Hundreds of B.C. trappers are expected to descend on 100 Mile House this spring in their first convention in three years.
Tim James, of the South Cariboo Trappers Association, said the local chapter has won the bid to host the B.C. convention, slated for the South Cariboo Rec Centre May 6-8. About 200 people are already registered for what James anticipates will be “the biggest event in 100 Mile since COVID.”
“We’re really looking for a good turnout,” James said, adding everyone is excited to get together after a two-year hiatus. “Everyone is chomping at the bit. We are planning for mandates to be in place but hoping they’re not.”
The local trappers’ association had initially won the bid to host the event in 2020 but it was cancelled due to the pandemic so they reapplied and were successful again this year. The convention will feature information booths, demonstrations on how to skin some animals – such as a wolverine, beavers and martens. Guest speakers include Rich and Sandi Mellon, of Alberta-based Trapping Inc. TV.
James said about 30 children are expected to also attend with their trapper parents and will have the opportunity to build a muskrat float with demonstrations on how to use it in the pond at 100 Mile Marsh.
“We will give them everything they need to go and get set up,” he said.
While the event is geared to trappers, James said they also plan to open the doors to the public from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 8 with a BBQ by donation. All monies raised will go to the 100 Mile House Food Bank. The Days Inn will also have tables in the lobby with info pamphlets.
100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall said the district looks forward to welcoming the Trappers convention, as it will bring “hundreds of people to town, supporting our local hotels, restaurants, caterers, and retail shops.
“Conventions in general, large and small, also support our tourism industry as delegates learn about our area and bring families back for vacation,” he said in an email to the Free Press. “The economic impact of the meetings industry, hosting conventions, and hosting sports tournaments is significant to our local businesses.”
The local trappers’ association has 38 members, who own, lease or share traplines across the region for furs to sell on the international market or at auction. He notes trapping practices have changed over the past few decades to make it more humane for the animals.
While most trap for furs for clothing – “it’s still the best product out there for quality and warmth” – James said many also make use of the meat. “A lot of us eat beaver meat and cat meat like lynx.”
James, who shares a trapline with Paul Blackwell in Lac La Hache, is one of 13 provincial trapping instructors, offering a three-day course to those interested in getting into trapping. Those interested are encouraged to give him a call at 778-840-5067.
“It’s not for everybody,” he said. “We do it because we love it.”
Trappers who would like to book a table at the convention can find the details on the B.C. Trappers Association website at bctrappers.ca
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to note that Rich and Sandi Mellon are from Alberta-based Trapping Inc. TV.