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

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spreading Our Hunting Heritage (Even Where There’s No Elk!)

Florida is known for a lot of things—sunshine, beaches, Disney World, oranges, NASA, and the list goes on and on. What it’s not known for is elk! Historically, elk covered almost the entire continental United States except Florida and the New England region. So even though you don’t find elk in Florida’s past or present, you will find the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Why? Because RMEF is about more than just elk. 

In 2012, RMEF enhanced its mission statement to the following: “To ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.” The new addition was hunting heritage.

At the time, RMEF President/CEO David Allen said "Hunting is conservation. Not only does hunting provide a way for families to fill the freezer, but it gives us a deep-seeded connection to and much-needed funding for land and wildlife. This new addition to our mission statement merely formalizes a priority RMEF already supported and dedicated itself to for years."

Back to Florida. Even though there are no elk in Florida you will find RMEF volunteers, members and hunting heritage projects. One of those projects took place in October 2012 at the Everglades Youth Camp in West Palm Beach. Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) is a program long sponsored by RMEF in Florida and all around the nation. On this particular occasion, 88 women from Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and even from as far away as Oregon and Germany were there to learn about all sorts of hands-on outdoor skills. Workshops included hunting, shooting, archery, Dutch oven cooking, knot tying, fishing, plant identification, blind building, skull identification and other activities.

BOW represents more than just learning some new things. It’s also about smiles, laughter, making friends and having fun. That was more than evident at this gathering.

RMEF is happy to financially support and sponsor activities like these in Florida and around the country. It is yet another way to pass on our love and appreciation of wildlife and the outdoors while ensuring the future of our hunting heritage, even if there aren’t elk in Florida.

(Click here to learn more about RMEF chapters, membership and fundraising in Florida.)

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