Saturday marks the 38th annual Elk Fest highlighted by the 52ndannual auction of antlers on the square by the Jackson District Boy Scouts to raise money in support of habitat enhancement and associated equipment on the National Elk Refuge.
Each year, Scouts and Scout leaders donate approximately 2,000 hours to prepare and execute the sale, comparable to one Refuge staff member working a 40-hour week for a full year. For their extraordinary effort, the Jackson District Scouts retain 25% of the sale’s proceeds, which is used to supplement fees for day camps, leader and Scout training, and other activities.
The remaining 75% of the take is returned to the National Elk Refuge, which manages approximately 25,000 acres as winter range for the Jackson Elk Herd. The funds are used for habitat enhancement projects, including paying for farming equipment, weed management, and seasonal employees that operate the Refuge’s irrigation program.
The sale begins at 10:00 am and is typically over shortly after noon. This year, there is estimated to be close to the ten-year average of approximately 9900 pounds of antlers to be auctioned off.