“We want to portray the fact that hunting is conservation,” said Bates, who emphasizes that it is hunters and anglers who pay for wildlife conservation through taxes on hunting and fishing gear.
“A lot of people don't even know that,” he said. “I truly enjoy and have a deep love for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation just for what they do. People need malls but there are certain places that we believe need to remain wild.”
One place where Bates hasn't hunted elk is in Oklahoma. He tries to win a tag every year for the elk hunts on the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge but has yet to be chosen. However, Team Elk did film a show on the refuge last year after a friend of Bates was drawn for an elk hunt.
“I lived in Oklahoma a long time and I really didn't know what was down there,” Bates said. “That place is amazing. It's absolutely incredible. Thank God we had a president like Theodore Roosevelt.”