By Kyle Jillson | October 11 2012 11:49

Three year veteran of the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest coming strong off Honorable Mention in 2011

Jackie Exchbach of Hillsborough, New Jersey enters a pika into the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Fairfax, Virginia - The George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest gets a lot of entries each year, but only a handful can receive awards. These students put so much time and effort into their entries and we want to show them off as much as possible. Until the contest is judged, we're going to keep highlighting just some of the entries that catch our eye as they come in. Entries like this one by Jackie Eschbach of Hillsborough, New Jersey.

Jackie began entering our contest in 2010 at the age of eight and is now competing for her third time. In 2011 she even received an Honorable Mention in Category II for a great portrait of a mountain lion. This year she's toned back the ferocity and size, sending us a peaceful pika drawn with colored pencil.

For those unfamiliar, pikas are small mammals with short limbs, rounded ears, and no external tail. A cousin of the rabbit, pikas are known as "whistling hares" due to their high-pitched alarm call when diving into their burrows.

Now in the fifth grade, Jackie's entry will still be in Category II and she'll be looking to move up from her Honorable Mention to a place in the top three. Will she do it? We'll find out when our judges get ahold of the entries later this fall.

Are you a young artist or do you know one? The Youth Wildlife Art Contest is open to all 1st through 12th grade students. You can draw, paint, etch, use charcoal, or whatever you like, just make sure you depict an animal that's legal to hunt or trap in North America. Your entry must arrive at NRA Headquarters (11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, Virginia 22030) by the November 5, 2012 deadline in order to be eligible for judging.

Entries will be returned by January 2013 as long as there's a self-addressed stamped return envelope included.

Still have questions about entering? Check out the Youth Wildlife Art Contest website at www.nrahq.org/youth/wildlife.asp or email us at artcontest@nrahq.org.

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