Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

RMEF Rides High After Memorable National Finals Rodeo in Vegas

For rodeo fans, the 10-day run at the National Finals Rodeo this past December was like an extended Christmas holiday, minus jolly old Saint Nick, of course. Day after day of heart-stopping action and tens of thousands of fans jammed inside Thomas Mack Arena and wandering all along the Las Vegas strip.

For the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the NFR WAS Christmas come early! It was a great way to cap a terrific 2012. Staffers set up and manned a huge booth featuring the Great Elk Tour. In addition to a raffle, RMEF held two different Calcutta rounds—one at The Mirage and the other at the convention center. If you’re not familiar with the RMEF Calcutta, it’s a popular fundraising auction supported by many cowboys and cowgirls. RMEF auctioned off 15 teams of seven contestants for each of the NFR’s ten rounds for bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. RMEF retained 50 percent of the proceeds to support the mission with 35 percent of the proceeds paid to the first place team and 15 percent to the second place team.
Back on the convention center floor, interest was non-stop at the booth. We talked with many RMEF members from all over the country about issues ranging from predators to elk management. We also talked to landowners and ranchers about the on-the-ground conservation and habitat projects we sponsor. It was a great way to engage our members, new members and non-members about our mission to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. In doing so, we handed out cases of Bugle magazines.

When the dust finally settled and we packed our bags for home, we looked back on a glorious stretch of rodeo excitement, outreach and fun. RMEF gained nearly 445 new members. We would like to say welcome aboard and thank you for your support. And a special thanks goes out to our RMEF staffers, volunteers, and everyone who just stopped by to say “hi.” We can’t wait for next year!

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