RMEF Welcomes Rutting Ridge Cellars as New Conservation Partner

Below is a news release issued by Rutting Ridge Cellars.

Rutting Ridge Cellars is one of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s newest sponsors and licensees. It joins an all-star lineup of other companies that support RMEF including industry leaders such as Cabela's, Browning, Yamaha, Buck Knives and many others.
"RMEF is excited to welcome Rutting Ridge Cellars as our latest partner in wildlife conservation," said Steve Decker, RMEF vice president of Marketing. "Through the sale of Rutting Ridge wine to RMEF members and other hunting and wildlife enthusiasts across the nation, we anticipate that this new relationship will be very beneficial to our mission."
Rutting Ridge’s debut wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, comes from California's Lodi American Viticultural Area (AVA). This region, located 60 miles east of San Francisco, is impacted by dramatic day-to-night temperature changes of up to 40°F. The result is incredibly ripe fruit that makes a classic wine of great intensity. No longer an AVA made up predominately of growers, Lodi has been making great strides of late by area vintners in their pursuit of producing estate wines.
Bill Newton, Rutting Ridge Cellars' managing partner, noted, "Rutting Ridge Cabernet has been specially selected for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for its ever-pleasing style—one that's ready for drinking now, with great appeal to novice drinkers as well as connoisseurs of wine. It pairs exceptionally well with wild game or red meat. And best of all, for every bottle sold, Rutting Ridge Cellars has pledged to donate $3 to benefit RMEF's wildlife and habitat conservation efforts. We are proud to help support such a worthy cause."
Newton added, "Rutting Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon will make its official debut at RMEF's 2015 Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Expo, December 3-12 in Las Vegas. We will be exhibiting in booth #1003 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Rutting Ridge wine is sold only direct to the consumer in two-, six-, and 12-bottle packs from our website at www.ruttingridge.com/store."
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 205,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 6.7 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America's hunting heritage. Discover why "Hunting Is Conservation™" at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL-ELK.
About Rutting Ridge Cellars
Rutting Ridge Cellars was founded on the belief that a well-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon is the ideal wine pairing for elk and other wild game. To that end, we created our own brand, Rutting Ridge, and have sourced and purchased a Lodi, Calif., Cabernet especially for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation membership. For every bottle sold, Rutting Ridge Cellars donates $3 to benefit RMEF's wildlife and habitat conservation efforts. For more information or to place an order via our online store, visitwww.ruttingridge.com.


RMEF Team Elk- The Iron Gate

RMEF Team Elk Host Brandon Bates and country music artist Josh Thompson hunt Colorado and find a bull with a very distinct sound in this weeks episode. Don't miss it, Saturday at 6:30PM and Sunday at 5:30PM EST on the Outdoor Channel. 

RMEF Elk Chronicles- Headwaters of the John Day

RMEF is working hard to ensure a bright future for elk, other wildlife, wild places and public access to those places like here in the headwaters of the John Day River. If you love to escape to public lands for the joys of hunting, fishing or hiking and you are not already a member of RMEF, please help us to do more for the future of elk, hunting and public land access. Join today go to www.rmef.org to learn more. 

North American Hunter- Are You Digging Deep?

Regardless of which conservation groups you belong to, it’s that time of year outdoorsmen look forward to … banquet season! It’s a good time for a great cause.

Volunteers have worked countless hours arranging and organizing events, putting in countless hours of hard work and service. The conservation movement that comes from funds generated from banquets are critical for habitat improvements to wild places across the country. I believe I speak for everyone in the fact that we all appreciate the time, effort and energy from volunteers across our great nation.

Having the freedom to climb to the tops of the highestRMEF Rose City Chapter Youth Elk Calling Contestants  mountains in pursuit of our favorite game with our friends and family creating memories that last a lifetime and beyond is priceless. Our great country and the wild places there in are the exact reason for conservation.

Continue reading....

RMEF Team Elk- Wolf Impact & Chuck Wicks

Wolf Management & Chuck Wicks- What does the hottest topic in conservation and one of the hottest country music stars have in common? They are both on RMEF Team Elk this week. Tune in and learn about the legal issues surrounding wolves and the impact they've had on elk from an attorney who has helped the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation PLUS country music artist Chuck Wicks hunts elk in New Mexico.

RMEF Team Elk- Big Horn Public Land

RMEF Team Elk Member Randy Newberg hunts public land in Wyoming with RMEF life member Mark Hirvonen, who’s dealing with health issues and wants to get just one bull in his lifetime.

Team Elk airs on the Outdoor Channel Tuesday 4:30pm, Wednesday 1:00am, Thursday 10:30pm and Saturday 11:00pm EST. 

A Gift From Santa

After the celebration of Christmas settled down, the visions of, not sugar plums, but bobcats were dancing in my head. The snow had been falling all throughout the day, suddenly stopping right at dark, just when bobcats do their hunting. Instead of playing with the latest technology and electronic gizmo, my heart longed for something else, something as old as the dawn of time…the hunt.

The sound of the hounds bark was a delight, just what I wanted Santa to bring for me and Kruger. Dane, Rooster and Fletcher, some of the best bobcat hunting dogs around are just the company that I want my hound to keep, they are the dogs that I want Kruger and myself both to learn from. Watching the dogs, how their tail twirls on track, the change in their bark when they strike scent, the way they yearn to run the mountain. I learn more from these dogs than I ever thought possible; determination, the will to continue beyond tired, hungry or cold, the will to live in the moment as is if it might be your last, giving 100% of your heart to the pursuit.

During the first year of Kruger’s puppyhood, in the excitement of his arrival, I may have spoiled him a bit. Okay, he is a very spoiled dog. Now that he is over a year old, it is time for him to learn for himself the positive work ethic that I see in Dane, Rooster and Fletcher. It is important to me that my hound has a well-rounded disposition and character. That takes time, that takes the mountain, that takes some hard hunts…here we go.

No sleep, no worries, just hunt

My head bounced around like a sleeping kid on a car ride, only I am 34 years old. My eyes were heavy and I was passing in and out of sleep, trying to stay awake and pay attention to the snow covered road and the tracks that crossed it. I tortured my hunting partner Ty by singing, it was the only thing that seemed to break the desire to sleep.

Rabbit, squirrel, deer, repeat. Is it a coyote or is it a bobcat? The two can be easily confused in certain snow conditions. Nice round track, no toenails, definitely a bobcat. We had found what we were looking for. Granted the track was aged and would be difficult to follow, it was worth a try. No guts, no glory.

The cold mountain air bit through my lungs as we climbed up, high towards the sound of the hounds. Rooster and Fletcher had went to the right, Dane to the left. Which dog(s) do we follow? Which is on the correct track? The mountain is black making seeing the track very difficult. Dane won out as he was heading towards the rock cliffs, a place where bobcats love to go.

The rocks were slick, covered in a dusting of snow, one slip would be a disaster. Dane was not barking treed, but was frantically running circles around the rocks. We followed in his and the bobcats foot-steps, catching up shortly after 2:00am. The bobcat was perched high on a rock face, watching Dane run circles trying to figure out where he had gone.

We were fortunate that the bobcat had not taken cover. Dane had done his job and brought us to our quarry. The bobcat had eluded my hunting partner for some years, a known runner, we had been blessed with success.

Fletcher and Rooster were still on the hunt and could not be caught. The hunt was over and the dogs didn’t know it. Dane had done the job. Two hours passed, it was after 4:00am before we were able to catch the strong hunting hounds.

With the pickup at an idol keeping us warm, the front seat was going to be my bed for the short night. The thrill of the hunt, our determination, our success, it was all worth it. A Merry Christmas to us. Blessed be the world.


2014 World Champion Elk Callers Crowned

2014 Elk Camp Closes, Record Expo Attendance

RMEF Team Elk Season 5- New Adventures, Faces and Times

RMEF Team Elk- A Heroes Legacy

As Native Navajo Americans, life for the Westbrook’s is centered on family, a love of the land, hunting and passing down the deep rooted Navajo traditions. These traditions that are rich in culture have been ceremoniously passed down since the dawn of time. As parents, we all hope that our children will grow up and share our love of the outdoors by being stewards of the land and continuing our time honored hunting heritage. Celebrating our cherished history and creating new memories, and a new legacy left behind.

On September 8, 2009 Sgt. First Class Kenneth Westbrook was gravely wounded in one of the most hard fought battles of the Afghan war, in Ganjgal Valley in the Kunar Provence. Westbrook was only but a couple of months away from his retirement when he was wounded in action. 29 days later at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Kenneth succumbed to his injuries, leaving behind his wife and three sons. Before passing, his wife Char made a promise to her husband to carry on his legacy by taking their boys hunting and continuing the Navajo traditions in his name within their family. 

As a team, Grant Adkisson Outfitting, Support Foundation for Military Families and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation all combined effort to ensure that Char was given the opportunity to fulfill the final promises that were made to her husband Kenneth before he passed.

Stay tuned for Season 6 of RMEF’s Team Elk on the Outdoor Channel and see the legacy of an American hero, a husband and a father live on within Char Westbrook in this profound hunt.

Click HERE to watch CBS News Coverage 

Click HERE to watch additional New Coverage. 

Women Putting A New Face On Hunting

Sun News Special Report

By: Bryn Weese

VANCOUVER - The image of good old boys heading into the woods for a fall hunt sometimes seems a thing of the past.

But the sport isn't dying. Not by a long, well-placed shot.

The resurgence in hunting across North America is thanks, in part, to a growing number of women who are taking up the sport.

One of the trend's most recognizable figures - even gracing the cover of this month's Field and Stream - is Canada's own Eva Shockey who co-hosts her father's successful hunting show Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures.

"I was lucky. I was born into the right family," Shockey told Sun News in Vancouver recently. "But the thing is, I didn't actual hunt when I was little. I started hunting when I was 20."

"When I was younger, I was busy and my mom didn't hunt so I thought: ‘girls don't hunt so I'm not going to hunt.' But when I was 20, I thought just because girls that look like me don't hunt - I'm a girly girl, I dress up and I love doing girl things ... I still wanted to try hunting," she said. "I'm 26 now and I've literally done it full time for the last six years and I'm obsessed with it. It's the best thing in the entire world."

And Shockey's not alone. Kristy Titus and Tiffany Lakosky - to name just two - are other powerful feminine figures in the television hunting industry.

But the trend isn't only evident on-screen.

In British Columbia, the percentage of resident hunters who are women has jumped from 6.8% in 2005 to 8.3% last year. It's an increase of 39%, from just under 6,000 female hunters in 2005 to more than 8,000 now.

In Alberta, the number of female hunters has increased 47% since 2007, when just 7,754 women hunted. Last year, there were 11,400. The percentage of hunters in Alberta who are women has steadily increased from 7% in 2011, to 8% in 2012, and 9% last year.

And in Ontario, 25% of all hunter safety course students now are women.

"People are getting used to having women involved, and realizing that we just love being out there," Shockey said. "I do it because I love it, and that's why the guys do it. So really, what's the difference? It's fun to be out there together."

Manufacturers and retailers, too, recognize there's money to be made in the growing demographic.

Reports indicate Bass Pro Shops has seen a ten-fold increase in it's market for women's products in the past decade.

And Cabela's, which promotes itself as the ‘world's largest outfitter,' recently introduced it's OutfitHER line of hunting clothing and accessories "made by women for women.

"It was developed because women were tired of having to wear downsized men's clothing, so they started with a few key pieces and today we have over 20 different pieces in the OutfitHER line, from cold weather gear to rain gear to boots and gloves ... and it's growing," said Katie Sanford, a retail marketing manager with Cabela's at it's Tulalip, WA location.

She's a new hunter, too.

"When I started, I was wearing men's clothing and using my husband's gun. It was big and bulky and really not suited to me. Now, I have OutfitHER clothing - I have the whole line - it fits perfect. And I have my own gun made just for a woman."

While women are a growing hunting demographic now, there have always been very capable trailblazers who bucked the bygone trend of hunting as a man's pursuit.

Nova Scotia's Laura Wood has been doing it for nearly a century ... literally!

Two years ago, the 97-year-old from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia became a local celebrity when she successfully killed a cow moose with one shot while hunting in Newfoundland.

It had been a life-long dream of the mink rancher's, and reports indicate she's been hunting since she was a teenager.

Decades later, it seems, more and more women are joining Wood's ranks and picking up their guns to put meat in the freezer.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of American women participating in outdoor activities rose 25% between 2006 and 2011. And the National Shooting Sports Foundation pegs the increase of women hunters at 10% nationally between 2008 and 2012.

There are now 3.35 million women who hunt stateside.



RMEF OR Rendezvous 2014

There is nothing that gets a bunch of elk lovers more fired up than the sound of a bull elk’s bugle. During the Oregon Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Rendezvous in the John Day River Valley, RMEF Founders Bob Munson and Charlie Decker gave attendees quite a display of elk calling…gone bad. Honestly though, I can’t think of a better way to fire up a crowd than with two of the four founders that started with a vision of what RMEF could accomplish and have proven what we can do and we are only getting started.

RMEF believes that Hunting is Conservation and having conserved or enhanced over 6.4 Million acres since 1984, we are proof that hunters are the best conservationists. I was proud to take part in the celebration of a very special project that took six years, countless volunteer hours, and a true team collaboration to permanently conserve and protect 13,082 acres located at the head of the John Day River.

Oregon is my home state, this is where I live, these are elk herds and forests that I have literally grown up surrounded by, this is what the RMEF is all about. We are a team that works together to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. The John Day headwaters project is not only going to benefit elk but is also critical because of the essential cold water tributaries that are sourced on the land benefitting salmon, steelhead, bull trout, redband and cutthroat trout, all located in the heart of elk country.

RMEF included in the weekend some very important on the ground work projects for The Logan Valley Meadow Restoration Project where volunteers fell encroaching lodge pole pines,  performed noxious weed control, removed old down fence lines and even removed conifers in vital Aspen stands.

After a busy workday in the Malheur National Forest, RMEF volunteers, members and staff ensured that a good time is had by all.

Let the tailgate party begin…




RMEF members are a family and when you attend a rendezvous weekend at the Lake Creek Campground you are sure to feel like part of that family. The weekend festivities were kicked off with a huge oyster feed. Everyone got an opportunity to share in the wild game harvest or a favorite home cooked recipe with the good old fashioned potluck.

After everyone was bursting full, we all gathered our lawn chairs around center stage as up and coming country music sensation Jesse Taylor performed. The party wasn’t over there…the rowdies burned the midnight oil around a giant bon fire sharing stories and some were probably even true.

Paradise Rose Chuckwagon Catering brought the Western back to life with outstanding real cowboy cuisine that was sure to knock the boots off of everyone during breakfast, lunch and dinner.

World famous outdoor chef C.W. Welch or better known as “Cee Dub” shared some tips for easy Dutch oven and outdoor cooking, he even shared the finished product with the now hungry spectators. If you are like me and love to cook and eat, be sure to have Cee Dub help make your next meal more enjoyable by purchasing his cookbooks online at www.ceedubs.com.

Then Dr.Clint Epps, OSU Department of Fisheries & Wildlife discussed the technical complexity and challenges therein of switching to lead free ammunition.

World Champion Elk Caller Bryan Langley and myself took the afternoon center stage giving an elk calling demonstration of bull and cow sounds and even a few ins and outs of how to make your own calls work a little better for you. Plus we threw in a few secret hunting tips and strategies that have worked well for us.

Everyone had the opportunity to participate in volleyball, horse shoes and raffle tickets were sold and a silent auction was held.

During happy hour hors d’oeuves were complimented with Stein Distilleries offerering a free tasting which included Oregon’s exclusive Team Elk Whiskey. Evening entertainment featured true blue country singer Joni Harms.

Sunday, we loaded up and headed up for the John Day Headwaters Celebration and project tour. Seeing the wildlife through our optics during the project tour brought everything full circle. Together we are creating a legacy that will last long beyond our lifetime, ensuring that elk and other wildlife have the needed habitat to not only survive the test of time but thrive.

If you are not a member of RMEF, you should join today. Go to www.rmef.org.