Here’s an article about a new Wyoming organization that has been set up to help Wyoming’s Mule Deer herds, and only Wyoming mule deer. If you hunt in Wyoming or ever want to, you need to get involved to help. Joey and Josh have done a great job making sure this organization has been set up right. No excessive overhead, no money leaving the state and maximum dollars and volunteer hours on the ground helping mule deer and only mule deer. -Guy Eastman
Wyoming’s Mule Deer Populations May Have a Solution…
The Muley Fanatic Foundation of Wyoming
ROCK SPRINGS, WY – After more than 5 years of dedicated volunteer work as a chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation, Sweetwater County locals Joshua Coursey and Joey Faigl have parted ways with the national organization and have established a wholly Wyoming foundation for mule deer. The Muley Fanatic Foundation of Wyoming Inc., is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization, founded September 26, 2011
Despite breaking numerous records with the national organization and lifting the fund raising standard to never before seen levels within MDF, Coursey and Faigl along with the local dedicated volunteers felt that more could be done, particularly for Wyoming and its struggling mule deer herds.
“It really came down to just a couple of things. First and foremost was the recognition of the poor state of the Wyoming mule deer populations. Secondly was the remarkable amount of support we have experienced from the southwest Wyoming community. Coupled together, we saw a unique opportunity for us to elevate our efforts and commitment to continually strive to make a difference,” says Coursey.
Coursey and Faigl met with the Mule Deer Foundation executives early last fall to announce their departure from the national organization. The volunteers from the Rock Springs chapter have previously accounted for generating over $500,000 for MDF in the last five years.
Following the meeting with the national MDF office, Coursey and Faigl organized a meeting with the committee volunteers of the local chapter to share the news. At this encounter they found the support of the committee to be overwhelmingly in favor moving in this direction.
“I was elated when I heard the news, as it was time for us to make this move. Josh and Joey have poured their hearts into this effort. The significance of being able to keep every penny raised in Wyoming for Wyoming conservation is enormous. This foundation will accomplish great things. It will take everything to a whole different level. We will be deciding how the money is spent and we will be spending every penny in Wyoming on worthwhile projects and activities that support the MFF mission,” said Mike Jenkins. Mike has volunteered since 2007 and is now a Director on the Board for the Muley Fanatic Foundation of Wyoming.
“At the end of the day our concerns truly rest with what is going on in Wyoming. We have made tremendous strides in gaining support over the last five years and we have raised a lot of money for mule deer conservation. Unfortunately, while the money we raised has gone to benefit projects for mule deer, not all of it has been for Wyoming’s mule deer. We have nothing against the other states, but our efforts are meant to make a difference here. The bottom line is we want to make certain that all funds raised in Wyoming for mule deer will stay in Wyoming,” said Coursey, who also mentioned that there are no hard feelings between the Mule Deer Foundation and our new foundation. “We are very grateful for the opportunities that the Mule Deer Foundation has afforded us and we have learned a great deal about the conservation movement of the 21st century. Our parting was about mule deer conservation, in particularly, Wyoming mule deer,” notes Coursey.
Although the Muley Fanatic Foundation of Wyoming is on the brink of its first banquet, which is slated for March 3, 2012, the process of forming this foundation did not develop overnight. “Josh and I started thinking about this possibility a couple of years ago. There was a lot of information that we needed to research and learn. We began to strategically put ourselves in a position to gain the needed knowledge to make this foundation materialize. If it weren’t for the support by some key individuals we would not have got this foundation off the ground,” adds Faigl.
While Coursey and Faigl acknowledge that quite of few people have been instrumental in this transition, it was the assistance of local attorney Charles Barnum and accountant Brad Radakovich that helped solidify the efforts of launching The Muley Fanatic Foundation of Wyoming, Inc. “Charlie and Brad have been vital in this tedious process. Anytime you’re dealing with the state and the IRS it is a tremendous benefit to have someone experienced with the process, just to make sure that everything is filed and recorded correctly,” says Coursey, who also adds that both Barnum and Radakovich donated their services because of their strong belief in the Muley Fanatic Foundation of Wyoming cause.
“We are so blessed to live in Wyoming. Ethics, values, patriotism and western heritage are held with the highest regard in Wyoming. Believing in a cause such as this and the willingness to get involved because of its principles speaks volumes to the remarkable amount of character that represents the residents of Wyoming and our supporters. Some would say we are lucky to live in Wyoming. When I hear this I am quick to respond that it is by design, not luck,” notes Coursey.
Part of the process of establishing the Muley Fanatic Foundation of Wyoming was the formation of a mission statement. After careful consideration the Muley Fanatic Foundation of Wyoming mission statement was chronicled as: TO ENSURE THE CONSERVATION OF MULE DEER AND THEIR HABITAT AND TO PROVIDE SUCH SUPPORTING SERVICES TO FURTHER THE SPORT OF HUNTING AND SOUND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT. “It was essential for us to have a mission statement that not only encompassed the aspect of working for the conservation of mule deer and their habitat, but that would also allow us to focus on our youth and still earn a position of influence for responsible game management,” said Coursey.
Acknowledging and including the youth has been instrumental in all previous activities as a chapter and will be the mainstay moving forward as a foundation. “We have always been very involved with the youth. From hunter’s safety courses; working to secure hunting licenses for children with life threatening diseases; to involving local Boy Scout troops with our functions. These efforts will only increase. The platform of this foundation is not just about mule deer, it is about everything that encompasses this iconic animal and the heritage that westerners hold dear to their hearts,” said Faigl, who along with Coursey and five other foundation volunteers are Wyoming Hunter Education instructors. “As a chapter we were a family orientated organization. This foundation is about the future and excluding anyone would be counterproductive. Likewise, involving everyone will only increase our productivity and our “difference” making efforts. We whole heartedly believe that the experience we have gained as volunteers will afford us the opportunity to truly make a difference in what we refer to as God’s perfect square, Wyoming.” added Coursey.
For more information regarding the Muley Fanatic Foundation of Wyoming, the upcoming banquet, or to get involved as a volunteer please contact Joshua Coursey at 307-389-7495 or Joey Faigl at 307-350-0314 or visit the website www.muleyfanatic.com