MISSOULA, Montana.-Attention all squealers, grunters and shriekers: OK, so you’re a loudmouth, but do you have what it takes to win the Super Bowl of elk calling?
If so, bring your A-game to the Fort Worth (Texas) Convention Center, March 6-7, for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation/Leupold 2009 World Elk Calling Championships. Registration is open to the public.
The raucous competition will be held as part of the Elk Foundation’s 25th Annual Elk Camp & Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Expo, March 5-8. Spectator seating for the elk calling championships is included with daily admission to the expo: $12 per person or $25 per family, and free for kids 5 and under.
Preliminary rounds of competition begin Fri., March 6, at 9:00 a.m. Finals begin Sat., March 7, at 9:00 a.m., followed by awards and crowning of 2009 world champions.
“We’re searching for the world’s best elk callers. No experience is necessary to enter and compete in the prelims, although many serious callers have already qualified for the finals by competing in regional competitions held around the country over the past several months,” said Beth Shipley, longtime director of the RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships.
Cash and prizes will be awarded for first- through third-place in six divisions-Pee Wee (age 10 and under), Youth (age 11-17), Natural Voice (no calling devices allowed), Women’s, Men’s and Professional (sponsored competitors). Judges include former champs, naturalists and hunters.
Competitors must be registered by 5:00 p.m. on Thurs., March 5.
Entry fees are $10 for Pee Wee and Youth, $35 for Natural Voice, Women’s and Men’s, and $100 for Professional. Entry fees also provide contest participants with admission to the expo. Registration forms and rules are available at www.rmef.org.
A just-for-fun team competition also will be held. Up to three callers can work together in a comedy skit simulating interactions between bulls, cows and calves. Always hilarious, winners are chosen by the audience. There is no registration fee for the team event.
The 2008 World Elk Calling Championships were featured in the New York Times, bringing international exposure to the event.
Along with the RMEF/Leupold 2009 World Elk Calling Championships, the expo will fill the Fort Worth Convention Center with elk hunting seminars, displays of record elk, kids’ activities, auctions and an exhibit hall filled with art, gear, firearms and outfitted hunting and fishing opportunities. It’s all a showcase and fundraiser for one of the nation’s premier conservation organizations. The Elk Foundation recently topped 5.5 million acres of elk habitat conserved or enhanced.
Show hours: Thurs., March 5, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Fri., March 6, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Sat., March 7, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Sun., March 8, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
For more details, visit www.rmef.org.
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 5.5 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.