hundreds of people came out to the BC Trapper Association’s Convention in 100 Mile House Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Hundreds of people came out to the BC Trapper Association’s Convention in 100 Mile House Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jacob Hooft gives archery a try with the Bighorn Archery Club during the BC Trapper Association’s Convention on Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jacob Hooft gives archery a try with the Bighorn Archery Club during the BC Trapper Association’s Convention on Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Andrew Thibeault helps his son Chase drawback a bow at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Andrew Thibeault helps his son Chase drawback a bow at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jacob Hooft gives archery a try with the Bighorn Archery Club during the BC Trapper Association’s Convention on Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jacob Hooft gives archery a try with the Bighorn Archery Club during the BC Trapper Association’s Convention on Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jaclyn McCrea practices running through the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jaclyn McCrea practices running through the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jaclyn McCrea and Chloe Pellerin practice on the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jaclyn McCrea and Chloe Pellerin practice on the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Children play on the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Children play on the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Greg Pellerin competes in the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. Pellerin ultimately finished with a time of 1:46. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Greg Pellerin competes in the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. Pellerin ultimately finished with a time of 1:46. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Greg Pellerin competes in the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. Pellerin ultimately finished with a time of 1:46. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Greg Pellerin competes in the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. Pellerin ultimately finished with a time of 1:46. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Richard Arundel uses a hook to snag an old trap while competing in the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Richard Arundel uses a hook to snag an old trap while competing in the Trappers Obstacle Course at the BC Trapper Association’s Convention. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Hundreds of people attended the B.C. Trapper’s Association Convention’s open house Saturday, raising the profile of the association’s conservation work and injecting cash into the economy.

Organizer Kent Maitland said he received only positive feedback from the public who attended the event, the first for the association in 75 years. Maitland said 170 trappers attended the four-day convention at the South Cariboo Rec Centre, while he estimated another 100 people came out for the open house.

Attended also included Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and MLA Lorne Doerkson.

“We had zero negative feedback, which was a pleasant surprise to be sure,” Maitland said. “Even the people who came in unsure about what this was all about left with a positive attitude. They came out with the understanding we spend a lot of time doing conservation and trying to make sure wildlife is there for the future.”

The event featured several booths to raise awareness of proper trapping practices and efforts to help red-listed species like the fisher. One of the booths highlighted the importance of controlling the local wolf population, while skinning demonstrations were conducted on a fox, marten and a coyote.

108 Mile Ranch biologist Larry Davis, of Davis Environmental Ltd., showed off his fisher den box, an insulated wooded box that can be hung from trees to provide habitat for the red-listed fishers.

The fishers are considered endangered in the central Interior and of special concern in northeastern B.C., mainly because of deforestation, as they need large areas to live. The booth also featured fisher exclusion boxes – described as an elongated marten cubby fitted with a faceplate that is sized to prevent fishers from getting in and becoming bycatch.

“Trappers are one of the groups that helped found Canada and we’re not going anywhere. We’re going to continue to make noise to have some conservation done in our forests,” Maitland said.

Although the convention was to raise awareness, it was also an economic driver for the 100 Mile House community, said District of 100 Mile House Coun. Maureen Pinkney, who manages the District’s economic development portfolio.

She estimated the convention injected $300,000 into the local economy over the weekend. About 20 per cent of that total came from the organizers in rental fees and other costs related to holding the event. The remaining 80 per cent came from attendees buying food, renting hotel rooms and visiting local businesses.

“So many people drive through 100 Mile House, obviously, but you don’t know if they’re ever stopping. These events allow visitors time to walk around and check things out,” Pinkney said. “Every one of these events we can host is another opportunity for someone to come back.”

The event also provided a profile for local community groups, she said. The 100 Mile House Wranglers’ provided a burger BBQ fundraiser for the open house, while the South Cariboo Search and Rescue Society demonstrated a water rescue in the 100 Mile Marsh.

SCSAR search manager Val Severin said the marsh was the perfect place to practice and show the public what they do.

“This way the public is aware of what our services are capable of and gains an appreciation for the volunteers that do this on a weekly basis, just not in the public eye,” Severin said.

Jackson Lipsett, 11, had fun visiting the convention with his family, buying first pelt, a blue fox, for $200. As he only had $60, his mom had to spot him the rest, which he will pay back over time.

“I just can’t wait to go out, buy traps and help my dad with his hunting and trapping.”



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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