ARIZONA—The Arizona Game & Fish Commission (GFC) honored RMEF’s Arizona state chair Steve Hopkins (third from left) with their Volunteer of the Year award at GFC’s 2009 “Meet the Commission” Banquet in Phoenix, Arizona, January 17, 2009. Hopkins, a long-time volunteer with RMEF’s Tucson Chapter, has also donated countless hours of time to other conservation groups. He has lead efforts conservation efforts across Arizona ranging from Gould’s turkey reintroduction to trash clean up to fund raising. When Hopkins accepted the award, he thanked his family and friends for their support and asked that all sportsmen and women come together to help protect sporting traditions and wildlife. Thanks, Steve, for all you do for elk, other wildlife and their habitat!
MARYLAND—Temperatures in the 20s didn’t chill the enthusiasm of these RMEF volunteers from the Maryland Chapter who promoted the Elk Foundation at the North East Christmas Parade December 6, 2008, in North East. Volunteer Myrl Stone came up with the idea, and fellow committee members and their families chipped in to build the float and bugle and walk in the parade. According to chapter chair Steve Byrd, “The crowd loved our float. Some people really thought there was a live elk in the crate! Everybody was asking me where the elk came from, and they couldn’t believe it was from our neighbor Pennsylvania!” The mounted bull is adorned with shed antlers from a legendary bull nicknamed “Crazy Legs.” The sheds were found two years before Crazy Legs was poached. Travis Taxidermy of Chestertown donated the taxidermy work on the mount, which now belongs to RMEF.
SOUTH CAROLINA—The looks on these young hunters’ faces said it all October 4, 2008, after a day of deer hunting sponsored by RMEF’s Upstate South Carolina Chapter and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Twenty-two youths ages 12 to 18 are chosen by random drawing from across the state to participate in this annual event, held on Clemson University’s Fant’s Grove property. Hunters, accompanied by a parent, gather the evening before the hunt where they are briefed on safety, hunting regulations, stand selection, and how RMEF works to benefit wildlife and habitat. Early morning and evening hunts take place the next day. RMEF volunteers are there to pass out blaze orange vests and hats, lead the hunters to tree stands and help field dress game. Each hunter is allowed to take two does, and the hunter who kills the largest doe gets to take home a brand new tree stand. Twelve-year-old Josh Simmons (far right) received the honor this year, killing two does (the limit allowed by law) during his first successful deer hunt.
VIRGINIA—RMEF Virginia state chair Caroline “Tinker” Frazier (second from right) shares information about the Elk Foundation with a visitor as volunteers Glenn and Ann Millican look on. RMEF’s Old Dominion Chapter staffed the booth to help celebrate the grand opening of Bass Pro Shops’ newest store in Hanover on October 1, 2008. During the special “Evening for Conservation” event, the store donated 50 cents of every dollar from purchases made to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) “More Fish” campaign, which strives to conserve fish and their habitats for future generations. Toyota Motor Sales, Johnny Morris Conservation Creel of the NFWF and Parkes Construction matched the store’s donations. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony visitors were treated to live bluegrass music, brats and refreshments, and the opportunity to get celebrity autographs from Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Ryan Klesko, Jimmy Houston, Rick Clunn, Woo Daves and Chris Daves, among others. Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops are long-standing partners of the RMEF at both the national and chapter levels.