RMEF Funding Helps Conserve, Secure Access to 8,107 Acres of Utah Wildlife Habitat

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/rmef-funding-helps-conserve-secure-access-to-8107-acres-of-utah-wildlife-habitat/

Below is a news release from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources was named as the winning bid on Tuesday, November 17, 2021, during a public auction for the Cinnamon Creek property in Cache and Weber counties, which will become an invaluable wildlife management area.

The 8,107-acre property is located west of Ant Flat Road, just north of the Cache/Weber County boundary line. It was previously owned by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration and is named after Cinnamon Creek, which runs through the property. The DWR leases public hunting and fishing access to SITLA lands, so the public could hunt and fish on the property.

The public auction opened Nov. 9 and ended Tuesday with the DWR claiming the winning bid through the help of several partners who have committed significant funding, including the Mule Deer Foundation, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, the State of Utah and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The Cinnamon Creek property provides important public access for hunting, angling and other wildlife-related recreation in northern Utah in an area that is mostly private land,” DWR Assistant Director Mike Canning said. “It also contains important habitat for elk, mule deer, moose, greater sage-grouse and sharp tailed-grouse. In addition, Cinnamon Creek contains a genetically pure Bonneville cutthroat trout population. We will manage the area as a wildlife management area to continue providing crucial habitat for wildlife and will also continue to allow access for hunting and fishing.”

This area will become the 193rd wildlife management area in Utah. In addition to providing areas for people to hunt and fish, wildlife management areas help minimize and mitigate wildlife depredation on private property, and are vital to providing important winter ranges and feeding grounds for many wildlife species, including big game.

“We are extremely grateful to all the conservation groups who also realized the significance of this property for wildlife and the public, and contributed funds to allow us to purchase it,” Canning said. “We also appreciate the support of the Utah Legislature — including Rep. Casey Snider, whose district includes this property — throughout this process. It would not have been possible without the contributions and support of our many partners. We are thrilled to have preserved another area for wildlife and wildlife-related recreation.”

(Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

The post RMEF Funding Helps Conserve, Secure Access to 8,107 Acres of Utah Wildlife Habitat appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Introducing the Backcountry 2.0 Family of Rifles

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/introducing-the-backcountry-2-0-family-of-rifles/

The next generation of the ground-breaking Backcountry™ family, the Backcountry 2.0 transforms the classic Weatherby® Mark V® into one of the lightest magnum bolt actions on the market. A host of changes help bolster the Backcountry 2.0 specification charts, while the addition of two variants with a tensioned carbon fiber barrel fills out the family a bit more.

The most noticeable upgrade for the 2.0 family is the new carbon fiber Blacktooth™ stock from Peak 44™ — the lightest versions of which tip the scales at under 20 ounces. This stock allows the 2.0 family to start at just 4.7 lbs., while magnum chamberings start at 4.9 lbs!

Also grabbing the eye is the second generation 3DHEX® recoil pad, the first production 3D printed pad the firearms world has seen. Hidden inside the pad are a series of interlocking voids that progressively collapse during recoil, expanding the time component of the recoil impulse and deadening the sharp kick of magnum chamberings. In 30-378 WBY MAG, this pad kills the impulse force of recoil by more than 40%.

More pronounced spiral fluting on the bolt body not only trims a little weight, it also reduces bearing surface within the action and results in even smoother function. The newly-threaded bolt handle is equipped with a lightweight aluminum extended and skeletonized knob.

Fit with Weatherby’s highly-effective Accubrake® ST, this brake is blended to match the profile of the muzzle. With 30 symmetrically-spaced ports that help harness the recoil, it tames even magnum chamberings and makes them pleasant to shoot.

Backcountry 2.0 variants sport an updated paint scheme, with most metalwork protected by a ceramic Cerakote® shell and with carbon fiber peeking through the two-tone paint of the stocks.

Built to be the lightest possible rifle and chambered in some of the world’s fastest cartridges, the Backcountry 2.0 is a worthy successor to the throne.

Connect with Weatherby!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/weatherbyinc/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Weatherbyinc/

The post Introducing the Backcountry 2.0 Family of Rifles appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Kimberly Clark Wildlife Area, Wisconsin – Restoring Elk Country

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/kimberly-clark-wildlife-area-wisconsin-restoring-elk-country/

Wisconsin has two distinct elk ranges.

The Clam Lake Elk Range, the older of the two located in the northern part of the state, features the larger elk population and includes the 8,700-acre Kimberly Clark Wildlife Area.

Just east of the Flambeau (FLAM’-bow) River State Forest, where elk were restored in 2017, the wildlife area provides important wildlife and riparian habitat.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided more than $23,000 in grant funding that leveraged an additional $101,000 from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to carry out a handful of projects here to improve both wildlife forage and public access.

By thinning selective patches and strips within aspen stands over five years, crews created a mix of forage openings and early seral habitat that better supports elk, deer, black bears, turkey, grouse and a wide range of other wildlife.

Additional work included restoring more than nine miles of firebreak, establishing and restoring forage openings, and prescribed burning 3,526 acres to rejuvenate grasslands, wetlands and young forest.

A popular area for hunting, hiking and other recreational activities, getting year-round access was impossible because of heavy damage to the unstable dirt road and a poor draining system built in the 1960s.

Combined RMEF and DNR funding allowed crews to replace failing culverts along a nearly 5-mile stretch of road, improve a trout stream segment, remove several problematic beaver dams that eroded the road, construct new ditches and apply more than 10,000 cubic yards of gravel to raise the road to a sustainable grade.

Restoring elk country is core to RMEF’s mission.

Since 1984, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners completed 13,000 conservation and hunting heritage projects that protected or enhanced more than 8.1 million acres of wildlife habitat.

The post Kimberly Clark Wildlife Area, Wisconsin – Restoring Elk Country appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Caid Honored with Prestigious Conservation Award

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/caid-honored-with-prestigious-conservation-award/

MISSOULA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation bestowed its highest honor, the Wallace Fennell Pate Wildlife Conservation Award, to John Caid. The Arizona native and RMEF life member is a 36-year volunteer who also served a decade on the organization’s board of directors, with two years as board chair during a time of proficient growth and success for RMEF.

“The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has meant the world to me,” said Caid. “I was extremely honored to even be considered for the board. And to get elected chairman of the board is crazy. And now this. It’s been really home to me and I truly appreciate everything that’s happened. That’s one of the highlights of my life obviously.”

Caid joined RMEF in 1985, nine months after its establishment. He served as a committee member and helped create the RMEF Pinetop Lakeside Chapter before eventually entering his service on the board.

Professionally, Caid spent 34 years as a biologist and eventual director of the White Mountain Apache Game and Fish Department, where he transformed the agency’s elk hunting program by instigating a series of habitat enhancement and research projects that bolstered elk numbers and genetics.

He continues to collaborate with RMEF where he now works as general manager of the UU Bar Ranch in New Mexico, a landscape he helped transform into one of the world’s premiere elk hunting destinations.

“We heartily congratulate John on behalf of the board, our entire organization and membership. We appreciate everything he’s done for the organization,” said Mark Baker, RMEF board chair. “John’s service has been invaluable to where we’ve been as a conservation group and where we’re at today.”

Surrounded by family and friends, Caid received the award in front of hundreds of onlookers during a RMEF gathering at the PBR World Finals on November 6, 2021, in Las Vegas.

“I never expected anything like this. It’s just an honor I never expected ever in my life to receive. To me, the Elk Foundation became the best conservation organization in the world,” added Caid.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded more than 37 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 231,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 8.2 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.

(LEFT TO RIGHT) Charlie Decker – RMEF Co-Founder, Teri Caid, John Caid, Eric Johnson – RMEF Vice Chair

The post Caid Honored with Prestigious Conservation Award appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Old Stage Road, Montana – onX Public Access Project

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/old-stage-road-montana-onx-public-access-project/

Montana’s Missouri Breaks country is known for its unique geological features like deep ravines contrasted by irrigated hay bottoms and fields of alfalfa, corn and grain.

That translates into excellent habitat for healthy populations of elk and other wildlife.

But depending on exactly where you’re talking about, getting there to go hunting or fishing can be a challenge.

South and east of the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge just off Highway 200, you’ll find Old Stage Road.

The un-graveled roadway pushes north 32 miles along the Musselshell River.

One section of it, ironically known as Angel Hill, gave drivers a devil of a time getting up and over it.

Because of its estimated 18 percent grade, it transformed into a sloppy, unsafe mess during inclement weather, let alone everyday use.

To remedy the situation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Garfield County and private landowners provided funding for resources over several seasons to allow crews to restructure the hill, widen and grade the road, and add culverts and gravel.

The result is a much safer roadway and improved public access for all.

The post Old Stage Road, Montana – onX Public Access Project appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Picking the Perfect Reticle

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/picking-the-perfect-reticle/

Let’s be clear, what we really mean is picking the perfect reticle for your needs. There is no single option that is going to work for every application. Sometimes you will need a specific reticle to get the job done. Sometimes it’s just that one reticle is more efficient or easier to use for a given application. Don’t set yourself on one. Instead, be willing to invest in optics for different situations. And no matter what anyone says, there is no universally ‘best’ reticle.

Though there are dozens of reticle options available, they all fall within just a few categories. This is ignoring some historic examples and a few that are on the fringes. Often these are considered special purpose reticles and are a little beyond the scope of this article. We don’t want to go down that road. Instead, let’s limit it to the 5 most common categories you are likely to run into.

Crosshair

This is the most commonly thought of reticle made famous by Bugs Bunny cartoons and Westerns. This was the first reticle type, made by crossing wires inside a tube though they are sometimes now etched into the glass of the scope. It really doesn’t get any simpler than this standard cross shape making it a good bet for simple applications.

Burris makes both a Plex and Heavy Plex reticle, used on Scout and Handgun scopes.

The crosshair is generally not going to be the best reticle for any specific task. Instead, it is just very easy to use. There is nothing to it. Line up where the thin lines cross and pull the trigger. This makes it a great option for young shooters or applications where you don’t need anything extra. I keep one of these on my around-home varmint gun. Shots are generally short at small targets. It’s a good place for this type of reticle.

Duplex

If we step a small step up from the crosshair, we get the duplex reticle. These can be known as simply plex, ballistic plex, heavy plex, and many other variations. The premise is the same though there are some slight differences that can be helpful to some shooters. In short, this is a crosshair where the majority of the lines forming the cross are thickened only to thin out near the point where they actually cross.

The Burris Ballistic Plex is a long-time favorite for hunters, and features in many Burris scopes

The primary advantage of these reticles is the ability to quickly find the crosshair even when vision is limited. This makes them a popular choice for shooters with poor eyesight or those that take their shots in situations where visibility is imperfect. This could be low-light situations or places that have very busy backgrounds like woodlands. The thicker lines add speed and sometimes that speed matters. Especially to hunters.

BDC

If we take a small step up in complexity, we get to the BDC or Bullet Drop Compensating reticle. This is simply a standard crosshair reticle that has a few dots or hash marks denoting bullet drop. Some will be designed for specific calibers but the majority are marked out in Minutes of Angle. The idea of this is to have a basis for determining hold over without doing much in the way of math. It’s an educated Kentucky Windage but for elevation.

The most common rifles to see these on are either brush guns like a .30-30 or small calibers like .22. Sometimes shotgun scopes meant for slugs will use BDC reticles. It’s an easy way to get you on target when you are at shorter ranges but with calibers that have some notable bullet drop at those ranges. These are not a good option for true long-range shooting but are exceptionally good for moderate ranges, especially for hunters.

The Burris E3 Cascading dots help adjust for a 10-m.p.h. crosswind for the average caliber.

Mil/MOA

If long-range is your game, you need the most advanced reticle option. The Mil-Dot is probably the most common but MOA based ranging scopes are getting up there. Occasionally you will see these as MRAD instead which switches the dots out for hash symbols. Some of these reticles get quite complex but unless you know what they do and how to read the extra lines, all you are doing is getting a muddled image.

These scopes are designed to be able to determine range when the height of the target is known. A simple formula can be used to get you the correct number which can be dialed in for the appropriate bullet drop negating the need for a rangefinder. This is the world of the sniper and long-range shooter. These are what are commonly used in competitions and on battlefields. Learning to use one correctly is a process but a very rewarding one.

Shaped

The final reticle is the shaped reticle. While this was once something you could classify as a special purpose reticle, they are becoming quite common. The reason for this is speed. Usually found only on lower power optics, these reticles are fast. They get you on target quickly to make your shot. For this reason, they are often found on deer guns and home defense weapons. Many shotgun scopes use shaped reticles and they are becoming quite common on night vision optics.

The shape can be a simple circle, circle with a dot, chevron, and many others. They are not meant to add range but will add a little precision along with speed. Many 3-gun shooters adopted these scopes before red dot sights became popular. They are useful in their own situation but should be avoided on any gun intended to shoot moderate or long-range unless you really know what you want the gun to do.

Conclusion

There are other reticles but none that are important to most shooters. Some of these reticles come in illuminated or partially illuminated options. These are not useful enough to warrant the expense for most shooters but if you are active in low-light, they can be worth it. What is more important is getting the correct reticle for what you need. None are inferior, some just have very specialized purposes. Don’t be afraid to spend the money to get what you want. Or to own several for different situations. Doing so will only make you more effective with your weapon.

Learn more about reticle options from Burris here.

This blog post was guest written by Eric Patton.  Eric has been an avid shooter in many disciplines over the years.

The post Picking the Perfect Reticle appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Gear 101 – YETI Crossroads Bags & Luggage

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/gear-101-yeti-crossroads-bags-luggage/

There’s no need to treat the YETI Crossroads line gently. This luggage is built to soar through the most turbulent plane rides and to rotate unscathed through the roughest baggage claims.

These bags are burly, beastly and built from Tuffskin nylon. They are water and abrasion resistant, with heavy-duty zippers.

From the minimalist Crossroads 22L Backpack to the spacious, 60L Crossroads Duffel, the Crossroads line has you covered for day trips or weeklong adventures.

Crossroads Backpack

The Crossroads Backpack is simple, efficient and strong. It’s perfect for those day adventures around town or outside. It’s designed to keep all the important stuff easy to access, with a Flip-Top Vault pocket that turns outward for a larger main opening.

With SideHustle Pockets on each side, you don’t have to constantly take the backpack off to get to your stuff. You can simply swing the pack to either side, unzip the SideHustle Pocket and pull out what you need. Available in a 22-liter, 27 liter and 35-liter options, with 22-liter shown here.

Crossroads Luggage

Taking a long weekend? Everything about the Crossroads Luggage is made to simplify and organize your life while you travel, so you can focus on what really matters—enjoying your trip.

Maximize access with a convenient 70/30 split clamshell opening.

A see-through, mesh divider panel means no more digging through a pile of jumbled clothes and items, while the compression straps let you maximize space so that you don’t have to leave gear behind.

Hopefully you’re traveling somewhere to get out and get dirty. Keep those dirty clothes from infecting the clean ones by placing them on one side of the divider.

Tired of digging to the bottom of the bag to find your toothbrush or razor? Keep small items secure and accessible with the outside stash pocket and the included small and medium Crossroads packing cubes. Available in a 22” and a 29” version seen here.

Crossroads Duffel

Rounding out the new Crossroads series is the Duffel. With Structured Foam Walls, this bag keeps its shape and doesn’t droop like other duffels.

Removable compression straps let you batten down the hatches to make packing a cinch.

Two divider panels separate the bag into three sections, and the dividers can be removed for one big space if that’s the way you roll. Available in 40 and 60-liter options.

With the Yeti Crossroads line, you’re ready to tackle the urban jungle or your next hunt in Alaska, New Zealand or another far-off locale. Whether traveling via car, boat, or bush plane, hunters require gear that is particularly durable and element resistant.

Learn more at: YETI

The post Gear 101 – YETI Crossroads Bags & Luggage appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Montana Makes Elk, Deer Muzzleloader Season Clarification

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/montana-makes-elk-deer-muzzleloader-season-clarification/

Below is a Facebook post from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a clarification to the muzzleloader heritage hunting season for deer and elk.

The clarification states that any unused license-permit valid on the last day of the general season (i.e., Nov. 28, 2021) would be valid during the muzzleloader heritage season (Dec. 11 to 19, 2021).

The season begins on the second Saturday following the end of the regular season. The commission adopted the following regulations, most of which are based on language from the statute:

  • A person may take a deer or elk with a license or permit that is valid on the last day of the general hunting season.
  • Hunters must use plain lead projectiles and a muzzleloading rifle that is charged with loose black powder, loose pyrodex or an equivalent loose black powder substitute and ignited by a flintlock, wheel lock, matchlock or percussion mechanism using a percussion or musket cap.
  • The muzzleloading rifle must be a minimum of .45 caliber and may not have more than two barrels.
  • During the muzzleloader heritage season, hunters may not use a muzzleloading rifle that requires insertion of a cap or primer into the open breech of the barrel (inline), is capable of being loaded from the breech, or is mounted with an optical magnification device.
  • Use of preprepared paper or metallic cartridges, sabots, gas checks or other similar power and range-enhancing manufactured loads that enclose the projectile from the rifling or bore of the firearm is also prohibited.

(Photo credit: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks)

The post Montana Makes Elk, Deer Muzzleloader Season Clarification appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Idaho Seeks Info about Elk Poaching Case

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/idaho-seeks-info-about-elk-poaching-case/

Below is a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Idaho Fish and Game is asking the public for information regarding a spike elk that was shot and left to waste on the Terrace Lakes Golf Course in Garden Valley in the southwest portion of the state.

Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers collected evidence at the scene, but are seeking additional information the public.

Officers believe the elk was shot sometime on Oct. 26 or early on Oct. 27. The elk was killed along the sixth and seventh fairways of the golf course, either from Warm Springs Road or from one of the cabins along Rainbow Ridge Road.

“Given where this occurred, it’s likely that someone saw or heard something,” said Corey Taylor, senior conservation officer.

Any information leading to charges being filed will make the reporting person eligible for a financial reward through the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) program. Anyone who has information that can help with these investigations is asked to contact the Southwest Regional Office at 208-465-8465. Tips can also be called into the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999.

(Photo credit: Idaho Department of Fish and Game)

The post Idaho Seeks Info about Elk Poaching Case appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Hunter Takes Giant Mountain Lion in Washington

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/hunter-takes-giant-mountain-lion-in-washington/

197 pounds! Now that’s a big mountain lion!

A man on a fishing and camping trip with his family decided to go on a hike around Carl’s Lake in northeast Washington in September 2021 to scout for elk. Using his binoculars, he spotted the mountain lion so he grabbed his rifle and eventually notched his hunting tag.

“I’m glassing and laying clear across this drainage was a cat and a big cat,” Brandon Reed, told the Spokesman Review. “It struck me as huge. Laying there like your normal house cat.”

Reed skinned the animal and packed out the meat, hide and skull. He plans to submit the skull to see how it compares to other large mountain lions taken in the past by other hunters.

Turns out, biologists previously captured and tagged the same animal three years earlier. At that time, it weighed 197 pounds. Adult mountain lions usually weigh somewhere between 110 and 180 pounds.

(Photo credit: Courtesy USFS) Image is not the actual mountain lion mentioned above.

The post Hunter Takes Giant Mountain Lion in Washington appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.