Big Buck Photo Contest winners announced

Carter McCloud
Carter McCloud. Submitted photo.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice announced the winners of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources’ second annual Big Buck Photo Contest. The 20 youth and five adult winners were announced at a press conference at the State Capitol, March 15.

The contest was open to residents and nonresidents and included a youth division for hunters 17 and younger and an adult division for hunters 18 and older.

To enter the contest, hunters had to submit a photo with a buck they harvested during a 2022 hunting season along with a short account of their hunt. Each entrant was required to show proof of a valid 2022 West Virginia Hunting License and had to include the 13-digit DNR-issued game check number for the buck.

Finalists were chosen by random drawing from all eligible entries and winners were selected by a judging committee made up of Gov. Justice, WVDNR Director Brett McMillion and Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby or their designated representatives.

Winning photos were selected based on photo composition, size of the buck’s antlers, number of antler points and how well the hunt was described. Finalist photos can be viewed here.

The 20 youth participants will all receive one lifetime hunting and fishing license. The five adult winners can choose one lifetime hunting license or a two-night state forest cabin stay. Only West Virginia residents are eligible for a lifetime license.

Youth division winners include the following: Hadley Allen from Charleston, W.Va.; Olivia Barker from Thornton, W.Va.; Kyla Bibey from Dennison, Ohio; Courtney Burgess from Walton, W.Va.; Blake Burner from Mineral Wells, W.Va.; Eli Currence from Elkins, W.Va.; Donovan Dameron from Cyclone, W.Va.; Landon Hartshorn from Shock, W.Va.; Dillon Jones from Charleston, W.Va.; Bella Kesterson from Franklin, W.Va.; Paige King from Lancaster, Md.; Jonah Marcum from Chapmanville, W.Va.; Rylee Martin from Sutton, W.Va.; Carter McCloud from Ravenswood, W.Va.; Cole Owens from Waverly, W.Va.; Brayden Reese from Scott Depot, W.Va.; Brayden Seago from Sisterville, W.Va.; Samuel Shomo from Junior, W.Va.; Carter Stover — Summersville, W.Va.; and Slade Terral from Bob White, W.Va.

Adult division winners include the following: Stephen Booth from Buffalo, W.Va.; Vanessa Dillon from Parkersburg, W.Va.; Kevin Korzun from Romney, W.Va.; Madeline Nelson from Marlinton, W.Va.; Jordon Peterson from Youngstown, Ohio.

For more information about hunting and fishing in West Virginia and to purchase a license, visit


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