Survival

to hunt

verb

  1. to pursue and kill (a wild animal) for sport or food.

 

If you grew up in a very large city, then chances are you did not get to do much hunting as a kid.  One of my favorite childhood memories is hunting on horseback with my father, two uncles and grandaddy.  Three Benge generations wandering through the valleys and over the mountain tops of Southern New Mexico hunting deer.  This past Christmas I was able to almost relive this memory, sans horses and my dad, who was unfortunately unable to come.

To me, it is very disappointing that most kids do not get to experience something like this.  Whether it is because of lack of access, education, permission or even just exposure.  As you will see in my work, I was able to share this experience with both those same uncles, Colin and Carl, as well as a couple of kids not much older than I was in that not-so-distant memory.  As history and tradition often thwart repetition, Carl brought his son, Christian.  

My goal with this series is to show people the truth, beauty, bonding and sacrifice that hunting provides.  Yes, it's bloody but try to look beyond the gore.  Since the beginning of mankind we have been hunting and sacrificing wildlife in order to pursue survival; so in reality this is nothing new.  However, with this privilege comes responsibility.  As humans civilization gets larger and more widespread, animal populations get forced out and must find new habitats.  These herds cannot withstand the population overgrowth and must be contained in order to thrive and avoid starving to death.  

This is not a story of murder... but rather of survival.  These deer made the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect their herd and nourish our families.  And for that, we are ever grateful. 

Click on any image to see them full screen.

Posted on March 17, 2014 .