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Utahns across the state share their love of wildlife in first Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest


Contact: Brett Prettyman,

Back in March, the Utah Wildlife Federation and local artist Chris Peterson teamed up to ask Utahns to share their love for wildlife with pictures, videos, digital stories, handmade art, songs, and in writing.

“The number and quality of the entries exceeded our expectations,” said Brett Prettyman, chair of the Utah Wildlife Federation, one of the organizers for the first Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest. “I went through all the entries. It was inspirational and fun to see, read, and hear the passion for wildlife from people across the state. We hope people had fun entering the contest.”

First place winners will each receive $250. While second place will get $150 and third $100. The contest was started as a public engagement strategy for the Utah Wildlife Walls project, an effort to create at least one larger-than-life wildlife mural on a building in all 29 Utah counties. A traveling exhibit of entries from the contest will be displayed at wildlife events around the state, including wildlife focused events held at each of the mural “unveiling” celebrations.

“The contest submissions showcased the diversity of Utah’s wildlife species and a handful of

the memorable wildlife encounters our fellow Utahns have experienced. The power and

meaning of those experiences came through in all different art forms. I especially enjoyed

looking over the entries from the children and teens, whose honesty and candor in describing the human animal relationship is truly inspiring.“

The Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest was made possible, in part, with funding from the Hansen Sisters Foundation and the Utah STEM Action Center. The digital art and digital storytelling categories are funded through a Community Impact grant from STEM.

Visit for more information on the contest and Utah Wildlife Walls project. A list of all winners is posted on the website. All entries will be added soon.

2023 Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest winners list


Ages 4-11

First Place: Eleanor Droitsch, Utah County, Age 10, Blue Builders

Second Place: Camille Christensen, Davis County, age 10, Rocky Mountain Elk in 3D

Third Place: Henry Boss, Salt Lake County, age 11, Mountain Lion

Honorable Mention: Camille Dalley, San Juan County, age 11, The Amazing American Goldfinch

Honorable Mention: Seth Jacobsen, Salt Lake County, age 9, Deer

Ages 12-17

First Place: Josephine Goss, Salt Lake County, age 13, Fall at Silver Lake

Second Place: London Baker, Salt Lake County, age 16, Golden Hour

Third Place: Rachel McDonald, Millard County, age 1 . The Beauty of Utah”

Honorable Mention: Elias Northrop, Utah County, age 15, Rainbow Deer

Honorable Mention: Welch, San Juan County, age 14, Deer in the Wilderness

Age 18+

First Place: Eliza Anderson, Utah County, age 23, Thunder Run

Second Place: Kate Olsen, Utah County, age 22, The Eagle and the Hawk

Third Place: Ella Davis, Salt Lake County, age 22, Growing Desert

Honorable Mention: Hayden Cook, Utah County, age 29, Cutthroat Trout - Natives of the West

Honorable Mention: Kate Olsen, Utah County, age 22, State Bird & Bison


Ages 4-11

First Place: Hannah Lawrence, Utah County, age 10, A Little Magic

Second Place: Mason Lyman, Utah County, age 11, Utah Roundmouth Snail

Third Place: McKenzie Ware, Utah County, age 10, Goose in the Tulips

Honorable Mention: Tyson French, Cache County, age 4, Ducks

Ages 12-17

First Place: Aiden Davis, Salt Lake County, age 17, Lake Blanche Part I

Second Place: Emma Lewis, Salt Lake County, age 15, Doe in the Brush

Third Place: Glade Western, Millard County, age 16, Massive Mule Deer Model

Honorable Mention: Shannon Ford, San Juan County, age 16, A Spiral of Spawning Kokanee Salmon

Age 18+

First Place: Paul Twitchell, Utah County, age 72, Dry Fork Builder

Second Place: Harmony Ferrill, Davis County, age 39, Future Best Friend

Third Place: Ed Barlow, Iron County, age 21, Monster Muley

Honorable Mention: Brad Timothy, Davis County, age , Osprey Snatches Cuttthroat

Honorable Mention: Holly Tufts, Salt Lake County, age 68, Brown Trout


Ages 4-11

First Place: Benny Lister, Utah County, age 9, Prairie Dogs Digging

Second Place: Azuriann Lister, Utah County, age 6, The Badger Song

Ages 12-17

First Place: Josie Kelly, Daggett County, age 17, Born to Fish

Ages 18+

First Place: George Eppel, Utah County, age 22, The June Sucker Ballad

Second Place: Jason Fullmer, Utah County, age 36, Petrichor

Third Place: Allison Moody, Salt Lake County, age 36, Return of the Birds

Honorable Mention: Eleanor Smith, Utah County, age 20, Cycling

Honorable Mention: Reed Bie, Utah County, age 26, Sand Sea Shanty

Honorable Mention: Jaren Hutchinson, Box Elder County, age 25, Cow Call Comrades


Ages 4-11

First Place: Delilah Olson, Salt Lake County, age 10, Ahhh Did you Hear That

Second Place: Kennedy Samuelson, Salt Lake County, age 9, Owl

Third Place: Paislee Donio, Utah County, age 4, Family Drive In

Honorable Mention: Logan Moody, Salt Lake County, age 11, Blue Jay

Ages 12-17

First Place: Asher Lee, Utah County, age 15, Eared Grebes at Sunset

Second Place: Chloe Tobler, Utah County, age 17, Play Time

Third Place: Colt Waters, Utah County, 13, Porcupine Breakfast

Honorable Mention: Jacob Christensen, Sanpete County, age 16, Nebo Mountain Goat

Honorable Mention: Max Jossie, Cache County, age 15, Great Horned Owl

Age 18+

First Place: Sean Hoover, Salt Lake County, age 52, Adoration

Second Place: Jesse Thomas, Salt Lake County, age 63, Bald Eagles Fight

Third Place: Spencer Free, Utah County, age 23, Mountain Goat Family

Honorable Mention: Lynn Shinney, Utah County, age 65, Zions Desert Bighorn

Honorable Mention: Jess Thomas, Salt Lake County, age 63, Barn Owl Wink

Honorable Mention: Ryan Kelly, Daggett County, age 45, Cluster Eater


Age 18+

First Place: Ryan Kelly, Daggett County, Age 46, Baby I Was Born to Fish

Second Place: Reed Bie, Utah County, Age 26, Sea of Sand Shanty

Third Place: Thomas Osimitz, Summit County, Age 66, Singing Rock

Honorable Mention: Jed Matthews, Salt Lake County, Age 50, The North Willow Incident


Ages 4-11

First Place: Ryan Pitt, Cache County, age 11, A Flowers Life

Second Place: David Beard, Weber County, age 9, Lovely Flaming Gorge

Ages 12-17

First Place: Marlee Mathews, Salt Lake County, age 13, Fishing with Dad

Second Place: Josie Kelly, Daggett County, age 17, Bats are Cool

Third Place: Olivia Bagley, Utah County, age 15, Flight

Age 18+

First Place: Allen Jorgensen, Davis County, age 32, Spring Hatch

Second Place: Denise Peterson, Salt Lake County, age 40, Mother of Lions

Third Place: Sarah Chafe, Utah County, age 32, Utah my Home

Honorable Mention: Chrissy Shammas, Salt Lake City, age 27, Morning with Mountain Goats

Honorable Mention: Scott Henderson, Utah County, age 43, Steamy Urban Fox


Ages 4-11

First Place: Akira Tera, Salt Lake County, age 9, Wildlife and its Food Chain

Second Place: Hannah Lawrence, Utah County, age 10, Be Kind to the Animals

Third Place: Oaklee Brunson, Utah County, age 11, Junipers

Honorable Mention: Oaklee Brunson, Utah County, age 11, Trees and Humans Alike

Honorable Mention: Callie Blanchard, Weber County, age 9, Deer

Ages 12-17

First Place: Hannah Noyes, Washington County, age 13, Camping with the Wildlife

Second Place: Kendra Bradford, Salt Lake County, age 17, Call of the Avians

Third Place: Josie Kelly, Daggett County, age 16, Adventures with Dad

Honorable Mention: Abigail Powell, Sanpete County, age 15, The Lonely, Perfect World

Honorable Mention: Hutson Robinson, Rich County, age 13, The Uintas

Honorable Mention: Josie Kelly, Daggett County, age 16, Dry Fly or Die

Age 18+

First Place: Jazmin Lister, Utah County, age 30, Hiking Near Yankee Meadow In The Winter

Second Place: Clem Flowers, Utah County, age 34, 5 for the Beehive

Third Place: Robert Williamson, Weber County, age 64, Another Trout to Catch

Honorable Mention: Adrian Anderson, Davis County, age 45, Eagle on Top

Honorable Mention: Chelsea Lawrence, Utah County, age 38, Memorable Firsts

Honorable Mention: Kalea Acuna, Weber County, age 22, The Does Came Home

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