Archives for May 2009

How To Find The Right Hiking Shoe?

hiking2A buddy and I are planning big hunt for next year. During our last pre-planning conversation, he mentioned that he would need to replace his boots. After a few tips that I gave him, like them now and start wearing them! I thought to myself, how would he know what kind of boot to get? Does he purchase it like he has in the past¦one size larger for thicker socks? Then, I remembered reading something on a blog a while back on how to choose a boot.  


Well, with some digging, I found this post on Schnee’s from 2007 and the article still applies today!


For many people, the process of researching and selecting a new pair of technical footwear can seem quite overwhelming, it was for me. Whether you are looking for a pair of trail runners, a new light hiker, or a serious backpacking boot, there are a few steps that can be taken to simplify this process.

Read the full article here.

In fact Amy, Ciro and I are headed near Three Forks, MT to do some hiking today!

Vineyards, Elk Habitat and a Conservationist


MISSOULA, Mont.”Vineyards ain’t elk habitat, but one conservationist can make them both a whole lot better.”

Immediate past chairman of the board for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California winegrape farmer and vintner Andrew Hoxsey has been named the 2009 Napa Grower of the Yearby the Napa Valley Grape growers. [Read more…]

Spyder Bull at Schnee’s


The World Record Spyder Bull Elk is on display now at the Powder Horn from May 29-31. We’re very excited to have this event at the store and have a lot of special things planned during the three days.

Doyle Moss and the Mossback Pro Staff team will be on-site Saturday, May 30th to demonstrate elk bugling & give clinics and helpful advice.

Sitka Gear representatives will also be on-site. We will be displaying the Sitka Gear OPTIFADE camouflage system.

This is truly an awesome elk, I cannot wait to see this bull and put my hands on the new Sitka Gear!

Read the full article here.


Outdoorsmen Contributed $2.5 Billion to Oregon




Salem, Ore.— Fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing enthusiasts contributed $2.5 billion to Oregon’s economy in 2008 according to a new study conducted by Travel Oregon and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Residents and nonresidents spent more than $1 billion on trips and $1.5 billion on equipment and activity-related purchases at Oregon-based retailers and suppliers.

Survey results, which are broken out at the region and county level, will benefit businesses dependent on tourism, destination marketing organizations, conservation groups, tourism managers and recreation retailers and suppliers. Armed with the newly compiled economic data, local decision makers will be able to more accurately evaluate the impact of changes in regulations, habitat, invasive species, land use, fish passage and other activities that could affect fish and wildlife recreation. ODFW staff will be able to more accurately identify the potential economic effects of changes in wildlife and habitat management activities.

Travel expenses are divided into two categories. Nearly $150 million was spent on local trips of less than 50 miles. Residents and nonresidents spent an additional $862 million on overnight trips or trips of more than 50 miles—accounting for ten percent of all travel related spending in Oregon. 

[Read more…]

Elk Foundation Honors Oregon Researcher Dr. John Cook


MISSOULA, Mont.—An award honoring the science-based conservation legacy of Olaus J. Murie, the late biologist remembered as the father of modern elk management, has been presented by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to Dr. John G. Cook of La Grande, Ore.

Cook is a research biologist with the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, an independent nonprofit research institute that focuses on environmental topics of interest to the forest products industry. He is stationed at the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Forestry and Range Sciences Laboratory.

Much of Cook’s career has concentrated on elk.

“Dr. Cook’s body of work has challenged the wildlife and forestry professions to change the way we perceive habitat quality for elk. His research on nutritional requirements has inspired a ‘rethinking’ that has moved our profession toward an integrated approach to habitat planning and management. He has been a catalyst for new techniques in elk management and his work will influence conservation for decades to come,” said Tom Toman, director of conservation for the Rocky Mountin Elk Foundation.

Approximately 65 percent of Cook’s 55 printed works and 80 percent of his 34 peer publications deal with elk.

“Few biologists can demonstrate such a record of sustained and productive focus,” said Toman. “Equally important, Dr. Cook is tirelessly committed to making this research accessible to managers and the public, giving formal and informal presentations to virtually anyone interested in learning about elk.”

Cook graduated from the University of Idaho in 1981, and then completed M.S. and Ph.D. programs at the University of Wyoming. While in Wyoming he developed and tested habitat suitability models for pronghorn antelope, evaluated factors in declining populations of bighorn sheep, and compiled a database and literature review for over 300 rare, threatened and endangered species in the National Park System.

In 1996, he moved to La Grande to begin his elk research.

The 2009 Olaus J. Murie Award was presented April 29 at the 8th Western States and Provinces Deer and Elk Workshop held in Spokane, Wash.

The award is based on five criteria:

1. Relevance of work to the conservation of wild, free-ranging elk
2. Application of work “on the ground” to benefit wild, free-ranging elk
3. Dedication to his or her profession
4. Commitment to the conservation of wild, free-ranging elk
5. Credibility and respect among peers

Murie was educated at the University of Michigan. He was the first to conduct elk and habitat research at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyo. His detailed work led to the classic book, The Elk of North America, published in 1951. He promoted sound stewardship and protection of wildlife habitat, receiving numerous honors and awards. Murie died in 1963.

The Elk Foundation’s award honors Murie’s legacy while recognizing those who have become conservation leaders in their own right. Past recipients include Jack Ward Thomas, Jim Peek, L. Jack Lyon, Valerius Geist and Robert D. Nelson.

Elk More Popular Than Bourbon


Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation - RMEFKentucky tried an experiment with free-roaming elk in December 1997. Over the next few years, 1,549 elk from 6 Western states made their new home in Kentucky. In 2001, the state held its first elk hunt in a century and a half. The number of quota hunt permits has increased from 10 in the first year to more than 1,000 this past hunting season.

The herd’s now number around 10,000 in the southeastern portion of the state more than all other states east of the Mississippi River combined. Kentucky also offers more elk hunting permits than anywhere in the eastern United States.

A study done in 2006 by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation found that $230,000 was spent in the region by 200 hunters. Twice that many hunting permits were distributed in the 2008 season. The ultimate goal is to offer 1,500 elk permits, making the direct economic impact to the state $1.7 million.

Read the full article here.

Partnership Reaches $1 Million in Conservation for Wyoming



MISSOULA, Mont.—A partnership between the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has reached the $1 million mark in projects for elk, other wildlife and their habitat in Wyoming.

Trust funds are generated by a tax on oil exploration in Wyoming. A nine-member, governor-appointed board of directors administers contributions to groups like RMEF.

Since 2006, the Trust has supported Elk Foundation habitat projects such as prescribed burns, aspen restorations, water developments and more. Eleven counties in Wyoming have benefitted including Big Horn, Carbon, Converse, Crook, Hot Springs, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, Sublette and Weston. Most of the work has enhanced Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands.

Additional funding commitments to RMEF have expanded the slate of projects for 2009.

Trust Executive Director Bob Budd said, “Habitat-based groups like the Elk Foundation are highly effective in a variety of ways, from building support for conservation to actually putting the torch to invasive conifers. We really enjoy seeing the passion of sportsmen translate to better habitat on the landscapes of Wyoming. It is an honor for us to work with this great organization.”

RMEF supplements Trust contributions through its own granting program, which is based in banquets and other fundraisers held across Wyoming. Partners like the Wyoming Game and Fish Department are often involved, too.

Jack Blackwell, vice president of lands and conservation for the Elk Foundation, said, “Bob Budd and everyone at the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust are among the most engaged people that we work with. Under board chairman Delaine Roberts’ leadership, they carefully review each project application and at least one board member visits every project to build their understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish. It’s very rewarding when they provide support and enable us to accomplish our mission. As an organization, we can’t thank them enough.”

At an April meeting, Blackwell and RMEF colleagues presented plaques recognizing the successful partnership with Budd and the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust.


Apply for Idaho Controlled Hunts



The application period for Idaho Fish and Game’s early application contest for 2009 deer, elk, pronghorn and black bear and turkey continues through June 5.

Hunters must have a 2009 Idaho hunting license to apply for controlled hunts at any hunting and fishing license vendor, Fish and Game office; with a credit card by calling 1-800-55HUNT5 or 1-800-824-3729; or online at An additional fee is charged for telephone and Internet applications.

Read the full article here.



10 day Internet Auction for a British Columbia Elk Hunt

Tuchodi River OutfittersThe Grand Slam Club is certain that you will not want to miss this chance to experience a fabulous adventure and support conservation at the same time.

The elk hunt is with Larry Warren of Tuchodi River Outfitters. Even though Larry’s area is game rich with many of northern BC’s big game species, this area has been synonymous with trophy elk for decades. It is one of the most well known for elk, and the high bidder can expect to see many trophy bulls during this rut hunt. Larry reports practically 100% success on trophy bulls over the last few years.  Also, under the details notice that Larry is including GST, License, Tags, Air Charter, BC Royalty, and Hunt Preservation Fee.

This is a 10-day, 1 x 1 hunt and the dates are scheduled for September 1-10, 2009. (But Larry says they can be somewhat flexible depending on the high bidder’s schedule.)

· 95% Success 6 Point Bulls
· 10 Day, 1×1 hunt
· Season Spans the Rut

Get the full details here.


Bristol Bay Tribal Members Protest Pebble in London

A delegation of Alaska Native leaders from Bristol Bay flew to London in April to confront Anglo American executives and shareholders face-to-face with their concerns about the company’s massive Pebble mine project in southwest Alaska. The Alaska delegates told leaders of the London-based company, one of the world’s largest mining conglomerates that they have failed so far to grasp the depth and breadth of opposition to Pebble.

Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program helped to organize and sponsor the trip.

Read the full article here.