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DNR seeks wildlife paintings for 2020 calendar

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is requesting original color wildlife paintings for the 2020 edition of the award-winning West Virginia Wildlife Calendar, according to DNR Wildlife Resources Section Chief Paul Johansen.

The deadline for submitting artwork is February 15, 2019.

Paintings may depict popular game and fish species or feature the state’s other wildlife such as snakes, frogs, turtles, salamanders, bats, songbirds, small mammals and nongame fish.

“This calendar offers a wonderful opportunity for artists to feature their work,“ said Johansen. “Besides distribution in West Virginia, our calendars are enjoyed by people all over the United States.“

An electronic image of each entry capable of being sized at 14½ inches wide by 11½ inches high at 300 dpi is preferred, although a high-quality print will be accepted. Artists may send in multiple entries.

Artists are reminded that the calendar format is horizontal, with measurements of 14 inches wide by 11 inches high, and they should keep this ratio in mind when creating paintings.

Paintings not chosen in previous years may be resubmitted. “Just because the artwork is not selected one year doesn’t mean it will not be selected in the future,“ said Johansen. “Often, there are several submissions of a particular species, and only one can be used in a given year.“

All artists, especially those from West Virginia, are encouraged to submit their work. A $200 prize is awarded for each painting chosen, with $500 going to the artist whose artwork is picked for the cover. Paintings are chosen based on overall composition and quality, along with anatomical and contextual accuracy. The quality of the electronic image or submitted print is very important for judging the artwork.

To obtain 2020 calendar art rules or to purchase a 2019 calendar, please contact the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Wildlife Calendar Art, P.O. Box 67, Elkins, WV 26241, phone 304.637.0245. Electronic images should be emailed to:  ‘Jessica.N.Swecker@wv.gov’.

Camera Catches Poachers Killing Bear, ‘Shrieking’ Cubs

The Free Press WV

A father and son in Alaska have been sentenced in what prosecutors said was “the most egregious bear cub poaching case” they had ever encountered. Wasilla residents Andrew Renner, 41, and Owen Renner, 18, illegally killed a sow and her two cubs on an island in Prince William Sound last April, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Prosecutors said that after the men skied up to the den, Owen Renner shot the sleeping mother bear twice with a rifle. Andrew Renner then shot the two “shrieking newborn bear cubs” at point-blank range. The men did not realize that the bears were part of a state wildlife study or that a motion-activated camera at the den captured their actions, KTUU reports.

The men butchered the sow and took meat away in game bags, then returned two days later to take the bodies of the cubs away, prosecutors say. The elder Renner later told wildlife officials that he had legally killed a sow bear and he didn’t see any cubs. For the poaching—and the lies—he was sentenced to three months in prison, fined $9,000, and had his hunting license revoked for 10 years. He also had to “forfeit his 22’ Sea Sport ocean boat and trailer, 2012 GMC Sierra pickup truck, two rifles, two handguns, two iPhones, and two sets of backcountry skis,“ according to a state press release. His son, who was 17 at the time, was sentenced to community service and suspended jail time.

New crayfish species named after West Virginia professor

The Free Press WV

A biology professor in West Virginia who studies crayfish now has a new species named after him.

West Liberty University says in a news release that the blue, burrowing crayfish species is named after professor Zachary Loughman. The statement says the new species is found only in West Virginia.

The statement says a scientific paper about the new species was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Natural History. Among the numerous authors of the paper are two of Loughman’s former students.

The paper says Loughman’s work has contributing greatly to the understanding of Appalachian crayfish species.

2 abandoned bobcat kittens get permanent home at WV zoo

The Free Press WV

Two bobcat kittens found abandoned in West Virginia have been given a permanent home at the Oglebay Good Zoo.

The zoo in Wheeling says in a news release the two female kittens named Bobbi and Gina were found in rural Marshall County.

They now are in the nursery at the zoo’s veterinary and quarantine hospital.

The zoo says it’s offering guests the chance to visit the kittens.

Guests must be at least 8 years old to participate.

Visits can be reserved by calling 304.243.4100.

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