Auctioned mule deer tag sells for all-time record

Photo credit: Dreamstime

During the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo (Hunt Expo), which closed on Feb.5, a new record was set for an auctioned mule deer tag. While Utah’s Antelope Island mule deer tag sold for $500,000 – a record in itself – the all-time record went to the Arizona statewide mule deer tag, which sold for a whopping $725,000 the following night, according to a press release.

The money from the auctioned tag will go towards habitat projects for Arizona mule deer. In fact, all of the proceeds of the auction tags go directly back to the specific state and/or provincial wildlife agencies for use towards habitat and conservation projects that benefit that species.

“To be part of this Western Hunting & Conservation Expo—to be in the room when two different mule deer tags sold for the most ever for auction tags—and to know that those funds will go back down on the ground for conservation was truly something special,” said Joel Pedersen, Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) president and CEO. “I’m proud of the hard work of all those who made this year’s Expo such a success and to know that we have created a can’t-miss event for passionate hunters and the entire outdoor industry.”

The annual Hunt Expo has become a key convention for conservation fundraising. This year alone, the Hunt Expo raised nearly $14 million from show passes, auctions, tag sales and other fundraisers. It was hosted by MDF and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW). 

Other notable tags auctioned off during the Hunt Expo included $175,000 for a Texas desert bighorn sheep tag and the Alberta, Canada Minister’s special elk and deer licenses, which sold for $85,000 and $225,000, respectively. 

“This year’s Western Hunting & Conservation Expo broke nearly every record on the books,” said Troy Justensen, president of SFW. “Attendees, exhibitors, and the rest of us were absolutely blown away at the energy and excitement that emanated from this year’s show. There’s nothing like it in the hunting industry, which is also proven by attendees who travel from virtually every state in the union and beyond to participate. We are already looking forward to making it even bigger and better next year.”

Mark your calendars – the 2024 Hunt Expo will be held Feb. 15 to 18 at the Salt Palace Convention Center.


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