Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association honors young writers, photographers, and hunters at banquet

Darian Graivshark
The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association celebrated their 73rd annual awards and dinner banquet at the Clarion Inn on August 11.

There's nothing like a great day out on a boat with some friends to catch some fish or sitting in the woods waiting to hear leaves crunch from passing wildlife. However, there are some rules to follow.

For example, try not to drift onto private property while on a boat. Otherwise, you could be subject to criminal trespassing. This regulation was brought up during the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) Conference in Gonzales on August 11.

Although rules and regulations may be getting tougher as the years float on, things like recreational fishing have brought in billions of revenue for the state, especially when the economy may be struggling, and has a great impact on communities. Organizations like LOWA are here to bring awareness to problems that are arising and prevent them from getting worse so future generations may enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

As the association welcomes its 73rd year, Lyle Johnson said farewell at this event, since he will no longer be LOWA president after serving 10 years.

"This is my final night as president, and it has been a great run," Johnson said. "I will truly miss it."

Johnson went on to introduce the new President, Wendy Billiot, who was previously Secretary.

After the introduction of new positions and some mingling with the guests, a great dinner was served to prepare for the awards that would be given for the banquet.

The awards began with the writers and photographers. They included:

James Sanders for "Did You See That," whom also won in the photography category for his photo, "Come on in ... the Water's Fine."

William Morrison for "The Plan" was also honored in the photography category for the photo, "The Great White Hunter."

Reese Blakeney won third place for the written entry of, "What Can Happen in a Few Seconds."

Hope Lemoine won second place in photography for her photo of a colored flower.

Ben Wroten won Junior Photography with the image called "The Flyover."

Janae D'Arensbourg won Senior Photography with his photo called, "King of Lake Martin." This was described as the best photo out of more than 20 that were submitted.

The banquet moved to the Youth Anglers category, which was a documentation of the adventure that a young male and female went on. The female winner was Mackenzie Reeves, and the male winner was Pat Reynolds.

As for Youth Hunters, Lydia Capritto and Cameron Dauzat won the top place for the Youth Hunter of the Year Program. Capritto took a 21 pound turkey while Dauzat took a small buck.

Moreover, former President Lyle Johnson won 2nd place in the Excellence in Craft award category for his article titled "The Lowly Goo."

The evening ended with some raffling and prizes being won by guests who entered the raffle. For more info on LOWA visit http://laoutdoorwriters.com/.

Follow Darian on Twitter: @dariangshark