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Published: Tuesday, 3/1/2005

B.G.'s Clair paints best design for '06 duck stamp

Gregory Clair, an award-winning wildlife artist from Bowling Green, has won the Ohio wetland habitat stamp design contest conducted by the Ohio Division of Wildlife for the second time.

The division said yesterday that a painting of a northern pintail by Clair will grace the 2006 stamp, more commonly known as the Ohio duck stamp.

The Clair entry outpointed a field of 28 original paintings by artists in 14 states, including 11 entries from Ohio. Judging was done Saturday at the Ohio Ducks Unlimited annual meeting in Wilmington.

"I hope that my love of the outdoors is represented in my painting," said Clair. In 1991 he also won the competition with a painting of a greater scaup, or bluebill. A color rending of his pintail appears on the state Web site, www.ohiodnr.com.

Clair also placed fourth in the prestigious federal duck stamp competition in 2004, and is the Ohio DU artist of the year for 2005.

More than 35,000 state stamps are purchased every year, primarily by waterfowl hunters as part of licensing requirements. Proceeds go toward wetland habitat restoration in the state.

Gregory Clair's rendition of a northern pintail won the Ohio Division of Wildlife's wetland habitat stamp design contest. Gregory Clair's rendition of a northern pintail won the Ohio Division of Wildlife's wetland habitat stamp design contest.
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Other finalists included Edward Suthoff, of Mississippi, snow geese, second, and Ron Lape, of Lucas, Ohio, wigeons, third. Other semifinalists included Ron Louque, Virginia, and Jeffrey Klinefelter, Indiana.

Last year's stamp winner, whose painting of a drake wood duck will appear on the 2005 Ohio duck stamnp, was Adam Grimm, of Elyria, the 1999 winner of the federal duck-stamp competition.

The Northwestern Ohio Fur Traders report that 15 buyers bid on 66 lots of fur at the final winter sale by the organization. Following are the high and average prices paid:

Muskrat, large, $3.35 and $2.89; large, damaged, $2.10 and $1.16; medium, $1.80 and $1.49; flat, damaged, $1.70 and 56 cents.

Raccoon, large, $7.50 and $4.27; extra-large, $10 and $7.59; XX-large, $15 and $11.24; XXX-large, $18 and $14.62; rubbed, damaged, $15 and $5.06.

Mink, male, $17 and $12.49; female, $12 and $7.35. Fox, red, $30 and $15.62; gray, $24 and $24.

Opossum, extra-large, $2.50 and $2.13; large, $2.30 and $1.93; medium, $2.50 and $1.18. Coyote, $22.50 and $8.98. Skunk, $5 and $2.42.

Otter, $80 and $80. Beaver, $28 and $16.09. Ermine, $9 and $9.

The South Side Sportsmen's Club is set to release hen pheasants Friday at White Star Park, in the Sandusky County Park District south of Gibsonburg, and other public lands.

The club's goal is to increase local populations of breeding hens and encourage pheasant expansion. South Side also releases male or cock pheasants each year on land around the hen-release sites. The club leases private land near Oak Harbor, Gibsonburg, Woodville, and Perrysburg. For details write the club at P.O. Box 90, Maumee, OH 43537.

For information on White Star call the park district at Fremont, 419-334-4495 or 1-888-200-5577.

Michael Budzik, retired chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, has been named a special consultant to the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, a Columbus-based outdoors lobbying organization.

Budzik worked 30 years for the Ohio Division of Wildlife, including nearly eight years as chief and eight as District 4 manager in southeast Ohio, retiring in 2003. He holds an associate degree in recreation and wildlife management from Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio.

His primary duty will be to monitor the Ohio state budget with an eye to protecting sportsmen's contributions to Wildlife Fund, the financial reservoir which supports the state wildlife division with hunting, trapping, and fishing fees.

"Few know the ins and outs of the Ohio Division of Wildlife and its budget better than Mike Budzik," said Rob Sexton, USSA vice president of governmental affairs.

DATEBOOK

Tomorrow - Volunteers to assist on native plant project, 6 to 8 p.m., Wood County Park District, 18729 Mercer Rd., Bowling Green; call to register 419-353-1897.

Thursday - Program on blue jays, 4 p.m., White Star Park, Simcox shelter, State Rt. 300 south of Gibsonburg; call the Sandusky County Park District 419-334-4495 or 1-888-200-5577.

Thursday through Sunday - Third annual Ford Field Camper, Travel, and RV Show, Ford Field, Detroit; for details call 1-800-328-6550 or visit the show's Web site, www.FordFieldRVShow.com.

Friday - Hen pheasant release, 11 a.m., White Star Park and other public lands, State Rt. 300 south of Gibsonburg, conducted by South Side Sportsmen's Club and Sandusky County Park District; call Jeanne Dieterich at the parks, 419-334-4495.

Friday and Monday - Public trapshoot, 6 p.m., Wolf Creek Sportsmen's Association, 349 Teachout Rd., north of State Rt. 2, Curtice; voice-activated traps now available; also, fish fry Friday with trapshoot; call Rick Ferguson, 419-836-5264.

Saturday - Fulton County Chapter, Ducks Unlimited, sixth annual fund-raising dinner, Valleywood Golf Club, Airport Highway, Swanton, social hour 5:30 p.m., dinner 7 p.m., followed by auctions and raffles; call Mike Elton 419-822-5062.

Saturday and Sunday - Maumee Valley Gun Collectors show, Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Woodland Exhibit Center, Woodland Mall, north edge of Bowling Green on State Rt. 25; call MVGCA, 419-893-1110 or visit www.mvgca.com.

Contact Steve Pollick at:

spollick@theblade.com

or 419-724-6068.



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