Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Announces Fishing and Hunting Photo Contest Winners

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The judges’ decisions are in: the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s first fishing and hunting photo contests each have first and second place winners and three honorable mentions.

Three judges – well-known professional photographer Kevin Fleming, and local photographers Tony Pratt and Freda Barrett, both DNREC employees – reviewed 53 fishing entries and 27 hunting entries, and then narrowed each category to the top five. The contests specified that photographs must have been taken in Delaware and must depict youth participating in fishing or hunting activities. Judges were looking for photos that best portrayed “the promise of the future” as envisioned by the Division’s 2011 theme of “Celebrating 100 Years of Fish and Wildlife Conservation: Reflecting on the Past, Moving into the Future.”

“When we were judging the contest entries, we looked most importantly for photographs that portrayed our theme and ‘the promise of the future,’” said Ms. Barrett, who suggested the contest as part of the Division’s 100-year celebration. “We also considered technical criteria such as resolution, clarity, lighting and composition. Some entries fit the theme, but had flaws such as poor lighting, an undesirable background or out-of-focus. Our winners are crisp close ups of youth partaking in fishing or hunting activities.”

“We saw some very nice entries for a first-time contest, and the winners were all good,” said Mr. Fleming, adding, “I would encourage the Division of Fish & Wildlife to consider making this year’s special photo contest held on the anniversary of 100 years of fish and wildlife conservation an annual event – and in case they do, I hope more people will be encouraged to take their cameras with them on their outdoor Delaware adventures.”

Fishing contest winners are:

  • First place: “Fishing with My Daddy,” toddler at Cape Henlopen, by Michele Reeder of Dover
  • Second place: “Barefoot Basin,” Collins Pond, by Joey Melvin of Georgetown
  • Honorable mention: Untitled photo of 8-year-old boy in waders holding big fish on White Clay Creek, by Brenda Rappa of Wilmington
  • Honorable mention: “Got One,” 9-year-old boy fishing in Cedar Creek Mill Pond, by Kathy Sheldon of Lincoln
  • Honorable mention: “Maddie Fishing Pic,” toddler fishing in Christina River, by James Brainard of New Castle

Hunting contest winners are:

  • First place: Untitled photo of 5-year-old boy hunting at Broadkill Beach, by Tom Burke of Greenwood
  • Second place: “Calling Them In,” 6-year-old boy hunting near Milton, by Amy Argo James of Milton
  • Honorable mention: “Scanning the Skies,” teen boy hunting at Ted Harvey Wildlife Area near Dover, by Dave Sawicki of Magnolia
  • Honorable mention: “Practice Makes Perfect,” 11-year-old girl hunting near Marydel, by Andrea Sergent of Marydel
  • Honorable mention: Untitled photo of two 12-year-old boys hunting near Lincoln, by Joey Melvin of Georgetown

“When we announced these contests as part of our 100-year celebration, we wanted to feature images of young anglers and hunters in our hunting and fishing guides, since young Delawareans will become the next generation of Delaware conservationists. The response from our resident photographers more than met our expectations,” said Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Saveikis. “Moving into the next century of fish and wildlife conservation in Delaware, we are encouraged by the promise of the future represented by these photographs of young anglers and hunters enjoying the outdoors.”

The winning fishing photos will appear in the 2012 Delaware Fishing Guide, with Ms. Reeder’s first place photo on the cover and second place and honorable mention photos printed inside the guide. The fishing guide will be available online, at the DNREC license counter in Dover and at fishing license dealers statewide in March.

The winning hunting photos will appear in the 2012-2013 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide, which is not yet in production. The hunting guide is due out in July and will be available online, at the DNREC license counter in Dover and at hunting license dealers statewide.

For more information about future Division photo contests, please visit