Sports column: Post’s contest lets you win some bucks for your buck

Published 1:00 pm Sunday, January 9, 2022

For the past couple of months, Mississippi’s hunters have been putting dinner on the table and trophies on the wall during deer season. Now, they can also put a little cash in their pocket.

The Vicksburg Post is taking its long-running tradition of publishing hunting photos to the next level with its first “Best Buck Contest.”

The rules are simple. Submit your photos through our website, vicksburgpost.com/bestbuck until the end of deer season on Jan. 31. Then, from Feb. 1 to Feb. 15, return and vote for the area’s best deer photo. The winner will receive $150, provided by The Post, enough for some more hunting supplies or a nice celebratory dinner.

Keep in mind that this is a contest for the “best” buck and not the “biggest.”

We made that important distinction because deer in Mississippi come in all shapes and sizes. Some have a bit more bulk, while others have bigger racks or more points on their antlers.

We not only wanted to let our readers pick the winner as a fun part of the contest, but avoid a dicey situation where a 250-pound buck loses out to an adorable and popular 8-year-old with a 120-pound doe, or have to come up with a convoluted tiebreaker to separate a dozen 8- and 9-pointers.

When it came to that, I guess you could say that we wanted to pass the buck.

The contest has been open for a week and we’ve already received nearly 20 submissions. You can see them at www.vicksburgpost.com/bestbuck.

My personal favorite among the early entries is a photo of a dead rat that a reader’s kittens harvested during Christmas week. It was reminiscent of last year, when a self-described “vegan hunter” submitted a photo of herself in hunting gear while proudly displaying a bunch of carrots.

Among the actual deer, the competition seems stiff. There are a number of 200-pounders, 8-, 9- and 10-pointers, and various combinations of the two. Our local hunters have been busy taking plenty of trophy bucks this season.

Which one is the best? That’s for you to decide. Send in your pictures and come back in February to vote.

And, in the meantime, keep sending us your photos for our daily “Trophy Case” feature. The only prize for it is a moment of fame and memories, but we and our readers enjoy seeing and sharing them.

Trophy Case photos can be emailed to sports@vicksburgpost.com, but the Best Buck contest photos must be submitted through the Vicksburg Post’s website.

Good luck to all of our hunters. And a special thanks to Robyn Lea’s State Farm Agency for sponsoring Trophy Case.  Let us see what you got!

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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