The judges’ decisions are in, with five top entries chosen for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Fish and Wildlife 2012 Delaware Hunting Photo Contest.
First place was awarded to Robin James of Middletown for “Three Generations,” showing her father, Michael Sethman, her 2-year-old nephew Nicholas Sethman, and her brother, Zach Sethman, with waterfowl decoys and calls at Augustine Wildlife Area near Delaware City.
The second-place winner was “A Great Day,” taken by Tammy Halsey of Dover, of her son, 14-year-old Christopher Halsey, with his waterfowl harvest during a hunt at the Ted Harvey Wildlife Area near Dover.
“Our hunting photo contest encourages children to participate in healthy outdoor recreation, a key goal of DNREC’s Children in Nature initiative,” Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Saveikis said. “These images of young hunters carrying on Delaware’s great outdoor tradition show great promise for the future and the next generation of conservationists, and we’re sure the public will once again enjoy seeing them in action.” The response from Delaware photographers to the contest in its first two years has more than met expectations, he added.
Three judges - internationally renowned Delaware photographer Kevin Fleming, and local photographers Tony Pratt and Freda Barrett, both DNREC employees - reviewed 44 entries and then narrowed the entries to the top five. The contest specified that photographs must have been taken in Delaware and must depict youth participating in hunting activities. Judges were looking for photos that best portrayed this year’s contest theme, Carrying on the Tradition.
"It was great to see so many nice photographs, especially of children enjoying Delaware's outdoors,” said Fleming. “I hope seeing this year's winners will inspire Delawareans to bring both their cameras and hunting gear so we have an even bigger and better contest next year."
The theme Carrying on the Tradition carried a lot of photographic consideration from the judges in selecting winning entries.
“We also considered technical criteria such as resolution, clarity, lighting and composition,” said Pratt. “Some entries fit the theme, but had flaws such as poor lighting, an undesirable background, or they were out of focus or low resolution. Our winners are clear, crisp close-ups of young Delawareans participating in hunting activities.”
“Delaware has a lot to offer outdoor enthusiasts, and it is nice to see that the tradition of hunting and learning about the great outdoors is being carried down through generations,” said Barrett. “It was exciting to see this year’s hunting photo entries. These photos will add a more personal touch to the hunting guide.”
Others recognized for honorable mention were as follows:
Untitled photo by Amber Miller of Bridgeville, shows 9-year-old Wesley DeFord and 6-year-old Carlyn DeFord on her family farm in Bridgeville. The photo was submitted by Susan DeFord of Seaford, the children’s mother.
“A Day on the River,” taken by Derrick Guittari of Lincoln, of his son, 7-year-old Hayden Guittari, on the Leipsic River near Dover.
“The Three Musketeers,” taken by Tammy Halsey of Dover, showing her 14-year-old son, Christopher Halsey; her 15-year-old nephew, Jeff Gary; and family dog Yukon in a classic gone-hunting pose at the Little Creek Wildlife Area east of Dover.
The winning photos will appear in the 2013-14 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. The hunting guide will be available online, at the DNREC license counter in Dover, and at hunting license dealers statewide in July 2013.