2020 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo Raises $8.7 Million for Conservation

Salt Lake City, Utah- The 2020 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo (Hunt Expo) closed Sunday, February 16 after over 60,000 people passed through the Salt Palace Convention Center to enjoy the show. The show raised a whopping $8.7 million for wildlife conservation through three auctions and applications for the Utah 200 limited entry tags, as well as through show passes. The majority of those funds will be directed to Utah wildlife conservation efforts. Attendance once again broke records with a 10 percent increase above last year’s already record-setting numbers.Hunt Expo, hosted by Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife and the Mule Deer Foundation, boasts over 500 exhibiting companies on more than 600,000 square feet of exhibit space, a dramatic increase over the show’s 14-year history. This year’s event also featured a “fireside chat” and keynote address by Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt as well as remarks by novelist and former Navy SEAL, Jack Carr.“We’re proud of the success that Hunt Expo has become in its 14 years,” commented Troy Justensen, president of Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife. “This event provides a great place for people who are passionate about hunting and the outdoors to gather together, find the best new products, and book future hunts. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this event!”

On Friday, the ladies celebrated and raised money for conservation at the Fabulous 50’s themed Ladies Luncheon, and on Saturday 1,100 of Utah’s top youth archers competed in the state championships of the National Archery in the Schools Program. In addition, the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience kept kids who attended the show busy with an indoor pellet gun range, sensory trailers, the Armscor rock climbing wall, and many other interactive experiences. At the event’s auctions, almost $4.6 million was raised for conservation including the Utah statewide mule deer tag selling for $250,000 and the Arizona Governor’s mule deer tag selling for $260,000; 100 percent of funds from the Arizona tag goes back to the state’s mule deer conservation efforts. After the evening events, the crowd was entertained by country music star Chris Janson and the iconic band Little Texas.“The Western Hunting & Conservation Expo provides the Mule Deer Foundation with the chance to showcase the incredible work that our staff is doing for mule deer and black-tailed deer – but more importantly it’s a good time for anyone who is passionate about hunting,” said Mule Deer Foundation president/CEO, Miles Moretti. “It’s bittersweet that this will be my last show at the helm of MDF, but I’m proud that in the 14 years I’ve been involved with Hunt Expo it has grown to become one of the biggest consumer hunting shows in the West.”SFW recognized Miles Moretti during the Hunt Expo’s Friday evening banquet with a Teddy Roosevelt bronze symbolizing Mr. Moretti’s lifetime of contributions to wildlife conservation. Of the unique partnership SFW and MDF have forged through jointly hosting the Hunt Expo, Troy Justensen commented, “The great success of the Hunting Expo and the phenomenal strength of Utah’s wildlife conservation and management model simply would not be what they are today without Miles Moretti. We all have benefitted from and will truly miss our daily association with him.”The 2021 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo will be held February 11-14 in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Information about this year’s Hunt Expo and details about next year’s show will be posted on the WHCE website at www.huntexpo.com.# # # https://sfw.net/2020/02/25/2020-western-hunting-conservation-expo-raises-8-7-million-for-conservation/

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