Volkskrant Magazine published an article with of mine today about youth hunting in the US. I got to write the text for it as well. The shots were taken on my first hunting trip to the Deep South of the US in 2010, but also in Oregon and California on my recent trip.
Pig hunting near Red Bluff, California with three generations of Bob:Bob Jr, Bob the third, and Bob the fourth. Good times!
This is Mojo the vizsla, on his first ever duck hunt. The vizsla is an all-round pointer/retriever dog breed from Hungary and a very sweet dog at that. They are certainly not lacking in enthusiasm or machismo, as you can see.
The teeth you see here came from a massive rodent called a nutria. Garry and Marcia, our Oregon hunting friends, caught and cooked one for an event called the "invasive species potluck". It was a retirement party where everyone brought a dish with an invasive, damaging species. So they brought crocked nutria, and others brought fried bullfrog legs, popcorn sparrow, turkey casserole, dandelion salad, and many other treats. Doesn't that sound like an awesome party?
On our way from Wyoming to Bend, Oregon for a deer youth hunt.
This is Bella the airedale terrier. Bella is a bear dog. She works in a camp that is often visited by grizzlies. Since you can't shoot grizzlies, you better have dogs in a place like that. They will let you know when bears are around and will attack and chase a bear off without hesitation, barking and snapping at their ankles. When getting a bear dog, don't be tempted to get big breeds or bulldog types - go for quick and small dogs with a ferocious attitude, like shepherds or terriers.
The hunt in the Rockies was a five and a half hour ride up the mountains, on trails where no motorized vehicle could possibly go. So luggage, food, and other supplies were transported by mule. Mules are great for carrying heavy loads across rugged terrain, but they love to get in trouble. And they don't mind doing it while going up and down steep cliffs either. Our guides loved them, but I think I'll stick to the horses for now.
What's for breakfast? Well, the heart of the first elk bull that was harvested this week, of course.
Jackson Hole is an area so pretty, you drive no more than five minutes to spot an antelope and a buffalo herd. I could just stay and get gorgeous pictures right here. But what's the fun in that? We ride out tomorrow. One week in those mountains: no electricity, no showers, no cell phones, no roads, no buildings, no humans but hunters. Instead: dogs, horses, moose, elk, wolves, grizzlies, bald eagles and the great wide open. America at its very finest.
Dear folks, I am about to embark on adventure the likes of which I've never seen before. Those of you that know me are familiar with my anticipation anxiety - I've been working up to this trip for nearly two years now. But my plane is almost about to leave and I can't help but share my nerves. I'm going on an elk hunt. Elk stalking in the Rocky mountains is nothing like any hunt I've seen. We'll be on horseback from before dawn till after dusk, and grizzly bears are abundant wherever we go. My biggest fear is my horse being spooked by a bear, running off, and throwing me into a ditch halfway through its tantrum. I spoke to the hunters, and the bear you see in the illustration has just worked its way through a food trailer made up of nearly an inch of "bear proof" steel. In one of the camps where we'll be staying. I'm not afraid of animals unless I really need to, and I believe I'm in very capable hands, but you know - bears. I've packed for every possible scenario, but as rational as I might be, there seems to be no foolproof mental preparation for a situation like this. I'll just have to go along and enjoy the ride. Please, dear people, wish me luck. And I will promise to do my best to bring back gorgeous images. Frankly, it seems to me that not doing so is a virtual impossibility. I'm going to the freaking Rockies. Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Elk stalking. It's actually happening. From next week on, I'll give you updates as frequently as I can.
I love you all.
I'm proud to present my new solo exhibition Isabella Hunts in the brand new Gup Gallery. Gup Magazine is opening their new gallery today, and I have the honor of kicking it off with a solo exhibition. The exhibition shows an overview of my hunting project so far. It is a work in progress that will likely take another four years to complete. The show features work shot in the Netherlands, Germany, the Deep South of the US and the United Arab Emirates. Some of the work has never been published, and most of it has never been exhibited before. So come by and have a look!
The show will be on view from September 7 - 28. Gup Gallery Ferdinand Bolstraat 1 Amsterdam, The Netherlands More info here.
My photo on the cover of GUP's NEW Dutch photography 2012!