One of my longest running documentary projects started the year I returned from Africa. When my 76 year old grandfather asked me to accompany him on an elk hunting trip into the woods, it seemed natural to document the event. I was acting only as a scout and “Bird Dog” as he would so many times refer to me in the company of others.
He always hunts a late season, and is reluctant to give up the woods he has hunted for so long. An interesting fact about those woods is that the old growth forest was severely damaged by the effects of the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire, leaving large sections of the once thriving forest dead, and seemingly more stark than the year before.
I made these images on our first day out this year, showing a dead forest that is dangerous in high winds and downright spooky at night.
This photo essay began in the Fall of 2005, I have returned faithfully with camera, and rifle, in hand each year since, developing this story about traditions, my grandfather, and the art of the hunt.