February 8, 2012
Elk Camp 2012: Shot of Adrenaline for Conservation
MISSOULA, Mont.—The single biggest event, membership rally and conservation showcase of the year for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation wrapped up Feb. 4 in Las Vegas. For thousands of attending members, volunteers and partners, the event was a shot of adrenaline to launch a new year of projects for elk, other wildlife and their habitat.
“We’re off and running,” said RMEF President and CEO David Allen. “Elk Camp always sets the tone for us and this was no exception. With the energy and enthusiasm we saw in Las Vegas, this should be a very good year for our work in elk country.”
Elk Camp highlights included:
- Celebrations of 2011 landmark accomplishments including RMEF passing the 6 million-acre mark in habitat conservation, restoring a wild elk herd in Missouri and securing 10,386 acres for public hunting access in Washington.
- RMEF launched a new campaign to build public appreciation for hunters’ historic leadership for wildlife and habitat: “Hunting is Conservation.”
- Auction highlights included a fully donated New Holland Boomer 30 tractor with loader, a saddle mule and a Labrador retriever puppy. Respectively, they netted $23,500, $20,000 and $8,250 to support the RMEF mission.
- An American flag that flew above a Special Ops headquarters in Afghanistan on the day of Osama bin Laden’s death sold at auction for $14,000.
- Special hunting tags auctioned at Elk Camp include a Hualapai Indian Reservation Elk Hunt, New Mexico Zuni Indian Reservation Elk Hunt, White Mountain Apache Reservation Elk Permit, Arizona Special Elk Permit, Wyoming Governor’s Big Game Tag, Montana Special Shiras Moose and Elk Permits, Iowa Special Whitetail Permits and others. Nearly all proceeds are earmarked for conservation in the respective areas.
- Season-two sneak preview of the TV show “RMEF Team Elk,” recently voted Fan Favorite Best New Series on Outdoor Channel.
- RMEF’s highest honor, the Wallace Fennell Pate Wildlife Conservation Award, was presented to Jim Zumbo of Cody, Wyo. The late Pate’s son, Jack, attended the ceremony and spoke of his father’s devotion to conservation generally and RMEF especially.
- RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships.
- Numerous awards and recognitions for RMEF chapters, volunteers and partners.
- Entertainment by Craig Morgan, Sawyer Brown and Clint Black.
- About 160 students from two Las Vegas-area schools attended Elk Camp to learn about elk, hunting and conservation as part of the inaugural Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience. Funding was provided by Larry and Brenda Potterfield of MidwayUSA.
- MidwayUSA is the presenting sponsor of Elk Camp. Other sponsors include Gerber, Browning, Cabela’s, Davidson’s Gallery of Guns, North American Hunter Magazine, Hunter’s Specialties, Leupold, Budweiser, Bill Barrett Corp., Aflac, Realtree and Danner.
Allen said, “We can’t say thank you enough to MidwayUSA and all of our sponsors, exhibitors and attendees for their continuing support. We went into this as a transitional year, working to establish Elk Camp in Las Vegas. We are very pleased with the many successes of our first time in Vegas and we’re excited about the growth that we’ll see in coming years.”
Next year, RMEF’s annual convention and expo will be Feb. 28-March 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and new host hotel, the Mirage.