The 2011-12 deer season opens tomorrow (Sept. 17) in Southwest Louisiana, and that means that deer will soon be hitting the ground.

Don't forget to have a good photo of you with that nice buck taken so it can be entered in the Big Buck Contest!

"There are always some deer killed in the early days of a season opener, so it's a great chance to get a jump on other hunters," the site's Andy Crawford said. "And with cold fronts pushing into the state, it's only going to get better."

The contest will run through the end of the season in February.

The Big Buck Contest is designed to reward users by offering monthly prizes to the user who posts the best photo. Winners will receive a free year-long Louisiana Sportsman subscription, along with a $25 gift coupon to the online Sportsman Store.

"Site administrators will choose several images each month, and the users of the site will vote to determine whose photo is the best," Crawford explained.

The first contest period will end Oct. 31, with voting taking place immediately thereafter.

Three other contest periods will follow:

• Nov. 1-30
• Dec. 1-31
• Jan. 1-Feb. 15

If you aren't already a registered member of the site, it only takes a few minutes to fill out the registration form! Registration is free.

All entries immediately appear on the Big Buck Contest report forum, as well as the contest photo gallery.

"This is just a great way to catalog the year's kills," Crawford said.

Users are encouraged to enter photos of every buck killed - even those showing smaller bucks.

"This certainly isn't a trophy contest," Crawford explained. "Photos of a first buck, a state record or a spike could all end up in the running for the monthly win!"

While cell phones are now often used to take photos in the field, it is recommended that you set phones to the highest resolution – or better yet use a point-and-shoot digital camera.

"Often photos will look fine on your phone, but when transferred to the Web look out of focus or grainy," Crawford said. "Remember, this is a photo contest, so we're looking for the best photos each month."

That said, it is important to note that Android users can now upload photos to the contest right from their mobile devices.

Louisiana Sportsman is working to secure a contest sponsor, which would mean a grand prize package would be offered.

"If we can put together a grand prize, everyone who enters the contest will be eligible for a random drawing," Crawford explained. "So be sure to enter photos of any buck you kill, no matter how big or small.

"You could walk away with some great prizes!"