So, I’m getting ready to head out the door and I see this email from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: Coffin Auction a Unique Undertaking for Conservation. If you know me, you know that I am a sucker for anything macabre, morbid, having to do with cemeteries, graveyards and/or mausoleums. I’m just like that … so, I had to look.
And here’s a supporting photo … of a trip I took a few years ago with my octogenarian friend, Ethelyn Ammerman, when we found the old graveyard where Valentine Branson lay at rest. Valentine was the founder of the popular tourist trap called Branson, Mo.
Here’s the release:
MISSOULA, Mont.–A custom casket featuring hardwood inlay artwork of an elk and mountain scene, hand-forged elk antler handles and camouflage bedding is among many special items to be auctioned in Las Vegas, Feb. 2-4, 2012, to support the conservation work of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The auction will be held as part of RMEF’s 27th annual Elk Camp convention and expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Riviera Hotel.
Elk Camp is RMEF’s largest annual fundraiser. Proceeds help support a variety of initiatives to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. Over the past year, RMEF passed the 6 million acre mark for habitat conserved and enhanced nationwide, supported elk restoration efforts in Maryland and Missouri, helped mitigate the effects of historic wildfires in Arizona, introduced thousands of youths to hunting and conservation, assisted with legal efforts to manage and control wolves, and much more.
The handmade casket, built from maple with walnut trim, is being donated for the RMEF auction by BNG Finish Products of Etna, Calif.
Company rep Nik Branson says coffin making began as an experimental offshoot of his custom cabinet business, “but now we do commissioned pieces for families around the country, and the biggest response has been from people who enjoy the outdoors, hunting and fishing.” Caskets with outdoor scenes and themes are the most requested, he said.
The coffins typically retail for $1,500 to $4,500.