Competition is open to the public in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation/Leupold 2010 World Elk Calling Championships. The event will be held as part of the annual RMEF Elk Camp & Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center.
Featured in recent years by The New York Times and CBS Sunday Morning, the competition will return to Reno following a 2009 stint in Fort Worth, Texas.
“We’re searching for the world’s best elk callers and we think Reno may be the place to find them,” said Beth Shipley, RMEF special events director, who has been involved with the World Elk Calling Championships for 15 years. “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. So, if you’re thinking of entering, start practicing now!”
An RMEF video featuring the natural elk sounds that competitors will be asked to mimic is at www.rmef.org/NewsandMedia/Videos/BullElkSounds.htm.
Competitors must be registered by 5:00 p.m. on Thurs., March 4. Registration forms and rules are available at www.rmef.org.
Entry fees are $10 for Pee Wee (age 10 and under) and Youth (age 11-17) divisions, $35 for Natural Voice (no calling devices allowed), Women’s and Men’s, and $100 for Professional (sponsored competitors). Entry fees also provide contest participants with admission to the expo.
Cash and prizes will be awarded for first- through third-place in all six divisions.
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 2010 world champions.
Judges include naturalists, hunters and former elk calling champions.
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. Winners are chosen by the audience. There is no registration fee for the team event.
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.
Along with the RMEF/Leupold 2010 World Elk Calling Championships, the expo will fill the Reno/Sparks 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 5.6 million acres of elk habitat conserved or enhanced.
Show hours: Thurs., March 4, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Fri., March 5, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Sat., March 6, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Sun., March 7, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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 5.6 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.