So now that our students are back in the full swing at school — a sometimes not so welcomed reawakening from the holidays — they have the chance to embrace an enriching opportunity.

Three contests, originated by the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association and several support groups, can earn students acclaim across the state and put some cash and prizes in their pockets.

The Youth Journalism Contest is the oldest and has been joined by the Youth Hunter of the Year and Youth Angler of the Year essay contests.

The YJC has the support of Louisiana’s Safari Club International members and has categories for writers and photographers in Junior Essay (ages 7-13), Senior Essay (ages 14-18) and Photography (ages 7-18) categories.

The Youth Hunter draws support from Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and is open to in-state boys and girls ages 15 and younger in separate divisions for its two awards.

Youth Angler’s “Fish, Write, Win” slogan just about says it all for the thousands of young fishermen across the state. Again, there will be a winner in Boys and Girls categories, with Louisiana’s Coastal Conservation Association and the LDWF standing as co-sponsors for the very worthwhile lifetime fishing licenses.

  • For YJC, 300-1,000 word typed, double-spaced, original, unpublished writings covering a personal outdoors experience. Submitted photos must be original, unpublished black-and-white or color, 4x6, 5x7 or 8x10 inches, and center-mounted on an 8x10 board. Only one essay and photograph will be accepted for each youngster.

Each submission must have name, age, school, home address, home telephone number and, where possible, email address attached at the top of the essay or photo. Mail entries to: Joe Macaluso, Advocate Outdoors, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. ATTN: LOWA. Essays can be sent by email:

The top three in each category will be named in each category.

  • For Youth Hunter, essays and accompanying photos need to cover a special hunt or memorable hunting trip with family and friends. The boy and girl winners will receive a plaque and gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters, and will be honored at the next year’s Governor’s State Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet. Delta Waterfowl’s Baton Rouge Chapter, the South Louisiana Branch of Quality Deer Management Association, the Harrison Law firm, Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge and Outdoor Roots are sponsors.

A registration form and rules are available on the LDWF website: Entries must be postmarked by March 9. Applications can be sent by mail or submitted electronically.

Call Rebecca Triche (225) 344-6707 or email:

Entry deadline for YJC and Youth Angler is June 30.

All winners will be honored at the LOWA’s annual awards banquet.

Winners and two guests each will get tickets to the LOWA’s Aug. 10 awards banquet held at a site to be named later.

For more information, email Billiot at

Commission agenda

Thursday’s 9:30 a.m. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission monthly meeting will accept public comment and offer and consider any amendments for the proposed 2019-2020 hunting seasons on private lands and state-run wildlife management areas.

Among the top considerations, according to the LDWF’s Wildlife Division, are: limited access areas; deer and other cervid carcass importation-ban regulations; nighttime hunting for outlaw quadrupeds, migratory bird season changes pointed to a reduction from six to four teal approved for next season.

Another hot topic will be to consider a notice of intent to lift the moratorium on issuing oyster leases. The issue was heard in January, but was delayed to consider more information on beginning the process to remove the ban.

The meeting has a video and audio webinar link:

High school anglers

You have only this week to nominate high school fishermen for the fifth 12-member Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team, a program designed to applaud youngsters for their efforts not only in bass tournaments but also for leadership in their communities and involvement in conservation efforts. The nomination deadline is Feb. 8.

Parents, coaches, teachers and school officials can nominate 10-12 graders. Students must have a minimum 2.5 grade-point average.

Judges will select two students from each state, then the final top 12, who will be eligible to compete in a one-day Bassmaster High School All-American tournament near Emory, Texas with coaching provided by Bassmaster Elite Series anglers.