MISSOULA, Mont.—New world champion elk callers from California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Washington were crowned during the weekend in Reno.
Competition was held in six divisions as part of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s 24th Annual Elk Camp & Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Expo. The event was held for the third straight year at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center. Next year the championships will move to Fort Worth, Texas.
The RMEF Dickies/CamoWest World Elk Calling Championships began with preliminary rounds on Friday. Top callers advanced to final rounds on Saturday.
More than 50 callers from 10 states competed.
In the event, callers have 30-45 seconds to mimic cow elk sounds, followed by bull sounds. Professional-level competitors are required to make specific calls such as barks, whistles and screaming bugles. Most callers blow across a latex reed placed inside the mouth. In the natural-voice division, however, no calling devices are allowed. A variety of plastic tubes are used like megaphones, giving the sounds realistic resonance. Judges score each competitor.
Winners received prizes and cash ranging from $500 to $2,500.
1. Schafer Bungay, Kalispell, Mont.
2. Gavin McKitrick, McAllister, Mont.
3. Tawny Bungay, Kalispell, Mont.
1. Gregory Hubbell Jr., Belmont, Calif.
2. Patrick Whitaker, Lebanon, Ore.
3. Ross LeValley, Hotchkiss, Colo.
1. Michael James Hatten, Elko, Nev.
2. Isaac Jacobsen, Boise, Idaho
3. Kyle Tanner, West Yellowstone, Mont.
1. Misty Waggener, Sandpoint, Idaho
2. Deb Bungay, Kalispell, Mont.
3. Bobbi Alwine, Muleno, Colo.
1. Greg Hubbell, Belmont, Calif.
2. Dirk Durham, Moscow, Idaho
3. Thomas Diesing, Loveland, Colo.
1. Joel Turner, Eatonville, Wash.
2. Al Morris, Springville, Utah
3. J.R. Keller, Delta, Colo.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Missoula, Mont., the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. The Elk Foundation and its partners have permanently protected or enhanced over 5.2 million acres, a land area larger than Connecticut, Delaware and District of Columbia combined. More than 500,000 acres previously closed to public access are now open for hunting, fishing and other recreation. The Elk Foundation has more than 150,000 members, a staff of 150 and 10,000 active volunteers. To help protect wild elk country or learn more about the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, visit www.elkfoundation.org or call 800-CALL-ELK.