MDC invites photographers to enter Busch Conservation Area photo contest

Whether you’re a professional or just like snapping photos on your phone, the Missouri Department of Conservation invites you to head on out to one of the largest conservation areas in the state this summer.

The contest is open from May 1 – Aug. 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 Conservation Area is host to hundreds of species of wildlife. From cormorants on the lake, turkeys in the fields, and beavers in the creek, the possibilities of spotting some of our incredible Missouri wildlife are endless.

Starting this month and continuing through Aug. 31, photos submitted via email to will be printed and displayed in the entrance of the St. Louis Regional Office within Busch Conservation Area for visitors to view and vote for their favorite photo of the week.

You can also post your submitted photos on Facebook or Instagram using #BuschWildlifeoftheWeek. Fan favorite photos will be hung in the hallway of the Regional Office for all to enjoy throughout the summer season. The last day to submit summer photos is Aug. 31.

Photos submitted MUST be taken at August A Busch Memorial Conservation Area, or Weldon Spring Conservation Area. A description of the location on either Conservation Area must be included in email submissions. Photo must include native Missouri wildlife, trees, or plants.

While participants are encouraged to spot and photograph flora and fauna, MDC asks that you remain at a healthy distance from any wildlife and respect all living things in the conservation areas while also following all area regulations.

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

• Try going 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.

• Don’t forget to fill the frame with your subject — close-up photos tend to be much more engaging than subjects seen from a distance.

• Consider pulling out a macro or closeup lens. There are amazing details to be discovered in our native plants, and a host of tiny and cool insects and pollinators.

• Finally, be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment.

You 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.

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