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Archives: SFW News

News about or concerning Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife.

2017 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo Continues To Break Records

Salt Lake City, Utah: After four days of a busy show floor and successful evening auctions, the 2017 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo (WHCE) closed its doors Sunday afternoon Feb. 19, 2017. The show, hosted by Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife and the Mule Deer Foundation and sponsored by Ammo & More and ACI, has become the biggest consumer sport show designed for the western big game hunter. Now in its 11th year, the WHCE has continued to exceed expectations with 46,000 attendees walking the exhibit halls and raising over $6 million for wildlife conservation efforts.

“Once again the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo is proving what wildlife conservation can achieve,” said Troy Justensen, president of Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife. “Hunters from nearly every state attend the expo, apply for the 200 permits and purchase auction items are contributing in a very real way to Utah wildlife conservation and one of the most successful events of its kind on the planet. We are proud of how this show has grown over the last decade, and hunters can rest assured that we will continue to build and improve the event.”

Mule Deer Foundation President/CEO Miles Moretti added, “The Western Hunting & Conservation Expo continues to grow every year, and this year was no exception. We had 46,000 attendees come through the show which is great for our exhibitors who were busy the whole show. Exhibitors frequently told us this was their best show of the year. With many of them already signed up for booth space in the 2018 show, we can unequivocally say that Hunt Expo is a resounding success.”

The evening events drew large crowds who took part in the banquets and auctions as well as listened to keynote speakers John Wayne Walding and Kim Rhode; Saturday night’s banquet was sold out with more than 1,700 people in attendance. The auctions featured over 140 items up for bid including governor’s tags, limited edition firearms and artwork, and much more. Top auction items this year included the Antelope Island mule deer tag that sold for $250,000 and the Arizona statewide mule deer tag that sold for $280,000. Combined with other incredible once-in-a-lifetime hunts, the auctions raised more than $4 million and 93 percent of those funds will be dedicated to habitat and conservation programs on the ground. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to enter drawings for 200 special big game tags offered by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for just $5 a tag. Those funds quickly add up, and are dedicated toward conservation and mission accomplishment for Utah Division of Wildlife Resources as well as MDF and SFW.

The traffic through the show floor was steady and broke records each day throughout the four-day show. The 2017 WHCE boasted an exhibit hall of over 400,000 square feet, an increase of 70,000 square feet from the previous year. The show featured top-quality outdoor manufacturers and retailers, incredible taxidermy, and first-rate guides and outfitters. Throughout the course of the weekend, attendees browsed some of the latest gear available on the market and could book their dream hunting experience. The WHCE is a family-friendly event and that was obvious with the many children of all ages walking the show floor proudly sporting their M.U.L.E.Y. antlers. Every child had the opportunity to participate in the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience (YWCE), trying their hand at shooting, archery, fly tying, wildlife identification, and much more. Throughout the course of the weekend over 5,000 youth went through the YWCE and had a chance to enter their names into a drawing for either a hunting gear package or a guided Utah deer hunt donated by Majestic Valley Outfitters.

The 2018 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo will run from February 8-11, 2018 and it is expected to be even larger than this year’s event. Mark your calendar for next year’s event and stay up to date on planning through the WHCE website at www.huntexpo.com.

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Also posted in Featured

SFW States Position on Public Lands

Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife (SFW) issued the following position regarding public lands:

Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife (SFW) is opposed to the sale of any public land. SFW believes there is room for improved correlation and joint efforts between state and federal agencies in the management of public land but that the sale of these public lands is not in the best interests of wildlife, sportsmen or local communities. SFW believes that the public lands of the Western U.S. are the lifeblood of our way of life, and that public access and the multiple use of these lands must be maintained. Our way of life depends on these lands remaining open and accessible. Our public lands are the very center of our outdoor and hunting heritage. SFW believes that without our public lands, we would have little hope for a future of hunting and wildlife conservation. SFW is committed to fight to keep public lands open with abundant wildlife for all to enjoy.

Additionally, SFW restates it long-standing support for land management that:
– remains open to public access
– protects wild and remote places, and the wildlife that depend on it
– works toward producing abundant big game, upland game and aquatic species
– provides for state fish and game agencies to manage all wildlife within state borders, including big game, upland game, fisheries and predators
– ensures opportunities for habitat restoration, “Healthy Land Initiative” opportunities and watershed enhancement and protection

SFW’s Mission Statement – The mission of SFW is to promote the protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat, assist in providing quality wildlife management programs, educating the public about the role hunters play in wildlife conservation, and perpetuating the family tradition of hunting and fishing.

Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable wildlife conservation organization headquartered in northern Utah. SFW has funded more than $13.5 million in Utah Wildlife and Habitat Enhancement projects since 2001. For more information about SFW and wildlife conservation projects throughout the state, visit www.SFW.net.

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Also posted in Featured, Game Management & Legislation, Lands

Our Mission

"The mission of SFW is to promote the protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat, assist in providing quality wildlife management programs, educating the public about the role hunters play in wildlife conservation, and perpetuating the family tradition of hunting and fishing".