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Expert beaver trapper at trappers convention

ESCANABA — Local outdoor expert Ken Luedtke will be doing a demo on winter beaver trapping at the Trappers Convention/Outdoor Expo at the U.P. State Fairgrounds July 26-27. Luedtke began trapping at the age of 13 and now, 45 years later, he is still passionate about the sport.

Along with his expertise in the outdoors, Luedtke, who resides in Felch, is also one of the best fur handlers around. He has skinned, fleshed and stretched as many as 60 beaver in a single day and has put up over 100 raccoon in a day.

He processed fur professionally for NAFA for 10 years. That included processing fur from all fur bearers, which would number in the thousands. He is an expert trapper as well. He once captured 49 beaver in one day. He had an amazing total of 450 beaver in one season.

“I love teaching and sharing my knowledge. I have trapped, processed and graded fur with some of the best in the business. And I look forward to sharing this knowledge with other veteran and beginning trappers,” Luedtke said.

The main topic for Luedtke’s demo will be on under ice beaver harvest, using snares and/or traps. Luedtke has appeared on TV 6’s Discovering Outdoors program several times, and he has also presented at several NTA (National Trappers Association) conventions. Luedtke’s demo will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. He will be joined by many other outdoor experts giving presentations as well. Included in the demo lineup are: Al Dubord (trapping Alaska), Ed Schneider (coyotes), Les Johnson (predator calling), Lesel Reuwsaat (coyotes/cats), Mike Kain (beaver handling), Harry Nestell (raccoons) & Jeff Dunlap (coyotes).

Along with the demos, this event will have something of interest to the whole family. “Food will be available. Hundreds of vendors and tailgaters will have a vast variety of equipment and supplies for sale. For the youngsters, there will be trap throw and bean bag games, free pellet gun/archery shooting (under close adult supervision) and the popular free fishing pond. Buildings on the grounds will be full of exhibits (some not limited to trapping – including pottery, antiques, crafters, sewing and quilting to name a few).

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. There is an admission fee and kids 12 and under admitted free. Camping on the grounds is available.

“Our convention continues to draw more attendees each year. With the vast array of things to see and do at this event, it is sure to be a great experience for all,” stated Jim Fornetti (longtime member of U.P. Trappers). Escanaba is a friendly, little town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Many first time visitors to the event return again to take in the sights and beauty of the area and how much this expo has to offer,” Fornetti added.

For further information, visit the website www.conventionreg.uptrappers.com, or contact event coordinator Roy Dahlgren at (906) 399-1960 or trapperroy@outlook.com.

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