The Deer Hunter

This rite of passage became a fascination of mine when I married into a family of native Kentuckians. On the surface, it appears to be about guns, killing, and alcohol. In truth, this weeklong tradition is a proving ground of manhood as well as an annual retreat for male solidarity, meditation, and providing for their families. This series strives to present a portrait of an honored tradition and kinship that most will never come to know.

Hunting and masculinity have always been linked. The buck hunter is the epitome of a masculine mystique. By day he takes to the woods and isolates himself from the world to sit in wait for the next meal to appear. He becomes one with nature, understand his surroundings and prepared to take his prey. At night he gathers with his tribe of fellow hunters to celebrate the day’s hunt. All political correctness is set aside allowing them to share their tall tales, harass one another, and deal with their own life conflicts.

Copyright © Robert Dickes Photography. All rights reserved.