Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Elk Foundation expands into Lowcountry

The historic range for elk used to cover most of the Lower 48 states. Photo provided by RMEF

The historic range for elk used to cover most of the Lower 48 states. Photo provided by RMEF

With the exception of Charles Towne Landing there are no elk present in the Lowcountry. However, those who value the conservation of elk and their wildlife habitat are present, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is reaching out to them. An organizational meeting for the Elk Foundation is scheduled for February 2 in Charleston in order to set up a local chapter for big game enthusiasts who rely on public hunting grounds in other states.

Elk make a distinctive call in the wild known as a bugle. This high-pitched and sustained sound is synonymous with the call of the wild, the kind of noise that inspires outdoorsmen to pursue trophy game. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) is fairly new to South Carolina but they have been a mainstay out West for 30 years, and they are 200,000-members strong. All conservation groups have come to understand that there is strength in numbers when it comes to natural resources management decisions.

With 550 existing chapters, the RMEF raises funds that are used to protect hunting grounds in a variety of ways. Some off-limits land has been opened to public elk hunting, while other habitats have been conserved through conservation easements. “We appreciate these conservation-minded landowners and our conservation partners who worked with the RMEF to protect and maintain this crucial habitat for elk and other wildlife,” said Blake Henning, V.P. of Lands and Conservation at RMEF.

The organizational meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Charleston Marriott located at 170 Lockwood Boulevard, which is across from Brittlebank Park. This hotel recently renovated its meeting facilities and the RMEF will utilize the Opal I ballroom. Those who wish to attend can contact Chris Croy, the regional director for the Carolinas, at his office in Charlotte by calling 704-301-1374. Chapter members will receive a subscription to the RMEF magazine named Bugle.

“We already have some RMEF members in the area,” said Crory. “Our mission to ensure the future of elk, and other wildlife and their habitat and we helped restore elk herds in 28 states, most recently in Virginia,” said Crory. “By becoming an RMEF volunteer at the local level you can share the fun and excitement of putting on a Big Game Banquet.” The RMEF has been an exhibitor at the Southeastern Wildlife Expo since 2010 and has been slowly building a network of supporters who will lead the new chapter.

While I have never been big game hunting out West for elk, I certainly aspire to do so one day. Many from the Lowcountry make an annual hunting trip to chase elk, while others may treat such a memorable trip as a once in a lifetime experience. The RMEF is taking the lead on ensuring our hunting heritage by protecting lands, for those who will want to travel and try elk hunting in the future.

Outdoor enthusiasts of the Lowcountry are no strangers to conservation with the ACE Basin in our backyard, and I view the RMEF team as like-minded. During other travels I have witnessed elk in the wilds of Arkansas and at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and I support the efforts to keep elk herds growing in the Southeast.

While there is stiff competition for the hunter’s dollar from a variety of conservation groups, some may feel that RMEF offers them the right fit for how they view wildlife conservation. To see more about elk hunting watch The Outdoor Channel for their RMEF Team Elk tv show, presented by Cabela’s. To become a member or search for more information visit the Internet at www.RMEF.org.

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdors.com

 

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (367 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com