A group of Upper Peninsula trappers hold a convention and exhibition for July in Escanaba | News, Sports, Jobs


Alpena area trapper Jeff Dunlap shows two coyotes captured nearby, known as a double in the trap. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Dunlap)

ESCANABA – A pair of trappers from the Upper Peninsula will take the stage and share their knowledge of beaver trapping in this part of Michigan at the 60th annual UP Trappers Convention and Outdoor Expo taking place July 15-16 at UP State Fairgrounds in Escanaba.

Escanaba’s Bob Steinmetz and Ontonagon County’s Ryan Koivu join a roster of nationally renowned trappers that includes Red O’ Hearn, Ed Schneider, Mark June, Jeff Dunlap, Sarah Gomez, Al Dubord and Jeff Hagerty.

Steinmetz and Koivu have many years of experience and success trapping beavers as their demonstration will focus on the fall, winter and spring seasons. Their clinic is set for 8:30 a.m. on July 16, according to a press release from the sponsoring organization, the UP Trappers Association.

The full convention and exhibition runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $10 for both days with children 12 and under admitted free.

Steinmetz has been a trapper for 50 years and Koivu for 46 years. Everyone can be a little uncomfortable in front of the crowd, but bite the bullet to share a lot of their knowledge, the UPTA said.

While participants will receive the usual tips, techniques, methods and lure placement, the pair will also demonstrate the use of tools for different situations and seasons. Proper, legal, safe and humane use of toe holds, body holds and beaver snares under the ice will be explained. They will also talk about the proper handling of furs to ensure the best price with fur traders.

“Steinmetz and Koivu are superb beaver trappers”, UP Trappers member Rich Bartoletti said in the press release. “You can definitely learn a lot by watching their demo. They engage the audience and encourage dialogue and questions.

Camping on the fair grounds is available as the event is geared towards families. Hundreds of vendors, tailgaters, artisans and antique dealers, among others, will occupy the grounds. Food vendors will offer local delicacies and kids can be entertained with games, competitions and free fishing in Pocket Park, with all of its activities supervised by adults.

There will also be raffles and fish fry on Friday night.

More information is available on the UPTA website at www.uptrappers.com and by clicking “Agreementnot” and “Convention Information”.

The events are organized by volunteers. For more convention/exhibition information, to volunteer, or to reserve tickets for Fish Fries, call Roy Dahlgren at 906-399-1960 or email him at [email protected]

Information compiled by Journal Sports editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is [email protected]

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