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MISSOULA, Mont.—A record $1.6 million was raised for conservation via auctions held at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s annual convention, which concluded Feb. 24 in Reno, Nev.

Items sold included firearms, art, furniture, jewelry, Harley-Davidson motorcycle, log doghouse, handcrafted guitar, vacations, hunts and a sociable mule named Tulip.

Highlights of these annual fundraisers also include many special hunting permits sold in partnership with state and tribal conservation agencies. Monies raised are returned to these agencies for conservation projects, usually in elk country. In some cases, the Elk Foundation keeps a small percentage as a commission to supplement its own elk habitat protection and enhancement efforts.

Here are the Top 10 hunting permits sold at this year’s auctions:


1.             $172,000
New Mexico Big Game Enhancement Package

Elk Foundation partner: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Includes tags for elk, deer, pronghorn, oryx and ibex valid for the 2008-09 season on any open public lands or private lands with permission.

2.             $125,000
Arizona Special Elk Permit

Elk Foundation partner: Arizona Game & Fish Department. Includes one bull elk tag valid for the 2008-09 season on any open public lands or private lands with permission.

3.             $95,000
Nevada Wildlife Heritage Rocky Mountain Elk Tag

Elk Foundation partner: Nevada Department of Wildlife. Includes one bull elk tag valid for the 2008 season on any open public lands or private lands with permission.

4.             $90,000
New Mexico Special Elk Permit

Elk Foundation partner: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Includes one bull elk tag valid for the 2008-09 season on any open public lands or private lands with permission.

5.             $71,000
New Mexico Special Deer Permit

Elk Foundation partner: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Includes one deer tag valid for the 2008-09 season on any open public lands or private lands with permission.

6.             $65,000
Washington Special East side Elk Permit

Elk Foundation partner: Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Includes one bull elk tag valid for the 2008 season on any open lands in eastern Washington.

7.             $40,000
Oregon Elk and Deer Combo Permit

Elk Foundation partner: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Includes one elk and one deer tag valid for the 2008 season on any open public lands or private lands with permission.

8.             $39,000
Arizona White Mountain Apache Chairman’s Special Elk Permit

Elk Foundation partner: White Mountain Apache Tribe. Includes one bull elk tag valid for the 2008 season on most units within the White Mountain Apache Reservation.

9.             $32,000
Montana Blackfeet Reservation Sheep Hunt

Elk Foundation partner: Blackfeet Fish & Wildlife Department. Includes outfitting services and one bighorn sheep tag valid for the 2008 season within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

10.             $28,000
Montana Blackfeet Reservation Moose Hunt

Elk Foundation partner: Blackfeet Fish & Wildlife Department. Includes outfitting services and one moose tag valid for the 2008 season within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

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.