Ten years ago I purchased my first Canon camera with savings bonds.
Grandma tried talking me out of it… “Hunny, save these for college”…. As the years went by there was nothing off my radar when it came to capturing. I started out capturing weddings, engagements, and concerts – some of which included Country singers Alabama and Brooks & Dunn. Eventually I tagged along with family and friends on a few hunts, capturing the moment. However, my “shots” have always been behind the camera – I guess you could call me gun-shy!
Fast forward to today….
Living in Northern Wisconsin, my boyfriend, family, and friends are all avid hunters. Duck, geese, pheasant, deer, bear, you name it and they are hunting it! On the weekend of October 17th I was asked if I’d be interested in waking up at 4am to capture a goose hunt. “Sure!” I said. Waking up at 4am is easy, when you’re excited to capture something you’ve never captured before. We arrived to the field, and all 9 hunters flipped their head lamps on and began setting up blinds. Three blinds to hold ten people and four dogs. In the meantime, there’s a crew setting up decoys in the field. As I watched this unfold I couldn’t help but be amazed with the teamwork that was going on.
Twenty minutes later, ten people and four dogs were all settled into the blinds with guns at stow. So, now what? We wait…. 35 minutes for the geese to start honking, when suddenly one side of the blind says, “Here they come guys!”. I glanced over and the hunters hunkered down a little lower and the only motion or sound you could hear was the honking of the geese and the hunter’s calls. Suddenly, Ben yelled “KILL!” In unison, all nine hunters raised their guns, aimed, and shot. At this time, I learned my very own adrenaline rush – through the lens of a camera. I held my breath every time Ben yelled that four-letter word. But each kill made me even more excited for the next!
During this hunt, it was the first snow fall for the year. That day the crew walked away with a total of 15 geese. (In the group photo there is less because we found more birds while cleaning up).
My boyfriend’s outdoor team, BDV Outdoors, was the group that asked me to capture the hunt. They post their hunts on Facebook and Instagram if you’d like to follow along!
About their page:
“Our page started in the fall of 2019, as we felt need to share what hunting is all about. For us, the kill or catch isn’t everything. Sure, its nice to harvest a beautiful white-tailed deer, shoot a gorgeous triple-curl mallard, or catch an enormous lake trout. But the entire experience means more to us. Its about the camaraderie with your hunting partners, experiencing different forms of nature, spending time with your dog, and above all – creating memories that last a lifetime.”
Thanks to me, they have one more memory to look back on forever!
Story and Photos by Katlyn Kretzschmar