You won’t find wild, free-ranging elk roaming the forests of Louisiana and Mississippi, but you will find active, enthusiastic Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation volunteers. And they continue to go all in for RMEF’s mission.
Volunteers in these Gulf Coast states, like those across the nation, hold banquets to raise funds to help ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. In fact, dating back to 1989, RMEF and its partners put more than $1 million on the ground in the two states for mentored hunts, archery and shooting sports programs, outdoor skills instruction, natural resources and conservation education, hunting outreach and advocacy and other projects.
Since 2018, RMEF provided funding generated by volunteers for the Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s (MWF) Hunter’s Harvest, a program that supplies many families suffering from food insecurity with a dependable source of organic protein in the form of packaged venison. The most recent round of RMEF funds from October 2020 to April 2021 helped the program provide more than 14,000 pounds of venison and 211 skinned deer for 18 charities and three food banks across Mississippi. The effort more than doubled numbers from the 2019-2020 deer season.
Hunter’s Harvest also added two new food networks to its program. One in Alabama that services the Mississippi Gulf Coast and another in Memphis, Tennessee, that serves the northern part of Mississippi.
“Because of organizations like RMEF, we have the resources in place to never turn away a venison donation or a request for help from a hungry family,” said Robin Carlin, MWF director of development and fundraising. “Your grant money ensures that we won’t.”
In Louisiana, RMEF volunteers provided funding to assist with a 4-H shooting sports program in the northern part of the state that serves approximately 90 youth ages nine to 16. The grant allowed two Louisiana parishes to purchase and replace old archery targets with new ones as well as buy new archery equipment. Three RMEF volunteers also gave of their time to set up practice targets and talk about hunter education and conservation at a banquet.