April 14, 2015

Turkey Hunting

In 2007, an 18-year-old man was goose hunting in blind when a poacher shot at one of his decoys, killing the young hunter.  This tragic event resulted in a foundation that teaches children about safe and ethical hunting. One of their events is an annual Youth Guided Turkey Hunt, which I got to photograph this year.

The hunt is divided into two days. On Friday evening, children were educated about gun safety and able to train their skills with a shotgun.

The actual hunting takes place early the next morning. It was the part I wanted to focus on, as I thought that readers would like to see photos of the "real action" over a target practice. It also seemed like an interesting thing to attend as I've never been turkey hunting before.

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So, it is 4:30 am, and I am getting out my bed, splashing water on my glued eyelids. I am leaving my lights and tripod at home as the goal is to be as stealth as possible and to remain lightweight to move quickly. My camera and a few lenses will have to do. But, it brought a question: How to capture it, since there are no public lamps, no shiny shop fronts, or anything to lit the scene? Even the moon was hidden behind the clouds, so one could hardly see their shoes. Challenge accepted!

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The meeting point. Everyone's excited, and the light out of the house's windows is a nice bonus.

Before heading out to the field, the guides are finishing their gear preparation, and the light situation is getting worse. Handheld 1/1.3 seconds on a wide-angle.

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We are set! Taken at 1/2 second, F/1.4, iso 5000 - Yes, it was dark!

As it turned out, hunting is a lot of waiting. A plus is, the dawn is starting. Hello, sun!

Sun's getting up. Yey, I can lower the iso.

Yey, I can lower the iso.

The hunting instructor sets a camera, action is to come.

One of the hunting instructors points out that the action is to come.

BANG!

BANG!

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"Good shot buddy, good shot."

His first turkey. Well done.

Job done.

Published by: Jakub Stepanovic in Stories

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