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Attacking Cheatgrass: How #HuntingIsConservation in Wyoming

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Cheatgrass is much more than an annoying plant with discarded seeds that burrow their way into your socks. It’s downright unhealthy for elk and other wildlife. Why? Cheatgrass outcompetes and overpowers native forage for water and nutrients, allowing it to spread across the landscape and replace that native vegetation. That’s why the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently completed a 10-year cheatgrass treatment program in the Devil’s Canyon area of west-central Wyoming. Over that time, RMEF …

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Elk Hunters Bolster Colorado Economy

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As hunters seek to fill their freezers in western Colorado, their trips give a much-needed boost to the local economy. According to the Aspen Times, hunters gobbled up 127,600 elk licenses statewide in 2018 with more than half of those, 75,500, in northwest Colorado alone. Hunters will buy food, gasoline and other supplies during their time afield. They will also stay in motels, eat in restaurants and spend money for other needs and wants. Beyond …

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Firearm Instruction 101: How #HuntingIsConservation in Texas

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Shooting a firearm the first time is exciting but it can also be intimidating. With that in mind, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided funding to assist the Permian Basin Young Guns of Midland, Texas, to host more than 60 women and 40 youth for basic pistol training. Many of the participants were first-time shooters. The focus for the youth was more of an introduction to property safety and function of pistol shooting that will …

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Sportsmen, Women Pump $93 Billion into U.S. Economy

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New economic reports reveal more than 53 million Americans consider themselves sportsmen, spending more than $93.5 billion in 2016 on gear, licenses, travel, clothing, gas and more in connection with their hunting, target shooting and sportfishing activities. The reports, released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), American Sportfishing Association and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, show expenditures made for hunting, target shooting and sportfishing gear and services in 2016 supported 1.6 million jobs and provided …

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The Books – A young elk guide kills a bull big enough for the record books. Why would he, or any hunter, bother to enter it?

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I slowly nocked an arrow. The cow that had me pinned finally broke her stare. I was looking to a cluster of trees to my left waiting for the bull to show himself. “Whoa,” I said under my breath as it stepped out from behind cover. The heavy, long-tined rack he carried was not what I expected. As long as he kept walking my way he would give me a shot. I had never killed …

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Spicing Up Elk Country: How #HuntingIsConservation in Kentucky

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Kentucky is home to the largest elk population east of the Mississippi. More than 11,000-strong roam their native home range among the reclaimed strip mines in the eastern part of the state. the 15,00-acre Fishtrap Lake Wildlife Management Area lies in the heart of Kentucky Elk country. It is here that the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided funding for on-the-ground work designed to enhance wildlife habitat. Crews carried out a combination of forest thinning, herbicide …

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Hunting IS Conservation – Reintroducing Fire on a Fire Dependent Landscape

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Seeking to reintroduce beneficial fire to a fire-dependent ecosystem following 120 years of fire suppression, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation partnered with the Santa Fe National Forest on two prescribed burns in New Mexico. RMEF provided funding to assist the landscape-scale project plan to eventually burn more than 100,000 acres of important elk and winter deer winter range. Additional benefits include improved habitat niches such as openings, snags, maintenance of hiding cover and an increase …

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About Hunting and Fishing in Colorado

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife created a successful outreach campaign about the importance of hunters called Hug a Hunter. A recent post highlights five things about hunting and fishing that boost wildlife and wildlife habitat in Colorado. Revenue generated by sportsmen supports all of our wildlife management efforts. This allows Colorado to protect and reintroduce native species like Rocky Mountain elk. Without hunting and fishing, the populations of the animal species in Colorado would expand beyond …

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Educating the Public

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Below are the words of Chris Kubik who authored the Hunting is Conservation department in the May-June 2017 issue of Bugle magazine. In 2013, a Colorado public relations campaign focused on raising awareness of hunters’ contributions to conservation. This yielded very positive results. After the campaign, 87 percent of non-hunters said they were not opposed to hunting, and 76 percent said they would not vote to further restrict hunting. The key to good public relations …

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Wisconsin Elk Hunt Generates Significant Funds for Habitat

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Come the fall of 2018, Wisconsin will hold its first-ever managed elk hunt. More than 38,000 people in Wisconsin applied for the hunt which generated more than $270,000 for elk conservation efforts in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) set a quota of 10 bull elk. Five of those permits go to the Chippewa tribes, four will be awarded via a DNR draw and the remaining license will be raffled off by the …

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New Mexico Hunts Benefit Wildlife Habitat, Research

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Thanks to assistance from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and several other conservation organizations, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMGF) is providing hunters in the New Mexico the opportunity to take part in unique hunts. Raffle tickets are available for elk, bighorn sheep, deer and Gould’s turkey excursions. NMGF uses funds generated from the annual auction and raffles to support habitat restoration projects as well as long-term big game management and research. …