Gov. Justice announces Big Buck Photo Contest winners

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 3:41 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - Gov. Justice announced the 25 winners of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources’ second annual Big Buck Photo Contest on Wednesday.

Gov. Justice announced the 20 youth and five adult winners at the State Capitol.

“I want to thank the DNR and everyone who submitted a picture,” Gov. Justice said. “Each and every one of them was truly amazing. It’s important that we encourage everyone, including our children, to go outside, learn about nature, and enjoy the outdoors, just like we did when I was young. It’s an honor for me to contribute by promoting these great kids and adults who’re taking advantage our beautiful outdoors. That’s some really good stuff right there.”

The Big Buck Photo Contest was open to residents and nonresidents and included a youth division for hunters 17 and younger and an adult division for hunters 18 and older.

To enter the contest, hunters had to submit a photo with a buck they harvested during a 2022 hunting season along with a short account of their hunt.

Each entrant was required to show proof of a valid 2022 West Virginia Hunting License and had to include the 13-digit DNR-issued game check number for the buck.

Finalists were chosen by random drawing from all eligible entries and winners were selected by a judging committee made up of Gov. Justice, WVDNR Director Brett McMillion and Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby or their designated representatives.

Gov. Justice said winning photos were selected based on photo composition, size of the buck’s antlers, number of antler points and how well the hunt was described.

The 20 youth participants will all receive one lifetime hunting and fishing license. The five adult winners can choose one lifetime hunting license or a two-night state forest cabin stay. Only West Virginia residents are eligible for a lifetime license.

The following are the Youth Division Winners:

  • Hadley Allen — Charleston, W.Va.
  • Olivia Barker — Thornton, W.Va.
  • Kyla Bibey — Dennison, Ohio
  • Courtney Burgess — Walton, W.Va.
  • Blake Burner — Mineral Wells, W.Va.
  • Eli Currence — Elkins, W.Va.
  • Donovan Dameron — Cyclone, W.Va.
  • Landon Hartshorn — Shock, W.Va.
  • Dillon Jones — Charleston, W.Va.
  • Bella Kesterson — Franklin, W.Va.
  • Paige King — Lancaster, Md.
  • Jonah Marcum — Chapmanville, W.Va.
  • Rylee Martin — Sutton, W.Va.
  • Carter McCloud — Ravenswood, W.Va.
  • Cole Owens — Waverly, W.Va.
  • Brayden Reese — Scott Depot, W.Va.
  • Brayden Seago — Sisterville, W.Va.
  • Samuel Shomo — Junior, W.Va.
  • Carter Stover — Summersville, W.Va.
  • Slade Terral — Bob White, W.Va.

The following are the Adult Division Winners:

  • Stephen Booth — Buffalo, W.Va.
  • Vanessa Dillon — Parkersburg, W.Va.
  • Kevin Korzun — Romney, W.Va.
  • Madeline Nelson — Marlinton, W.Va.
  • Jordon Peterson — Youngstown, Ohio

Click here for more information about hunting and fishing in West Virginia and to purchase a license