Our Mission

buck near cactus

The mission of Wildlife in Focus (WiF) is to preserve and protect the native wildlife and their habitats in Texas.

As a 501c3 non-profit organization, we strive to create an atmosphere of cooperation among businesses, private landowners, and wildlife photographers where all participants benefit while promoting the conservation and protection of wildlife and habitat.


Landowners and Photographers compete as teams and share equally in the significant prize money. Additionally, they promote wildlife conservation while participating in the most challenging wildlife photo contest in the world.

Businesses benefit through advertising sponsorships that offer years of positive exposure.

Wildlife prospers as private landowners play a crucial role in the conservation of wildlife by providing diverse and well-managed habitat.

deer with moon

The community becomes more educated about the unique and beautiful wildlife in our region. Winning photographs are showcased in books, magazines, and our traveling Benefactor’s Photo Exhibit displayed in sponsor’s businesses, museums, art centers, and special events.


logo Wildlife in Focus

What is now “Wildlife in Focus” was formed in 2000, originally as the Coastal Bend Wildlife Habitat Education Program, our mission was and continues to raise public awareness and promote wildlife and habitat conservation within Texas. 

We believe this is a unique project worthy of your consideration and support. The demographics of Texas are changing rapidly. Its population is growing and moving out of rural communities into more urban environments. Landowners are under increasing pressure to convert wildlife habitat and productive farm and ranch land to other uses. Due to this threat of urbanization, our children are growing up with fewer opportunities to get a glimpse of our beautiful wildlife and habitat native to Texas.

Our goal is to inspire and help engage people of all ages to have outdoor experiences, especially wildlife experiences and photography… to inspire them to want to go outside and see the beauty that is Texas.

We begin that effort with our unique wildlife photography photo contest which teams landowners with photographers to compete for prize money and recognition.

We are working on development of additional short contests, learning workshops, webinars and public lands events.




Our Staff

Office Administrator – Diane Hess

Office Assistant –  Christi Morales

Our Board

  1. Claire Vaughan – President
  2. Miles Phillips – Vice President – Photo Contest Director
  3. Nick Ottensman – Treasurer
  4. Shelbi Miller – Secretary -Marketing, Youth
  5. Cissy Beasley 
  6. Gus Cargile 
  7. Darrel Cochran – Contest Rules Creation
  8. Dr. Sandy Hurwitz – Youth,
  9. Larry Jones – Public Relations
  10. Tom Langschied – Marketing, Education – inaturalist project
  11. Bruce Hoffman, Finance, Book
  12. Lauren Parker – Contest Rules Creation
  13. Bill Weekley – Marketing, Book


  1. Walton Cude – Digital Archives
  2. Michelle Orcutt,  Past President
  3. Gail Hoffman,  Book Editing
  4. Dr Patricia Alvarez 
  5. Kevin Avery
  6. David Sikes