In 1982 a small group of trap collectors attending a swamp meet in Kalama, Washington tossed around the idea of a national trap collectors association. Jim Gipe and other fellow trap collectors from the western United States and Canada began plans for making the association a reality. For more than two years, during the Kalama, Washington swap meet, they gathered to develop their idea.
What to name the organization remained unresolved until Jack Lay of Canada suggested the name North American Trap Collectors Association.
In September 1985 the first newsletter of NATCA was mailed. Within the first year over 100 members were signed up. Jim Gipe continued producing the newsletter, collecting dues, and promoting the association until December 1990, when his full time job became too demanding to continue. At that time he appointed Tom Parr the editor, dues collector, and was asked to continue the promotion of NATCA.
In 1991 the association changed the name of the newsletter to "TRAPS" which stands for Trading, Researching, and Preserving Steeltraps. Four regional members called "Factors" were appointed to assist with swap meets and to promote the association. In 1992 we added two more "Factors". Each year we sponsor 10 swap meets, which are held throughout the United States with one in Canada. With over 1200 active members in the U.S., Canada and 9 other countries, we have within our group many expert collectors with a vast knowledge of trapping memorabilia. Our association is an affiliate member of the NTA and the FTA.
In January 1999, our association became Incorporated as an Ohio Not for Profit Corporation. Upon incorporating, three members were appointed to the position of President, Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer, with the "Factors" being appointed as the Board of Directors.