Elk NetworkPartner Recognition: Leupold

40th Anniversary , General | May 9, 2024

(Left to right: RMEF President & CEO Kyle Weaver, Leupold President & CEO Bruce Pettet & RMEF Chief Revenue Officer Steve Decker)

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

Leupold began as a family business in 1907 by creating water level and flow recorders, stream gauging and surveying equipment, and other scientific instruments. While hunting in the 1940s, Marcus Leupold missed shooting a buck because his scope fogged up. “Hell, I could build a better scope than this,” he said. And so, the company took a new direction focusing on innovative rifle scopes and eventually binoculars and other optics.

Based in Beaverton, Oregon, Leupold is an outdoor industry leader. It bought Bugle magazine ads early in RMEF’s history, helping the fledgling organization establish a foothold in the conservation world.

RMEF presented Leupold President & CEO Bruce Pettet with a framed image of that initial ad. Below are his words at the RMEF celebration.

First of all, I want to say we’re honored to be part of this. It’s incredibly humbling. The small part that we’ve been able to play as a partner to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. I’m thankful for that and appreciate all of you in this room and what you do to support, not only for elk but conservation. It’s incredibly important. We have a responsibility to leave what we do to future generations and what we have and try to make it better. That’s the thing that I think RMEF has done. It’s not only conserved elk and elk habitat but it’s got a mission to continually do it better every single day. That’s so important. To be here with the other partners –Weatherby, Cabela’s, Browning– I’m honored to be part of that too because those are great brands. I’m just so thankful. We have 750 people in Oregon that make rifle scopes every day and I can tell you that every one of them is passionate about what we do and about elk so thank you so much.

We make our scopes in Oregon, and we have the ability to customize things. We’ve had to work hard on capacity and building scopes the last few years, so we had kind of slowed that down, but we decided we’d open that thing back up to make a custom scope for two guys and (RMEF co-founder) Charlie (Decker), you’re one of them. We made a custom scope for you and (RMEF co-founder) Bob (Munson). That’s what I think is the best elk hunting story on the planet right there.