Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce: Elkfest
info@jacksonholechamber.com | (307) 733-3316
Season of Interest:
Summer  |  Winter

[x] close


Old West Days

Town Square Shootout

Fall Arts Festival

Jackson Hole Marathon



Celebrate Wapiti & Wilderness During Jackson Hole ElkFest: May 21-22, 2016

ElkFest, a weekend of activities built around the 49th annual world famous Jackson Hole Boy Scout Elk Antler Auction, is an exciting time for celebrating nature, outdoor skills, hunting and ecological education and awareness.  Every spring, thousands of elk wintering on the National Elk Refuge lose their antlers before they migrate to their summer range. The Boy Scouts assist the Refuge with harvesting the shed antlers and auction them to bidders from around the world who make furniture, wall decorations, jewelry and food products from them. This annual event, which includes the High Noon Chili Cook-Off and the Mountain Man Rendezvous kick-off, supports the National Elk Refuge with a large portion of auction proceeds going back to habitat enhancement projects on the Refuge.

For more information on ElkFest, contact the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce at info@jacksonholechamber.com or 307.733.3316.

For more information about ElkFest visit the ElkFest website, for more information about the BSA Elk Antler Auction visit the BSA Auction page at elkfest.org.To register for the Antler Auction, please contact Cliff or Loretta Kirkpatrick at info@elkfest.org or 307.733.5935.

For more information about the Mountain Man Rendezvous, please contact the booshway, Betsy Johnson, 801.641.9451. 

For more information about the Jackson Hole High Noon Chili Cook-Off, please contact Renee Leone, Events Coordinator, events@jacksonholechamber.com or call the Chamber at 307.733.3316.

BSA Antler Auction

Traditional Schedule for Saturday

7am: Antler lots for B.S.A. Elk Antler Auction ready for viewing

7am-1pm: Food Court provided by Jackson Youth Baseball - Breakfast includes sweet potato pancakes, coffee, and bottled water. Lunch includes hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hotdogs, soft drinks, and bottled water. 

8am-2pm: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Great Elk Tour - The Premier traveling conservation exhibit with some of the largest bull elk in the world! Sponsored by the National Elk Refuge. 

9am-3pm: Private Antler Sale north of the Town Square on Center Street by Rotary Club. Contact J.R. Berezay, 307.732.5944.

8am-2pm: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Great Elk Tour - The premier traveling conservation exhibit with some of the largest bull elk in the world! Sponsored by the National Elk Refuge.

9am-1pm: Kids' Corner - Enjoy educational tables and games. Sponsored by Wyoming Game & Fish, Jackson Hole Weed Management, the National Elk Refuge, and the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum.

9am: Registration for Boy Scouts of America Antler Auction begins.

9am-9:45am: Free concert by Jackson Hole Community Band.

9am-1pm: ElkFest Gifts - Purchase your exclusive Elk Fest t-shirts and ball caps. The Grand Teton Association sponsors the Elk Fest gift booth.  All proceeds will benefit the National Elk Refuge.

9am-1pm: Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum booth open.

10am-1 pm: World Famous Jackson Hole Boy Scout Elk Antler Auction

10am-1pm: Jackson  B.S.A. Boy Scout and Cub Scout Expo

5pm: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Casino Games and Silent Auction begins at the Bar J Chuckwagon.

7pm: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Big Game Banquet Annual Fundraising Dinner at the Bar J Chuckwagon. For more information, click here to download the informational flyer or call Chuck Teske, 307.739.0951, or Ann Patton 307.734.9549 or aeswy@aol.com

Traditional Schedule for Sunday

Jackson Hole High Noon Chili Cook-Off

Noon: Teams compete to deliver the best tastes of chili in the West! Professional and amateur teams will take pride to serve you up some of the best chili to wind down the ElkFest weekend. $5 entrance fee. Rain or shine, Town Square is the place to be! A refreshing selection of beer and other beverages will also be available to cool tasters’ palates.

Saturday, May 21-Monday, May 30, 2016

Mountain Man Rendezvous and Traders Row

9:30am-5:00pm Daily: Experience history with a modern twist! Traders Row will feature refreshments and hand-crafted goods along with interactive competitions featuring Bow & Arrow, Hawk & Knife Competition, and Atlatl. The Mountain Man Rendezvous traditionally begins ElkFest weekend and continues through Old West Days. For more information, please contact the booshway, Betsy Johnson, 801.641.9451. Click here.

More Information about ElkFest 

About Antlers

Antlers are the fastest growing bone of any mammals. Find out more about these unique structures as you "Explore the Nature of Wyoming." 

The Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center

Located a half mile north of the Town Square, the Visitor Center is open year-round to assist you during your vacation. Our friendly staff from a variety of agencies look forward to making your trip memorable. Sit in on an interpretive presentation with a naturalist or catch a film screening on local wildlife. Learn about the local wildlife and ecosystem with our interactive displays.  Relax on our wildlife and wetlands viewing decks, or check out the bookstore and gift shop with guides, maps, books and souvenirs. The Visitor Center is also the place to obtain Federal lands passes as well as hunting and fishing licenses. We also have restrooms, courtesy telephones and a mail drop for our guests' convenience.

The National Elk Refuge

The National Elk Refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants. Since Theodore Roosevelt designated the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the system has grown to more than 150 million acres and is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Located adjacent to the Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the National Elk Refuge is guided by the agency's mission to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Simply put, the refuge manages for "wildlife first." Consequently, the refuge offers fewer recreational opportunities than its federal neighbors in order to carry out this mission.

The National Elk Refuge celebrated its centennial in 2012. An Act of Congress on August 10, 1912 appropriated money for the purchase of lands and maintenance of a winter elk refuge, which created the present day National Elk Refuge. The Refuge is approximately 25,000 acres and is devoted primarily to the preservation of winter range for wintering herds of elk and bison. In addition, the area provides habitat and crucial wintering areas for a variety of other wildlife, including trumpeter swans, bald eagles, ravens, bighorn sheep, mule deer, moose, coyotes, wolves, and a variety of waterfowl.

Highlights from ElkFest 2015

High Noon Chili Cook Off Awardees

May 17, 2015 - The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce was pleased to present the 2015 High Noon Chili Cook-Off featuring area businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals displaying their culinary skills on Sunday, May 17, 2015. The High Noon Chili Cook-Off, held the Sunday of ElkFest weekend, draws local residents and visitors into the community while celebrating the culture and heritage of Jackson Hole. ElkFest is traditionally held the third weekend in May and is followed by Old West Days which is held Memorial Day Weekend. 

2015 Winners:

  • Professional Category:  First Place: Town Square Tavern | Second Place Tie: Jackson Whole Grocer and The Showstoppers | People's Choice: The Showstoppers 
  • Amateur Category: First Place: Jackson Hole High School Culinary Arts | Second Place: Vom Fass | People's Choice: Jackson Hole High School Culinary Arts 

The Chamber would like to thank all of the volunteers who make the 2015 High Noon Chili Cook Off a success and recognize the panel of judges: Todd Smith with the Jackson Police Department, Erin Neary with Trio and a winner of the 2014 High Noon Chili Cook Off, Paul Perry with Canvas Unlimited, Pam Flores with the Howdy Pardner Ambassador Club, and Chris Hogberg with Dishing. Thanks to Persephone Bakery for providing cornbread! 

Elk Antler Auction Results

May 17, 2015 - The weather was cool and wet but didn’t dampen the spirits of the bidders at the 48th Annual Boy Scout Antler Auction, held on Saturday, May 16 in Jackson, Wyoming. The sale, held each year on the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend, makes available shed antlers collected from the National Elk Refuge.

This year, 10,609 pounds of antlers were sold at the auction. Though the number of pounds was less than last year’s record–setting total of 13,698 pounds, it was still above the 10–year average of 8,901 pounds. Factors that contribute to the number of antlers available include the number of bulls wintering on the Refuge and the timing of the elk migration off the Refuge to summer ranges.

Most notable, however, was the average price per pound paid this year by the 140 bidders registered at the sale. Bidders paid a record–setting average of $17.03 per pound at Saturday’s auction, or $5.76 per pound higher than the $11.27 average seen over the past 10 years. The number of buyers may have contributed to the competitive sale and increase in the price paid per pound. During the past decade, an average of 128 bidders has registered for the annual sale.

A number of matched pairs, which often bring in a higher sale price, were highlights of the sale. The highest price paid for a matched set was $64 per pound for a 22–pound, very non–typical 9x6 set (lot #124). Two other non–typical matched pairs, a 7x8 large set (lot #115) and a 5x8 unusual pair, (lot #121), sold for $41 and $48 per pound, respectively. Bidders also paid top dollar for beetle cleaned skulls. Though a number of the skulls brought in $700 to $900 apiece, a 7x7 very large skull (lot #125) was sold for $5,100.

A list of each of the auction’s items, including the lot number, weight, and a description of the item, can be viewed here.

With the number of antlers for sale and the record–setting price paid per pound, Saturday’s sale yielded a total of $195,432. Refuge records indicate this year’s total was the second highest in the auction’s 48–year history, exceeded only by last year’s figure of $233,614. During the past decade, the amount generated from the auction has averaged $101,789. “This unique partnership with the Jackson District Boy Scout organization is incredible,” said Refuge Manager Steve Kallin. “It represents an exemplary effort between a government agency and a non–profit organization.”

The majority of proceeds from the antler auction (75%) are donated to the National Elk Refuge, which manages approximately 25,000 acres as winter range for the Jackson Elk Herd. The funds are used for habitat enhancement work on the Refuge, including paying for seasonal employees that work with the Refuge’s Range Specialist in the irrigation program. The remaining 25% of the sale’s proceeds are given to the Jackson District Boy Scouts, recognizing the extraordinary effort it takes to pull off such as large event as the antler auction.

Each year, Scouts and Scout leaders donate approximately 2,000 hours to prepare and execute the sale, comparable to one staff member working a 40–hour week for a full year. The funding the Scouts receive supplements fees for day camps, leader and Scout training, and other activities. A photo collection and a multimedia slide show on the Refuge’s website describe the behind–the–scenes work that goes into preparing for the auction as well as images from the day of the sale.

Next year’s antler auction is set for Saturday, May 21. However, single antlers are available for sale throughout the year at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located at 532 North Cache Street in Jackson.

Visit www.fws.gov/nationalelkrefuge/.

– FWS –

Updated: October 30, 2015