Young writers, photographers, hunters and fishermen have a May 31 deadline to enter one of three contests sponsored by the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association and a handful of Louisiana outdoors groups.

There will be three cash awards each in three divisions of the LOWA’s Youth Journalism Contest, co-sponsored by Louisiana’s members of the Safari Club International.

For young hunters, there will be boy and girl winners in the Youth Hunter Awards.

The same goes for youngsters in the third year of the Youth Angler of the Year Awards program.

All winners will be announced during the LOWA’s annual banquet in August at a site in Louisiana to be determined later this month.

The Youth Journalism Contest is the oldest of the three programs

There are three YJC divisions, all open to boys and girls. Junior Essay is open to ages 7-13; Senior Essay is for ages 14-18; and, the Photography Division takes in all aspiring shutterbugs ages 7-18.

Winners will notified in early July and will be invited to attend the LOWA’s annual banquet.

Writers should submit 300-1,000 word essays. You’re limited to one entry; it must be an original, unpublished writing about a personal hunting, fishing, boating, camping, hiking or other outdoor activity experience. The entry must be typed, double-spaced, please.

Photos must be original, unpublished black-and-white or color, 4x6 inches, 5x7 or 8x10, and center-mounted on an 8x10 board.

All entries must have name, age, school, home address, home telephone number and, if possible, email address attached at the top of the essay or photo.

Send Youth Journalism Contest entries to: Joe Macaluso, c/oAdvocate Outdoors, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. ATTN: LOWA. Writers can submit their entries, complete with the above information via email: outdoors@theadvocate.com.

The South Louisiana Branch of Quality Deer Management Association, the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Foundation, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Bowie Outfitters among others sponsor the Youth Hunter and Angler programs.

Youngsters 15 and younger can submit their stories and photographs for the Youth Hunter (YHA) and the Youth Angler (YAA) programs. The guidelines are easy: Write an essay, and enclose photos to go along with your essay.

Entries must be original. Although typed, double-spaced entries are preferred, handwritten entries will be accepted.

YHA entries should be about a memorable hunting trip. The quarry doesn’t matter. It can be about a hunt for any legal species, preferably in Louisiana.

“The goal of this program is to collect stories and photos of young hunting activities,” YHA chairman David Moreland said. “All hunting activities qualify, and participating youths will receive a certificate recognizing their hunting achievement and efforts to keep the hunting tradition alive in the Bayou State.”

For more information on the YHA, call Moreland at (225) 978-6552 or email: heflinroots@hotmail.com.

The Youth Angler Program is looking for stories about memorable fishing trips in Louisiana. Essays could include, but are not limited to, the who, when, where, how and why of the trip.

“We want descriptive details that develop the story, and essays will be judged for the heart of your story, not just on the writing style or grammar and spelling. Write an essay that makes us feel like we were right there with you,” YAA chair Wendy Billiot said.

Send YAA entries to: LOWA Youth Angler Registry Program, c/o Capt. Wendy Billiot, 2715 Bayou Dularge Road, Theriot, LA 70397. For more information, email: captwendy@bayouwoman.com.

Florida’s snapper days

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set the 2016 recreational red snapper season in Florida waters in the Gulf of Mexico with Saturday-Sunday openings beginning May 7 and running through May 28, when recreational anglers will be allowed a continuous season through July 10.

After that, the recreational red snapper season will be open Fridays through Sundays in September and October, and on Labor Day. This means a 78-day recreational season in Florida’s state waters.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has not announced the private recreational angler red snapper season in federal waters.

2017 Classic in Houston

Last week’s biggest bass-fishing news was the 2017 Bassmaster Classic is headed to Houston with the 52 anglers competing on Lake Conroe.

Weigh-in for the three-day, March 24-26 event will be held in the Houston Astros’ home field, Minute Maid Park.

The Bassmaster Classic Expo, running on the same three days, is set for the 300,000 square foot George R. Brown Convention Center.

It’s only the second time the Classic has been held in Texas. Hank Parker won the 1979 Classic on Lake Texoma on the Texas-Oklahoma border.

The Classic champion will take home $300,000, the top payout in the $1 million purse.