CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — The return of buck firearms season in across the Mountain State also signals the return of the statewide Big Buck Photo Contest.

Buck firearms season in West Virginia runs from Monday, November 20, 2023, to December 3, 2023. All participating hunters are reminded that they must buy their license and deer stamps prior to the season’s start in order to have an opportunity to bag an additional buck.

West Virginia’s buck firearms season is a cherished tradition that spans generations and unites us in our love for the outdoors. I want to encourage every hunter, whether you’re a resident or non-resident to get into the woods and enjoy a hunting adventure and experience all of the goodness and beauty of West Virginia.

Jim Justice | West Virginia Governor

The Big Buck Photo Contest is returning for its third season as hunters will be able to send in a photo of a harvested buck for a chance at some prizes throughout the span of the buck firearms season. According to Gov. Justice, since beginning in 2021, the contest has received more than 2,000 entries.

“As a lifelong hunter, I want to invite everyone to participate in the West Virginia Big Buck Photo contest and enjoy our state’s incredible deer hunting opportunities. Whether you come home with a buck or win one of these prizes, I want to encourage you to get in the woods and join the thousands of hunters who have participated in this exciting contest over the last two years and help show the world why West Virginia is one of the best places to hunt.”

Jim Justice | West Virginia Governor

The contest is open to West Virginia and out-of-state residents. However, anyone who enters must hold a valid 2023 West Virginia hunting license. Also hunters must send the 13-digit WVDNR game check number for the harvested buck.

There will be youth hunter and adult hunter categories. Categories will also be separated along in-state and out-of-state residents.

Within the in-state youth division, five young hunters will be chosen at random to get a free lifetime West Virginia hunting and fishing license. Five hunters in the in-state adult division will also win a free lifetime hunting and fishing license. They will also get the opportunity to choose between a two-night stay in a Cabwaylingo State Forest cabin or a two-night stay in a Seneca State Forest cabin.

Winners in the out-of-state divisions will also take home some great prizes.

Five young hunters who do not live in West Virginia will win a Cabela’s prize package. Non-resident adult hunters will have to choose between a two-night stay in a North Bend State Park cabin, a two-night stay in a Twin Falls Resort State Park cabin, or two Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour passes.

Winners will be announced through a random drawing and will be announced in January 2024.