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.
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 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.
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.