Outdoor Prizes to be Awarded to Top Teacher and Student Writers

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Students and teachers are running out of time to enter to win a guided antelope hunt in New Mexico and a scholarship to the American Wilderness Leadership school in Wyoming. Entries must be postmarked by November 14 to be eligible.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) and Oklahoma Station Chapter Safari Club International (OSCSCI) are looking to reward the top students and teacher through a youth writing contest and a conservation education leadership scholarship for teachers.

Students aged 11-17 are eligible to enter the writing competition. Two winning essays (one boy and one girl) will be selected in an 11-14-age category, and two winners (one boy and one girl) will also be selected from youth aged 15-17.

Students in the 11-14 age category are competing for an all expense paid trip to the Apprentice Hunter Program at the YO Ranch in Mountain Home, Texas. The Safari Club International’s Apprentice Hunters’ Program is a unique, hands-on experience which covers a wide range of topics including; the history of hunting, the ethical basis of modern sport hunting, wildlife management, field identification, and wild game cooking. There are three sessions, each one-week long, during the summer of 2004. The Oklahoma Station Chapter Safari Club International will provide travel reimbursements to attend the weeklong course.

Winners in the 15-17-age category will receive an all-expense-paid guided antelope hunt in New Mexico. Winners in this category must comply with all requirements of New Mexico game laws for the 2004 hunting season. Funding for the trips is provided by the Oklahoma Station Chapter Safari Club International.

Students aren’t the only ones eligible to win. A conservation education scholarship is also available for educators. One teacher will be awarded an all-expenses-paid scholarship for an eight-day conservation education school at Safari Club International’s American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) at Granite Ranch near Jackson, Wyoming.

The AWLS program is conducted during the summer and presents an outdoor program for educators, which concentrates on natural resource management. Participants learn about stream ecology, map and compass, language arts and creative writing in an outdoor setting, fly tying, shooting sports, wildlife management, the Yellowstone ecosystem, camping, white-water rafting, educational resources, and how to implement outdoor education ideas. Lodging, meals and training materials will be provided by Oklahoma Station Chapter Safari Club International. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will cover transportation to Jackson, Wyoming.

Both the essay contest rules and scholarship applications are available from the Department's Web site. Essays and applications must be postmarked no later than Nov. 14, 2003, or delivered by 5:00 p.m. Nov. 14, 2003, in person to the Department of Wildlife’s Jenks Office at 201 Aquarium Drive, in Jenks. Address entries to: Essay Contest, Education Section Supervisor, ODWC Jenks Office, PO Box 1201, Jenks, OK 74037.