[Reprinted from original]
Long-time trapper Gary Reid was a driving force behind the creation of Ontario Fur Managers Federation and its operation.
The Desbarats native died Monday at age 82.
Reid started trapping when he was 12. He backed the creation of a new group to represent Ontario trappers following the shuttering of Ontario Trappers Association in 1987.
When a meeting was held in Sault Ste. Marie in 1995 to consider a new group to succeed OTA, Reid “was one of the first people” to back its creation and pledge to “do everything he could to support it,” said OFMF general manager Robin Horwath.
The Sault-based federation, with about 6,000 current members, was incorporated in 1996.
“He’s been there since the start,” said Horwath of Reid’s association with the group. Reid served 13 years on OFMF’s board, eight years as a director and five years as an assistant director until 2020. He represented trappers from Dubreuilville to Spanish. Reid brought furniture in his pickup truck when the group’s Second Line East office opened in 1997 and helped when extra labour was needed.
“That’s just the kind of guy Gary was,” said Horwath. “He was right into it up to his elbows.”
The father of five was also “always there” to mentor new trappers.
“He was just a wealth of information,” said Horwath. “He was a behind-the-scenes guy. He was a real supporter. He always added to conversations that would further regulations for humane trapping. Gary was a real advocate to make sure that we progressed how we trapped and how we managed wildlife.”
Reid received the federation’s Charlie Brindley Award, recognizing his efforts to assist trapping in Ontario, in 2001. He was made a lifetime member in 2018.
Reid had a trapline on the Ranger Lake Road for 25 years following his retirement from Algoma Steel.
He is one of about 70 trappers who live in the Sault. His trapline was one of the furthest north of the Sault among trappers who live in the city.
Reid did nuisance trapping in the Sault for approximately 20 years “and was very good at taking care of the problems,” said Horwath.
He was also a director with the Upper Peninsula Trappers Association in Michigan.
Reid is survived by his wife, Lynda, and children.
A private family service is planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.