Tuesday, December 15, 2020

“Why I Hunt” and “Why I Trap” Photo & Essay Contest

The NYS DEC is calling for hunters and trappers to submit photos and essays about what motivates them to trek out into the wilderness and practice what they love. Whether it be a family tradition, a connection to nature, or just to feed your family, the DEC is asking for the people of New York to share their stories so that they may encourage others to get outside and do the same. The winners of the contest will appear in the 2021-2022 New York Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which has over half a million readers.

Essays should be non-fiction, original material told from a first-person perspective, of 50 to 500 words in length. The contest has a limit of one entry per person with a maximum of two photos per entry. Photos must be taken in New York State.

Those who wish to participate in the contest may submit content in one of four categories:

Youth – Under 17, not first year

Youth – Under 17, first year

Adult – First Year

Adult – Not first year

The deadline for submission is January 31, 2021.

Enter the photo and essay contest now!

For more information about the “Why I Hunt” and “Why I Trap” contest, call (518) 402-8963, e-mail hunter@dec.ny.gov, or write to Hunter Education Program, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

33 Responses

  1. Ethan says:

    Will the DEC afford equal opportunity to those who wish to submit “”Why I don’t hunt or trap”?
    After all, they DO represent all NY residents, right? Maybe time to acknowledge that not everyone enjoys nature in the same way.

    • jeep says:

      Try PETA, I think they might welcome your Article!

    • joeadirondack says:

      Ethan, I’m from a long line of hunters trappers and fisherman. This is how were raised. Although we maybe on different sides of this issue your comment was true and well put. Thank you.

    • Good Camp Owner says:

      You just did Ethan, now go collect your participation trophy…

    • Boreas says:


      You have a valid point. But DEC is unlikely to bite one of the hands that feed it, despite dwindling interest in trapping and hunting.

      • Dan says:

        Actually, hunting is enjoying a resurgence in N.Y., and elsewhere, during COVID.

        • Boreas says:

          Hopefully hunting will come back to stay. And hopefully predators will too! I think we need both. Many game species are suffering because of lack of predation and hunting.

  2. Ed says:

    I don’t hunt or trap . I prefer to run the animals over with my car on my way to my favorite hiking trails , with latte in hand of course .

  3. Bill Ott says:

    I hunted a woman once and she trapped me. Now my main escape is in the Adks where hunters and trappers at least don’t hunt and trap me.


    We are a poor species who somehow act as the supreme being on this planet. Will be our downfall!

  5. ADKresident says:

    This should be an interesting contest being I’m a PETA member – People Eating Tasty Animals, that is. JK.

  6. Ballian the Cat says:

    If intelligent life from another world ever decides to study earth from the perspective of Chat Boards, they’ll either pass us by or liquidate us as a nuisance species…

    This is actually a thread where folks with different perspectives could engage in healthy/informative debate.


    Ballian,. Perfect way to describe the stupidity if our species

  8. Chuck Parker says:

    And now the original topic of the article is lost. Bill, Ed, Jeep, Gabe and Adirondack Resident, thank you. You made me smile

    • Boreas says:

      That is some sense of humor, Chuck!

      • ADKresident says:

        Ahh, Boreas. Lighten up a bit!

        • Balian the Cat says:

          That’s right, it’s all good fun. I am sure Chuck thinks jokes about fat old people who need ATVs to move around in the forest are funny too. Only a Snow Flake would think it okay to belittle one persons beliefs and not have the same go for their own.

          • ADKresident says:

            Your feelings are way over-thinking this here, Balian the Cat.. Jeez, Get a grip..

            • Balian the Cat says:

              Maybe, ADK but my point is valid. Whats good for the Goose…

              • ADKresident says:

                And maybe you just need to relax by the fire with a good brew and a venison burger and enjoy the season. God forbid , something can’t be said without making a big, contentious deal out of it. Merry Christmas!

                • Balian the Cat says:

                  Your right again, ADK – comments beget comments. No one point of view is superior to another. No one set of beliefs outweighs it’s counter. No one set of feelings holds higher ground. Merry Christmas to you too, I think the birthday boy would say just that.


    With the realization that my comment will draw a lot of recoil, I submit this question. Can hunting really be considered a sport when only one side (the hunter) thinks it is and has a rifle with a scope on it?

    • Balian the Cat says:

      Your point is well taken, Andrew – but I doubt the rifle comment is going to engender less recoil.

    • Ed says:

      It isn’t really a sport , it’s a management tool necessary to control population , needless suffering , and disease. Not everyone uses a rifle with a scope either , there are many different tools and techniques. Plenty of information available to you online .

      • Boreas says:


        Yes, a very clinical and humane attitude – take “sport” out of the equation. Yet every time restoring natural predators (eradicated by hunters) to the area comes up, who is the first to condemn the suggestion? Who wants the forests managed to encourage game reproduction and population? I have no problem with hunting – it IS necessary without natural population controls. But we shouldn’t ignore WHY the populations need to be controlled.

    • Dan says:

      For me, hunting is a sport, a passion and a way of life. And I love hunting in the Adirondacks. I use a rifle (as well as a bow, crossbow and muzzleloader) but I seldom use a scope. My freezer is full, I buy little meat at the store (sorry, I like meat).

      There’s an old saying, “hunters pay for conservation” and it’s been that way since 1937 thanks to the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act. Today’s hunters seriously put our money where our mouth is, and many non-hunted species benefit. Tack on what groups like Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation and many others do, and it’s a huge contribution to game and non-game species alike, everywhere. I’m proud to be a hunter, and part of all of this.

      And, hunting is seeing a welcome spike (no pun intended) in interest:

      • Boreas says:


        I agree with your sentiment. As soon as my direct ancestors arrived in PA 150 years ago from Germany, they became avid sportsmen. I continued the tradition for many years, but found less and less enjoyment in it over the decades. Eventually I realized I was no longer a hunter and I became a strictly catch & release angler. But I still believe both are good outdoor activities – especially for younger people.

        That being said, hunters should not be under the impression that they alone pay for state land acquisition and management. Taxpayers, both hunting and non-hunting, also have invested heavily in wild lands. I believe what Ethan started at the top of the discussion was valid. Why not include other non-lethal activities such as birding, wildlife photography, paddling, hiking, skiing, etc. that the Forest Preserve can provide? I also feel that these other activities should also pay to play the same as hunting/trapping/fishing. But if the Forest Preserve is indeed to be shared by all, there needs to be less animosity to others who may have other points of view.

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