Montana Trappers Association

Working Today For a Tomorrow in Trapping.
Furbearers Are A Natural Renewable Resource.

Contact the MTA

MTA Board of Directors and General Contacts

General Contact:    Contact


President Past President
Toby Walrath
Corvallis, MT  
  Contact Tom Barnes
Dillon, MT  
Vice President East Vice President West
John Hughes
 Roundup, MT  
  Contact Matt Lumley
 Emigrant, MT  
Treasurer Executive Secretary
Terry Sheppard
Ovando, MT  
  Contact Jim Buell
Gildford, MT  
Membership Secretary NTA Director
Karen Chapman
Belgrade, MT  
  Contact Jim Buell
Gildford, MT  
Recording Secretary  
Keven Heinle
Fairfield, MT  


  • The State of Montana is divided into 7 districts. Each having a District Director. Also there are sub-directors in each district.
District 1 District 2
Dan Helterline
 Plains, MT
  Contact  John Wilson
 Missoula, MT
District 3 District 4
Tom Barnes
Dillon, MT
  Contact  Scott Blackman
Wolf Creek, MT
District 5 District 6
Jay Ferderer
Big Timber, MT
  Contact  Harold Johnson
Plentywood, MT
District 7  
Dave Schaff
Hardin, MT

Committee Chairs

Gary VanHaele
Hysham, MT
Sportsmans Rights Protection Fund
Education Committee
Bob Sheppard
Ovando, MT
Toby Walrath
Gildford, MT
FWP Liaison
Paul Fielder
 Thompson Falls, MT
Ethics Committee
Allan Minear
Lewistown, MT
Fur Sale Committee
Brian Stoner
Belgrade,d, MT
Historic Committee
Fran Buell
Gildford, MT


Did You Know?

Jim Bridger (1804-1881). Trapper, scout, mountain man. One of first white men to see the future Yellowstone Park and Great Salt Lake, which he believed to be an arm of the Pacific Ocean. Became partner of Rocky Mountain Fur Company in 1830 and established Fort Bridger in Wyoming Territory in 1842. Laid out routes for the Central Overland Stage and Pike's Peak Express Company. Returned to Missouri in 1867 where died on his farm on July 17, 1881.


Rendezvous were held on a yearly basis at various locations until 1840, mainly in Wyoming, but Pierre's Hole in Idaho and Bear Lake in northwest Utah were favorite sites as well.


Fort Manuel Lisa was established in 1807 by Manuel Lisa at the mouth of the Big Horn River near Hysham. This was the first permanent settlement in Montana and was occupied until 1811.


John Jacob Astor was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the US. He amassed his wealth through fur-trading, opium smuggling, and New York City real estate. Famed patron of the arts. At the time of his death, he was the wealthiest person in the US.


In 1919, the Hudson’s Bay Company was approaching its 250th year in business. What began in a coffee house in London, in 1670, had now grown to become the undisputed leader of the international fur trade.


The desire for beaver fur hats in European men’s fashions dates back centuries and spurred the development of the 17th century North American fur trade. Beaver fur was the most prized of the fur trade because of its water repellant qualities. Encouraged by European trade goods, natives hunted beaver to extinction in some areas.