The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is giving a coveted desert bighorn sheep tag to the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) for auction during the 2023 Hunt Expo. Ninety percent of the funds raised through the sale of the permit will go back to TPWD for use in its bighorn sheep conservation efforts. The permit will be sold to the highest bidder during the Conservation Night event on Friday, February 3, 2023.
“We are honored that Texas Parks and Wildlife has entrusted the Mule Deer Foundation with the sale of this incredible desert bighorn sheep tag,” said Joel Pedersen, MDF President and CEO. “Mule deer and bighorn sheep often overlap in their range in West Texas, and we know that habitat improvement, water development and other efforts to improve bighorn sheep populations will also benefit mule deer.” . We hope to generate significant funding for these efforts through the sale of this tag at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo next February.”
Hunt Expo is one of the largest consumer sports shows with an emphasis on western hunting. In addition to hundreds of exhibitors showcasing top gear, guided hunts and taxidermy, Hunt Expo’s nightly auctions feature many of the top hunting tags available in the West. Most of the funds raised at these auctions directly support the conservation efforts of state fish and wildlife agencies.
The Mule Deer Foundation has become increasingly active in Texas in recent years. In 2021, MDF partnered with TPWD to provide $36,000 of MDF-generated funds, which was matched with an additional $84,000 for projects in the Panhandle, Trans Pecos and Llano Estacado regions. MDF supported water development actions in three Wildlife Management Areas and a private ranch that benefited more than 52,000 acres of mule deer habitat and helped fund a much-needed mule deer dispersal ecology study in the Panhandle. MDF continues to work closely with TPWD to identify priority areas for habitat enhancement projects that will benefit mule deer and hundreds of other desert wildlife.
“We are proud of our growing partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Conservation funds derived from the sale of this desert bighorn sheep tag will allow us to expand our joint efforts for mule deer and desert bighorn sheep,” concluded Pedersen.
About the Western Game and Conservation Expo
Hunt Expo will take place February 2-3, 2023 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Organized by MDF and its Expo partner, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW), this annual event attracts tens of thousands of hunters and conservationists who experience it as the premier wildlife conservation event.
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, enhancing and conserving mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters on issues of access policy, wildlife management, and conservation. MDF recognizes regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to the recruitment and retention of men, women and youth in shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 801-973-3940.