Western Hunting and Conservation Expo 2018

The Western Hunting and Conservation Expo was a great show and gathering spot for a multitude of Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) members.

When the counting is over, the result will be that a great deal of money was raised for conservation – millions.

Many exhibitors went home happy with their decision to attend. The wait-list for booth space will continue to grow.

And, mule deer conservation received support from the Trump administration. Here’s a quote from the MDF news release:

Secretarial Order 3362 was signed today by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke at the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo, the annual convention of the Mule Deer Foundation. The order outlines the Department’s intent to work closely with the 11 western states to enhance and improve the quality of big game winter range and migration corridor habitat on federal lands that the Department manages.

Corridors and migration routes are a critical element of mule deer habitat. Improvement of forage and cover is important.

Where migration routes are blocked, deer herds dwindle. Some of California’s largest herds have been decimated by segmented range where freeways have made migration nearly impossible.

The best example of a severed migration route that I can think of is Interstate 80 between Truckee and Reno. On many other highways automobile collisions take a huge toll on mule and black-tailed deer – not to mention autos and their drivers. Highway 395 between Reno and Susanville is a good example.

Hopefully, this order will allow wildlife supporters to get out in front of any new efforts to bisect habitat. The best (and safest) time to do that is before a road is built.

Auction Deer Tag Sells for $310,000

During the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City, The Mule Deer Foundation and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife sold a mule deer tag at their Friday-night auction on behalf of the state of Utah. Ninety percent of the proceeds from sale of the tag will be used to enhance mule deer habitat on Antelope Island, which is located in the Great Salt Lake.

It is believed that this Antelope Island hunt will enable the purchaser to take down a trophy with antlers in the 240 – 270 inch range.

The opening bid was $290,000 and the final bid was $310,000.

Fifth Annual Western Hunting & Conservation Expo Raises Millions for Hunting and Conservation

February 7, 2011

Contact: Miles Moretti

Tel.: 1-888-375-DEER

E-mail: president@muledeer.org

(photos available)

 Fifth Annual Western Hunting & Conservation Expo Raises Millions for Hunting and Conservation

 SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – At the recently held Western Hunting & Conservation Exposition (WHCE), an estimated $5 million was raised to help protect and promote hunting and conservation. Organized by the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) and Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife (SFW), and sponsored this year by Midway USA, the Expo took place Feb. 3-6, 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

For the past five years, the event has featured auctions, celebrities, exhibits, music and more. Each year it continues to grow in both numbers and renown.

Three nights of keynote addresses featured Sgt. First Class Greg Stube of the U.S. Army Special Forces; award-winning outdoor writer, wildlife photographer, wilderness guide and outfitter Jim Shockey; and outspoken hunter, musician and best-selling author Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent was "on fire" Saturday night.

There were also a few surprise appearances by former American Idol contestant, passionate hunter, and “Goin’ Country” television host Kristy Lee Cook.

Christie Lee Cook demonstrated her singing and interest in hunting.

 The WHCE’s Master of Ceremonies was former President of the National Wild Turkey Federation Rob Keck. He was named as “One of Hunting’s 25 Most Influential Personalities of the 20th Century” by Peterson’s Hunting Magazine a few years ago and is highly respected in the conservation world. Other notable appearances were made by Midway USA’s Founder and CEO Larry Potterfield, as well as CJ Buck of Buck Knives. Elected officials who attended the Expo included Utah’s Senator Orrin Hatch (R) and Congressman Jim Matheson (D).

During Friday night’s Conservation Banquet, MDF President and CEO Miles Moretti presented the President’s Award to the Northern Badlands Chapter out of Bismark, N.D. Moretti said he chose this team of MDF volunteers because of the Chapter’s efforts with the M.U.L.E.Y. Youth Program and the habitat-based access initiative P.L.O.T.S. Program. The award was accepted by Chapter Chair Ryan Krapp.

On Saturday night, Larry Potterfield removed his signature gold NRA jacket and was presented with a new navy blue blazer sporting the Mule Deer Foundation logo. Moretti, along with MDF Chief Operating Officer Eric Tycksen, presented the jacket to Potterfield as a “Silver Benefactor” Award in recognition of the single largest ever donation to the Mule Deer Foundation from Larry and Brenda Potterfield’s MidwayUSA Foundation.

Larry Potterfield displayed the M.U.L.E.Y. Rifle for the Saturday night auction.

During the four-day Expo, the sale of almost 100 big-game tags raised millions of dollars for conservation. The 2011 Nevada Heritage Statewide Mule Deer tag sold for a record-breaking $80,000. The 2011 Arizona Special Mule Deer tag sold for $200,000, which was $23,000 more than it sold for last year. There were two first-time ever tags sold for hunts on Salt Lake’s Antelope Island. The Deer tag brought an amazing $265,000, and the Sheep tag sold for $50,000. Ninety percent of the proceeds from these two tags will go directly back to improve habitat on the Island.

By the time doors closed on Superbowl Sunday, some 30,000 people had passed through the halls of the Salt Palace for the fifth annual WHCE. Many came to apply for one or more of the 200 Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Premiere Big Game tags. Others came for the evening banquets and auctions. Still others came to enjoy the hundreds of exhibits and acres of taxidermy. All came to support wildlife and conservation. Don’t miss your chance to be part of next year’s event scheduled for Feb. 9-12, 2012.

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About MDF (www.muledeer.org)

The Mule Deer Foundation is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with over 15,000 members. MDF’s mission is to ensure the conservation of mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat. MDF is dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting mule deer habitat (including land and easement acquisitions) resulting in self-sustaining, healthy, free ranging and huntable deer populations; encouraging and supporting responsible wildlife management with government agencies, private organizations and landowners; promoting public education and scientific research related to mule deer and wildlife management; supporting and encouraging responsible and ethical behavior and awareness of issues among those whose actions affect mule deer; and acknowledging regulated hunting as a viable component of mule deer and black-tailed deer conservation.

For information about the Mule Deer Foundation or to join please call 1-888-375-DEER (3337).

About a Thousand White Guys, One Black Guy…

Nine of the ten winners await the anouncement of the tenth and final winner.

….and quite a few sheep-hunting ladies packed the room at the Salt Palace last Saturday. We all had one thing on our minds – hunting wild sheep. When measuring by emotion, wild sheep are likely the most sought after of game in North America. There are many emotions associated with hunting wild sheep. Why? the grandeur of their habitat, their beauty, scarcity and elusiveness are a few reasons – rugged mountains and the price of a hunt are two others.

As I sat in the room with the other 1,000 plus sheep hunters I was feeling another emotion. I knew that I had about a one in twenty or so chance in drawing a Dall sheep hunt in Alaska or the Yukon and the winner’s names were about to be called. I’ve never been so optimistic about my chances of winning a significant drawing.

It didn’t end up that way, but I know I’ll be hunting sheep again one of these days and I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

How did this opportunity happen? Don Peay of Utah’s Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW) and Carl Malone of NBA fame, teamed up to create a new program to promote sheep hunting opportunities in North America, especially for those who have limited ability to purchase or draw a tag. By joining their new organization, The Full Curl Society, at a price of $40, members were presented with one entry in their “Sheep Fever” drawing and the one entry gave me three chances to draw a Dall sheep tag. What a bargain. 

With several categories from which to be drawn, each member had a variety of opportunity – too complicated to explain here.

Along with the drawing, Don Peay honored about a dozen sheep hunters for their contribution to sheep hunting and conservation – among them was his good friend and SFW supporter Carl Malone and also Bay Area Conservationist (Mule Deer Foundation and California Deer supporter) Dan Smith.

Malone, beloved as a basketball player and respected for his contributions to conservation, greeted each of the inductees to the Full Curl Society Hall of Fame at the podium. It was quite an event.

Ten sheep hunters received a chance to hunt Dall or Stone sheep and about half of them had never had the opportunity before. One lucky hunter received an opportunity to hunt for desert big horn in hopes of completing the cycle of North American sheep species, Rocky Mountian Big Horn, Desert Big Horn, Stone sheep and Dall – often referred to as the Grand Slam.

If you’re interested in more info about Carl Malone, hunter-conservationist, here’s a link to a recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune . http://www.sltrib.com/outdoors/ci_14366713