When 6 other previous champions are part of the competition, you know you have to bring your 'A' bugling game.

And that is exactly what some Montana competitors did. And while they didn't come out on top, finishing in the Top 4 is an awesome accomplishment, worthy of some congratulatory acknowledgment.

The 2023 Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s World Elk Calling Championships, presented by Sportsman’s Warehouse, were recently held in Big Sky, Montana. RMEF tells us that Beau Brooks of La Center, Washington, fought off a stacked field that included six other past world champions to defend his title and win the Professional Division of the competition. That win was worth a check for $5,000.

Montana was well-represented at the Professional level, with Ruben Hunt of Anaconda finishing in third, and Josh Fields of Columbia Falls finishing in fourth.

In addition to the Professional Division, there were Men's, Women's and Pee Wee divisions. In the Women's Division, Marisa Pagano-Noteboom of Anaconda had an outstanding third place showing. In the Men's Division, Shaun Boese of Helena came in fourth.

And if finishing high in this category is any indication of the kind of elk hunter a kid will become, then look out, Montana elk! This youngster is coming for you! Missoula's own Wyatt Hedges finished fourth in the Pee Wee Division.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded over $45,000 in cash and prizes at the championships. Founded more than 39 years ago and fueled by hunters, RMEF maintains more than 225,000 members and has conserved more than 8.6 million acres for elk and other wildlife.

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Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

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