ARKANSAS—A young elk caller struts his stuff at the first “Elk Calling Competition” held during the 13th annual Arkansas Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) June 11-12, 2010. YHEC is a grassroots education program designed to introduce young people ages 11-18 to shooting, hunting and the outdoors. It also promotes advanced hunter education to help youths test and improve their shooting and hunting skills. Arkansas has the nation’s largest YHEC participation, including nearly 400 youths, more than 45 counties and about 120 volunteers in 2010. Attendees participated in eight events including shotgun, rifle, muzzleloader, archery, wildlife identification, safety trail (shoot/don’t shoot situations), compass and orienteering, and a responsibility exam. The top three junior and senior teams from the state competition advanced to the International YHEC competition, held July 27-31 in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. RMEF co-sponsored the elk calling competition at the Arkansas event, and also sponsored one of the teams at the international event.
CALIFORNIA—Five volunteers from the Mendo-Lake, Redwood and Siskiyou chapters gathered last June at the Lack’s Creek Management Area (MA) to help the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) pile slash in a meadow where fire crews had previously cut small encroaching pine trees. The work was part of an effort by the BLM to protect the area’s meadow-oak woodland habitat for elk and other wildlife. One study in northern California found that prairie grasses made up more than half the diet of Roosevelt’s elk during all seasons and even more during the critical winter months. Lacks Creek Management Area is the only public land in the Bald Hills open to hunting.
NORTH CAROLINA—Taylor (center) and Kerry (right) Earnhardt, daughter and son of the late NASCAR legend and outdoorsman Dale Earnhardt, stopped by the RMEF booth at the Dale Earnhardt Day event in Mooresville last April. RMEF North Carolina regional director Chris Croy (left) and Great Smoky Mountains Chapter volunteers Ray (center left) and Ramona (center right) were on hand to promote the Dale Earnhardt Land & Wildlife Legacy—a partnership between the Dale Earnhardt Foundation and the RMEF announced in March. Bringing together NASCAR fans, RMEF members and conservationists, the program helps the two foundations double their efforts on projects that honor Dale’s memory, including habitat improvement, land conservation and hunting access. In addition, the partnership will help RMEF gain visibility at NASCAR races and events. The Dale Earnhardt Foundation is a nonprofit group based in North Carolina that funds charitable programs and causes that sustain Dale’s lifelong commitment to children, education and wildlife conservation.
WISCONSIN—It may be hard to make out, but in the center of the engraving on this headstone is a jeep that the late Dennis McGlin, an avid hunter, loved to drive into Colorado’s high country in pursuit of big bull elk. Dennis was an RMEF volunteer with the Fox Valley Chapter, along with his wife Shirley, niece Melissa and hunting partners Jeff (his son) and Gary (his brother). According to Shirley, “Elk hunting was Dennis’s big love in life besides kids & me, so Jeff & I came up with this for his marker. He would have been so proud if he could have seen it.”