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Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide Essay Contest

Successful Junior Turkey Hunter and His Mentor
Successful Junior Turkey Hunter and His Mentor

Are you new to hunting or trapping? Have you mentored a new hunter or trapper?

DEC is looking for hunters and trappers who would like to share their story about their first memorable experiences afield or an experience where they introduced a new person to hunting or trapping.

Essays can be submitted in one of three categories:

  • Junior Youth Hunters/Trappers - currently in grade 6 through 8
  • Senior Youth Hunters/Trappers - currently in grade 9 through 12
  • Adult Hunters/Trappers - ages 18 and older

DEC staff will select the best essay in each category. Winners' essays will appear in the 2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which is read by over 500,000 people each year! The winners will each receive a $50 gift certificate.


  • Your essay should be non-fiction, original material (not previously published), and told from a first-person perspective.
  • Your essay should be 500 words or less.
  • Preferably, please submit essay and accompanying photo(s) and submission form via e-mail (e.g., PDF or Word document). Essay, photo(s), and submission form can also be submitted in writing to: Game Management, Attn: Essay Contest, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.
  • If possible, include 1-2 photos of the author and/or subjects of the essay (e.g., friends, family) in the appropriate context (e.g., enjoying the outdoors). Photos should be high-resolution, at least 1 MB in size. Please include the name of the photographer so they can receive credit.
  • If you are under age 18, your essay and accompanying photo(s) must include permission to use these materials from a parent or legal guardian (see link below).

View or download the submission and consent form (PDF, 621 KB).

Submissions must be post-marked by March 15, 2018.

DEC reserves the right to edit essays for content, clarity, length, and style. DEC retains first serial rights to written submissions. A version of the written submissions may also appear in a future issue of the Conservationist magazine or other DEC publications and electronic media.

Please keep in mind that due to the volume of material we receive, we cannot promise when, or if, we will be able to use your piece, but we can promise we will give it every consideration.