Registration is underway for the Tyler Paper’s 36th Big Buck Contest.

Hunters may register for free at any of the contest sponsors: Army/Navy Store of Tyler, 1201 E.SE. Loop 323; East Texas Seed, Cotton Belt Rail Yard; Lynch’s Food Store, 3400 E. Fifth; Mac’s Gun Shop, 213 E. Elm; Noonday Gun Trader, 14674 Texas 155 South; The Tire Barn, 13687 FM 206 at Spur 364; and Dogwood Hills Gun Club, 15160 County Road 1227.

This year the contest is undergoing a few major changes. The first, and largest, will be that while hunters still need to pre-register, all scoring will be held on one day in one location at the end of the season. This is a popular idea utilized by other groups, including the Texas Trophy Hunters Extravaganzas, and gives a good opportunity for hunters to spend a day watching theirs and others’ deer being scored.

The scoring date will be Jan. 23, the Saturday after the closing date for the regular season in South Texas. The location will be announced at a later date.

Another big change is that there will only be two adult divisions, one for men and one for women.

The change is being made for two reasons, the lack of South Texas entries in recent years and an increase in the quality of bucks from the remainder of the state.

Finally, there is a change in the prizes being offered. Instead of a mount, the winners in the adult divisions will receive a scoped Ruger American .308-caliber rifle and gift certificates. Second place will receive gift certificates.

In the two youth divisions, one for boys and one for girls 16 and under, first through third place winners will receive gift certificates.

All these changes mean one thing: We won’t know who is killing the good deer during the season without your help.

To keep the weekly stories going like has long been a tradition in the Tyler Paper, hunters, parents and grandparents are asked to continue to email pictures and information on hunts to outdoor@tylerpaper.com .

Those that are not used for feature stories will be used in the paper’s Focus on the Outdoors photo section or could find their way onto Tyler Paper’s new outdoor web page, Texasalloutdoors.com .

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