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

Friday, January 27, 2017

Urge Lawmakers: 'No' on Public Lands Sale/Transfter & 'Yes' to Active Land Management

RMEF Members,

The sale or transfer of our public lands to state jurisdiction is no longer just water cooler talk. Despite our continuing efforts and those of so many other sportsmen and women to stop it, there are very real debates and proposals taking place in several western state legislatures. There is also some chatter in Washington DC. 

As you know, this is an extremely dangerous slope to go down leading to the distinct possibility of the permanent loss of public access for hunters and others. Additionally, this is a shell game that avoids addressing the vital need for active management of our forests.

Please reach out to your state legislators involved in such issues as well as your federal representatives in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House. Urge them to:
  • Vote against the sale or transfer of our public lands
  • Provide land managers with the tools and direction to carry out active land management
  • Create litigation reform so land management work can go forward without obstructionist lawsuits by environmental groups

Find more information here.

Thank you for your support of our public lands. We need to act now! And not just for elk, elk country and our ability to hunt, but for our children and grandchildren too.


David Allen
RMEF President and CEO

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

RMEF Steps Up to Help Starving Deer in Utah

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is opposed to supplemental feeding except in time of emergencies and when asked for help by a state wildlife agency.

With more than 35 inches of snow on the ground, along with bitter cold temperatures, conditions are threatening the survival of mule deer in Utah’s Bear Lake Valley.

Help for the deer is on is way. On January 12, Utah Department of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) Director Greg Sheehan contacted Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Utah Regional Director Bill Christensen and asked the RMEF to help deliver 12 tons of specially formulated deer pellets developed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

UDWR biologists have been monitoring deer and winter range conditions across Utah this winter. Weather conditions have been especially difficulty around Bear Lake where deer are wandering around Garden City looking for something to eat.

“Although the weather has been severe across parts of Utah this winter, the Bear Lake area is the only location where emergency feeding needs to happen right now. We’re prepared to feed deer in other locations, though, if the need arises. These deer are exhausted, confused and without options. They need help,” said Sheehan.

RMEF is opposed to supplemental feeding, except in time of emergencies and when asked for help by the state wildlife agency, but the RMEF was quick to respond to the call for help.

On January 13, after being contacted by Sheehan, Christensen and Regional Chair Ron Camp accompanied Sheehan, biologists and members of other hunting conservation groups to Garden City where they met with Travis Hobbs, a local contractor. 

“Travis has really taken the lead and has been a key leader is watching the deer and keeping the local biologists up to speed, Christensen said. “He’s letting us store 12 tons of these pellets at his Garden City business.” 

“He and his employees are donating their labor and heavy equipment to clear areas where we will feed. We couldn’t have responded this quickly without his leadership. Another local rancher and RMEF member, Clint Kearl, has also plowed areas around his ranch and close to the lake, clearing areas to feed deer. These sportsmen deserve our thanks for helping monitor, spending their time and using their equipment to help the deer,” said Camp.

It’s important to note that people shouldn’t feed deer or other wildlife unless they work with their state wildlife agency. Mule deer can die with a belly full of hay in the winter as their digestive system changes in the winter to accommodate the dry and woody winter range browse. The decision to feed deer in the Bear Lake Valley was made following guidelines in the UDWR’s Emergency Winter Big Game Feeding policy.

Elk and moose in the area are doing okay as they can reach higher and dig deeper for a meal. 

Camp and Christensen helped distribute the first bag of feed and the RMEF committed $10,000 to add to matching funds committed by other hunting conservation groups. 

“A big thanks goes out to our Utah RMEF members who work hard to raise funds to benefit elk and other wildlife, including these mule deer that are in trouble,” said Christensen.

“This is where the tire hits the road. RMEF members make good things happen!’ added Camp.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Call to Action: Colorado Elk are in the Crosshairs

There is a very real movement going on in Colorado by animals rights and environmental groups to place Colorado’s elk herd in the crosshairs by reintroducing wolves. They refer to such efforts as “great,” “germane to the future of Colorado,” and also state “there’s no profound downside and there’s a real, big upside.”

Those of us who witnessed the wolf reintroduction into the Northern Rocky Mountains could not disagree more! Not only do wolves have a very real and measureable impact on elk and other wildlife but those pro-wolf groups change the rules. Once they have their foot in the door via wolf reintroduction, they move the goalposts by ignoring delisting criteria and filing lawsuit after lawsuit causing populations to grow well over objective. 

We saw that in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the Western Great Lakes. Such litigation began in the 2000’s and lawsuits are still pending today. Wolf populations are currently nearly 500 percent above minimum recovery levels in the Northern Rockies and more than 250 percent above objective in the Western Great Lakes.

Now is the time to raise our voices. Contact your state representatives here and let them know how you feel about any possible wolf reintroduction.


David Allen
RMEF president and CEO

Monday, January 9, 2017

Japanese National Wrestling Team Visits RMEF

It’s a long, long way from the Land of the Rising Sun to Big Sky Country. How far exactly? Try more than 5,200 miles! That’s how far the Japanese national high school wrestling team recently traveled to take part in a handful of meets with high school wrestlers in Montana.

The squad of 13 wrestlers, two coaches and a translator also visited the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Elk Country Visitor Center. Accompanied by local wrestlers as well as family members and coaches who served as hosts, the group spent the morning viewing a video presentation about the life and biology of elk, checking out some of the largest elk mounts in the world and experiencing other hands-on exhibits throughout the facility.

Though wrestling is the actual activity that brought the two sides of the globe together, the trip is more about a cultural exchange for all involved.

“What’s really neat about it, it teaches -- you really get some insight about the world,” Big Sky’s Bryant told the Missoulian newspaper. “… It kind of gives you some insight as to what the world’s really like and what we go through. There’s misunderstandings, and there’s thing we learn through our cultures.”

The visitors also enjoyed the wintry weather by playing outside and throwing snowballs at each other. 

After their RMEF visit, they participated in a meet with local high schoolers that evening before traveling to three other Montana destinations for plenty of wrestling and greater opportunities to soak in the American culture.

“You make friends, and these kids get an understanding and the difference of our world in the United States and their world which is a far different culture,” Bryant said."