14-year-old considers RMEF chapter her family
By Charlie Ebbers, Bugle Intern
Savannah Hartwick has been a member of RMEF for more than half of her life—since she was 6.
Savannah became a member of the Central Arkansas committee and has pulled old fences to clear elk habitat with RMEF and helped set up at the annual banquet every year since. Her grandparents, also RMEF members, began taking her to the banquets to get her involved with the Elk Foundation, and last year her little brother, 9-year-old Sawyer, started helping at the banquet as well.
Her volunteer ethos with RMEF was passed down from her grandparents and parents who are all active RMEF members.
Even though she’s in the grip of being a high school freshman and also playing volleyball, Savannah stays active with RMEF and helps with chapter events.
“I love hearing about people, and where they’ve gone to hunt,” Savannah said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be with, they’re all so caring. They’re older, but I consider them my family.”
She believes volunteering with RMEF is a good way to help conserve the animals she loves. And along with volunteering, hunting also runs in her blood. She shoots a Bear compound bow and hasn’t gone archery hunting yet, but wants to start. This fall, while still-hunting with her dad she bagged her second whitetail doe with a .25-06. Sawyer got his first buck on the same day. Savannah hunts dove, ducks and squirrels, but she’s waiting for the day she can go on an elk hunt in the Rocky Mountains.
“It’d be an awesome experience, I’ve known these animals my entire life, I know how they act how they move. I’d love to hunt an elk.”
In the meantime, the family takes advantage of the re-introduction of elk in Arkansas. Her dad has taken her to see elk in the rut in Buffalo River Valley that boasts a herd that’s grown to about 800 animals. He hopes his daughter stays active in the outdoors her whole life.
Savannah, who loves the stillness of her native woods, plans to.