2023 Winner

what is Big-Game Hero?

Thousands of hunters gathered to compete for $25,000 and a trip to Vermejo for a 5-day, fully outfitted bull elk hunt — all while sharing their love for hunting big game and bringing awareness to wildlife conservation.

2023 Winner

Russell Newton

Russell is a retired Green Beret who began hunting as a young boy. He loves the thrill and excitement of the hunt, and as the 2023 Big-Game Hero, he will soon be embarking on a legendary excursion at Vermejo to pursue some of the most impressive bulls in the country!

Thank You

2023 Finalists

A hunter’s paradise


Vermejo is a deluxe ranch nestled in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado with over 550,000 magnificent acres of picturesque landscape. Home to an abundance of wild elk including some of the most impressive Bulls in the country, this property is a premier hunting destination in the West.

The Hunt

Bull Elk

The Big-Game Hero will embark on a 5-day, fully outfitted hunt in the pursuit of the regal Rocky Mountain Bull Elk. The sound of snapping tree branches, the screeching Bulls, and the echoes of antlers clashing — This is the most thrilling hunt in North America for archers, marksmen, and novices alike.


Conservation First USA was founded by a volunteer group of sportsmen and sportswomen in 2006 as a way to raise substantial money for wildlife habitat work in Arizona. Every dollar raised by the charity goes directly into conservation efforts in the Southwest, from providing and maintaining water catchments to species relocation and introduction.

2022 Winner

Matt Hansen

In 2022, Matt, an avid outdoorsman from Idaho Falls, took the title of Big-Game Hero and earned the unique Arizona Commissioner's Mule Deer tag and $25,000.

“It's a huge honor. I know there are thousands of men and women who would do anything to have this tag," Matt said after his win.

2021 Winner

Cooper Duennenberg

Cooper was the very first Big-Game Hero in 2021! He’s a Texas native who first fell in love with the sport as a kid when his dad brought him along on a hunt and has been hooked ever since!

“This was the most wonderful experience ever. I will never forget my time here,” said Cooper, on his Vermejo trip.