Elk NetworkRMEF CEO Recognized as ‘Hunter’s Best Friend’

News Releases | February 6, 2024

Kyle Weaver (second from right) receives the “Hunter’s Best Friend” award from Johnny Morris (second from left), alongside John Paul Morris (far left) and Bass Pro Shops Senior Director of Conservation Bob Ziehmer (far right)

MISSOULA, Mont. — Kyle Weaver has many titles. Among them are husband, father, hunter, conservationist and president and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Now, he has another.  

Bass Pro Shops honored Weaver as “Hunter’s Best Friend” at the annual Bass Pro Shops Christmas Party, held in late 2023. 

“Kyle dedicated his 28-year outdoor industry career to promoting conservation and protecting and supporting our access to the outdoors for future generations. For that, we are honored to recognize him and share how grateful we are for his leadership and the many great contributions of Kyle, his team at RMEF and their loyal members throughout North America,” said Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops.  

Weaver received recognition for guiding RMEF to work with partners to open hundreds of thousands of acres to the public for hunting and recreational access, through strategic partnerships and creating voluntary conservation agreements and small land purchases.  

A life member of the hunter-based conservation organization, Weaver joined RMEF as president and CEO in June of 2018, leading strategic day-to-day efforts to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. To date, RMEF conserved or enhanced more than 8.9 million acres of habitat and opened or improved hunting access to 1.59 million acres.  

Before that, he rose from an entry level position at the National Rifle Association to ultimately an officer overseeing all programs including hunting and conservation, grassroots fundraising and general operations. 

“Hunting has always played a key role in my life, beginning as a young boy going out with my grandfather. I respect and revere hunters for the roles they play in helping to sustainably manage all wildlife species and sincerely appreciate this recognition,” said Weaver.  

A supporter of RMEF from its early days, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s since contributed more than $4.8 million for RMEF land conservation and access, habitat stewardship and wildlife management projects. 

“I want to thank all of the employees of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, and everything that you do,” said Weaver. “You work hard every day to educate and support this outdoors group that we love so much. Without you, all this partnership, support and funding that we do together would not be possible.” 

Bass Pro Shops has recognized its conservation partners and worthwhile individuals with these awards annually, a list that includes former Presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O’Mara, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Executive Director Jeff Trandahl, former Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall, former National Wild Turkey Federation CEO Rob Keck and many other notable leaders. 

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: 

Founded in 1984 and fueled by hunters, RMEF has conserved more than 8.9 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.