"Why I Hunt" and "Why I Trap" Photo & Essay Contest

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would like to hear from hunters and trappers about what motivates them to venture afield. Whether it’s a family tradition, a connection to nature, or to feed your family, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos asks outdoors people to share their stories and photographs and help encourage more New Yorkers to get outside and enjoy hunting and trapping.

Winners will appear in the 2021-2022 New York Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which is read by over half a million people each year.

Participants may submit photos and essays in one of the following categories: Youth (under 17, non-first year); First-year hunters (youth); First-year hunters (adult); and Adults (non first-year). Visit DEC's website for tips on taking photographs to best capture the reasons why you hunt or trap. The deadline for contest entries is Jan. 31, 2021.


Contest specifications:

  • essays should be non-fiction, original material (not previously published), and told from a first-person perspective;
  • essays should be between 50 and 500 words in length;
  • limit of one entry per person with a maximum of two photos per entry; and
  • photos must be taken in New York State

Enter the photo and essay contest now!

DEC is deeply committed to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusiveness and encourages entries from people of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, and genders. All photo submissions become the property of DEC and may be used in future DEC publications, electronic, and print outreach materials. In addition, DEC reserves the right to edit essays for content, clarity, length, and style. DEC retains first rights to written submissions, and written submissions may also appear in a future issue of Conservationist magazine or other DEC publications, media, and social media.

For more information about the “Why I Hunt” and “Why I Trap” contest, call (518) 402-8963, e-mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or write to Hunter Education Program, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4754.


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