Historic range for elk used to cover most of the Lower 48 states
With the exception of Charles Towne Landing there are no elk present in the Lowcountry. However, those who value the conservation of elk and their wildlife habitat are present, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is reaching out to them. An organizational meeting for the Elk Foundation is scheduled for February 2 in Charleston in order to set up a local chapter for big game enthusiasts who rely on public hunting grounds in other states.
Elk make a distinctive call in the wild known as a bugle. This high-pitched and sustained sound is synonymous with the call of the wild, the kind of noise that inspires outdoorsmen to pursue trophy game. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) is fairly new to South Carolina but they have been a mainstay out West for 30 years, and they are 200,000-members strong. All conservation groups have come to understand that there is strength in numbers when it comes to natural resources management decisions.
With 550 existing chapters, the RMEF raises funds that are used to protect hunting grounds in a variety of ways. Some off-limits land has been opened to public elk hunting, while other habitat has been conserved through conservation easements. “We appreciate these conservation-minded landowners and our conservation partners who worked with the RMEF to protect and maintain this crucial habitat for elk and other wildlife,” said Blake Henning, V.P. of Lands and Conservation at RMEF.
The organizational meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Charleston Marriott located at 170 Lockwood Boulevard, which is across from Brittlebank Park. This hotel recently renovated its meeting facilities and the RMEF will utilize the Opal I ballroom. Those who wish to attend can contact Chris Croy, the regional director for the Carolinas, at his office in Charlotte by calling 704-301-1374. Chapter members will receive a subscription to the RMEF magazine named Bugle.
“We already have some RMEF members in the area,” said Crory. “Our mission to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat and we helped restore elk herds in 28 states, mostly recently in Virginia,” said Crory. “By becoming an RMEF volunteer at the local level you can share the fun and excitement of putting on a Big Game Banquet.” The RMEF has been an exhibitor at the Southeastern Wildlife Expo since 2010 and has been slowly building a network of supporters who will lead the new chapter.
To view this entire feature article in the newspaper click here.