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Location: United States
Joined: 05/09/2009
Posts: 3
I Had To Rethink FMEF Membership

Greetings;

I am new to your forum. It looks as though you have a nice forum site. In my title on this post is my personal conclusion. I have hunted elk since 1980 thru the mid 2000's. I've had good success in Co. and NM. Not to mention some great stories around the campsites and cabins.
I was also a member of the RMEF for a while. Even attended some fund raising events, auctions, ect. The RMEF raises a lot of money to obtain land and ranches for the preservation of elk habitat. So I thougt to contact the elk foundation one to ask this question. With any good wildlife managament there must be some sort of reduction harvest to keep the herd healthy. If this is correct, do the members have any access opertunity to hunt all of this property that the RMEF purchases with it's members donations. Or was this property off limits to members and reserved for it's RMEF officers and their families to hunt.
Well since that letter I have not heard one thing from the RMEF nor have I received another issue of the Bugle magazine (which I looked forward to) or any other contact. I guess you might say I've been kicked out of their club!
Then it came to me, we the members are donating millions of dollars for the RMEF to buy the best elk country in the best elk hunting states and we are paying for it and they the foundation officers and their families get to hunt it but you and I, the members don't get to hunt it. Next we pay them to take great hunting lands out of the hunting mix, forcing you and I onto smaller and smaller tracts of land. The RMEF land holdings increase and our hunting land decreases and we pay for it. They take the once access hunting land out of the hunting market so to speak.
This has been my experience and I am in no way asking anyone to join my
boycott but I am not going to pay for my hunting demise.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
I Had To Rethink FMEF Membership

I'm not sure you quite understand what the elk foundation is doing. In most cases they are not buying any land. Much of what they do is help facilitate land exchanges and habitat improvements in conjunction with state or federal agencies. They are paying for conservation easements on places that may or may not be threatened with subdividing. I could be totally wrong, but I don't believe the Elk Foundation owns or manages many places. The only one I can think of offhand is that big place in New Mexico that was willed to them, not purchased. I think it's called the Vermejo Ranch.
The access rights on the easements are usually retained by the original landowners and that does suck, but oftentimes here in Colorado they do a joint project with the DOW and the DOW ensures public access whenever our habitat dollars are involved. In fact, many of the places we call SWAs are actually still in private ownership, but we have access to them thanks in part to the Elk Foundation and the DOW.

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Location: United States
Joined: 05/09/2009
Posts: 3
I Had To Rethink FMEF Membership

You may be right here of late, for as I said they cut off all contact with me. I know that in the mid 80's I think they made some land purchases and like you said may also have worked with land owners. I use to get their bugle magazine and read places they made large land deals. Since then things may have changed. Do as I did, contact them for areas they control to see if you can hunt. The New Mexico ranch you mentioned is 596,000 ac. Ted Turner ranch. Yes they allow hunting for $ 10,000. This is kinda my point. Why would RNEF what to use member funds to partner with a billionair who is just using member funds instead his own money and charges a large fee to hunt anyway? Why, when this ranch already has limited access? I'm very familar with some of the northern NM and southern CO ranches. I've hunted all over these areas.
I stand corrected though, you make some good points. Good luck and good hunting!

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3771
I Had To Rethink FMEF Membership

Just to let you know that I have hunted some of the property that the RMEF has bought and then given to the state of Utah. Years ago I used to hunt the Book Cliffs in Eastern Utah but never had access to an area due to locked gates on the only access road controlled by an outfitter through private land. The RMEF bought the ranch and donated it to the state, witched opened up all of the old ranch to public hunting. My brother-in-law took a 370 pt bull elk off of it in 2002. I have also seen in in a couple of property transfures here in Colorado. So yes you can hunt the property that they buy since it us usually donated back to the state in witch that they buy it in.

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Location: United States
Joined: 05/09/2009
Posts: 3
I Had To Rethink FMEF Membership

I again stand corrected.

Critter's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3771
I Had To Rethink FMEF Membership

It is no problem. I have learned that if you have questions on something and don't ask questions then you will never find out what is going on.
One other thing is if you are not getting your copy of Bugle I would give them a call and find out what is going on. Just in case you do not know the magazine comes out every two months.

walkin's picture
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Location: Camp David MD
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 173
I Had To Rethink FMEF Membership

I inquired about hunting the 95000 acreTorstenson double h Ranch a few years back, it was way over my budget. I think the revenue from the hunts funds the wildlife center on the ranch. I think they do a lot for youth. They do raffle off some hunts at rmef fundraisers. I think it was given to them to be a self sustaining wildlife center,youth members and the boy scoutsget to use it for hiking and adventure, maybe some future sportsman. ( I gotta lotta "I thinks" in here because I have never seen it.)
I think the foundation does turn most land back over to the states for wildlife management. I think it is a good organization but I could be wrong.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
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I Had To Rethink FMEF Membership

Oh yeah, and in Nebraska, when I was a biologist there, they facilitated the purchases of the Bighorn WMA and Bordeaux Creek WMA, in addition to doing habitat projects on USFS lands. The two WMAs that they purchased were loans to the state of Nebraska, who couldn't come up with the money fast enough to purchase the property in the timespan the owner wanted. One of those was in immediate threat of development, the other not so much, but it does border landlocked USFS lands which you otherwise wouldn't be able to access.
I also got real drunk while bidding on stuff at a banquet in Chadron, NE a couple years ago and got invited to hunt on a property with a conservation easement owned by RMEF up in South Dakota, which was great. The owner and his wife even wanted me to stay with them while deer hunting. Didn't shoot anything, but had a good time.

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Location: Fort Worth, TX
Joined: 09/01/2008
Posts: 56
I Had To Rethink FMEF Membership

It's too bad that you didn't get the last issue of Bugle. It was the 25th anniversary edition and they highlighted a lot of what the foundation has done in 25 years. The RMEF is the strongest foundation that supports our sport and has done so much for it. I would hate to think that any of what you were saying is true, some of it could be but I am unaware.

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Location: SW Mtns. NM
Joined: 05/04/2008
Posts: 227
I Had To Rethink FMEF Membership

Ditto what has been said above.I am member and would pay twice for Bugle alone.I used to have somewhat same opine of RMEF I was in MT before they where there and the need for such a group was obvious. But over the years it seamed a little elite and maybe to some it still does. But the reality is elk would not be where they are today if not for RMEF,that and the animals tenacity. I say let them auction off those BC hunts ,give some to youth and help the herds so I can fill my freezer for the year and some lucky hunter will run into SON OF SPIDER on public land.....

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
I Had To Rethink FMEF Membership

Yeah from what I understand about RMEF you have to look at the big picture to really understand them. I believe, don't know for sure, that they do actually own some land and only those with deep pockets can hunt those properties. But it's also my understanding that money goes right back into the program to purchase otherwise unhuntable land and donate to the state so that we can hunt it again. They also purchase easments and lands so that we can access good hunting areas that we otherwise wouldn't be able to hunt because they would be land locked by surrounding private ground.

Do top level people get special perks? I'm sure they do but is that really that bad when you see all the good they do?

I know you said you stood corrected......I'm just trying to add to the conversation.

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