Thomasville Times

Big Gobbler Photo Contest returns for 10th year

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Successful turkey hunters in Alabama’s Black Belt are encouraged to enter the 10th annual Big Gobbler Photo Contest.

The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association is proud to continue its annual tradition of hosting this contest in conjunction with Alabama’s turkey season to showcase the region while highlighting seasoned and new hunters. The Black Belt is widely regarded as one of America’s best turkey hunting areas.

“Spring has sprung and that means hunters will be in the woods all over the Black Belt for Alabama’s turkey season,” said Pam Swanner, Executive Director of the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association. “Our 23- county region is the perfect place to visit and experience the thrill of pursuing the largest game bird in North America while enjoying the natural beauty of the Black Belt’s bottomlands. While hunters are here, there are so many local establishments for delicious food, drinks and fellowship. Turkey season is the perfect time to visit.”

Alabama’s 2022 turkey season officially began with a youth-only hunting weekend on March 19-20. Most areas of Alabama begin their hunts Saturday, and the season runs through May 8.

Some hunters have already enjoyed a successful hunt. During last weekend’s youth-only hunting, brothers John David and Walker Scott, of Pintlala, bagged their first turkey during a family hunting trip in the Black Belt. Any youth who experienced similar success are encouraged to enter this year’s Big Gobbler Photo Contest.

This year’s Big Gobbler Photo Contest, conducted online at alabamablackbeltadventures.org/ biggobblercontest/, begins Friday, March 25, and closes on Sunday, May 8. Photos of youth hunters from last weekend can also be entered. The winner will be selected exclusively through online voting.

The contest winner will receive a limited edition, Birdseye maple pot call with matching striker paired by renown champion turkey caller Preston Pittman. Both are numbered and signed by NWTF Hall of Fame inductees Ron Jolly and Preston Pittman. In addition, the prize package includes a signed copy of “Memories of Spring” by Ron Jolly and award-winning wildlife photographer Tes Randle Jolly and a $300 gift certificate sponsored by Jonathan Goode of Southeastern Land Group.

Participants are limited to only one entry and must fully complete the online form with the necessary information, including person or persons in the photo and the county where the gobbler was harvested. Visitors to the contest webpage may vote once per day, per entry, per IP address.

Only photos of turkeys taken in the Black Belt during the 2022 season are eligible. Previous winners of the Big Gobbler Photo Contest from recent years are not eligible.

Hunters should be aware the maximum bag limit for wild turkey has been reduced from five to four birds this year. Each bird harvest must be immediately recorded within 48 hours to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). In addition, decoys are prohibited during the first 10 days of the season.

Hunters are also reminded to comply with all game laws, including purchasing a valid hunting license and game checking their harvested bird.

The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association promotes and encourages ethical hunting and fishing practices. The Big Gobbler Photo Contest is designed to further educate the public on the abundance of natural resources found in Alabama’s Black Belt region.

“Turkey season gives families and young people the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and create lasting memories. We invite you to visit the Black Belt during this spring,” Swanner said.

The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association is committed to promoting and enhancing outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities in the Black Belt in a manner that provides economic and ecological benefits to the region and its citizens. For information, go to www.alabamablackbeltadventures.org.

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