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Alabama Black Belt Adventures’ 12th annual ‘Big Gobbler’ photo contest opens

The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association has officially begun its 12th annual Big Gobbler Photo Contest.

The competition, according to the organization, was created to teach Alabamians about the vast amount of natural resources located within the state’s Black Belt region.

“As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, turkey hunters will again take to the woods throughout the Black Belt in search of a long beard gobbler,” said Pam Swanner, Director of ALBBAA. “The Black Belt offers some of the very best hunting available anywhere, as well as stunning natural beauty.”

“Add in the incredible food and entertainment scene, and it’s easy to see why so many turkey hunters flock to the Black Belt every spring.”

Swanner said that the contest is about more than just winning.

“It’s always a joy to see photos entered in the Big Gobbler Photo Contest, because they often showcase young hunters bagging their first gobbler or families hunting together,” she continued. “We have earned a reputation for having amazing turkey hunting in the Black Belt, and the contest showcases just how great it is.”

This year’s competition will be conducted online on the ALBBAA website. Voting began March 25 and will run through May 15.

To enter the contest, hunters must upload, through the ALBBAA website, a photo of a turkey harvested during the 2024 spring wild turkey season within the 23-county Black Belt region. The winner of the contest is selected exclusively through online voting.

Entries can be submitted and votes cast online on the ALBBAA website – https://alabamablackbeltadventures.org/news-more/shoot-the-black-belt/big-gobbler-photo-contest/

Participants are allowed 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 are restricted to voting once per day, per e-mail, per IP address. In the case of any dispute, the decision of ALBBAA officials is final. Photo contest winners from the last two years are not eligible for entry.

The ALBBAA reserves the right to approve or disapprove of a submitted photo.  Cause for disqualification of a photo can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The photo content presents the subject in an unethical or disrespectful manner.
  • The photo content is perceived to cast a negative perception of hunters and their contribution to the management of wildlife.
  • A voting violation which imposes an unfair advantage to others.

Hunters are also reminded to comply with all game laws, including purchasing a valid hunting license. Licenses can be purchased online through the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).

In addition, any photo depicting any violation of ADCNR regulations will be disqualified.

Only photos of turkeys harvested in the Black Belt during the 2024 season are eligible for this year’s Big Gobbler Photo Contest.

The winner of this year’s contest will receive Black Belt Strutter turkey call package, including a custom Alabama Black Belt Adventures edition glass pot call made from locally sourced Demopolis mock orange wood, and an Otis Elite universal gun cleaning kit, courtesy of Black Belt Strutter. The prize package carries a total value of about $300.

Alabama has one of the longest wild turkey seasons in the country. Hunters are allowed to harvest a maximum of four turkeys, gobblers only, during the combined fall and spring seasons. Hunters are also limited to one gobbler per day. Decoys are allowed in the spring season only, but decoys are prohibited during the first 10 days of the season. In addition, mechanical decoys are illegal in Alabama.

Turkey season in most areas of the state runs through May 8.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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