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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Volunteer Fun Night Closes Out Elk Camp with a Bang

The confetti floated to the floor as the crowd rose to its feet—again and again and again. On a night specifically devoted to celebrate 30 years of volunteers for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, there was plenty to get excited about. RMEF recognized and honored its individual volunteers, chapters and states for their dedicated and passionate efforts in raising funds to ensure the future of elk, elk country and our hunting heritage.

Wyoming’s always boisterous volunteers whooped, hollered and rang cowbells to celebrate their accomplishments, but they also cheered on their RMEF brothers and sisters from Arizona who yelled for Colorado’s volunteers who applauded for Montana’s. And so it continued throughout the evening—Kentucky, California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and on and on. 

While only a sliver of RMEF’s volunteer base of 11,000 strong was on hand for the event, there was plenty of praise for those unable to attend. Volunteerism is the lifeblood of this three-decade-old organization. Volunteers were vital in helping the vision of Bob Munson, Charlie Decker and the other founders survive in the early lean years. Volunteers from more than 500 chapters are the fuel that fires RMEF’s 203,000-member engine. 

Speaking of being fired up—that’s exactly how the evening ended for the scores on hand. Country music artist Easton Corbin, a friend to RMEF and a pretty good elk hunter in his own right, took to the stage with his band. His energy got folks out of their seats and soon had the dance floor filled to capacity. And when Corbin left the stage, a DJ helped partiers dance deep into the night.

Easton Corbin
Earlier in the day, RMEF held its fourth and final auction. The wide array of offerings included hunts, home décor, art, guns and many more options. Among the more high-profile items, and one of the most popular again this year, was an adorable charcoal Labrador puppy. Bidders stepped up, with the winner doling out an all-time puppy auction record of $12,000. The money raised from the little fur ball, as well as the funds from all other items, goes toward RMEF’s conservation mission.

The sounds of elk filled the air at the 26th annual World Elk Calling Championships. Competitors from across the country gathered to present their best mews, barks, chirps and bugles. Fresh off winning last year’s Champion of the Champions competition, which involved invitations to each of the winners from the first 25 years of the competition, Corey Jacobsen racked up another title. He is now an eight-time world champion. 

Corey Jacobsen
World Elk Calling Championships
Winner                    Division 
Corey Jacobsen       Professional
Dirk Durham            Men
Misty Jacobsen        Women
William Card            Voice
Sutton Callaway      Pee Wee
Brayden Langley     Youth

Another full day of seminars at the Hunter Christmas Exposition, presented by Cabela’s, brought in six more presenters. Topics ranged from packing a mule to finding elk on public land, hunting the herd bull, the A to Z’s of bowhunting elk and additional strategies and tactics. One of the "Cook with Cabela’s" cooks had the line of the day while on stage: “It’s cooking with power tools, a cast-iron skillet and ribs!” David Draper and Mark Millis actually used a sawzall to cut up a rack of ribs before eventually cooking them up and passing out samples. 

Power tool + ribs = lunch!

A series of rodeo legends, hunting personalities and country music artists also signed autographs and chatted with fans.

While Elk Camp ended late Saturday night (or early Sunday morning for some), the Expo continued through Sunday. Even as that show ended, the popular Cowboy Christmas Gift Show and FanFest continued through December 13 where RMEF had a popular booth manned mostly by who else but our dedicated volunteers.

Thank you volunteers!

RMEF volunteers doing what they do best

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