SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) sold 129 state auction and raffle hunting tags for a record $1.94 million in 2011. No other conservation organization has matched MDF’s record in dollars or diversity of tags sold this year. The previous record was 175 tags which sold for $1.84 million in 2008. Over the last five years, MDF has raised over $8.4 million for conservation through the sale of these tags.
MDF, in partnership with eleven different state wildlife agencies, the Jicarilla Tribe and the San Carlos Apache Tribe, sold big game hunting tags to raise funds for the management of mule deer, black-tailed deer, elk, bison, antelope, turkey and other game species. Over 93 percent of the money goes back to the state wildlife agencies for management programs or is spent directly on habitat projects.
These tags are highly prized by big game hunters. A Utah Antelope Island mule deer tag was auctioned for an all-time high of $265,000, and an Antelope Island California bighorn sheep tag sold for $50,000. This will be the first mule deer hunt on the Island in over 30 years, and the bighorn sheep hunt will be the first one ever on Antelope Island.
Other milestones this year included the Arizona statewide mule deer tag which sold for $200,000 and the Nevada Heritage deer tag which brought in $80,000. Also, the New Mexico Big Game Enhancement Package sold for $105,000. This package included hunting tags for a mule deer, elk, oryx, antelope and ibex.
The tags were sold at a number of MDF’s regional banquet events and at the MDF National Convention, which is held in conjunction with the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo (WHCE).
The 2012 auction and raffle tags will be available at MDF fundraising events beginning in November of this year. If you are interested in bidding on a tag or buying a raffle ticket, log on to www.muledeer.org for event dates and locations. The Web site is updated frequently, so check back often to find a fundraising event near you. Many of the higher valued tags will be offered at MDF’s National Convention during the WHCE in Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 9-12, 2012.
About MDF (www.muledeer.org)
The Mule Deer Foundation is one of the key conservation groups in North America working to restore, improve and protect mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat. With a focus on science and program efficiency, MDF has raised millions of dollars and put countless man-hours on the ground for mission-critical projects. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-DEER.
An excited Doyle Moss of Mossback Guides & Outfitters with the winning bidder of the Antelope Island mule deer tag at the 2011 WHCE.
Miles Moretti (801) 973-3940 or firstname.lastname@example.org