Escanaba to host national trappers event July 26-28

With Jim Comstock’s patented cages, problem beaver can be easy relocated to where they are wanted. The Gansevoort, N.Y., trapper will offer presentations at the National Trappers Association’s 59th annual Convention/Outdoor Show coming to Escanaba July 26-28.

ESCANABA — Jim Comstock, known as one of the better animal damage control trappers in the country, will be among the many experts attending the National Trappers Association’s 59th annual Convention/Outdoor Show on July 26-28 at the U.P. State Fairgrounds in Escanaba.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time all days. Admission is $10 per day or $20 for a three-day pass. Ages 12 and younger may enter free.

Comstock’s passion for exploring and trapping really intensified when he visited the legendary trapper Johnny Thorpe in 1966. He went on to trap in Virginia, Alabama, California and other states.

He earned his living trapping bobcat and beaver, along with writing articles for outdoor magazines. In the ’90s, Comstock expanded his trapping interest to include animal damage control. After capturing and relocating hundreds of nuisance beaver, he provided live otter for the New York State Otter Restoration Project.

With his welding/engineering skills, Comstock has patented cage traps that are now widely used live traps, not only for damage control but for wilderness trapping as well. Another one of his inventions is the “swim-thru” beaver cage trap. This trap works on land or in water, can be set horizontally, vertically, sideways and even upside down.

After catching hundreds of beaver and often coyotes for frustrated landowners, Nick Beder of Hartford, Wis., enjoys seeing a well-furred bobcat in one of his traps.

He catches 95 percent of his beaver in the safe, “swim thru” cages. He also has built traps for everything from chipmunks to mountain lions.

In the state of California, in one six-week stretch, he and his wife, Judy, live-trapped 111 bobcats, using trail setting with no bait or lure. He will show his techniques, inventions and ideas at the convention.

Hundreds of sporting good, trapping, hunting, fishing equipment dealers, tailgaters and others will be on hand. Many food vendors will be on the grounds as well. Games and a free fishing pond will keep the youngsters entertained.

The rustic camping areas are being expanded so more people will be able to camp right on the grounds.

“The attendance at this event is expected to be over 8,000 people,” said Jim Fornetti of Iron Mountain, longtime member of U.P. Trappers. “Jim Comstock and the other outdoor experts are sure to please and educate the attendees. That, along with the great food, and great deals on equipment make this event a ‘must’ for all trappers and outdoor persons and their families this summer,” Fornetti added.

Nick Beder of Hartford, Wis., also will be among the 23 trapping/outdoor experts presenting at the convention.

After starting trapping at age 9, Beder taught himself how to trap beaver under the ice. He uses all of his harvest, not only the fur but other parts for food and lure-making materials.

For further information, contact convention coordinator Vickie Wright at 231-907-0977, or or Roy Dahlgren 906-399-1960 or visit