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Escanaba to host trappers expo July 12-13

New York trapper Laura Gidney and Michigan trapper Sarah Gomez, second photo, will be among the presenters at the 65th annual Trappers Convention/Outdoor Expo set for July 12-13 at the U.P. State Fairgrounds in Escanaba.

ESCANABA — The 65th annual Trappers Convention/Outdoor Expo will be July 12-13 at the U.P. State Fairgrounds in Escanaba.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time both Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 and kids under 12 are admitted free.

This “family friendly” event grows more popular each year, according to organizers. This year’s event will feature some new items for all attendees, especially the kids. Free and closely supervised fishing, archery, pellet guns and “Kids Cave” with events like Panning for Gold, Build your own mink boxes hay scrambles and many more are featured.

Outdoor equipment dealers will be on hand. Both inside vendors and tailgaters with a wide variety of goods and trapping supplies will be there.

Nine trappers will be doing demonstrations: A “Mountain Men” star, a world-renowned predator caller and some “big name” trappers.

Zac and Laura Gidney will be at the event. Laura Gidney is the current treasurer for Fur Takers of America, and a master trapping instructor for New York State.

Zac Gidney is a junior trapping instructor for New York as well. The Gidneys live in Orange County, N.Y., about an hour slightly northwest of New York City. They run what most would consider a small, multi-species trapline, with a mix of suburban neighborhoods and farms.

In 2023, their land-trapping season total on canines was 244 with 117 raccoons, 22 bobcats, and 33 skunks.

Sarah Gomez, an accomplished trapper from Michigan, is another presenter. She is actively involved with the Women’s Trap Camp in Wisconsin where 40 women each year learn the basics of trapping.

Other presenters include Mary Theoret, being a beginning trapper; Jeff Hagerty, mink and muskrats; Jeff Dunlap, beaver and otter; Rick Friedrich, bobcats; Jim Engel/Roy Dahlgren, marten and fisher; Les Johnson from “Predator Quest,” coyote calling; and Paul Antczak, from History Channel’s “Mountain Men,” wolf.

This year’s event includes three female presenters.

“Having ladies doing demos at the convention is excellent,” said Ron Phillips, a longtime member of U.P. Trappers.

“This can be a real confidence booster to any ladies or other new trappers who are pondering trying trapping but may be intimidated. Hearing about it from ladies who overcame that to become accomplished trappers on their own can give the confidence boost to get them started.” Phillips added.

Food and refreshments will be available, as well as camping on the grounds. There will be a Friday night fish fry featuring locally caught bluegills.

Contact convention director Roy Dahlgren at 906-399-1960 or trapperroy@outlook.com for dinner reservations or any questions about the show. Go to www.uptrappers.com for additional information.

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