Phoenix, AZ – Region 6 of the Arizona Mule Deer Organization saw a great deal of success at their fundraising banquet held in Phoenix on February 9th, seeing a coveted Commissioners’ Elk Tag sell for $240,000 during the event’s live auction. Bidders were calling in from across the nation, and group organizers felt the amazing selling price was due at least in part to the wet weather and snow pack experienced in Arizona this off-season. Moisture is a significant contributor to antler growth in elk.
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission awards Special Big Game License Tags, sometimes called Commissioners’ tags, to selected 501(c)(3) wildlife conservation organizations to raise funds for wildlife. Commissioners’ tags are good for any unit and the tagholder is able to hunt what is essentially a 365-day season. The award of this tag to AMDO in June was surprising because the organization is still in its first year of existence.
Prior to the banquet, AMDO Field Director Terry Herndon had hoped that the tag would sell for at least $200,000 so this sale in particular was a deemed a complete success. Administrative and marketing costs must be covered by the wildlife conservation organization. The Organization continued to raise money that night for their conservation projects through live and silent auctions, raffles and other games.
AMDO President Jim Lawrence states, “100% of the $240,000 we receive for that tag goes directly to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Habitat Partnership Committee (HPC) for elk-related conservation projects. These funds can only be spent on habitat improvement projects; the same goes for all of the Big Game Tags that the Commission awards. The total HPC fund usually runs from 2.2. to 2.5 million dollars. AMDO sits on the HPC Committee and will have a say on where this $240,000 is spent and on what projects. In a typical funding cycle, there are usually 30 to 40 projects submitted for a given species.
For more information please visit the Arizona Mule Deer website at www.azmuledeer.org
About Arizona Mule Deer.Org
Arizona Mule Deer is an Arizona Conservation group focused on efforts to restore, grow and preserve Arizona’s mule deer. These efforts include a multi-pronged approach including fundraising which goes towards education, biology, habitat preservation and habitat improvement. To find out more about Arizona Mule Deer. Org – Visit www.azmuledeer.org