Whether you’ve hunted for decades or it’s your first time in the woods, this fall you can experience hunting in West Virginia’s beautiful hills and enter to win some fantastic prizes.
This year’s Big Buck Photo Contest just got announced, so here’s everything you need to know.
What is West Virginia’s Big Buck Photo Contest?
West Virginia’s Big Buck Photo Contest, which has received more than 2,000 submissions since its launch in 2021, will open on Nov. 21 and photos must be submitted by Dec. 22 for hunters to be eligible for a prize drawing.
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.
How to participate in West Virginia’s Big Buck Photo Contest
To enter, simply submit a photo of yourself and a deer you harvested in West Virginia in 2023 through the Big Buck Photo Contest Entry form. Make sure you tell us a little bit about the hunt (no more than 500 words are needed) and include the 13-digit DNR-issued game check number for the pictured buck. Only one entry per hunter will be accepted.
Here are some contest rules to keep in mind:
- To be eligible to win, hunters need to be a properly licensed hunter or be exempt from having a license in West Virginia.
- Hunters under the age of 18 need parental consent to enter.
- The whitetail deer submitted in the photo must have been a legally harvested buck in the State of West Virginia and properly checked-in during an open 2023-2024 deer hunting season.
All hunters 15 and older are required to have a valid West Virginia hunting license and valid form of identification while hunting. And to get the most out of the buck firearms season, make sure you purchase an RG/RRG stamp before the season starts on Nov. 20. Get your license and stamp today!
West Virginia Big Buck Photo Contest Prizes
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.
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 to receive from the following prizes:
- (1) free resident lifetime West Virginia hunting license
- (1) two-night stay in a Cabwaylingo State Forest cabin
- (1) 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 to receive from the following prizes:
- (1) two-night stay in a North Bend State Park cabin
- (1) two-night stay in a Twin Falls Resort State Park cabin
- (1) two Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour passes
Hunters are reminded to purchase their hunting license and stamps before the season starts and that all youth and adult hunters are required to check their game on their own account. Both can be done online at WVhunt.com. For more information about deer hunting, review the 2023–2024 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.