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Source: Carl Zeiss Sports Optics press release

North Chesterfield, Virginia - Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, the world's leading manufacturer in high performance sports optics since 1846, is pleased to announce Karen Mehall Phillips, Senior Editor of the NRA's American Hunter, as the 2015 Carl Zeiss Outdoor Writer of the year.

The custom plaque recognizing her achievements and contributions to the hunting and shooting sports was presented to Karen on January 18, 2016, at the company's annual writer's party during SHOT Show week in Las Vegas.

"Karen is one of the most progressive writers and optic users in the industry. She is full of creativity, dedication and confidence in every aspect of her work," said Joel Harris, Head of Global Public Relations of Carl Zeiss SBE, LLC. "She masterfully communicates with a deep insight, along with accurate and in-depth information that greatly benefits her readers. Her passion and appreciation for the outdoors resonates throughout all of her work. Quite simply, nobody deserves this prestigious award more than she does."

Karen Mehall Phillips is the senior editor of the National Rifle Association's American Hunter magazine. An avid hunter for 27 years, she has pursued and photographed big game, upland birds and turkey in 25 states and in Canada, South Africa, Italy, Finland, New Zealand and Greenland. Five years ago she began bowhunting and has been successful in taking her biggest whitetail buck and bull elk to date, with muskox being one of her recent major accomplishments.

An NRA Endowment member, Karen worked in the NRA public relations arena for seven years promoting NRA's safety, education and training programs and managing media relations for NRA General Operations, the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) and NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre prior to transferring to the association's Publications Division in 1998. Since that time, she has served as the founding editor of two NRA official journals-America's 1st Freedom and Woman's Outlook-and served as co-host of the American Hunter television show on the Outdoor Channel before moving to her current position. In addition to editing AH material, she regularly produces destination-and-adventure and tips-and-tactics articles on a variety of hunting methods and reviews new firearms, bows, optics, ammunition and related gear for the AH magazine and website.

Karen actively promotes women and young people in the outdoors and, most recently, helped to introduce her two nephews to hunting, sharing in their joy as they harvested their first deer. In addition to her NRA ties, she is a member of the Washington metropolitan area's Fairfax Rod & Gun Club and the Izaak Walton League of America, a founding member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and a Life member of the Mule Deer Foundation.

Established in 2003, the Carl Zeiss Outdoor Writer of the Year Award is in its 12th year. The previous winners are: Wayne van Zwoll (2003), David Fortier (2004), David Petzal (2005), Ron Spomer (2006), John Barsness (2007), Terry Wieland (2008), Craig Boddington (2009), John Zent (2010), Andrew McKean (2011), Mike Schoby (2012), Thomas McIntyre (2013) and Joseph Von Benedikt (2014). Carl Zeiss has also honored several writers with Lifetime Achievement Awards. These went to Bill McRae (2003), Jim Carmichel (2008) and Pete Dunne, Chief Communications Officer of New Jersey Audubon and Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory (2013).