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By Cheryl Wray | al.com on November 28, 2012 at 1:30 PM, updated November 28, 2012 at 1:56 PM
Hunters can win big bucks in a photo contest sponsored by Alabama Black Belt Adventures
Alabama hunters have a chance to bag more than a trophy deer during this year’s hunting season; they also can win up to $100 in a photo contest sponsored by Alabama Black Belt Adventures.
The 23-county region known in Alabama as the Black Belt (stretching from mid-state down to the coast) accounts for more than half of the hunting and fishing activity in the state. Alabama Black Belt Adventures, a public-private partnership that promotes outdoor recreation and tourism in the region, is sponsoring the photo contest.
Photos entered in the contest must be of deer harvested in the specific region, and winners will be selected from three categories: youth (up to 12-years-old), typical, and non-typical. Each submission should also include the name of the county the deer was harvested in, and a short paragraph describing the hunting experience involved.
Finalists will be decided by the number of “likes” they receive on the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Facebook page; winners will then be voted upon by sports reporters from across the state.
The winner in each category will win a $100 gift card to Bass Pro Shops.
The Black Belt, which gets its name from a dark soil which produces nutrient-rich vegetation, serves as an excellent habitat for numerous wildlife species. According to wildlife managers, the area consistently produces ideal weights and excellent antler characteristics in white-tailed deer.
Buckmasters founder Jackie Bushman has said of the counties: “The Black Belt region of Alabama is a hunter’s paradise.”
A report commissioned and released earlier this year found that the Black Belt region yields approximately $972 million in direct and indirect economic benefits a year from hunting and fishing. In challenging economic times, a strong industry such as this is vital to the state’s well-being.
The Southeast Research Group also found that in 2011 some 11,000 new jobs were created by the activity of hunters who spend money on lodging, food, and other associated goods.
“Black Belt counties make up about a third of Alabama, but they account for more than half of the total hunting and fishing dollars spent in the state,” Alabama Black Belt Adventures project director Pam Swanner said. “For us, deer season is a classic win-win. It’s good for hunters, good for the Black Belt.”
“We encourage people to spend time and money in Alabama’s prime hunting grounds,” she said.
This year’s deer hunting season opened Nov. 17 and the contest runs through Jan. 31. Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and can then be viewed atwww.facebook.com/AlabamaBlackBeltAdventures.
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