45 th Annual Bighorn Rendezvous – Not What We Expected, But Still A Winner

Typically, this Summer issue would be showcasing the 45 th Annual Bighorn Rendezvous featuring the Member’s meeting, auctions, raffles, speakers, youth events, dinner and capped off with the Governor’s state wide bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat and pronghorn license drawings. The year 2020 will not be remembered as a typical year. The week before the state directed cancellation of large events, the RMBS board of directors reluctantly but wisely decided to cancel the Rendezvous after initiating discussions with the Embassy Suites by Hilton. Fortunately, the Embassy Suites management were good to work with and we were able to offset any loss and negotiated the 46 th Annual Bighorn Rendezvous with them for May 21-22, 2021. That was the first of several important items to be negotiated as the Rendezvous was ‘unplanned’.

The board of directors next petitioned the Secretary of State to change the date of the public drawing to May 16 to be held at the Blue Moon Brewery. With that cleared by the state, a further decision to continue sales until May 13 was made in order to recoup the projected loss of ticket sales that would have occurred at the Rendezvous.

While cancellation of the banquet was certainly a blow to the RMBS this year, unexplainably, ticket sales set significant all-time highs. Ticket sales and amounts were as follows:

Bighorn sheep 7,200 .257 Wby. 650
Mountain goat 1,952 Swarovski 750
Pronghorn 848 .300 Win. 607
Total: $250,000 Total: $50,175
Grand Total: $300,175

The drawing was successfully held as scheduled and with a live broadcast that can be seen on the RMBS website at; www.bighornsheep.org/new-page-1.

The lucky winners are:

  • Optics #1 Steve Bouricius, Colorado, Ticket No. 00084
  • Optics #2 Mark Cathey, Nevada, Ticket No. 00028
  • Optics #3 Christian Blough, New York, Ticket No. 00110
  • Weaver .257 Terry Meyers, Colorado, Ticket No. 00001
  • Weaver .300 Kevin Zepp, Colorado, Ticket No. 00378
  • Pronghorn David Watling, New Mexico, Ticket No. 00089
  • Mountain Goat Thad Barnes, Colorado, Ticket No. 00314
  • Bighorn Sheep Jerome Garcia, New Mexico, Ticket No. 00691

The annual member’s meeting is held each year at the banquet. It provides an opportunity for member’s to be updated on RMBS projects and finances. In lieu of the cancelled meeting we will note that we provided over $50,000 in project funding last year and earmarked another $50,000 for projects that have not yet begun. A detailed project list will be available on the website later this summer. We are very excited to report that we were able to assist both financially and strategically the National Wildlife Federation in completing the first three voluntary domestic sheep grazing allotment retirements in Colorado. Working together we have completed a fourth retirement in 2020, and we are hopeful that we are able to maintain momentum with this win-win resolution of conflicts between wild and domestic sheep.

In addition, the RMBS financial consultant and former board member, Jack Hinds, had planned on presenting an update on the RMBS investment funds. Briefly, he believes that our funds have held up well considering the current conditions effecting the market; in summary:

Current balance: $202,921

Return year to date: -3.22%

Return May 31, 2019 to May 31, 2020: +4.49%

At the end of the day, the goal of each year’s ticket sales and Rendezvous fundraising is to provide funds to support research and projects to benefit Colorado’s bighorn sheep. Despite the challenges that this year has thrown at our collective efforts, those original goals were achieved; and the state’s bighorns are the winners.

ANNUAL CPW AUCTION AND RAFFLE PROJECT ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING

For those who may not be familiar with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Auction and Raffle program, non-profit conservation organizations are awarded the opportunity to administer the auctions and raffles for the statewide big game licenses. Organizations are allowed to retain up to 25% of the gross revenue from those auctions and raffles. The remaining 75% is returned to CPW, and that revenue is maintained in accounts for spending specifically on those big game species by the ARPAC. The ARPAC is comprised of representatives from CPW, BLM, USFS, and each conservation organization that administers at least one auction or raffle. The ARPAC meets annually in May to consider proposals for that year.

You can read more at the following link: https://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/RaffleAuction.aspx

Each year Executive Director Terry Meyers attends the annual CPW Auction and Raffle Project Advisory Committee (ARPAC) meeting to consider project proposals. The virtual meeting was held May 20 and hosted by Andy Holland, CPW Big Game Manager. The ARPAC reviewed five projects for bighorn sheep, and one each for mountain goat, and pronghorn that were submitted for consideration. Funding for all projects, totaling $284,000, was approved contingent on final approval by the CPW Director. Details of approved projects will be available on the RMBS website later this summer following final approval.

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