MDC invites photographers to enter Busch Conservation Area photo contest starting May 1

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Saint Louis
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St. CHARLES, Mo.—Whether you’re a professional photographer or just like snapping photos on your smartphone, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites you to head on out to one of the largest conservation areas in the region this summer.  Put the camera of your preference to the test and submit your best photos for the Busch Wildlife Photo Contest.

The contest is open from May 1 – August 31 and participants can enter images taken on the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles, or at the adjoining Weldon Spring Conservation Area.  There is no limit to the number of submissions an individual may enter.

With nearly 7,000 acres of land and a wide variety of habitats, Busch and Weldon Spring Conservation Areas are host to hundreds of species of wildlife. From cormorants on the lake, turkeys in the fields, deer throughout the forests, and beavers in creeks, the possibilities of spotting some of incredible Missouri wildlife are endless.

Photos must be submitted via email to and will be printed and displayed in the entrance of MDC’s St. Louis Regional Office located on the Busch Conservation Area.  They will be on view for visitors who will be able to vote for their favorite photo of the week.   Photographers can also post their submitted photos on Facebook or Instagram using #BuschWildlifeoftheWeek. Fan favorite photos will be displayed in the hallway of the MDC St. Louis Regional Office throughout the summer season.

Photos submitted must be taken at Busch or Weldon Spring Conservation Areas and include a description of the location on the area where they were taken in the email submission.  Photo subjects should be limited to native Missouri wildlife, trees, or plants. Photographers should follow area regulations, be considerate of their plant and animal subjects, and remain at a safe distance from any wildlife.

MDC photographers offer the following tips to help create the best photos:

  • Photograph during the early morning, or later into the evening. The light is usually much better during these times than the harsher, midday sun. Soft, cloudy days can also make for some pleasing light.
  • Fill the frame with the subject—close-up photos tend to be much more engaging that subjects seen from a distance.
  • Consider using a macro or closeup lens. There are amazing details to be discovered in native plants, and a host of tiny and fascinating insects and pollinators.
  • Be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Photographers can also consult MDC’s online Field Guide at for more information about native wildlife and their habitats and behaviors.

The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area is located at 2360 Highway D, about two miles west of Highway 94.  The Weldon Spring Conservation Area consists of 7,356-acres and runs along Route 94 starting approximately one mile south of I-64.