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Co-winners crowned in ALBBAA Big Buck Photo Contest

Alabama Black Belt Adventures' 12th Annual Big Buck Photo Contest attracted dozens of entries and thousands of online votes.

In the end, two photos of a smiling 7-year-old girl after harvesting her first buck and a Pintorara man harvesting a 13-point velvet buck stood out above the rest. Olivia Faulkner and Chad Stinson were declared joint winners of this year's contest, as the difference between the two photos was only her four votes.

“We are so grateful that so many people submitted photos in this year's contest, and voting continued until the end of the contest,” said ALBBAA Director Pam Swanner. “These two photos clearly resonated with voters and we believe it is appropriate to honor both entries. What is truly special is that both photos commemorate truly memorable hunts. For both hunters, the Alabama Black Belt definitely provided a memorable experience.”

Stinson and Faulkner will each receive a game camera valued at approximately $175, courtesy of the Central Alabama Agricultural Cooperative in Selma.

Stinson said his big buck has been seen on game cameras for the past three seasons, eventually appearing almost every day at 6:30 a.m. and again at 5:45 p.m. He went to the deer stand on the first day of the season. The family landed in Montgomery County around noon, hoping to make their first bow kill.

“I was sitting there for five hours and 45 minutes and he came running out there with a group of single men. Six points came out and then eight points came out. …Right behind him. , he came along,” Stinson said. “They come right up to me, literally 29 yards. That's what I've been practicing – 30 yards. That's all I need. So when I pull, that Two little bucks come out and you see how that big buck grows. They're smart. He was behind that six-point lead the whole time.”

It was a moment of patience for Stinson, but it wasn't easy.

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“It got so bad that I could feel the shivers hitting my cheeks,” he said. “I was shaking so much. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, Sixpoint bent down to eat, and he stood up straight. And when he stood up, it was my It was my only chance, so I let it go.”

It was Stinson's first time harvesting a buck using a bow, and the fact that the 13-pointer was a velvet buck made it all the more memorable.

In Faulkner's case, she harvested her first buck on Thanksgiving Day while hunting on rented land in Montgomery County. This buck arrived with several others, but she accidentally dropped her headphones on her shooting range, scaring them.

“We were both depressed about it,” said Morgan Faulkner, Olivia's father.

Things changed after just a few minutes.

“I just came back from the woods,” said Olivia, a second-grader at Troy Elementary School. “I was really scared and shaking before I took the shot. It was my first time making money, so I was really happy.”

The Black Belt includes 23 counties: Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clark, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, and Pickens. , Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Wilcox.

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