Phoenix, AZ – A bat swoops low over a pond, tongue extended for a drink, its reflection perfectly mirrored in the dark, still water. This stunning image and 12 more are among the winners of this year’s wildlife photo contest, sponsored by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The grand prize winner, Bruce Taubert of Glendale, Ariz., took the top honor with his unforgettable image of a Townsend’s big-eared bat. Another Taubert photo, showing a coyote in a snowstorm, won one of 12 first-place prizes.

“To have the Arizona Game and Fish Department select my photos is not just a pat on the back for me, but an opportunity to share my passion for wildlife photography with other people,” Taubert says. “I don’t need a contest as an incentive to go out and shoot, but it’s exciting to know people will see my work.”

The other winning photographers are:

  • Lou Romain of Scottsdale, American avocet
  • Debbie Goldenstein of Flagstaff, porcupine
  • Ann Beisser of Scottsdale, Harris’s hawk
  • Gordon Karre of Mesa, verdin
  • Corey Anderson of Tucson, madrean alligator lizard
  • Stephanie Rainey of Lakeside, spotted owl
  • Ed Bonkowski of Mesa, immature bald eagle
  • Rhonda Spencer of Tucson, Couch’s spadefoot
  • Roger Marble of Gilbert, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep
  • Jeremy Houston of Kanab, Utah, mule deer
  • Tom Whetten of Tucson, scaled quail

The 13 winning works of art celebrating the diversity of Arizona’s wildlife are featured in a full-size 2012 calendar, published in the November–December 2011 issue of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine. In addition to prize-winning wildlife photography, the special issue includes an interview with staff photographer George Andrejko, who has been a professional wildlife photographer for the past 22 years. Andrejko shares his tips for becoming a better wildlife photographer.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department welcomes new subscribers to Arizona’s award-winning magazine about wildlife and outdoor recreation. It usually costs just $8.50 for six issues (one year), but right now subscriptions are on sale at seven issues for $7. Subscriptions are available at www.azgfd.gov/magazine or by calling (800) 777-0015. For those who simply want to purchase the calendar issue, it will be sold at all Game and Fish Department offices for $3 beginning in mid-November.

More than 250 entries were received for this year’s contest. To share the most outstanding entries and celebrate the talent of Arizona’s wildlife photographers, the department has selected honorable mention images as well. These are posted in an online slide show on the photo contest’s Web page, www.azgfd.gov/photocontest.

To view a video with wildlife photography tips from contest winner Bruce Taubert, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5gKesbKuh8.

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