Texas Desert Bighorn Tag Will be Auctioned at 2023 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo

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Texas Desert Bighorn Tag Will be Auctioned at 2023 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is giving one coveted desert bighorn sheep tag to the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) to auction d

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is giving one coveted desert bighorn sheep tag to the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) to auction during the 2023 Western Hunting and Conservation Expo (Hunt Expo). Ninety percent of funds raised through the sale of the permit will go back to TPWD for use in their bighorn sheep conservation efforts. The permit will be sold to the highest bidder during Friday’s Conservation Night event on 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 bighorns often overlap in their range in western Texas, and we know that habitat enhancement, water developments, and other efforts to improve the bighorn populations will also benefit mule deer. We look forward to generating 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 biggest consumer sportsmen’s shows with an emphasis on western hunting. In addition to hundreds of exhibitors featuring top gear, guided hunts, and taxidermy, Hunt Expo’s evening auctions boast many of the premier hunting tags available in the West. The majority 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 the TPWD to provide $36,000 of MDF generated funds, which was matched by 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 one private ranch that benefitted over 52,000 acres of mule deer habitat and helped fund a much-needed mule deer fawn dispersal ecology study in the Panhandle region. MDF continues to work closely with TPWD in identifying priority areas for habitat improvement projects that will benefit mule deer and hundreds of other desert wildlife species.  

“We are proud of our growing partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  Conservation funding derived from the sale of this desert bighorn tag will allow us to expand our joint efforts for mule deer and desert bighorn sheep” concluded Pedersen. 

About the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo

Hunt Expo will be held February 2-3, 2023, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Hosted 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 this as the premier wildlife conservation event. 

About MDF 
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving 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 in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of men, women and youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 801-973-3940.

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