2014 Wildlife Conclave Rules

Conclave RulesPDF Download

Quiz Bowl Rules

Quiz bowl will consist of a double elimination tournament in which teams gain points by answering questions asked by a moderator.  After successfully answering a “toss-up” question, the team will be given a multi-part “bonus” question.  Toss-up and bonus questions will cover material relevant to natural resource management.

  1. Each team (one team/school) may consist of up to five players with no more than four participating at once (i.e., one team member will be an alternate).  There may be no more than 1 graduate student per team.  A graduate student is defined as a person that already holds a 4-year degree or is enrolled in a Master’s program.  However, Ph.D. students are not eligible to compete in Quiz Bowl.
  2. Team pairings will be chosen at random for the first match.  Pairings in subsequent matches will be determined by a team’s ability to win.  If a team advances to the final match unbeaten, the challenging team (i.e., winner from the loser’s bracket) must beat the undefeated team in two consecutive matches to win first place.
  3. Matches will last 10 minutes, except for the final match, which will last 15 minutes.
  4. On all questions, the first answer given will be the one accepted (i.e., there will be no second thoughts).  The moderator reserves the right to ask the respondent to "be more specific."
  5. If the pronunciation of the answer is unclear to the moderator, the respondent may be asked to spell the answer.  If spelled incorrectly, the answer will be considered incorrect.
  6. When the final bell rings, the match is over.  If the match ends while a question is being asked, the match ends at that point.  If the final bell rings while a toss-up or bonus question is being answered, the match ends after the allotted time for the answer has expired.  For the purpose of this rule, players who have signaled, but have not been acknowledged, will be allowed to answer.  Should time expire while a toss-up question is being answered correctly, there will be a bonus question awarded if it has bearing on the outcome of the match.
  7. If the score is tied at the end of the match, the match will be extended an additional 5 minutes.  If after the additional 5 minutes, the score is still tied, a sudden-death round will be held in which the first team to correctly answer a question wins.
  8. A judging committee of the host school faculty members, professional wildlife biologists, etc., will be the referees of any challenge that may arise.

Specific Rules for Toss-up Questions

  1. Matches begin with a toss-up question open to both teams.  Each toss-up question is worth 10 points.
  2. Following the reading of a toss-up question, 5 seconds will be allowed for a team to signal for an answer.  A team member signals to answer by pressing a button that activates a buzzer and light.  Only one person may answer a toss-up question.  The first team member to respond is indicated by their individual light.
  3. If no one signals within the allotted time, the moderator will give the answer and the next question will be asked.
  4. The moderator will acknowledge the signal by verbally announcing the team member’s school and number of the player.  If the player answers before being acknowledged, the moderator will state the answer cannot be accepted and the opposing team will be given a chance to signal (5 seconds), be verbally acknowledged, and answer.  This rule applies irrespective of whether the unaccepted answer given is correct or incorrect!
  5. The team member acknowledged has 10 seconds to answer the question.  If the answer is heard from the audience, the question will be discarded.  If any discussion occurs between members of a team on a toss-up question, that team forfeits the right to gain points and the other team gets a chance to answer after being acknowledged.  This applies regardless if an answer was heard or not.
  6. Should a team member give a wrong answer to a toss-up question, the opposing team has 5 seconds in which to signal after the moderator announces that the answer is incorrect.  The team member will then be verbally acknowledged and allowed 10 seconds to answer the question.  No points are lost for incorrect answers.
  7. A team member may signal to answer a toss-up question as it is being asked.  When this occurs, the moderator stops reading at that point.  If, after being acknowledged, the answer given is wrong, the entire question is repeated for the opposing team. As in all toss-up questions, a team member must signal and be acknowledged before answering the question.  In the event that a member of the opposing team signals before the question has been repeated or repeated completely, the moderator stops reading the question and acknowledges that team member for an answer.  Once the question is read completely, it is not repeated.

Specific Rules for Bonus Questions

  1. A bonus question consists of up to 4 parts.  Bonus questions are worth a total of 20 points with points divided equally among the parts.  Points are earned for each part answered correctly according to the value of the part.  No points are lost for incorrect answers.
  2. Bonus questions are a team effort, but the answer decided upon for each part can only be accepted from the team captain.  The team will have a total of 30 seconds in which to answer all parts after the question is completely read.
  3. Answers can be given for any part of the question in any order at any time, even while the team members continue to discuss other parts.
  4. All bonus questions will be oral, audio, video/slide, or carry-on specimen(s).


If an answer to a toss-up question ruled incorrect is believed to be correct by the answering team, the player can challenge the moderator’s ruling by appealing to the judging committee.  However, challenges can be made only after the opposing team has had an opportunity to answer.  Also, if a member of the opposing team believes an answer ruled correct is incorrect, a challenge to the judging committee may be made.  To challenge, a team member should activate the buzzer/light and wait to be verbally recognized.  When a challenge is made, the clock will stop until the judges have made a decision.  Challenges to toss-up questions must be made before the bonus or next toss-up question is read.  Bonus questions may also be challenged before the next toss-up question is read.  In all cases, the decision of the judges is final!

Taxonomic References for Quiz Bowl

The below links provide accepted nomenclature used for quiz bowl competition:


Individual and Team Competitions and Rules

Art Events

General Rules – Entries for the creative and talent competitions must be submitted at check in. Materials will be on display until judging.  Individuals must be present to accept the award.

The decision of the judges will be final. Entries must have a wildlife-related theme.  There will be a limit of one entry per student per category and a maximum of 2 per school per category (NOTE: only one essay submission per school).  All submissions must contain a wildlife related subject and have been completed (or taken) within the last year since Conclave 2013. Animals must be native to North America and must be free ranging (e.g., not captive or in enclosures). Entries must be matted or framed, photos no smaller than 5''x7'' & no larger than 8''x10". Entries that have been previously published or have won any other competition will not be permitted. Prints that do not meet the standards will not be accepted.

Trail camera photography – Must be from a personal trail camera, photos will be judged based on criteria including clarity, uniqueness, and interesting subject matter.

Altered photography – Original photos must be taken and manipulated by the student and photographs may be manipulated for artistic purposes by applying digital and/or traditional special effects (i.e. colorizing, toning, collage, photo composites, HDR, etc.).

Unmanipulated photography – Photos must be taken by the student.  Only minor burning, dodging and/or color correction is acceptable, as is cropping.

Painting – Must be original painting by the student of any form including but not limited oil, pastels, watercolor, or fresco.

Drawing - Must be original drawing by the student of any form including but not limited to pastels, pencil, charcoal, or ink.

Free form (e.g. sculptures, carvings, etc.) – Must be original artwork of the student including but not limited to sculpture, textiles, carvings, mixed-media.

Poetry Competition: Evoking the Conservation Ethic: Aldo Leopold for a New Age

Write a POEM centered on land ethic and conservation as you see it through your eyes. The verse should reflect a sense of place, love of nature, and desire to move conservation in a positive direction. The poem must be evocative and scientifically and ecologically accurate. The format of the poem is free verse and must be at least 10 lines.

Video Competition - Evoking the Conservation Ethic

Create a short video centered on land ethic and conservation as you see it in your life. The movie should reflect a love of nature, a desire to move forward in conservation, and a sense of responsibility and stewardship. The video must be evocative, and scientifically and ecologically accurate. There is no limitation on video format, but it must be at least 5 minutes, and no more than 8 minutes long. One entry per school. This is an introductory event and will not count against the score. Awards will be given and the winning video may be played during the awards banquet.

Calling Competitions


The use of calling devices will be permitted (no electronic calls). There will be a limit of one caller per category per school. Each caller will be allowed a 1 minute warm up. Callers will be allowed a maximum of 2 minutes for actual competition calling.

Callers will be judged upon overall skill (how well each caller can mimic their chosen species) and diversity of calling (how many different calls each caller can reproduce). Difficulty of calling may also be taken into consideration by the judges (if the contestant used the aid of a call, or if it was a diaphragm or box call, turkey yelp, purr, gobble, etc.) If there is a tie between callers, there will be a call-off between those two competitors.

Field Events

Shooting Events Disclaimer:

FOR ALL Firearms (including archery) please bring equipment to Pickens Bend Range, Twin Lakes Road, Clemson, SC. Google “Pickens Bend Range, Pickens county  SC” for driving directions. For more information call Rickie Davis (jrdvs@clemson.edu). Clemson University does not allow any firearms past the stone pillars coming into campus. Staying on Hwy 76/28 will insure you do not enter campus. Once on Twin Lakes Rd a cattle field will be on your right, then further down on the right there will be red gates at the entrance of the range. Drop off times will be from 3:00-5:00pm Thursday, March 20th; pick up times TBA. Please have equipment in a durable case where it will not be harmed (hard cases are preferred but not required). Also have shooter name, school name, working contact information in a visible location. Ammunition will be provided for the firearms (bring your own arrows). 

All shooting events (including archery) will be held at the Pickens Bend Range.

For all shooting events SAFTEY and COURTESY are first. If unsafe actions and rude behavior occur on the range the Range Master is allowed to remove the shooter from the facility. Depending on the nature of the action, the student may be removed from all Conclave events and/ or legal action taken.  


Equipment Requirements, Basic Shooting Rules, The Game

  1. Bows Allowed: ONLY vertical bows (compound, recurve or longbow) NO CROSSBOWS.

  2. ONLY fixed hunting sights, bare bows, peep and slide bar sights will be allowed. No magnification or rangefinders allowed.

  3. NO extended sight bars longer the 5 inches past the furthest forward part of the arrow shelf to the furthest forward part of the front of the sight assembly.

  4. ONLY one (1) stabilizer, not to exceed eight and 1/4 (8 1/4) inches from the point of attachment to the bow, will be permitted.

  5. NO minimum vane or fletching length.

  6. Only target points will be allowed. No blunts, judos, or broadheads (expandable or fixed).

  7. Shooters should have their arrows crested in a manner that allows the shooter to distinguish their arrows from the other participants.

    a. NO sights will be adjusted on the line. Time will be given before the match to sight-in bows.
    b. Any arrow released prematurely that the shooter cannot reach from the shooting station will count as their shot.
    c. Arrow tips cannot be drawn past the face of the bow or rear of the arrow shelf. Shooters are allowed 3 minutes at each of the shooting locations.
    d. Shooters are allowed 3 minutes at each of the shooting locations.

3D Animal Archery Hunting Simulation

1. Five (5) 3D animal targets will be set up at ranges no greater than 30 yards, in safe directions from each station.

2. One shot will be fired from each of the shooting locations. After firing, arrows can be retrieved and score recorded.

3. Any arrow stuck in the body outside of the vitals will be 5pts and vital rings will be 8, 10, and 12 pts. Total possible points for the whole round is 60. Any arrows that do not stick into the target will not be counted.

4. Ties will be broken by sudden death center shots. Each shooter will get one arrow and the closest arrow wins. If arrows are the same distance from center then another round will be fired. 


Rules, Regulations, and Scoring

1. Shotgun: 12 gauge ammunition will be provided. Different gauge ammo needs to be brought and be shot size- 7 ½ or smaller, no high brass, 1- 1/8 oz. shot or comparable to the provided ammunition. For ammunition questions contact Joshua Caughman.

2. Shotguns must be able to hold (2) shells at one time without reloading. No more than two (2) shells shall be loaded at a time.

3. The shotgun game will be regulation 5-stand, which will consist of 5 stations from which singles, report pairs, and true pairs will be thrown, until 25 shots have been fired.

4. To score a hit: a visible piece of the clay must be seen coming off. If the scorer calls a “lost bird” and the shooter saw a piece, then the shooter must protest before the next person on the firing line shoots. The protest can be backed up by another shooter; however the scorer has the final say.

5. Shooter will be required to shoot at each thrown clay or it will be marked as a “loss”. In the event of a firearm malfunction, the shooter will get another clay. Should the malfunction continue the shooter may use another firearm. However, if the shooter fails to fire because the firearm was on safety then the clay will be counted as a “loss”.  Shots fired out of order will be marked as “lost”. The appropriate shooter will then fire.  

1st – 3rd ties will be broken by a shoot-off decided upon by range master. All other ties necessary to be broken will be based on longest run of “hits”.   


Rules, Regulations, and Scoring

1. Only standard .22 rifles are allowed (no precision rifles).  No peep, aperture, laser, or optical sights. Only manufactured iron sights. Ammunition will be provided contact Joshua Caughman for more information.

2. Rifles may not be changed during relay, except in the event of a malfunction.

3. If ammunition malfunctions occur then range master can provide new ammo.

4. Hasty slings only.

5. Kneeling rolls and thumbhole stocks are allowed. All other precision competition gear is not allowed.

6. Shooters will be given five minutes per position.

7. Rifle Targets and positions: a sheet of 5 targets will be placed at 25yrds (NRA A-7/5 targets). One shot will be taken per bull with a max total of 50 points per sheet. The position order will be prone, sitting, kneeling, and then standing. The max score is 200 points.

8. Ties will be settled by the highest number of bull’s eyes. Protests must be brought up at the scoring table. Ring has to be broken for score to count.     


Each school may enter one team consisting of one or two individuals. Each team will be required to record and map bearings from pre-determined stations to estimate the location of a single transmitter. Teams will have a time limit at each station. Receivers, antennas, compasses, and maps will be provided.  The team with the closest estimated transmitter position to the true position will be the winner.


Each school can enter one team that consists of two people.  The event will be a time trial.  Canoes, paddles, and lifejackets will be provided.


Each school is allowed to enter one team consisting of one or two persons.  Competition will consist of a course containing eight points each team must navigate.  Small flags will be given to each competing team to mark each point location.  Each team will be given a list of bearings and distances to guide them to each point.  Distances to the points will be given in both English and metric measurements.  Teams will be scored by combining completion time and accuracy to the actual points.  The more accurate a team is to the actual point, the better the score; time will be deducted from the team's overall time as indicated below.  Lowest time wins. Target areas will consist of a 1-meter diameter circle.

    Flag placement within the target will result in a 1 minute time deduction.

    Within 1 meter of the target will result in 30 sec. deduction.

    Within 2 meters, 25 second deduction.

    Within 3 meters, 20 second deduction.

    Within 4 meters, 15 second deduction.

    Within 5 meters, 10 second deduction.

    Between 5-7 meters, no deductions.

    Between 7-8 meters, 20 second penalty (addition).

    Between 8-9 meters, 25 second penalty.

    Between 9-10 meters, 30 second penalty.

    Anything over 10 meters away from the target will result in a 45 second penalty.

Each team must supply their own compass. Measuring tapes and calculators (including cell phones) of any kind are not allowed. GPS units (this includes GPS enabled phones) are strictly PROHIBITED! If teams are found in possession of one they will be immediately disqualified! Tampering with another school's flag placement will not be tolerated and will result in disqualification. To insure the integrity of the competition, please leave cell phones behind or turn them over to the course regulator for safe keeping. They will be returned to you after you have completed the competition.

Obstacle course

The course is rigorous and will be wet and dirty. Each school may enter one team of four members. Each team will be responsible for completing a series of tasks that are physically and mentally challenging. Be prepared to get wet and dirty, so bring a change of clothes and wear proper shoes. Winners will be determined based on time required to complete the course.

Field Photography

Each school may enter one contestant.  Get creative and capture an image that reflects the unique beauty we find in the field!  Participates will have an opportunity to explore and photograph within the local grounds and submit one photo for judging.  Each ‘field’ submission will be uploaded directly from your camera and incorporated into a slide show for judging.  Entries must be relevant to wildlife (including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and spiders), landscapes, or plant life within the confines of the designated photography area.  Judging will be based on five criteria: Content, Composition, Clarity, Lighting, and Creativity.

Content: The photograph should be relevant to wildlife such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, spiders, landscapes, or plant life within the confines of the designated photography area.

Composition: The photograph should be simple with a sense of order (imagine drawing a tick-tack-toe grid over the image).

Clarity: The subject of interest should be sharp and clear with depth and focal length enhancing the image.

Lighting: The important aspects of the photograph should be well lit. Colors should be as intense as possible, captivating to the eye, but still appear natural.

Creativity: The photograph should show the subject of interest in an unexpected way and in a new perspective.


1. Each school may enter one contestant.

2. A total of 20 trees will be shown to the group of contestants. The definition of "tree" is that followed by E. L. Little. 1979. Checklist of United States Trees (Native and Naturalized). Any tree on this checklist is "fair game" for the contest. But use of updated nomenclature is allowed and encouraged. Acceptable common names are those in Little (1979) or those allowed by a majority of the judges present at the contest.

3. Answers must be submitted to the judges within three minutes.

4. Each tree must be identified with the scientific name (genus+specific epithet), botanical family and common name. The author's name may be omitted.

5. Each tree provides a maximum of four points. One point each for the genus, specific epithet, family and common name.

6. All words must be correctly spelled to receive any credit.

7. Scientific names must be underlined to receive any credit. Family and common names should not be underlined.

8. Contestants may break twigs, pick and crush leaves or cut into the bark. Hand lenses and binoculars may be used.

9. The contest is closed-book and closed-notes. No manuals, references or keys may be used. Contestants may not copy from another contestant. Contestants failing to follow this rule will be disqualified.

10. The contest will consist of a combination of indoor and outdoor specimens.

Fly Casting

Each school can enter one individual.  Rods must be 5 or 6 weight.  The leader should be 9 feet long and tapered to 4X.  Flies will be provided.  There will be a total of 5 to 8 stations, and you will be asked to cast into targets of concentric rings with and without obstacles.  You will have 3 casts at each station.  Points will be awarded based on accuracy.  In the event of a tie, the number of casts per station will determine the winner.

Lab Practicum

Each school may enter only one person.  Competitors will complete a rigorous lab practical covering topics typical of classes in a wildlife curriculum. 

Team Field Competition

Each school may enter one team; there is no limit on the number of participants per team. Stations will be set up along a trail and teams will be allowed a set amount of time to get to each station and complete the questions. Ph.D. students cannot participate in team field event.

Stations will cover a wide variety of natural resources-related topics including, but not be limited to, plant and animal identification, equipment usage, techniques, and habitat assessment. Teamwork will be emphasized. Team members should wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Scores from all stations will be totaled to determine winners.


    Team Competition (30%)
    Quiz Bowl (25%)
    Physical (15%) - rifle, archery, shotgun,canoeing, fly casting, obstacle course
    Intellectual (15%) - dendrology, orienteering, radio-telemetry, poem, lab practicum
    Art (15%) - field photography, trail cam photography, digitally enhanced photography, unmanipulated photography, painting, free-form, drawing