Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce: Elkfest
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Celebrate Wapiti and Wilderness During the Jackson Hole ElkFest: May 17-18, 2014!

ElkFest, a weekend of activities built around the 47th 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, the ten-day event from May 16-26, 2013 from 9:30am-5:00pm daily, 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.

2013 ElkFest Results: 46th Annual Antler Auction Generates Record Totals

Despite the steady rain and cool conditions, a good crowd turned out for the 46th annual Boy Scout Elk Antler Auction in Jackson, Wyoming on Saturday, May 18. The sale, held each year on the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend, makes available shed antlers collected from the National Elk Refuge.

This year, 8,507 pounds of antlers were sold at the auction, up from the 7,398 sold last year and the previous 10–year average of 8,133 pounds. More notable that the slight increase in antlers, however, was the average price per pound paid this year by the 103 buyers registered at the sale. Bidders paid an average of $15.43 per pound at Saturday’s auction, or $5.71 per pound higher than the $9.72 average during the previous 10 years. “We had heard the market was up this year,” Refuge spokesperson Lori Iverson said, “but it was exciting to see it come to fruition on Saturday.” 

Because of the higher price paid per pound, Saturday’s sale yielded a total of $131,400. During the past decade, the amount generated from the auction has averaged $77,781. Refuge records indicate this year’s total sales and price per pound set records, exceeding the $111,305 generated in 2011 and the $13.79 per pound. average paid in 1989. In 2012, the sale brought in a total of $90,469 with an average price per pound of $12.15.

The majority of proceeds from the antler auction are donated to the National Elk Refuge, which maintains approximately 25,000 acres as winter range for the Jackson Elk Herd. The money generated from the sale is used for habitat projects on the Refuge. In 2012, the proceeds were a key funding source for paying seasonal irrigators and purchasing additional GPS collars to track and document elk distribution and migration.

In previous years, the Jackson District Boy Scouts received 20% of the auction proceeds for their assistance with the event. The District uses the  money to pay Friends of Scouting dues, a fee required for them to remain in the Boy Scouts of America organization and offer scouting in the Jackson area. The funding also helps them continue supplementing fees for day camps, leader and Scout training, and other activities. This spring, Refuge Manager Steve Kallin revised a Memorandum of Understanding with the Scouts and increased the District’s share of proceeds to 25%, recognizing the extraordinary effort it takes to pull off such a large event as the antler auction. Each year, Scouts and Scout leaders donate approximately 2,000 to prepare and execute the sale, comparable to one staff member working a 40–hour week for a full year. “The relationship we have with the Jackson District Boy Scout leaders is outstanding, and their partnership contributions are notable,” Kallin explained. An article describing the behind–the–scenes work that goes into preparing for the auction, along with a photo collection of the work, is posted on the Refuge’s home page at www.fws.gov/nationalelkrefuge/.

Next year’s antler auction is set for Saturday, May 17. 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. 

For further information on the Boy Scout antler auction, please contact the National Elk Refuge Administrative Office at 307.733.9212.

– FWS –

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.

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 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 celebrates 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.

2014 Preliminary ElkFest Schedule of Events (Subject to Change)

Saturday, May 17

All events on Town Square except where noted. Schedule subject to change.

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

7 am - 1 pm: 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. 

9 am - 3 pm: Private Antler Sale north of the Town Square by Rotary Club, contact J.R. Berezay at 307-732-5944.

8 am-2 pm: 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

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

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

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

9 am-1 pm: ElkFest Gifts - Purchase your exclusive 2014 Elk Fest t-shirts and ball caps. The Grand Teton Association sponsors the Elk Fest gifts booth.  All proceeds will benefit the National Elk Refuge.

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

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

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

7 pm: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Big Game Banquet Annual Fundraising Dinner at the Bar J Chuckwagon. For more information, call Chuck Teske,(307) 739-0951, or Michelle Kren, (307) 203-2470 or mpkodiak2@bresnan.net.

Sunday, May 18 - 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. For more information, please contact Renee Leone, Events Coordinator, events@jacksonholechamber.com or 307.733.3316. Interested in competing? Entries will be taken until Sunday, May 11. Click here to download the entry form. For more information, please contact Renee Leone, Events Coordinator, 307.733.3316 or events@jacksonholechamber.com.

Friday, May 16-Monday, May 26 -  Mountain Man Rendezvous and Traders Row

9:30am-5:00pm Daily: Experience history! Traders Row, Candy Cannon, Bow & Arrow Competition, Hawk & Knife Competition, and Atlatl Competition at the Teton County Fairgrounds. Continues through Old West Days. For more information, please contact the booshway, Betsy Johnson, 801.641.9451.

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