Photo by Dave Warner – Canada Geese take flight off of Spruce Lake in Little Falls.

Deadline for Submissions Jan. 31, 2021

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced a new statewide photo and essay contest for hunters and trappers to share stories about why they hunt or trap in New York State. Photos and essays submitted will be used to support DEC’s ongoing efforts to introduce more New Yorkers to hunting and trapping.

“Whether it’s a family tradition, a connection to nature, or to feed your family, DEC would like to hear from New York hunters and trappers about what motivates them to venture afield,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Hunting and trapping benefit New Yorkers and our environment by helping manage wildlife species and providing nutritious meat to our families. Please share your stories and photographs and help encourage more New Yorkers to get outside and enjoy hunting and trapping themselves.”

Participating hunters and trappers may submit photos and essays in one of the following categories:

  • Youth (under 17, non-first year);
  • First-year hunters (youth);
  • First-year hunters (adult); and
  • Adults (non first-year).

Each contestant may submit up to two photos with their essay entry. DEC staff will select the best photo/essay in each category. Winners’ essays and photos will appear in the 2021-2022 New York Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which is read by more than half a million people each year.

Contest specifications:

  • Essays should be non-fiction, original material (not previously published), and told from a first-person perspective;
  • Essays should be no less than 50 words and no more than 500 words;
  • Limit of one entry per person;
  • Maximum of two photos per entry; and
  • Photos must be taken in New York State.

Submissions should be made using this link. The deadline for contest entries is Jan. 31, 2021.

Visit DEC’s website for helpful guidelines about how to take photographs that best capture the reasons why you hunt or trap.

DEC is deeply committed to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusiveness and encourages entries from people of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, and genders. All photo submissions become the property of DEC and may be used in future DEC publications, electronic, and print outreach materials. In addition, DEC reserves the right to edit essays for content, clarity, length, and style. DEC retains first rights to written submissions and written submissions may also appear in a future issue of Conservationist magazine or other DEC publications, media, and social media.

For more information about the “Why I Hunt” and “Why I Trap” contest, call (518) 402-8963, e-mail hunter@dec.ny.gov, or write to Hunter Education Program, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4754.