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MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation knows how much premier elk tags can generate for conservation, and RMEF reps on Friday night helped Pennsylvania’s first-ever special elk tag raise $28,500.

The tag was auctioned at the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) convention in Nashville.

“Congratulations to NWTF. We’re always pleased when good money is raised to conserve habitat for elk and other wildlife—and it was gratifying for us to be there, participate in the auction and help this tag bring a respectable amount,” said David Allen, president and CEO of RMEF.

The tag appeared seconds away from selling for $8,500 when RMEF reps jumped into the bidding to ensure the tag brought a worthy sum. When the auctioneer finally finished, the cheering crowd erupted at the total raised for conservation in the Keystone State.

Allen said, “We knew what we thought was a fair market value for that tag and we wanted to make sure it brought at least that amount. Our volunteers and the Pennsylvania Game Commission have worked hard for a lot of years to get the state’s elk herd to the level it’s at today. We also know that someday we will likely be selling this tag ourselves and we wanted to invest in its long-term success. All the money ends up in wildlife conservation and that is our overall focus anyway.”

A bidder from Pennsylvania wound up with the tag.

“It was great as the buyer is a longtime member of RMEF as well as other conservation groups. He and his wife are Pennsylvania residents and they told me later that they wanted to make sure the tag went home to an in-state hunter. We couldn’t be happier about that as well,” Allen added.

Opportunities to hunt elk in Pennsylvania also will be awarded though a general drawing. Fifty-nine lucky hunters who submit an application and a $10 fee will receive a tag.

In addition to stewarding elk habitat in the Keystone State, the Elk Foundation also is enhancing conservation education in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Together, the partners are building a new Elk Country Visitor Center in western Pennsylvania.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.4 million acres—a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.