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Capturing the moment: Winners of hunt down your photos contest announced

Alexandria’s Josh Schafer shot this photo of his daughter, Olivia, and his yellow lab, Stella, after they shot a few roosters on a public piece of land around the area this fall season. Schafer won first place in the photo contest for his entry. (Photo by Josh Schafer)1 / 4
Alexandria’s Joseph Didier and his 4-year-old daughter, Aubree, try to call in some ducks during a hunt on opening morning of the 2018 waterfowl season in Minnesota. Aubree’s mom, Amy Bartolomeo, snapped the photo and won second place in the contest. (Photo by Amy Bartolomeo)2 / 4
Alexandria’s Shirley Saathoff took fourth place in the photo contest after she took a picture of her husband, Daryl, leaving the woods after their sit on opening morning of the Minnesota firearms deer season this past November. (Photo by Shirley Saathoff)3 / 4
Miltona’s Chad Mathews won third place in the photo contest for this image of his daughter, Taye, after she shot her first turkey on May 5, 2018. (Photo by Chad Mathews)4 / 4

Photography can be as much a part of being outdoors as a hunt, hike or time spent fishing is.

Capturing a great image before, during or after the adventure helps create a lasting memory. The Echo Press asked readers to send in some of their best photos from the 2018 hunting and fishing seasons for the annual Hunt Down Your Photos contest.

Almost 20 images were submitted and narrowed down to the top four prize winners after judging was done by the whole staff at the newspaper on a weighted point system. Each first-place vote received four points, each second-place vote received three points, third-place votes got two points and fourth-place votes earned one point.

Here is a look at the top four finishers from this year's contest with a list of the prizes they took home for their entries.

First place

Alexandria's Josh Schafer captured an image of his 7-year-old daughter, Olivia, with his 13.5-year-old yellow lab, Stella, after a pheasant hunt this fall season.

Josh said that in his opinion, pheasant numbers around Alexandria this season were some of the best he has seen in his 17 years living in the area. He hunts primarily public lands and had some good opportunities on most of the pieces he walked this season.

In this photo, Olivia and Stella were along for a hunt on a public piece when they bagged these three roosters. Olivia was happy to pose for a photo in front of the state wildlife management area sign as Stella caught a little rest at her feet after the hunt.

Josh won a pair of Costa sunglasses ($149 value) from Alex Vision Source for his winning entry.

Second place

Hunting and fishing is often about time spent with friends and family, and Amy Bartolomeo of Alexandria captured that by snapping a photo of her daughter, 4-year-old Aubree, with Aubree's dad, Joseph Didier, while on a duck hunt on the 2018 waterfowl opener.

Joseph and Aubree are both working to call in some ducks while the two hunted around Alexandria.

Bartolomeo won a $50 gift certificate to the Alexandria Veterinary Clinic.

Third place

Turkey season was good for the Mathews family of Miltona this past spring.

Chad Mathews took this picture of his 12-year-old daughter, Taye, after she shot her first-ever turkey during a morning hunt on May 5, 2018 in Leslie Township.

Chad won a Yeti Tumbler from Ace Hardware in downtown Alexandria for the third-place entry.

Fourth place

Shirley Saathoff of Alexandria and her husband, Daryl, sat in their deer stands on the opening morning of the Minnesota firearms season while hunting near Miltona.

As they were on their way out, Shirley snapped a photo of Daryl as he made his way along the pine trees. Shirley won a $25 gift card to Elden's Fresh Foods for the fourth-place entry.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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