Monday, November 18, 2013

2013 Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener Images

Deer Hunter

As both an outdoorsman and an artist I tend to struggle with what imagery is consumable by my audience.  As a hunter and fisherman there are images that come with the course of the activity.  Those images are shocking and yet beautiful at the same time.  They also need to be respectful and as a sportsmen that respect is a massive, massive priority with me and the people I choose to hunt and fish with.  There is price that is paid when all of us consume food and that is paid by the thing we choose to consume.  I personally choose to pay that price in the harvesting versus the check out lane.  That does not make it easy, but I have learned to shoulder that responsibility.

Then you add in the artistic aspect of constantly trying to explain this lifestyle through images.  There is a really, really fine line there and depending on the what experience you come from it could easily be crossed or not crossed by me.

Universal Klister started out as a blog for all aspects of my life.  That meant the outdoor adventure side of me and also the artistic side of me.  As I look at the people to visit my blog often I am gratified to see that there is a nearly 50-50 split.  I have as many photographers stopping in as I do athletes and outdoors folks.  I am inspired by that and challenged by that.

So understand that paradox as you check out my images for this post in future posts......

Billiards for Stands
Early morning stroll
Whitetail Paradise
The tallest thing you can find
As I grew up my grandfather was a huge deer hunting inspiration to the rest of our family.  Near the end of his Deer hunting career he fell in love with hunting in the Winona area.  He would routinely come down and spend the week with our family.  In those days we had endless areas to hunt.  The farmers around us were cool with us using their property.  In some cases they even invited it.  Over the years that changed.  Now many of the farms are off limits and are managed specifically for deer hunting and the business of tourism and trophy hunting.  That era of handshake hunting is long gone and I have long had a nostalgia for it.  Eventually my brother and I left the state and the deer hunting tradition was lost, especially after my grandfather passed on.

A few years ago it started to take root again.  I started hunting with my buddy Steve in Cedar Valley and that has been un-real.  I can honestly say and have said it publicly many times, that the week in Cedar Valley hunting muzzleloader with Steve is by far my favorite time of the year.

Two years ago however my father was invited to join a hunt that another family in Winona puts on.  He attended and this year asked if my brother and I could attend.  We did and it was amazing.  Not only were the folks involved super, super fun and cool, the property was off the charts.  The perfect deer zone.  Lots of space, lots of terrain, lots of spots and of course a ton of deer.

The weekend could not have been better in my opinion.  There certainly could have been more deer shot, but the weather was good at stopping that.  However that is why it is called hunting.  The camaraderie and the time spent was great.  Of course it was also so fun to have time with dad and my brother on the November hunt again and for that I will be forever grateful.
Like Father Like Son
The deep woods
Battle Wagon
Hard reality

As seen driving by the Winona Kwik Trip 


Brian Pottorff said...

Hard Reality shot..perfect!

Steve said...

Great thoughts on the balance between artist and outdoorsman-the images were just great and anyone who has experienced those things will relate as I did.

Bruce Swanson said...

Great post Hansi. I decided give up the hunt a couple of years ago; hunting is about family bonding time much more than filling the freezer, and the "lone wolf" routine has lately seemed more lonely than wolf.

My father was taken away a little soon, but I did enjoy 2 seasons hunting with him after it was legal to carry a firearm, and in those two seasons, I was able to harvest 3 deer. Hunting alone after that, I took many more, but only the first 3 remain etched in memory. Even today I can recall the days, the light, the smells, even the sore, but satisfied muscles after a particularly arduous drag home.

But mostly I recall the feeling of times spent without the oppressive pall of all the things that can grind a man down...or a boy...and impose barriers between him and his father. Only My father, his brother/my uncle, my cousin, and myself, and a couple of days with no responsibilities except to "be".

I'm the only one left, these days, and the lusts of youth have faded; bonding time is found in other ways. I feel a momentary twinge of jealousy when I see a group of orange-clad hunters, but its only for a moment, until I realize my life has many blessings already: best not be greedy.

Vito said...

Wow! Phenomenal post Hansi and thanks for sharing your thoughts and images. I lost interest in the hunt once my father could no longer get out. Seeing your images and reading your story and thoughts brings back so many wonderful memories. Maybe I'll get out again someday and make some more.

I can almost smell the bacon cooking in the morning and that tenderloin on the grill in the late evening.

shredi said...

Very nice work Hansi. It is very difficult to describe all of the sights,sounds and smells you experience out in the woods when hunting. There are so many things that I realize I completely miss while on my bike. Perhaps the stars will align some day and we will hunt together.