We have just closed the books on our first Whitetail Pro-Am and all I can say is WOW!!! ICF member, Santa Margarita Ranch hosted this event with professional photographer Michael Francis as our coach and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
The Santa Margarita was featured in the 2010 Pro-Tour of nature photography, and this Pro-Am was the first time that the ranch was opened to the public for photography. The quality of the ranch, the knowledge of the coach, and the ability of our participants produced breathtaking images, including a shot that matched the all-time highest single image score in Pro-Am history. The details and a link to the tournament images are on the left. We thank you all and we look forward to seeing you again at your next ICF Pro-Am.
ICF’s first ever Whitetail Pro-Am was held October 17th to 21st. This tournament was a Pro-Am ME, which means that all participants were on one ranch and competed as individuals. Our participants were Greg Moredock, Tom Pickthall, Sarah Johnston (our first repeat participant), and Butch Emry. The Santa Margarita is a world-class hunting ranch with fantastic accommodations, and Michael Francis is well-known in the photography community as a great leader. How was the wildlife? Well, Michael Francis says that he has never seen deer this big (one buck scored 270 points), and he has been photographing whitetail for over 30 years. The images show that the deer, and the exotics were plentiful, and all of the participants were able to get great shots.
Daily and overall prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. Once again, every participant came up with a winning photo and everyone learned something. This is a result of the coaching and the learning that goes on in the Pro-Am format.
Daily 3rd place winners were Greg Moredock for day 1, and Butch Emry for days 2 and 3. Daily 2nd place winners were Tom Pickthall for day 1, Greg Moredock for day 2, and Sarah Johnston for day 3. Finally, our daily 1st place winners were Sarah Johnston for day 1, Butch Emry for day 2, and Greg Moredock for day 3. Greg Moredock’s 1st place day 3 image scored a remarkable 49 out of 50 possible points which tied the all-time Pro-Am single image high score.
Our overall winners were…….in 3rd place with 210 points, Sarah Johnston; 2nd place with 228 points, Butch Emry; and in 1st place with a total of 234 points, Greg Moredock. Congratulations to all of you, it was a pleasure viewing your work and spending time with each of you.
The judges saw improvement in everyone’s images over the 4 days of the Pro-Am, and we want to recognize our judges; Steve Freligh (Nature’s Best Photography), Susan McElhinney (National Wildlife Federations’ Ranger Rick Magazine), Kim Rothe (Texas Wildlife Association Magazine), Ryan Henry (South Texas Outdoors), and Keely Lewis. Our judges are an important part of these events, we really appreciate their support and their efforts to help save wildlife.
~David Elliott, Executive Director | Images for Conservation Fund