Hunting played a major role in my life while growing up in South Dakota. I hunted with my grandfather, my father, my brothers, and my friends. Everybody I knew was a hunter. In 1979, at the tender age of 16, I shot my first deer.
I remember how proud my grandfather was when I gave him the above picture. With a proud smile on his face, he put his hand on my shoulder and said "Dave, big game hunter". He then built a frame by hand and proudly hung the picture in his home.
After my grandfather passed away, the picture made its way into storage, and after many years of conditions not very conducive to preserving photos, eventually made its way back to me.
When I look at the picture now, I look at it through the eyes of someone who doesn't hunt anymore, and has no interest in hunting ever again. I've changed over the years, and while I don't begrudge those who continue to hunt, I just don't have the heart for it anymore. Today, I'd rather photograph a deer than shoot it.
Knowing my grandfather as I did, I'm sure he'd be just as proud of Dave, the big game photographer.