beaver dam

Washington State Trappers Association (WSTA)
Conservation Through Communication and Cooperation

About Us


The Washington State Trappers Association (WSTA) was formed by a small group of trappers in Skagit County, WA in September 1967. After several meetings, the association was formed and a constitution was written with yearly dues of 50 cents. The first President of the WSTA, Fred Lawrence, was elected in 1973 where he took the association statewide. At the present time, the membership is about 300 Trappers both men and women. In the 1980’s the membership numbers were around 600-700 Trappers.

One of the most popular events of the WSTA is the Annual Rendezvous, currently held in mid-August over a three day period. The first Rendezvous was held in 1969 two years after the association was formed. Events at the rendezvous include trapping demonstrations and talks, discussions by some of the most knowledgeable Professional Trappers in the state. In addition, there are vendors with fur and trapping supplies, two or three raffles, an auction, and a contest for the children and the rest of the family, a membership meeting, and awards are given to the winners of the contest plus, awards for members, good food and a whole lot of camaraderie. Along with the additional events and activities, WSTA puts on the Trapper Education Classes, as well as the Nuisance Wildlife Operators Classes, which are required if you wish to buy a trapping license, or to trap problem animals outside the regular seasons for profit.

An annual Spring Business Meeting is held by the Board of Directors which consists of the Officers, Regional Directors, County Representatives and heads of Committees to direct the affairs of the WSTA for the coming year. This meeting is also open to the general membership.

Occasionally, trapping and fur handling workshops are held to demonstrate the proper techniques of trapping, skinning, stretching and preparing pelts for market. WSTA publishes a quarterly newsletter, which includes current news, upcoming events, tips to trappers and ads from fur and equipment dealers.

WSTA sponsors Miss Rodeo Washington and presents her with a fur garment annually at our winter fur sale. WSTA has a political lobbyist at the Washington State Legislature as members of Washingtonians for Wildlife Conservation and the Hunter Heritage Council. WSTA has a very Active Legislation Committee that is working with our lobbyist and Legislators. WSTA has worked for years to modify Initiative 713, to allow the use of traps in Washington that are internationally recognized as being humane in Washington.

In 1969, the AFWA (Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, formerly known as the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies) began a program called BMP (Best Management Practices) for trapping as a way to improve the welfare of captured animals and to document improvements in trapping equipment and technology. This project is one of the most ambitious in the history of conservation movement. WSTA members were very involved in this research and had several members working on trap types, working close with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Once Initiative 713 was passed in 2000, the funding and research came to a stop and other states went on with the research.

WSTA is affiliated with both the National Trappers Association and the Fur Takers of America and has a Representative on the National Trappers Association Governing Board.

Public Relations, has always been a high priority of WSTA. For the past 30 years, WSTA has provided an information booth at the Puyallup Fair, as well as booths at the Southwest Washington Fair in Chehalis, and others fairs throughout the state both in Eastern and Western Washington.

Another high priority with WSTA has always been meeting with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to discuss trapping related issues and provide input on trapping seasons and regulations. WSTA also is involved with the WDFW and has two members on their Wildlife Conflict Policy Committee.

The Trappers Education book has been compiled and printed by the Washington State Trappers Association to assist new trappers in complying with the current regulations. We update whenever conditions show the need.

WSTA is a very active association and we urge you to join the association that is representing your interests and needs. Please join and get involved in providing better management to the furbearer resource in Washington State.

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Washington State Trappers Association
P.O. Box 3687
Arlington, WA 98223