By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
For outdoor enthusiasts who can’t seem to wait until September for the annual Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet, you’re in luck.
The foundation will be holding the annual event much earlier this year, moving it from September to March 29.
“We just wanted to change it up a little to see how it would do,” RMEF regional director Bill Carman said.
The banquet, which will be held at Tamarack Convention Center in Beckley, was moved to spring to avoid conflict with the banquet to be held in Charleston in the fall.
Festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with a social hour of games and door prizes, followed by a meal provided by Tamarack and a live auction.
A silent auction will be held throughout the entire evening.
One big item available for auction will be a 24-carat gold engraved Marlin 45-70 rifle, celebrating the 30th anniversary of RMEF.
“We’ve got all kind of things available in the auction,” Carman said. “Guns, artwork, sculptures, housewares, stuff for kids. There’s a lot of good merchandise.”
Another item up for bid will be a TC 7mm rifle, but it’s what comes with the rifle that has hunters salivating.
“I’m doing 24 events and there will be 24 of these rifles auctioned off,” Carman said. “On Sept. 6, the Charleston winner along with the other 23 winners will be entered into another sweepstakes for a chance to win a guided Kentucky elk hunt. We’re calling it the Kentucky Forest Land Progressive auction.”
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation was founded 30 years ago by four Montana hunters who were worried about the elk habitat in the country.
“We’ve reached a landmark of 6.4 million acres of land,” Carman said. “We have about 500 chapters and thousands of conservation projects.”
RMEF hopes to receive a request from the state for their assistance in bringing elk back to the Mountain State. Until the mid-1800’s, elk were incredibly populous in the region, but were completely killed off.
Through the support of its members, RMEF has repopulated elk in many states, including Kentucky.
Tickets for the banquet are $30, which includes a meal. Additional packages will be available for purchase at the door.
For additional information, please visit www.rmef.org.
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