At the recent 25th annual Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Convention held in Fort Worth, Texas, David and Carman Forbes, co-owners of Hunter’s Specialties, were honored as Conservationists of the Year.
“The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Conservationist of the Year Award recognizes individuals who we believe have made a difference for wildlife on a national scale – people who are making the world a better place for future generations,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
“We couldn’t be more honored and excited,” the couple said in a statement upon hearing the news. “Supporting conservation and hunting is simply the right thing to do. Without industry support and the tireless efforts of organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, sportsmen will find fewer and fewer opportunities to hunt. We must all work together to protect our heritage.”
The Forbeses’ personal and corporate support for RMEF and other conservation organizations and efforts include donating more than $250,000 to the Elk Foundation through their sponsorships of the annual Volunteer Appreciation Night at RMEF’s annual Elk Camp, the Great Elk Tour and a co-marketing elk-call royalty program as a licensee of the Elk Foundation. They have achieved the Platinum Medallion recognition status in the Business Partners in Conservation program and are a consistent advertiser in RMEF’s Bugle magazine.
They have also donated to the North American Habitat Fund and to the construction of the new RMEF headquarters in Missoula, Mont. Each year they donate elk calls to national and local RMEF events.
Starting in 2008, the Forbeses elevated their support of the Elk Foundation’s future conservation efforts by agreeing to pay royalties on 37 different elk calls, accessories and hunting DVDs. Previously, RMEF was receiving royalties on only one elk call. Hunter’s Specialties further promotes the Elk Foundation’s logo and increases brand awareness on various product packaging and other internal and external marketing mediums.
The Forbeses are also involved with several other organizations and activities that promote hunting. David Forbes was one of the founders of the International Hunter Education Association Foundation and was instrumental in rallying individuals, industry businesses and other corporations to get behind the group when it faced bankruptcy. Hunter’s Specialties co-sponsors an annual youth turkey hunt with Cabela’s each year. It supports National Wild Turkey Federation youth events around the country and donates thousands of dollars and calls to kids and causes to help get and keep them involved in the outdoors. Hunter’s Specialties is a member-sponsor of the U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance.
Other causes supported by the Forbeses include the Aiming for a Cure – Celebrity Shoot & Auction for youth cancer research. Special hats are available on Hunter’s Specialties’ Web site and at trade shows with 100 percent of the profits going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Carman Forbes and the Hunter’s Specialties employees work through the H.S. Green Team to reduce paper usage, recycle and conduct more business electronically to conserve natural resources.
Hunter’s Specialties has a company motto and goal of being the best at supporting conservation organizations in all aspects of business.