As Alabama’s 2023 turkey season begins, the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association (ALBBAA) reminds all hunters to enter the 11th annual Big Gobbler Photo Contest.
The ALBBAA’s annual Big Gobbler Photo Contest is designed to showcase Alabama’s Black Belt, which is widely regarded as one of America’s best areas for wild turkey hunting, while also highlighting seasoned and new hunters. The winner of this year’s contest will receive a collectible trumpet call hand-turned, numbered (only 200 made) and signed by Preston Pittman and Ron Jolly.
“Springtime in Alabama’s Black Belt signals turkey season has finally arrived and hunters eagerly take to the woods in search of the elusive black beard gobbler,” said Pam Swanner, Executive Director of the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association. “If you’re looking to enjoy the thrill associated with pursuing the largest game bird in North America, the Black Belt is the perfect place to be. Our region also boasts stunning natural beauty and incredible local establishments for food, drinks and fellowship before or after your hunt.”
Alabama’s 2023 spring wild turkey season officially began with a youth-only hunting weekend on March 18-19. Turkey season in most areas of Alabama begins Saturday, March 25, and the season runs through May 8.
This year’s Big Gobbler Photo Contest, conducted online on the ALBBAA website, begins Saturday, March 25 and voting runs through Friday, May 12 to allow additional time for any photos submitted near the end of the hunting season.
Here are the rules and guidelines for this year’s contest:
To enter the contest, hunters must upload, through the ALBBAA website, a photo of a turkey harvested during the 2023 spring wild turkey season from 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 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. In the case of any dispute, the decision of ALBBAA officials is final. Photo contest winners from recent years are not eligible for entry.
The ALBBAA reserves the right to approve or disapprove of a submitted photo. Cause for disqualification of photo can include, but is not limited to, the following:
— The photo content presents the subject in an unethical or disrespectful composition.
— The photo content is perceived to cast a negative perception of hunters and their contribution to the management of wildlife.
— Voting violation which imposes an unfair advantage to others.
All sportsmen and sportswomen are reminded to purchase a hunting license online through the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources before heading afield.
Only photos of turkeys harvested in the Black Belt during the 2023 season are eligible, including any gobblers taken during the youth-only hunting weekend that was held March 18-19.
“We hope hunters will participate in the Big Gobbler Contest and showcase the amazing turkey hunting in the Black Belt,” Swanner said.
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 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.
Each bird harvest must be immediately recorded within 48 hours to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).
Hunters are also reminded to comply with all game laws, including purchasing a valid hunting license.
The ALBBAA 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.
“We recognize that turkey season provides a prime opportunity for families and young people to enjoy the outdoors and create lifelong memories,” Swanner said, “and that’s why we invite you to visit the Black Belt as the weather warms this spring.”