The sound of the elk bugling is enough to make anyone stop and listen. But when you hear men, women and kids all trying their best to sound like them calling from 7,000 feet, you stop and stare as well!

Bull elk bugling during fall mating season in the Colorado Rocky Mountains
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The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundations World Elk Calling Championships return July 22-23rd to the RMEF Mountain Fest '22  in Park City Utah.

“Last year, we had some amazing head-to-head competitions that resulted in talented, new champions crowned in five different divisions,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. Elk Calling Contestants will try to out-bugle, out-bark, out-mew and out-chirp the competition for more than $45,000 in cash and prizes like camping gear or sponsor prizes.

A name that might be familiar to you, Mark Holyoak, Senior Director of Communications & Content Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in Missoula, told me that he will be going to the RMEF Mountain Festival AND he will be, “serving as emcee the first day of the World Elk Calling Championships and then I’ll team up with Storyteller Randy Newberg for the finals on (that) Saturday.” Lucky man right there!

Close up of concert microphone. Stand up show
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In case you don’t know, RMEF headquarters is in Missoula, which serves as the hub for on-the-ground conservation and fundraising activities that take place at more than 500 chapters nationwide. Mark Holyoak tells me so far, RMEF has helped conserve about 8.4 million acres of wildlife habitat and opened or improved public access to more than 1.4 million acres. RMEF Visitor Center Also, as one of the great “secret places” to take out-of-town guests, you may have noticed that the Missoula headquarters has been closed to undergo construction/renovation work for quite some time. Mark said they will soon be releasing details about RMEF reopening, which we’re excited about.

It wouldn't be long before I start thinking about those fall rituals, like, "Does this camo make my butt look big?” Maybe I could take a quick road trip and listen to some folks get elk fever early.

(H/T mholyoak@rmef.org )