Monday, December 16, 2013

Deer Season 2013

The air is cold. The deep blue of the predawn sky is beginning to bleed the first red rays of sunrise by the time we close the doors of the truck and make our way into the woods. The deer are still sleeping warm and bedded down in the undergrowth but good hunters are out and ready before the first light.
"I should have worn two socks." My friend whispers to me.
I chuckle silently. This is his first time deer hunting, and he made the same mistake I did my first time.
This year was the first year I hunted deer with a camera, rather than a gun.
By mid morning, as the sun began to warm and melt the remaining snow, we decided to call it quits. The woods were full of gunfire as more hunters flocked to the woods. Plus my friend had work. But hunting for us isn't about whether or not we get an animal, it's about being in the woods, far from the stresses of work and school and other distractions. We rode the hour back to civilization only speaking a few times, not needing to.
Deer season is special to me in many ways, my grandfather was an avid deer hunter, as are my uncle and cousin. Being in the woods this time of year brings back memories of those in my family who can't be there, or who no longer are. It was for this reason I decided to explore it as a subject for photography.
Some of the photos are graphic, I'm sure some who view this will disagree with hunting and be appalled at the images from the cleaning station. But I want to share what I captured in a week in the woods and at a deer cleaning station.
For some it's a past time,
For others it's work,
But for everyone it is deer season.