Gov. Jim Justice announced the launch of West Virginia’s third annual Big Buck Photo Contest and invites hunters to submit a photo with a buck they harvest during a 2023 hunting season along with a short account of their hunt for a chance to win prizes. Youth and adult hunters can win prizes such as a lifetime license and state forest cabin stay.
The contest, which has received more than 2,000 submissions since its inception in 2021, opened on Nov. 21. Photos must be submitted by Dec. 22 for hunters to be eligible for a prize drawing.
“As a lifelong hunter, I want to invite everyone to participate in the West Virginia Big Buck Photo contest and enjoy our state’s incredible deer hunting opportunities,” Justice said. “Whether you come home with a buck or win one of these prizes, I want to encourage you to get in the woods and join the thousands of hunters who have participated in this exciting contest over the last two years and help show the world why West Virginia is one of the best places to hunt.”
The Big Buck Photo Contest is open to West Virginia residents and nonresidents and includes a youth division for hunters 17 and younger and an adult division for hunters 18 and older. Participants must hold a valid 2023 West Virginia hunting license and provide the 13-digit WVDNR-issued game check number for their buck. Consent for the release and use of submitted photos is implied upon entry.
Contest prizes include:
Resident Youth Division: Five winners will be randomly selected to receive a free resident lifetime West Virginia hunting and fishing license.
Resident Adult Division: Five winners will be randomly selected and may choose between a free resident lifetime West Virginia hunting license, a two-night stay in a Cabwaylingo State Forest cabin or a two-night stay in a Seneca State Forest cabin.
Non-Resident Youth Division: Five winners will be randomly selected to receive a Cabela’s prize package.
Non-Resident Adult Division: Five winners will be randomly selected and may choose between a two-night stay in a North Bend State Park cabin, a two-night stay in a Twin Falls Resort State Park cabin or two Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour passes.
After the contest closes, a random drawing will be used to select finalists from each division and entries will be judged on photo composition, antler size, antler points and the quality of the hunt narrative. Winners will be announced in January 2024.