Leica Sport Optics Introduces New L-4w reticle for Amplus 6 riflescopes


Leica Sport Optics is pleased to announce the release of its latest reticle for the Amplus 6 line of riflescopes, the L-4w (MOA) which is available at retailers now for all scopes in the family including the: 3-18x44i, 2.5-15x50i, and 2.5-15x56i. The L-4w(MOA) is designed for the discerning hunter or marksman providing a crystal-clear edge-to-edge uncluttered sight picture with wind holds in MOA. This allows shooters to confidently dial for elevation and hold for the wind speed needed at any given moment.

L-4w (MOA) reticle

“The introduction of the L-4w (MOA) reticle underscores Leica’s dedication to providing shooters, hunters, and marksmen with optics that seamlessly blend versatility and precision,” said Daniel Esquinas, interim director of Leica Sport Optics USA. “This simplified reticle retains the exceptional clarity and accuracy Leica is known for, while offering shooters an intuitive and distraction-free shooting experience.”

Models include:

50201              Amplus 6 3-18x44i L-4w BDC (MOA)

50301              Amplus 6 2.5-15×50 I L-4w (MOA)

50401              Amplus 6 2.5-15x56i L-4w (MOA)



Leica Sport Optics has a longstanding reputation for producing high-quality optics that meet the demands of outdoor enthusiasts and sportsmen. The L-4w reticle is the latest example of their commitment to delivering innovative solutions that enhance the shooting experience.


For more information about the L-4w reticle and Leica Amplus 6 riflescopes, please visit: leica-camera.com/leica-amplus-6


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Utah Proposes Mandatory Harvest Reporting for Deer, Elk Hunts


Below is part of a news release from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR). Go here to read the entire release that also includes a research study proposal, changes to weapon technology use and other information.

Harvest surveys have been required for all limited-entry big game hunts in Utah for approximately the past 20 years. This year, mandatory harvest reporting was also required for all the 2023 antlerless hunts.

Now, due to feedback from hunters, the DWR is proposing to also require mandatory harvest reporting for all of the general season buck deer and bull elk hunts in Utah, beginning in 2024. This will include:

  • General season buck deer
  • Dedicated hunter buck deer
  • Youth general season buck deer
  • General-season archery elk
  • Spike bull elk
  • Multi-season spike bull elk
  • Any bull elk
  • Youth general-season elk

“Hunters have been requesting these data for years, and technology now makes it easier to conduct these surveys and collect this information after the hunts,” Hersey said. “This would also help us to maintain more comprehensive and quality harvest data and would give us better insights into Utah’s big game hunts.”

Under this proposed recommendation, permit holders would have 30 days to report the results of their hunt after the hunting season ends. Anyone who doesn’t report would be excluded from the following year’s big game and antlerless applications. Anyone who reports their information late would be required to pay a fee of $50 to be eligible for the following year’s big game hunting applications.

(Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

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Wisconsin Approves Wolf Management Plan Without Population Goal


Below is a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. It does not include a population goal. The previous plan, established in 1999, had a population goal of 350 wolves. Today, the population estimate is more than 1,000.

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) approved with amendments the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) revised 2023 Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan and an administrative rule for wolves.

The board approved the wolf plan with an amendment to subzone 1B that allows the department to close any subunit if two wolves are harvested within that subunit while maintaining the four wolf subzone harvest limit.

The board approved the rule with amendments. The amendments allow landowners enrolled in the wildlife damage, abatement and claims program to restrict the use of dogs by hunters who have access to their land according to the public access requirement of the wildlife damage program. The board’s amendment also allowed the department additional flexibility on the timing of depredation compensation payments which would allow payments to be made as soon as possible.

The DNR began developing the updated management plan in early 2021 to align its wolf management strategies with the current state of the wolf population and the desires of a diverse public. The DNR collected and considered public input throughout the development process through various methods, including via the creation of a Wolf Management Plan Committee (consisting of 29 stakeholders from tribal representatives to external agency representatives), consultations with Wisconsin’s Tribal Nations and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), discussions with other state and federal wolf management in their states, and a 3.5-month public review and comment period which gave the public a chance to weigh in.

The DNR also held a public comment period and a public hearing for a corresponding administrative rule change (often called the Wolf Management Rule), which implements specific provisions of the Wolf Management Plan. The Wolf Management Rule codifies provisions of an emergency rule, EmR 1210, which went into effect on Aug. 18, 2012. It also implements recommendations from the Wolf Management Plan and updates regulatory text.

The NRB also approved this rule, which now goes to Governor Evers for final approval.

(Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

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CWD Detected in New Wyoming Elk Hunt Area


Below is a news release from the Wyoming Game & Fish Department.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed the presence of chronic wasting disease in Elk Hunt Area 58. The disease was detected in a hunter-harvested bull elk in early October.

Elk Hunt Area 58 is in the Cody Region and is bordered by two areas that previously detected CWD in elk. CWD has been detected to the west in Hunt Area 59 in 2022 and to the east in Hunt Area 66 in 2018. Additionally, Elk Hunt Area 58 overlaps with Deer Hunt Area 113 where the disease also has been detected.

To ensure hunters are informed, Game and Fish announces when CWD is found in a new hunt area. The Centers for Disease Control recommends hunters do not consume any animal that is obviously ill or tests positive for CWD.

Continued monitoring of CWD over time is important to help Game and Fish understand the potential impacts of the disease as well as evaluate future management actions for deer and elk. A map of CWD endemic areas is available on the Game and Fish website. The disease is 100% fatal to deer, elk and moose that have been infected. In 2022, Game and Fish personnel tested 6,701 CWD lymph node samples from deer, elk and moose — primarily submitted by hunters.

Please visit the Game and Fish website for more information on chronic wasting disease testing, transmission and regulations on transportation and disposal of carcasses.

(Photo credit: Wyoming Game & Fish Department)

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Pennsylvania’s General Elk Season Opens October 30


Below is a news release from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Home to 30 chapters and more than 14,000 members, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has a long history in Pennsylvania. Dating back to 1991, RMEF and its partners completed 544 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Pennsylvania with a combined value of more than $27.6 million. These projects conserved or enhanced 28,160 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 10,189 acres.

This year, over 57,000 people applied for the chance to hunt Pennsylvania elk.

And the state’s biggest elk season is about to get underway.

The general elk season opens Monday, Oct. 30 and runs six days through Saturday, Nov. 4.

While Pennsylvania now has three separate seasons for elk – a two-week archery season in September, the general season and a late season that begins Dec. 30 – the general season is tops in participation, with half of available elk licenses used in the general season.

This year, 72 of the 144 Pennsylvania elk licenses are for the general season. Of those, 30 hunters will be hunting antlered elk, or bulls, and 42 will be hunting antlerless elk, or cows.

Elk licenses for the general season have been allocated in 12 Elk Hunt Zones, geographic elk-management units dispersed throughout the northcentral Pennsylvania elk range. Maps of the zones can be found on the elk page at www.pgc.pa.gov.

Many other hunting seasons, including archery deer and bear, and most small game and turkey seasons, occur simultaneous to the general elk season.

Hunters participating in the general elk season, in which firearms are permitted, must wear, at all times, 250 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange material on the head, chest, and back combined, visible 360 degrees. They must properly tag elk harvests and bring them to the Game Commission’s check station, where the elk are weighed, and samples are collected to test for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), brucellosis, and tuberculosis. To date CWD has not been detected in Pennsylvania elk. The elk check station is at the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day of the season.

“Every elk hunter that comes through the check station is elated, and I sincerely enjoy sharing in their excitement and try to keep the check-station experience quick, easy and enjoyable,” Game Commission elk biologist Jeremy Banfield said. “I encourage hunters and visitors to ask questions and witness firsthand an important part of how the Game Commission works to manage elk,” he added.

Real-time harvest results can be viewed at www.pgcapps.pa.gov/Harvest/Elk.

Following completion of the general elk season, 46 hunters will participate in the late season that runs from Dec. 30 through Jan. 6, 2024. Seventeen of those hunters have licenses for antlered elk, 29 for antlerless.

During 2022-23 hunters harvested 131 elk (55 bulls, 76 cows) across three seasons, with 11 bulls meeting the minimum score for inclusion in the state records. A new No. 1 bull was recorded in the typical firearms category with a score of 407-4/8 taken last year, and a new No. 1 bull in the nontypical archery category scoring 445-2/8 harvested last year is the second largest bull ever taken in Pennsylvania.

During the 2023 archery season held Sept. 16-30, 22 elk were harvested, including 17 bulls and five cows.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans thanked all who participated in Pennsylvania’s annual elk-license drawing – this year nearly 52,000 people applied for the general season – and wished good luck to those hunters who were drawn for 2023-24 elk licenses.

“Pennsylvania’s world-class elk provide an incredible, one-of-a-kind – and often once-in-a-lifetime – opportunity like none other in Penn’s Woods,” Burhans said. “It’s no wonder why hunters mark their calendars to be sure they submit their applications each year. For those who will be venturing forth this season to set their sights on a Pennsylvania elk, good luck. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.”

(Photo credit: Charlie Cropp)

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Utah DWR Seeks Info about Duchesne County Elk Poaching Case


Below is a news release from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. For 2023, Fiocchi partnered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to increase the visibility of poaching incidents in an effort to reduce poaching.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers are seeking information after a bull elk was killed and left to waste in Duchesne County sometime last month.

The bull elk was killed in the Spring Hollow Area south of Highway 191 in Duchesne County sometime around the week of Sept. 20. Officers responded to the area and discovered the animal less than a mile from the nearest road. The person who shot the elk only took the head, some of the back straps, a hind quarter and part of the second hind quarter. However, the rest of the animal — including the front quarter and tenderloins — was left to waste. The individual also left their trash at the scene.

Conservation officers determined the individual used Havalon knives to harvest some of the meat. It is illegal to allow protected wildlife to be wasted and can result in a class B misdemeanor.

Anyone with information regarding the illegal wasting of this elk, or any other wildlife-related crimes in Utah, is encouraged to report it to DWR conservation officers in one of the following ways:

  • By calling the UTiP Hotline at 800-662-3337
  • The UTDWR Law Enforcement app
  • By texting 847411
  • Online through the DWR website; however, contact with an officer may be limited with this option

If you have information regarding this specific incident, you can also contact Sgt. Jake Greenwood at 435-322-0599 or call the DWR Vernal office at 435-781-9453. A reward may be available for information leading to the successful prosecution of those responsible, and requests for confidentiality are respected.

Every year, Utah conservation officers conduct numerous investigations into the illegal killing of wildlife. In 2022, officers confirmed a total of 1,283 wild animals and fish were illegally killed, valued over $609,000.

(Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

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Elk Poacher Sought in Western Alberta


Below is a Facebook post from Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. For 2023, Fiocchi partnered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to increase the visibility of poaching incidents in an effort to reduce poaching.

Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Services is looking for information regarding an abandoned bull elk in the Grande Prairie district.

On Sept. 22, 2023, fish and wildlife officers responded to a report of an abandoned bull elk that was dumped over an oilfield lease site embankment. The lease site is located on Range Road 83, which becomes the 83 Road, south of Highway 666 near Grovedale. The elk was found to be field dressed — which involves the removal of internal organs from hunted game — but none of the meat was harvested. The animal would have been edible for consumption.

Vehicle tire tracks found at the scene indicate the bull elk was transported using a trailer. The vehicle towing the trailer had off-road style tires. The same day, a vehicle of interest was reported sitting on the side of Highway 666, north of where the elk was abandoned. It is believed the animal may have been abandoned between Sept. 20 and 22.

Anyone with information in relation to the incident, or with information about the vehicle of interest, is asked to contact the Report A Poacher Hotline at 1-800-642-3800. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

(Photo credit: Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement)

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Six Hunters Punch Tags in Virginia’s Second Managed Elk Hunt


Below is a Facebook post from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR). Since 1993, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners completed 83 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Virginia with a combined value of more than $2.2 million. These projects enhanced 1,481 acres of habitat. RMEF also supplied funding and volunteer support to help DWR with the successful restoration of elk to their native Virginia range in 2012.

Congratulations to these six lucky hunters on a successful bull elk hunt! Earlier this month, DWR hosted its 2nd managed elk hunt in the Elk Management Zone of Virginia. The multiday event was made possible thanks to the efforts of DWR staff, private landowners, and volunteers from Southwest Virginia Sportsmen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and DWR’s Volunteer Program.

Elk restoration started in 2012 and the ability to offer a managed elk hunt is a testament to the program’s growing success. Interested in hunting elk in Virginia? The 2024 Virginia Elk Hunt Lottery will be announced in early 2024. In the meantime, learn more about the Virginia elk program here.

Click here to see more photos.

(Photo credit: Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources & elk hunters)

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RMEF Helps Restore Hunter Education, Archery Program Funding


Photo information: Senator John Tester (left) and RMEF President/CEO Kyle Weaver
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation paused to celebrate a significant and extremely rare achievement, especially in this day and age of political partisanship.

RMEF hosted Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), fellow hunting and conservation groups, and media members to recognize efforts behind the restoration of funding to schools with hunter education and archery curriculums.

Here’s the backstory. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) cited one line in the year-old Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) that restricts funds being used to provide “a dangerous weapon” or “training in the use of a dangerous weapon,” to block funding to schools with hunter education and the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).

Lawmakers who originally crafted the BSCA legislation said their intentions were completely misinterpreted by the DOE. Sportsmen and women agreed and did something about it.

“A call to action was necessary and we made that call to action,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “It ended up being the number-one call to action we’ve ever done. We (RMEF members) sent 2,000 messages directly to (DOE) Secretary Cardona and more than 6,000 messages to our elected officials. We asked them to restore that funding and correct this misinterpretation and I’m glad to say we were heard.”

Senator Tester and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, with support from the hunting and outdoor community, collaborated to draft the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act.

“We went to work as a bipartisan group and were able to get a bill written and signed into law in a few weeks. From beginning to writing the bill to getting it to the president’s desk was a few weeks – literally unheard of. I’ve never seen it in my time in Congress,” said Senator Tester.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 424-1 followed by a unanimous vote in the U.S. Senate to send the legislation to President Biden, who signed it into law one week later.

With hunting heritage as a key part of its mission, RMEF contributed $1.8 million to nearly 800 school-based projects safely teaching shooting sports over the years. RMEF also invested heavily in NASP, contributing to 340 projects in 37 states. Nearly 8,900 schools and 1.3 million students alone are involved in NASP.

Also on hand was Arnica Riggers, a seventh grader at Target Range School in Missoula, Montana.

“It’s important that you passed it because I have been practicing shooting with my dad for about two years now with my bow,” Riggers said to Senator Tester. “I feel hunter safety will teach other people how to be safe with their bows and their guns as it will teach me the same thing. I’m excited to go out and do that with my friends.”

“Hunter safety and Archery in the Schools, these are programs that build character in our kids. They teach them how to handle firearms safely. They teach them how to hunt ethically. They teach them how to be stewards of our land,” said Tony Schoonen, Boone and Crockett Club CEO and RMEF life member.

(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)

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Payne B & C California – onX Public Access Project


Payne B & C, CN

There is only one place in the world to find wild, free-ranging tule elk…and that is in California.

In the north-central part of the state about 70 miles northwest of Sacramento, you’ll find relatively remote Colusa County.

That’s where the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation remains actively involved and carried out a series of land conservation and access as well as habitat enhancement projects over many years.

Highlighting one of those projects, RMEF worked with landowners to acquire the Payne North B and C property and then convey it to the Bureau of Land Management in 2017.

Covered by native shrubs and grasses, it also features water resources that supply vital habitat for tule elk, blacktail deer, wild turkey, black bears, mountain lions, and other wildlife and bird species.

This project converted 120 acres of what was privately held land into what is now public land for hunting, hiking, and other recreational activities.

It lies near the 4,500-acre Payne Ranch, which RMEF and the BLM acquired around the turn of the century and is now part of the Cache Creek Natural Area – also open to public access.

Since 1984 – 1.5 million acres of opened or improved public access.

To view the sites and boundaries of RMEF land conservation and access projects, turn on the RMEF layer and use the code RMEF when you sign up for your onX subscription to receive a 20 percent discount.

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