Colorado Man Loved the Outdoors, RMEF and Life

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/colorado-man-loved-the-outdoors-rmef-and-life/

A solemn standing room only gathering of more than 400 people crammed inside a church in Grand Junction, Colorado. They came together to remember and honor Hayden Tucker, a young man who lost his life in a tragic, work-related accident just six weeks shy of his 23rd birthday.

“He was just there and would do anything you ask him to do with that silly grin on his face and say, ‘What do you need done, Doc? I want to help you out,’” recalled Terry “Doc” Sweet, chair of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Grand Junction Chapter the last 33 years and a RMEF life member.

Several people close to the Tucker family referred to Hayden as an “RMEF baby,” and for good reason. Though not actually born a RMEF member, his parents Kevin and Crystal were intimately involved in the chapter. Kevin served as co-chair for several years and toted young Tucker along with him to chapter committee meetings. And that’s where he grew up, watched, learned and assisted others. When Hayden was old enough to drive, he drove himself to committee meetings to help plan chapter banquets and other events. He officially became a committee member at the age of 18 and voluntarily offered his pickup and trailer to assist with both banquet set up and take down each year.

“Hayden was always dependable. Whenever he raised his hand or was voluntold, he was always early and stayed late until the project was done,” said Sweet.

Though working in Oklahoma at the time of his passing, Hayden planned to be back home in Colorado in time to attend and assist with the 2021 big game chapter banquet on July 17. In fact, he spent the last couple of years eagerly learning the duties of chapter ticket chair so he could assume that responsibility.

“Hayden was exceptionally good at selling raffle tickets. He loved to talk to people and was great at getting them to spend their last $20 in support of RMEF,” said Troy Sweet, RMEF director of southwest field operations. “He had a drive for life and was everyone’s friend. Hayden was the consummate RMEF volunteer. He always jumped in to help with whatever needed to be done.”

Hayden loved the outdoors. Driving his truck, elk hunting, fishing, camping, four-wheeling or snowmobiling. If he was outside, he did it and loved it. Hayden shot his first elk at the age of 12.

Often beaming a big smile, all who knew him recognized his sarcastic sense of humor, quick wit and jokester ways. He loved deeply and made friends for life.

On the day of the funeral, Hayden’s RMEF family stepped up to serve the Tuckers. Chapter members erected two 20-by-20 tents, set up chairs, cooked a full course meal of pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, cheesy potatoes, coleslaw and chocolate cake, and then served 130 people. It was a typical Grand Junction Chapter kind of effort, and one that Hayden himself would have appreciated and been right in the middle of with spatula in hand.

“We did it all so Crystal and Kevin didn’t have to worry about that part of it,” said Doc. “Once you join the Grand Junction chapter, you become family. That’s just how we run our chapter.”

Hayden will always be a part of the chapter family. Going forward, his legacy will be cemented and his name will be recognized for years to come by many youngsters who will never know him. Come this fall, the Grand Junction Chapter will host the first annual Hayden Tucker Memorial Hunt. To make it happen, the committee secured a cow elk hunt donation from RTS Hunting LLC out of Meeker and will also purchase and donate a rifle to a first-time hunter. It’s the chapter’s way of honoring and revering Hayden’s unselfish willingness to help others and his passion for hunting and life. Kevin requested the chapter auction off the hunt as a way to honor his son’s memory. After all, Hayden loved raising funds to benefit RMEF’s mission.

“Loved him dearly,” added Doc, his voice drifting away.

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10 Yards – An RMEF Film

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/10-yards-an-rmef-film/

The true test of a hunter’s ethics is knowing their limits and abiding by them when being stared down by the bull of a lifetime. Follow along as Ted Scheedy pushes that limit with an eastern Montana giant.

 Volunteers are the lifeblood of RMEF’s conservation mission and Ted is a shining example of that. His love of wildlife and wild places moved him to serve the past 26 years as an RMEF volunteer.

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Browning Firearms — https://www.browning.com/

Bass Pro Shops/Cabelas — https://www.basspro.com/shop/en

Wildgame Innovations — https://www.wildgameinnovations.com/

Leupold Optics – https://www.leupold.com/

Nosler – https://www.nosler.com/

Buck Knives — https://www.buckknives.com/

Danner — https://www.danner.com/

Yeti — https://www.yeti.com/

Eberlestock — https://www.eberlestock.com/

Swagger Bipods – https://swaggerbipods.com/

Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls — https://buglingbull.com/

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Who is Davis Tent?

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/who-is-davis-tent/

Since 1955 Davis Tent have been manufacturing tents and hunting elk in Colorado. Their years of experience in the field have helped them to determine the key features needed to make quality outdoor tents and gear. So whether you call it a canvas tent, wall tent, hunting tent or outfitter tent you can rest assured because they have been making tents and other canvas related products to the highest of standards for over 60 years.

Learn more -> davistent.com

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Wolf Pups Confirmed on the Ground in Colorado

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/wolf-pups-confirmed-on-the-ground-in-colorado/

Seventeen months after wildlife officials first confirmed wolves in Colorado and 10 months after a biologist reported seeing a wolf pup in the northwest part of the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) now confirms multiple pups are on the ground.

CPW staff conducted three separate observations of the den site from approximately two miles away. Each of the three sightings included an adult male and a female along with their three pups. While staffers saw the three pups over the past week, it is not yet confirmed that these are the only pups. A typical wolf litter consists of four to six pups.

CPW is working with landowners in the area to implement practices to try to minimize the potential for conflict.

(Photo source:  Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

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Wildlife Officer, Teen Save Mule Deer from Mucky Fate

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/wildlife-officer-teen-save-mule-deer-from-mucky-fate/

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

A yearling mule deer doe got more than she bargained for when she tried walking through a “mud puddle” in a field off of Marsh Creek Road just north of McCammon, Idaho, over Memorial Day weekend. She sank up to her belly and was trapped by the gooey mud… and helpless.

A worried homeowner contacted Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer Nick Noll. With wooden boards, a shovel, some rope, and the help of Noll’s 15-year old neighbor Cole Gunter of McCammon, the deer was rescued.

Standing on the boards to prevent sinking, Noll and Gunter secured ropes around the front and hind quarters of the doe.

“Since she was a little gal, I was able to grab the rope in each hand and pull her out of the mud into my lap. Then I carried her onto the bank,” said Noll.

The doe took a moment to recover while her rescuers removed the ropes. Then she jumped up, hopped a fence, and bounced up into the sage brush, apparently no worse for the wear.

Gunter was happy to help Idaho Fish and Game with the rescue effort, saying “I want to ensure a better deer population in Bannock County, so every deer counts!”

“It was definitely a feel good day as a game warden,” Noll remarked. “I started this gig to help wildlife, and I think we literally saved a deer’s life.”

(Photo source:  Idaho Department of Fish and Game)

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Where’s the Poop? Predator Fecal Matter Assists Elk Researchers

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/wheres-the-poop-predator-fecal-matter-assists-elk-researchers/

Seeking to get a better grasp on how elk behave on the same landscape as predators, Canadian researchers are getting their hands “dirty” by gathering and examining the scat of bears, mountain lions, wolves and coyotes.

The research, partially funded by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, is part of an ongoing study dating back to the mid-1990s focusing on the Ya Ha Tinda elk herd located just east of Banff National Park in southwest Alberta.

Gathering predator scat is a new technique that helps distinguish key components of predation such as where elk may encounter predators and where they are killed. The method can be used to sample broad areas over a relatively short time frame to get a snapshot of spatial predation risk. In other words, it basically highlights the complexity of predator-prey dynamics where there are different types of predators.

Here is how the numbers break down. Researchers analyzed the contents of 476 scat samples including 199 wolf, 130 bear, 114 coyote and 33 mountain lion. They found evidence of elk in mountain lions (46% of scats), wolves (38%) and coyotes (36%), but far less in bears (19%).

The findings showed the risk of predation differed by location and habitat features, however overall predation risk was highest within the Ya Ha Tinda herd where elk are residents.

(Photo source:  Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)

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Pennsylvania Expands Elk Hunting Opportunities

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/pennsylvania-expands-elk-hunting-opportunities/

Below is part of a news release from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Dating back to 1991, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners completed 505 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Pennsylvania with a combined value of more than $27.3 million. These projects protected or enhanced 27,399 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 10,189 acres.

With more Sunday hunting opportunities on the way, additional days available for hunters to fill their antlerless deer tags and the biggest allotment of elk licenses yet, the 2021-22 season is one that Pennsylvania hunters eagerly are awaiting.

And they won’t have to wait for long.

Hunting and furtaker licenses for 2021-22 will go on sale Monday, June 14 and the new license year begins July 1.

Pennsylvania elk hunters in 2021-22 also will be out there in record numbers. The 187 licenses available marks an increase from the 164 allocated the previous year. A record 56 of the 2021-22 licenses are for bulls. And the January late season, which in its first two years was open only to antlerless elk hunting, in 2022 will be open to bull hunting, as well. Ten of the 49 licenses to be issued for the Jan. 1 through 8 late season are for bulls.

The January late season is one of three elk seasons. There are 14 antlered and 15 antlerless licenses available for the archery-only elk season, which runs from Sept. 11 through 25, when bulls are in the rut. There are 32 antlered and 77 antlerless licenses available for the general six-day regular elk season, which runs from Nov. 1 through 6.

Licenses are awarded by lottery. License applications can be submitted online or at any license issuing agent. A separate application, costing $11.97, is needed for each season. Hunters wishing to apply for all three pay $35.91. In each drawing, season-specific bonus points are awarded to those who aren’t drawn.

The deadline to apply for an elk license is July 31, 2021.

Go here for additional details.

(Photo source:  David McKinnis)

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Application Period for 2021 Nebraska Elk Hunt Opens June 14

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/application-period-for-2021-nebraska-elk-hunt-opens-june-14/

Below is part of a news release from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Since 1994, RMEF and its partners completed 96 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Nebraska with a combined value of more than $11.8 million. These projects protected or enhanced 32,827 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 16,237 acres.

Big game hunters may begin applying for 2021 elk, antelope and deer draw permits June 14, 2021.

Elk applicants may apply for one elk permit or buy one elk bonus point. Deer and antelope applicants may apply for one deer or antelope permit or buy one deer or antelope preference point. A point may be purchased by an applicant in lieu of participating in the draw.

Applications will be charged a nonrefundable fee; bonus and preference point purchases also will be charged a nonrefundable fee.

The application period begins at 1 p.m. Central Time on June 14. Paper applications must be received by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission by 5 p.m. CT – or by 11:59 p.m. for online applications – on June 25.

Drawing results will be available by July 2. Successful applicants will have until July 16 to complete the purchase of their awarded permits. Awarded but unpaid permits will result in applicants losing preference or bonus points and forfeiting permit. Any forfeited permit will be made available to the next unsuccessful applicant at this time. Any remaining permits will be available during appropriate buy period for the species: deer, Aug. 2; antelope, Aug. 3; elk, Aug. 4.

Draw units are established to provide equal opportunity to obtain permits in those units. They are determined by the overall demand on a unit’s permits. Residents get preference over nonresidents when these permits are drawn.

(Photo source:  Brandon Jones/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

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Wyoming Assists Study about Role of Hunting and Fishing in Food System

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/wyoming-assists-study-about-role-of-hunting-and-fishing-in-food-system/

Below is a news release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a sponsor of the Wild Harvest Initiative.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is participating in a study to learn more about the role of hunting and angling in Wyoming’s —  and North America’s —  food system. Throughout June, Game and Fish will be surveying hunters and anglers about how they consume and share with others wild-harvested game meat and fish as well as foraged foods like berries and mushrooms.

“Our goal is to learn more about the full benefits of hunting and angling provide to our food system, including to people who may not hunt or fish themselves,” said Brian Nesvik, director of Game and Fish.

A random selection of Wyoming resident hunters and anglers will receive an email invitation to participate in the Wild Meat Sharing and Consumption Index survey, which focuses on hunting, wild harvested meat and the sharing of wild harvested meat.

The study is part of a partnership between Game and Fish and Conservation Visions’ Wild Harvest Initiative®, the first science-based program to assess the full benefits of sustainable wild animal harvests in the United States and Canada. The Initiative will examine the value of wildlife and fish harvests in terms of food, livelihoods, human health, wildlife conservation and the environment. The program will also explore synergies with sustainable agricultural and ranching practices.

“We hope that by exploring how wild harvested food contributes to Wyoming that we will engage more people into the conversation about the value of hunting and fishing to our state — for food and wildlife management,” Nesvik said. “We’re glad this effort will consider overlap with our state’s robust agriculture industry as well as complement our state’s efforts to combat food insecurity with wild game.”

Results from the survey will be used to contribute to the Wild Harvest Initiative’s® first complete assessment of the significance of hunting and angling to modern society — economically, socially and ecologically.

(Photo source:  Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)

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Second Chance Elk Draw Opportunities Available in Nevada, South Dakota

https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/second-chance-elk-draw-opportunities-available-in-nevada-south-dakota/

Hunters who were either unsuccessful in Nevada’s recent big game draw or missed the deadline to submit an application have a second chance at an archery or muzzleloader tag for elk, pronghorn antelope or mule deer. Hunters can apply for the big game second draw at ndowlicensing.com through June 14, 2021, at 11 p.m.

Eligible junior hunters may submit an application for the following hunts: Unit Group 032 (18 tags available) and Unit Group 101-109 (72 tags available).

South Dakota’s second draw elk application is also available online. The deadline for Black Hills Elk, Archery Elk and Prairie Elk is 8 a.m. (CDT) on June 16. Applications for the second drawing are online only, no paper applications.

Applicants can choose to use their preference points for the second draw. However, if they use their preference points, and are successful in the draw, they will lose all accumulated preference points for that season and cannot apply in the first draw for nine years.

(Photo source:  Nevada Department of Wildlife)

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