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

Monday, June 30, 2014

Montana Rendezvous: Good Times, Good Food & Good Work for Elk

More than 100 Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation members and volunteers gathered at the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area in southwest Montana to celebrate the past year’s chapter fundraising efforts and elk habitat projects. Camp was set at in an old set of corrals that overlooked a wide creek bottom where elk could be seen in the mornings and evenings. Hundreds of cows and calves could be seen from camp as well as an occasional antelope or moose. 

Friday night kicked off with music, games and a washoe tournament that had more than 20 teams competing. The competition was fierce but RMEF Board Member Mike Baugh and Jodi Cinfio finished on top as the 2014 washoe champions. 

Saturday featured more than 40 unstoppable volunteers who braved the cold and rain as they worked tirelessly to take down 2.5 miles of old jack-legged fence. Working together, they were able to get the fence down and piled in 4.5 hours, creating a much easier path for elk. 

On Saturday afternoon, Jenna Wold led the youth in competing in a “Top Shot” competition where they were able to earn play money for the kid’s auction that took place that evening. Always a fun activity for the kids, RMEF Founder Charlie Decker used his auctioneering skills to conduct the auction, where every kid left with an armful of toys they purchased. 

While the kids were busy buying things in the auction, the adults stayed busy preparing secret wild game dishes for the annual potluck. The voting was close, but Flathead Chapter volunteers Shane and Bonnie Pierson won the right to put their names on the “Golden Rolling Pin” with their delicious bacon-wrapped elk jalapeno poppers. Voting also took place for the best decorated campsite, with the theme of “Red, White and Blue Rendezvous.” RMEF Regional Director Jared Wold and girlfriend Bobbie Pierson won the “Silver Bull” award for best campsite thanks to their 5-foot tall inflatable Uncle Sam and many other patriotic decorations. The crew celebrated into the evening and everyone had a good time. A special thanks goes to to Mike Zaragoza, Patti Kurschat, and Tim and Kim Wold for their hard work and planning with the Rendezvous Committee.

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