By Faye Gaston

Deer hunting is promoted in Alabama through an annual photo contest that is going on right now.

To enter the contest, the contestants must upload a photo of a buck harvested (killed) within the 23-county Black Belt region during the 2020-2021 whitetail deer season to: AlabamaBlackBeltAdventures.org/bigbuckphotocontest. (Bullock County is one of the 23 counties in the Black Belt.)

The photo that receives the greatest number of votes will be announced as the winner when the season ends on February 10, 2021, in the Black Belt.

Votes are allowed once a day, per entry, per IP address. The bow season began in mid-October, and the gun season started on November 21 in most of Alabama.

The photo contest winner will receive a $100 gift card to Bass Pro Shops and an original 16x20 whitetail deer photo mounted on canvas.

This photo is by Tes Jolly, an award-winning and nationally credited wildlife photographer, a free-lance photographer, and writer specializing in whitetail deer and wild turkey.

The contest's name is the Annual Black Belt Adventures Association (ALBBAA) Big Buck Photo Contest, and it is in its ninth year.

The ALBBAA reminds hunters to abide by the rules and regulations, purchase a hunting license, and report the harvested deer via ADCNR's Game Check.

Hunters obtain a license through the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) to support conservation work being done across Alabama.

Registering the deer that was killed on the ADCNR game check system provides critical information to state biologists making wildlife management decisions.

All hunters at or over the age of ten must take a hunter safety course hosted by ADCNR. Hunters must wear "hunter orange" while in the woods with at least 144 square inches of the bright color visible from all sides.

Hunters should treat guns like they are loaded at all times, pointing them in a safe direction.

Take shots at a range to ensure a clean kill. Hunters should pick up any trash they bring in.

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