SOLD! Tucson Chapter Auction Reaps Rewards for Wildlife
By Fred Wiemann, Tucson Chapter
It was a hunter’s dream come true on March 1, 2014, when big game enthusiasts gathered at the RMEF Tucson Chapter’s Conservation Hunters Rendezvous for a chance to bid on the West’s most exciting special state permits and governor’s tags. Normally, these tags would have been sold at RMEF’s Elk Camp & Expo, but because the event was moved to December this year, the tags had to be sold earlier.
Some of the highlights included coveted elk tags from Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington. The chapter also auctioned special tags for a Montana Shiras moose hunt and New Mexico’s Big Game Enhancement Package, which includes statewide licenses for pronghorn antelope, elk, deer (mule deer or Coues white-tail), Persian (Bezoar) ibex, and Gemsbok oryx. Other auction items included additional hunts, as well as trips and merchandise.
The Tucson Chapter also auctioned off rustic western lamps, original canvas oil paintings by renowned wildlife artist Gary Swanson, and custom home furniture and accessories crafted by local artists and fabricators. The purchasers of these items were entered into a raffle to win a special DPMS MOE Warrior rifle with a dot scope.
Nearly 200 people attended this special Saturday afternoon event, held at the JR Marriott Starr Pass Resort located in the Tucson Mountains. The auction and luncheon raised more than $700,000, with the proceeds from the tag sales going back to the respective state agency to support their wildlife programs.
Special thanks to: Tucson Chapter co-chair Greg Machett for putting the event together; Tucson Chapter merchandise chair Jacque Stark for the fantastic auction items; emcee Scott Carey; auctioneer Zane Drishinski; and Arizona regional director Ron Pittman, RMEF donations manager Kristy Bosworth and Dave Meehan with RMEF’s Great Elk Tour for their support.
And last, but not least, a huge thank you to the Tucson Chapter committee—a fantastic group of people who always go above and beyond to make it happen!