Elk NetworkPartner Recognition: Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s

40th Anniversary , General | May 9, 2024

(left to right: RMEF President & CEO Kyle Weaver, Missoula Cabela’s General Manager Jeff Friesen, & RMEF Chief Revenue Officer Steve Decker)

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recognized four long-time sponsors at its 40th Anniversary Celebration.

Bass Pro Shops began in the smallest of spots – eight square feet. That is how much room the father of Johnny Morris gave his son to sell fishing tackle in the back of his liquor store in Springfield, Missouri. The rest, as they say, is history. An avid angler and hunter, Morris now has nearly 200 retail stores and marine centers across North America. That total includes Cabela’s operations that came under the Bass Pro Shops umbrella as part of a 2016 merger.

RMEF and Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s also collaborate on various projects. One of them took place in 2023 during the summer in Wyoming. The volunteer project focused on removing old, woven wire fencing and replacing it with wildlife-friendly fencing in the Bighorn National Forest. As it stood, passage was extremely difficult for elk, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, moose and other wildlife.

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s supported RMEF for four decades, contributing millions to land conservation and access, habitat stewardship and wildlife management projects. Thanks to that partnership with RMEF, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s so far helped conserve more than 28,736 acres of habitat, enhance more than 39,864 acres of habitat and open or improved access to more than 144,869 acres.

Cabela’s was among the first advertisers in RMEF’s Bugle magazine in 1984.

RMEF presented Jeff Friesen, general manager of the Cabela’s store in Missoula, Montana, with a framed image of that initial ad (see below).