Coffin Auction a Unique Undertaking for Conservation

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

MISSOULA, Mont. –-( A custom casket featuring hardwood inlay artwork of an elk and mountain scene, hand-forged elk antler handles and camouflage bedding is among many special items to be auctioned in Las Vegas, Feb. 2-4, 2012, to support the conservation work of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The auction will be held as part of RMEF’s 27th annual Elk Camp convention and expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Riviera Hotel.

Elk Camp is RMEF’s largest annual fundraiser. Proceeds help support a variety of initiatives to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat.

BNG Finish Products Custom Coffins
BNG Finish Products Custom Coffins

Over the past year, RMEF passed the 6 million acre mark for habitat conserved and enhanced nationwide, supported elk restoration efforts in Maryland and Missouri, helped mitigate the effects of historic wildfires in Arizona, introduced thousands of youths to hunting and conservation, assisted with legal efforts to manage and control wolves, and much more.

The handmade casket, built from maple with walnut trim, is being donated for the RMEF auction by BNG Finish Products of Etna, Calif.

Company rep Nik Branson says coffin making began as an experimental offshoot of his custom cabinet business, “but now we do commissioned pieces for families around the country, and the biggest response has been from people who enjoy the outdoors, hunting and fishing.” Caskets with outdoor scenes and themes are the most requested, he said.

The coffins typically retail for $1,500 to $4,500.

Other RMEF auction highlights will include:

  • A pack mule named Possum
  • A New Holland tractor
  • Art, firearms, furniture, jewelry and collectibles
  • Many types of outfitted hunts
  • Other kinds of travel packages including a motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D.
  • An electric ATV from Timberline

In addition to the auctions, 2012 Elk Camp attendees with full registration can enjoy:

  • Gala banquets and outstanding entertainment. Headliners include hit country music artists Clint Black and Craig Morgan. Always an audience favorite, a surprise entertainer is again scheduled for Volunteer Fun Night, sponsored by Hunters Specialties. Previous surprise acts have included Neal McCoy, Sawyer Brown and Easton Corbin.
  • Don’t-miss events such as the Friends of the Foundation breakfast sponsored by Browning, featuring a fun Rat Pack tribute act; ladies luncheon with a “Hillbilly Bash” theme; prayer breakfast sponsored by FCA Outdoors, and much more.
  • The biggest Elk Camp exhibit hall and expo in years. Attractions, displays and activities for the whole family, plus 450 booths filled with outfitted hunting and fishing opportunities, art, gear, firearms and everything elk. Also included are Cabela’s-sponsored seminars led by authorities on hunting, game calling strategies and more. International Sportsmen’s Expositions, which produces America’s premier hunting, fishing and travel shows, is managing the exhibit hall and expo. For booth information, contact [email protected] or 800-545-6100, and visit
  • As always, Elk Camp 2012 will feature the RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships. Preliminary rounds are Feb. 3; championship rounds are Feb. 4.

Full registration through Dec. 10 is $325 per person. Partial registration is available. For more attendee registration info, visit

For public day-traffic to the expo, daily admission is $12 per person, free for kids 15 and under, and free for active military with military ID. Show hours: Thurs., Feb. 2, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 3, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 4, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Elk Camp sponsors include Midway USA, Gerber, Browning, Cabela’s, North American Hunter, Hunter’s Specialties, Leupold, Budweiser and Danner.

For more details, agendas and more information, visit Exhibit hall seminar schedules, floor plans and exhibitor listings are at

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF):
RMEF is leading a conservation initiative that has protected or enhanced habitat on over 6 million acres–an area larger than Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain and Great Smoky Mountains national parks combined. RMEF also is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. RMEF members, partners and volunteers, working together as Team Elk, are making a difference all across elk country. Join us at or 800-CALL ELK.

About International Sportsmen’s Expositions (ISE):
Founded in 1975, ISE produces five consumer sportsman shows across the western United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada (Las Vegas) and Utah.