National trappers’ convention underway in Escanaba

ESCANABA – Organizers say 6,000-plus visitors are expected to attend the National Trappers Association Convention/Outdoor Expo in Escanaba this week. The four-day event began Thursday and runs through Sunday at the U.P. State Fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. Admission is $10 for all four days with kids under 12 admitted free.

Famous trappers and outdoor experts will be on hand presenting demos on trapping, fur handling, and hunting every hour on the hour. The demos will also be projected onto a big screen so all will be able to see. There will be 27 presentations throughout the event. John Graham, Bud LeAnna, Bill Mackowski, Bob Noonan, and Red O’Hearn are just a few of the pros who will be sharing their tips for success.

“What a great chance to learn from and visit in person with famous people we’ve seen on TV or read about in magazines. Taking in their demos is sure to improve our success on the trapline,” said Jim Fornetti, longtime member of the U.P. Trappers Association. Some demos are restricted to NTA members. Membership sign-up will be available on site. A complete list of demonstrators, schedules, dealers and other convention information is available at

There will be something of interest to all members of the family at this event, according to organizers. Trapping supply and outdoor gear dealers will be selling their wares.

Guided tours of Marquette, Fayette State Park/Big Springs, Pictured Rocks (by boat) and a local shopping/wine excursion will be available. Raffles with the 2014 print of the year (mountain lion) and the 2014 gun of the year (Ruger Red Label) are a couple of featured items to be won. Silent auctions trap setting and skillet tossing contests will take place. Two fur fashion shows will held Saturday with music by Runaway Train. A non-denominational church service is scheduled for Sunday.

The Steam and Gas Village Museum will be open for the event, along with the Growing U.P. Foresters exhibit for the kids. Youngsters will also be treated to free fishing, games and fun activities at the DNR Pocket Park. There are also age categories for the trap setting contest which the kids may participate in.