Elk NetworkTailgating in the Strawberries: Oregon Rendezvous Roundup

Volunteer News | September 23, 2021

How many times have you tailgated at the base of a wilderness mountain range? Went on a sunset ride and watched antelope in the fields? Woke up to deer behind camp? Cooked bread in the Dutch Oven? Oregon’s 2021 Summer Rendezvous offered all that and more.

Located deep in the heart of elk country, Lake Creek Camp in Logan Valley has long been home to Oregon’s Summer Rendezvous and provided the perfect setting for this four-day event held this past July. Nestled at the base of the Strawberry Mountains and Wilderness area, the Malheur National Forest is home to thousands of elk and other wildlife species.

Arriving Wednesday and departing Sunday, attendees have the option of RV, trailer, and tent camping. The four-day format provides plenty of time for our volunteers to work hard, play, eat great food and spend well deserved time with their family and friends. Supported through the state grant program, meals are included with the registration fee and youth 17 and under are free. For a mere $125 per person, you receive camping, meals, entertainment, and access to events.

Popular with volunteers and members across the state, RMEF’s family friendly event not only celebrates volunteers’ successes while honoring key volunteers and chapters for their steadfast work and contributions, but also serves as the largest work party of the year. Rendezvous attracts boots on the ground volunteers from across Oregon.

Located next to RMEF’s John Day Headwaters project, a monumental land and access project completed in 2018, our local RMEF team has successfully partnered with the Malheur National Forest Blue Mountain Ranger District on habitat work projects. Led by Wildlife Biologist Colleen Mahaney, her team has identified, planned, and completed numerous projects aimed specifically at enhancing, preserving, and protecting elk country and other wildlife habitat. From building fences around aspen stands to removing barbwire, the Forest Service workers and youth crews, plus RMEF volunteers, came together for the year’s largest work project.

In 2021, this team completed three buck and pole fences around aspen stands, removed old barbwire, and pulled noxious weeds. With close to 50 volunteers representing RMEF, volunteers with the guidance and support from the Forest Service hammered out the projects in timely manner.

Friday night’s tailgating event capped off a two-day work party and was the perfect salute to RMEF’s dedicated volunteers. And the fun wasn’t over yet. Waking up to a hearty breakfast, vendors and presentations, Saturday was all about camaraderie, talking with fellow members and longtime friends, making plans for the fall hunts, and celebrating with volunteers and members who share the same passion for elk country. As a new addition, this year’s event featured a Youth Hunter’s Safety Class. This two-day Hunter Ed Certification Course class was the perfect addition for our next generation.