Recent News & Updates

2016 Rendezvous Demo DVD

The Keystone Institute for Furbearer Education now has available the DVD from last year’s (2016) PTA Rendezvous.

The DVD is 100 minutes long and contains demos done by the following instructors:

Harry Hestell – dog proof
Jeff Dunlap – muskrats
John Wilkinson – otter
Steve Wentzel – pest control
Herb Senderling – cables
Dick Atkins – fox
Lesel Reuwsaat – coyote
Mark June – bobcat

There have been only 100 DVD produced. The price is $20.00 each, shipping & handling included.

Check or Money Order only. No credit cards.

Order from:
Keystone Institute for Furbearer Education
P. O. Box 654
New Bloomfield, PA 17068

NTA Convention 2017

Photos the NTA convention in Pecatonica, IL. The PTA booth was manned by President Charlie Sykes and Dave Eckels – FTA Director.

Obituary: John Joseph Stemmler, Jr.

On July 23, 2017 John Joseph Stemmler, Jr. (58) entered the kingdom of heaven while surrounded by his loving family at their home. His undeniable strength, drive and willingness to always say, “What next?” in his 9-year battle with cancer showed his courageous character, as he fought for as much time as God could give. He often said it’s not the challenge we are given, but our response to it. John’s response brought extended opportunities for him to enjoy life and make countless precious memories with his family and friends, while being an actively-contributing member of his community. He was strong in his faith and an active member at Christ Church McKeansburg, its consistory, and cemetery committee. His work at EEG, Inc (Empire Education Group) was respected and his colleagues were friends. He pioneered cutting edge cancer treatments helping to advance protocols for others. He was a board member of many progressive organizations including West Penn Archery Club, Pennsylvania Flyers Association, and Keystone Institute for Furbearers Education (KIFE). John was a member of two gun clubs and D.R. Schall hunting camp. Shooting, hunting, fishing and trapping became contagious when you were with him because he was a wealth of knowledge and loved to share what he knew with others. He has now earned a well-deserved rest in the arms of our savior and is with those who have loved him and gone before us. His memory will live in the hearts of all those whose lives he has touched forever. John is survived by his wife of 35 years Cindy Stemmler, Daughter Jessica Stein and her husband Jacob Stein, Daughter Emily Stemmler; his parents John and Mary Stemmler, Sister Barbara Stemmler and her companion Tom Parson, Brother James Stemmler and his wife Mary, Sister Cathy Gerber and her husband David, Multiple Nephews and Nieces In lieu of flowers, John requested donations be sent to KIFE, Keystone Institute for Furbearer Education, P. O. Box 654, New Bloomfield, PA 17068 to promote youth education and help make a dream become a reality. A Religious Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, July 26th at Christ Church McKeansburg with Rev Mark T. Shellhamer officiating. Visitation from 9:00 AM until time of service. A meal will be provided in the church basement social hall after brief services at Zion’s Red Church Cemetery. All are welcome. Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., Orwigsburg is honored to have been entrusted with the arrangements.

Figured Recognized by PTA

Pennsylvania Game Commission Northeast Region Director Daniel Figured was recently presented with the Pennsylvania Trappers Association’s (PTA) 2017 Conservationist of the Year Award for his contributions to wildlife management and support of Pennsylvania’s trappers. 

The award was presented to Figured at the Game Commission Northeast Region office in Dallas by PTA past president Brian Mohn and PTA Public Relations Director Barry Warner. 

Figured is responsible for directing and coordinating all Game Commission wildlife law enforcement, wildlife-management, and habitat enhancement programs within the 13 counties that comprise the Northeast Region. 

“Dan has been a tremendous asset to Pennsylvania’s trappers by providing training for wildlife conservation officers in the areas of best management trapping practices, nuisance wildlife control, and positive public relations,” said Warner. “In addition, Officer Figured recognizes the critical role that regulated trapping plays in scientific wildlife management and supports the PTA in its training, educational, and public outreach programs.”

PGC Photo (L-R) PTA past president Brian Mohn; Game Commission NE Region Director Daniel Figured; PTA Public Relations Director Barry Warner.

Dutch Elsasser

Donald E. “Dutch” Elsasser, 78, of McAlisterville passed away on June 29, 2017.  Dutch was born on February 23, 1939, in Fayette Township, Juniata County.  On June 10, 2006 he married his surviving wife, Rebecca L. (Landis) Elsasser, with whom he was blessed to share more than 11 years of marriage.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Douglas R. Elsasser and his wife Michelle, of Cocolamus, Cassi L. Stouffer and her husband Tom, of McAlisterville, Donna L. O’Neill and her husband Mark, of Southbury, CT, Wendy S. Elsasser, Kayla M. Hoke both of McAlisterville; a brother, Kenneth R. Elsasser, of McAlisterville, 9 precious grandchildren, Andrew, Andrea, Patrick, Tara, Robert, Walker, Zane, C.J., Austin; also he leaves behind his great grandchildren, Logan, Camden, Owen, Kyle, Saoirse, and Parker and 2 very special 4 legged children, Annie and Jackie.   A brother, Joseph W. Elsasser, preceded him in death.

     His memberships included Brown’s United Methodist Church, McAlisterville, the PA Farm Bureau, Fayette Sportsman Club, Lost Creek Trout Club, NRA, and a life member of the Pennsylvania Trappers Association (life member #147).  His favorite hobbies and pastimes were hunting and trapping, playing ping pong, pitching horse shoes and playing the card game Hoss.

     Very early in life, he sold and repaired bicycles until working in the mailroom for PennDOT, Harrisburg.  Later he started raising beef cattle on the family farm and then operated a sawmill.  “Dutch” is best known for his fur trading business, Cocolamus Creek Supply, which he had operated for more than 50 years buying furs and ginseng and providing a full line of trapping supplies to his customers.  In 1976 Cocolamus Creek Supply moved into the former Smith Store in Cocolamus and began selling groceries and sporting goods.  Mr. Elsasser also owned and operated Cocolamus Creek Rentals, Dutch’s Auto Sales, Sandee’s Place, and a sporting goods store in Mifflin.  In 1986, he started Cocolamus Creek Disposal and also operated Hollow Farm Retreat and owned the Cocolamus Lake.

     The last few years Dutch held an annual customer appreciation day at Cocolamus Lake nicknamed “Dutch Day”.  Food and drinks were provided and there were giveaways of trapping supplies and trapping demonstrations.  Many remember him especially promoting trapping with the younger outdoorsmen and women at Dutch Day.  The event grew each year with many trappers from all over Pennsylvania attending.

     Dutch’s greatest passion in regards to the trapping industry was fur trading.  He bought furs nationwide and internationally having many contacts in Canada.  Dutch was a staple at the PA fur sales and was a major player in regards to quantities purchased.  Dutch also attended and bought fur at auctions in surrounding states like New York and Virginia.  Dutch was well known for paying good prices for fur, and often one could tell if he attended an auction by looking at the averages.

     He attended many national and state conventions and could usually be found in the tailgater section with his trailer providing a full line of trapping supplies.  Dutch even had his own lure line which he formulated himself and sold under the Cocolamus Creek label.  Anyone who did business with Dutch knew he did not like to be undersold and most times offered the lowest prices on traps at the conventions he attended.  It was at these many conventions that Dutch got to know a lot of his customers and his customers got to hear his signature catch phrase, “Are you with me?”