“There’s nobody in this family that doesn’t live in South Dakota,” says Bryan Wetzel, a hunter, business owner and jack-of-all-trades from Lane, a small town of about 60 residents in the southeastern quadrant of the state. There’s also no one in Bryan’s immediate family that isn’t a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation member.
Bryan, 55, and his wife Tammy, 53, are RMEF committee members and volunteers with the Mitchell Chapter, and everyone from their parents to their grandchildren are involved with the RMEF in some way. That’s four living generations of Wetzels that are RMEF members.
“We took my granddaughter [Quinn] to her first RMEF Rendezvous when she was two-weeks-old—that was four years ago,” Bryan says. “We took her out to the rendezvous in Custer to work on fences and stuff like that.”
“The most important thing about the family, from my perspective, is that they’re continually involved with the Foundation in one way or another,” said Tom Slowey, RMEF regional director. “They attend numerous other banquets supporting committees in the state other than their own, and they help with the on-the-ground projects. They’re always coming up with new ways to help the organization and stay involved.”