Las Vegas to Host World Elk Calling Championships

   01.06.12

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The 2012 RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships will be held as part of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) convention and International Sportsmen’s Exposition, Feb. 2-4, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The raucous event is open to the public.

Elk are the most vocal species of North American deer. The signature call is a “bugle,” a loud, high-pitched whistle or scream used during mating season by bulls trying to attract cows and advertise their dominance to other bulls. Bulls also grunt at cows straying from their harem. Cows bark to warn of danger, mew to keep track of each other and whine to signal distress. Calves bleat when they are lost.

Mimicking these sounds has been a competitive sport for almost 25 years, but 2012 will be the RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships’ first time in Las Vegas.

“This event is always a spectacle,” said David Allen, president and CEO of RMEF, a conservation organization focused on conserving and stewarding elk habitat. “It’s been featured by The New York Times and CBS Sunday Morning, and now we’re pleased to introduce this competition to a city that appreciates spectacles like no one else.”

“If a bull elk shows up and rips the doors off the Las Vegas Convention Center, at least you’ll know why,” he joked.

Competition is held in six divisions: professional, men’s, women’s, natural voice, youth (age 11-17) and pee-wee (age 10 and under). Amateur-level callers have 30 seconds to make general cow elk sounds, followed by bull sounds. Professionals are required to make specific calls such as bugles and barks. Most callers blow across a latex reed placed inside the mouth. In the natural voice division, however, no reeds are allowed. A variety of plastic tubes are used like megaphones, giving the sounds realistic resonance.

Judges–biologists, naturalists and hunters–score each competitor anonymously.

Prizes and cash ranging from $500 to $2,500 will be awarded for first- through third-place in all six divisions.

Prize sponsors include Leupold, Block Fusion, Cabela’s, Horn Hunter Packs, Hoyt, Kershaw Knives, Montana Decoy, Montana Silversmiths, New Archery Products (NAP), Remington, Schnee’s and Traditions Performance Firearms.

Defending world champions: Professional Division–Corey Jacobsen, Boise, Idaho; Men’s Division–Dirk Durham, Moscow, Idaho; Women’s Division–Misty Jacobsen, Priest River, Idaho; Natural Voice Division–Michael Hatten, Elko, Nev.; Youth Division–Greg Hubbell Jr., Belmont, Calif.; Pee-Wee Division–Colton Crawford, McMinnville, Ore.

To compete in the 2012 RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships, see complete rules, registration info and entry fees posted at www.rmef.org.

Preliminary rounds of competition begin Fri., Feb. 3, at 10:00 a.m. Finals begin Sat., Feb. 4, at 9:00 a.m., followed by awards and crowning of new world champions.

Spectator seating is included with daily admission to the RMEF convention and expo: $12 per person, free for youth 15 and under, and free for active military with military ID.

The expo includes attractions, displays and activities for the whole family, plus 385 exhibiting companies in booths filled with outfitted hunting and fishing opportunities, art, gear, firearms and everything elk and outdoors. Hourly seminars led by authorities detail hunting strategies, destinations and gear; urban and wilderness survival; fishing; and travel nearby and around the world. Cabela’s will sponsor game-calling clinics. International Sportsmen’s Expositions, which produces America’s premier hunting, fishing and travel shows, is managing the exhibit hall and expo. Expo hours: Thurs., Feb. 2, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 3, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 4, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The convention, expo and RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships help raise awareness and funding for conservation. In 2011, RMEF passed the 6 million acre-mark in habitat conserved or enhanced for elk and other wildlife. In Nevada alone, RMEF has completed 190 different conservation projects affecting 275,870 acres.

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