Havre Daily News
A Gildford resident has taken the reins of the National Trappers Association.
Jim Buell of Gildford, a retired conductor for BNSF Railway, said he was appointed association president after the elected leader resigned due to time conflicts. Buell, who was association vice president, took over on March 21. He will serve out the remaining 17 months of the term, he said.
Buell has been involved with the state and national trapping associations for many years. He served as the treasurer and sat on the board of directors for the Montana Trappers Association since 1984. He said he's been a member of the state association since 1982 and he joined the national association in 1986.
Buell's mother, Marian, says he is very deserving of the honor of president.
“I think it's wonderful. He has worked really hard in that associa-
tion,” she said. “He puts his whole heart into it, he really does. I think he's pretty qualified for it.”
Buell attributes his love and respect of the outdoors to his father, Ambrose.
“My father was an avid outdoorsman,” he said. “He taught his children to hunt, fish and respect the outdoors.”
Buell's father passed away in 1972.
Marion said that as a boy, her son was as much of an avid outdoorsman as his father.
“They went hunting all the time,” she said. “Wherever his dad went, he was there.”
The whole family was into hunting, she added.
As national association vice president, Buell said he was committed to the proactive approach the group used in retaining its members and the educating new trappers. Buell also organized regional conferences.
Buell's resume of experience reflects his qualifications.
Besides serving as National Trappers Association president, he chairs the convention and awards committees and has served on several others. He serves as treasurer in the state association. He's also a member of the Alberta Trappers Association, British Columbia Trappers Association and the North American Hunting Club.
In 2000 he co-founded Youth Trapper Camp Inc., which has seen more than 800 youths graduate from its program.
He's won various awards from the national association, including Trapper of the Year for 1993-1994.
Buell was born and raised in Havre and graduated in 1961 from Havre Central High School. Later that year he entered the U.S. Air Force. After four years of service, Buell joined the Great Northern Railroad in December of 1965. The Buell family moved to the Gildford area in 1982.
Buell and his wife, Fran, married in 1981. Their family includes seven children and 15 grandchildren.