It was Matt Mifflin’s version of the movie “Groundhog Day,” but with a very different outcome. A long-time member and supporter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mifflin filled a couple of tables with 30 close friends and family members at the recent Sammamish Valley Chapter banquet, about 30 miles west of Seattle.
In what’s become a habit, Mifflin crisscrosses western Washington to attend banquets every year for the last decade and a half, enjoying his time by helping raise funding for RMEF’s mission and always putting in for, but never winning, the cherished banquet firearm. That is, until now.
“I was very blessed to win the 40th anniversary rifle,” said Mifflin (third from the left, green hat and green shirt in the photo). “When the adrenaline slowed down and I had a chance to read the paperwork, I realized how lucky I was to win that gun.”
That gun is the Weatherby Model 307, a rifle modeled directly after and meant to represent a modern version of the original Mark V that appeared in the inaugural issue of Bugle magazine in 1984. As a limited edition, only 450 of them were made available to RMEF. A custom RMEF 40th anniversary logo engraved on the floorplate honors the four-decade association between Weatherby and RMEF.
Though a highlight, Mifflin’s fortune wasn’t the only memory he came away with that weekend.
“My buddy’s wife screaming loudly when she won a pistol! Lol. Watching the kids get involved was fun, especially since they are growing up in hunting families and are becoming great shed hunters and responsible outdoors men and women.”
Mifflin’s father-in-law took him elk hunting years ago, welcoming him into elk camp where he had great experiences and memories over the last 40 years. Those new friends took him to his first RMEF banquet. Now, he attends about three banquets each year, each time with a batch of friends and coworkers.
“Supporting the RMEF and their efforts are very important to me. I want to make sure that my children and grandchildren can hunt and the RMEF is the organization that all my friends and family donate to and support every year,” said Mifflin. “Get involved, donate and take a younger person. See the passion and hard work that people put into hunting and see what they do to preserve that.”
(Photo credit: Matt Mifflin)