First time George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest participant takes top honors

Jaeha Woo of Alpharetta, Georgia is the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest Best in Show winner

Fairfax, Virginia - The George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's Best In Show winner was selected from among every entry received this year. Category does not matter when it comes to the grand prize. The artwork that our judges are most impressed with, displaying the most effort, creativity, anatomical accuracy, and composition, receives a $1,000 prize.

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After two consecutive Honorable Mentions, a first place finish for Georgia's Marianne Lim

Marianne Lim, in twelfth grade from Norcross, Georgia, took first place in the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's Category IV

Fairfax, Virginia - This is it - the final group. The George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's Category IV, for students in tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades is our toughest division.

The winning entries from this category are truly a sight to see. Months and months of effort are poured into each piece and our judges earn their keep selecting the final three.

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Winning entries from the seventh, eighth and ninth graders in the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Justas Varpucanskis, in ninth grade from Moenka, Illinois, took first place in the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's Category III

Fairfax, Virginia - And now the winners of Category III in this year's George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest. Reserved for seventh, eighth and ninth graders, Category III is our second oldest group and home to some fierce competition.

Our judges always have a tough time with Category III because there are not only so many entries, but so many good entries. It's at this age when so many students are taking art classes both in and outside of school. A lot of work goes into these entries and it shows. But there must be only three winners and our judges finally narrowed it down.

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Winners from Category II in the 2012 Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Hannah Chen, a sixth grader from Thorofare, New Jersey, took first place in 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's Category II

Fairfax, Virginia - Moving up a rung in the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest, here are the winners from Category II. Finishing out elementary school, Category II is for competition among students in grades four through six.

We had a lot of great entries from Cagerory II this year and it was very tough for our judges to come to a decision on first, second and third. Eventually they narrowed it down and selected two sixth graders and a fourth grader to take the prizes.

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Who among this year's first, second and third graders placed in the Youth Wildlife Art Contest's youngest category?

Alisa Jia, a second grader from Chandler, Arizona, took first place in 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest Category I

Fairfax, Virginia - The results are in for the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest and we have some great pieces of art to show you.

First up are the winners from Category I, reserved for students in grades one through three. These entrants are so young you can barely call them artists, but their skills suggest otherwise.

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Another look at last year's Youth Wildlife Art winner for Category I - 1st through 3rd grade students

Untitled Dall Sheep Ram by Yuwen Li of Illinois
Untitled, a Dall Sheep Ram by Yuwen Li of Illionios - 1st Place in Category 1 of 2011 Youth Wildlife Art Contest

During last year's George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest, it was Yuwen Li out of Palatine, Illinois who won Category One — students in first through third grades.

We'll start posting this year's winners soon, but for now, here's a look at the art that arrived from last year's batch of five through nine year-old winners.

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Want your George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest entry back? Send us a pre-paid return envelope.

Return envelopes for the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Fairfax, Virginia - The George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's judging may be over, but we're not done yet. Aside from revealing this year's winners we've begun the process of sending back artwork.

Students put a lot of effort into creating their entries and a lot want them returned to use in portfolios, participation in other contest, personal use, etc. Unfortunately we can't just send everyone's artwork back and ask for pre-paid envelopes if you'd like your entries returned. We receive a lot of these envelopes every year. Above is a big stack of them ready to be paired with their art.

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Selecting winners is no easy task in the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Artwork from the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Fairfax, Virginia - The day of judging for the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest has finally arrived. All the artwork is laid out and our panel of judges is carefully going over every entry, looking at effort, creativity, anatomical accuracy, and composition.

With $7,000 in prize money on the line our judges want to make sure every entry gets a fair look and the best truly win. After winners are selected, we'll be taking hi-res photos for you to oogle here on NRAblog in the coming weeks.

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Local artist enters NRA art contest with familiar animal

Squirrel entry in George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest by local Virginia artist

Fairfax, Virginia - Directing our attention back to the East Coast, here's an entry from this year's George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest that came from just down the road to NRA headquarters.

Jacqueline St. Clair from Jeffersonton, Virginia hand delivered an entry depicting the animal we're probably most familiar with in the Washington D.C. area - the squirrel.

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