Elk Hunt part of Big Buck contest
By Chris Erickson
What would you do for a chance at an Elk hunt? Would you put in for a once-in-a-lifetime chance? Would you buy a guided hunt? Or would you just buy a ticket?
The last option is what organizers of the annual Big Buck Contest in Beulah had in mind this year when they decided to switch up the raffle a little bit and raise the stakes. Although the typical Big Buck general raffle prizes include firearms and a big screen TV, the organizers this year switched out the TV for something bigger: a combination Elk and Deer Hunt through Rollin Boulder Outfitters near the town of McLeod, Mont.
West of Bozeman and east of Billings, the outfitter exists right on the edge of the eastern Montana prairie and the foothills of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness area. One lucky winner from this year’s Big Buck raffle will win the chance to explore that on a five day combined elk and deer hunt, with meals and lodging included.
Big Buck Committee Member and Do-It Best Hardware Owner Jerry Isaak said the inclusion of the hunt in this year’s raffle was simple - it was time for a little change.
“We were looking at is trying to do something different than everyone else,” Isaak said. “Most people are doing gun raffles and we wanted to add the hunt, plus the Henry rifles just to switch it up. I think it could be really popular.”
Only 400 of the $60 tickets are available, which will likely go fast, Isaak added. He said that when someone wins their name would go right back into the hat. Winning once didn’t preclude someone from winning again in the same raffle, meaning a person could potentially win a Henry rifle and the guided hunt, which is valued at about $4,500
Mike Lovely, owner of Rollin Boulder Outfitters, said his family had been in the business for decades. His father had run the business for 40 years, and Mike had been heading it for the last 23. When he was approached by the Big Buck Contest organizers, he thought it was a perfect fit.