Wildlife judging teams stand out

Published 10:41 pm Monday, November 28, 2011

Shown are the members of the Decatur County 4-H wildlife judging teams. They are, left to right, Branch Austinson, Joshua Lane, Shelby Lane, Jacob Christie, Anders Austinson, Levi Adkins, Stennes Austinson, Journey Austinson and Josiah Austinson.

Special to The Post-Searchlight

The Decatur County 4-H wildlife judging team competed in the state contest at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center on Nov. 5, 2011.

More than 14 Georgia counties and 96 students participated in this rigorous competition. Decatur County junior team members were Journey Austinson, Branch Austinson, Jacob Christie, Shelby Lane and Anders Austinson.

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Anders received the second High Individual award and the Decatur County junior team won second-place honors.

The senior wildlife judging team consisted of Josiah Austinson, Joshua Lane, Stennes Austinson and Levi Adkins. Josiah Austinson placed third High Individual and Levi Adkins became a Master 4-H’er with his first-place High Individual score.

The four member senior team received first-place honors. They will compete at the National Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program in Texas in 2012.

The 4-H wildlife judging competition encompasses many areas related to wildlife habitat management. Team members must have extensive knowledge of up to 38 species, which include birds, mammals, amphibians, fish and insects.

Students must be able to interpret aerial photographs for the best habitat in relation to each species and orally defend their position before a judge. Also, appropriate wildlife management practices must be chosen for a given site and scenario for each species. Identification of wildlife foods and the animals that use them is another part of this contest.

The Wildlife Judging Competition is just one of many opportunities provided by Georgia 4-H in an effort to help students develop their potential by seeking and acquiring educational and vocational experiences. For more information about 4-H activities, contact the Decatur County Extension office at (229) 248-3033.