Along The Trail 10-30-14


Editor’s Note: This is a column written by Switzerland County’s David Hewitt. The articles center on all things ‘outdoors’, from hunting and fishing to woodsmanship.


Have you ever taken a look at some photographs and thought to yourself, “Wow! Those are great! The photographer is fantastic!”

On the other hand, have you seen photos that make you wonder if the person taking the pictures had their eyes closed? You know the kind, the ones where you’re almost embarrassed for the photographer and the subject? My old school pictures come to mind.

Well, hunting-themed photographs are no different. Some are really good, awesome even and some are ehhh – bad doesn’t even begin to describe them. For those of us on social media, we’ve all seen the type I’m talking about. Photographs are a tangible reminder of a memory made on your outdoor adventure.

Why not take a little bit of time and effort and make them the best you can. I’m not saying that you have to be a professional photographer, but just a few simple tips can make your hunting pictures much nicer, especially to the non-hunting public.

Whether we’ve taken giant, trophy whitetail or it’s your son or daughter’s first deer, we want our photos to show the thrill, the excitement and the joy the hunter experiences.

In most of the photos posted online of successful hunters, the hunters themselves look far too serious, almost mean and somber, like they’re trying to portray themselves as some sort of a hardcore tough guy.

Why not smile or at least grin?

I’d think that at the conclusion of a successful hunt, you’d be happy, so why not let the photo show your smile? When you look back years from now at the picture and see the grin on your face, it’ll remind you of a good time, a great memory. When we as hunters try to look tough and angry in photos, it just comes across as stupid and in my opinion, disrespectful to the game animals we chase.

Speaking of respect for the animals we take, a few minutes to prepare them before snapping a photo will go a long way in determining if your pictures are worthy to be shared publicly or if they look like something from a horror film. Every time we as hunters take an animal, they’re ought to be a hint of remorse tempered with gratitude that comes from taking an animals life and for the protein it provides.

Out of respect, we owe it to the game to present them in an honorable fashion. As unpleasant as it might sound, clean up the blood – no one, hunters and non-hunters alike, want to see your deer photographs that look like the scene of an accident.

As hunters and all of us that consume meat, it’s a given that blood is involved, but that is a part of the hunting that doesn’t need to be shared in public photos. It only takes a few seconds with a paper towel or handi-wipe to remove the excess blood. On deer, make sure to clean around your prize’s mouth and nostrils. It will make for a much nicer, more palatable picture for the public.

Also, no pictures of the wounds, entry or exit if you’re showing the photos to the general public. Photos that we as hunters might deem as perfectly acceptable can turn a non-hunter into an anti-hunter quickly.

Be sure to cover the area where the animal was shot, doesn’t matter if it was with a gun or bow.

Another simple thing for your deer photographs is to place his tongue back in his mouth. There is nothing more off putting to me, even as a hunter than to see a photo of a beautiful harvest of a mature buck, only to have the animal’s tongue hanging out of his mouth. Just slide it back in the animal’s mouth before snapping your pictures and you’ll be much happier with the results.

Lastly, let’s take the deer out of the back of the truck before clicking your pictures.

Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but in the days ahead, you’ll be glad that your took your photos in the field or the woods instead of the back of your pickup. And, if possible, get a few pics before field dressing the animal.

Along the same line, no public photos of your deer hanging from the meat hook in the barn. Again, not a big deal for the hunters and farmers in the crowd, but for folks that aren’t used to seeing those types of photos, it’s not easy for them to stomach.

Just a few minutes preparing you’re trophy for photographs will pay off in the long run and you’ll be glad you did every time you look at your pictures.

– David Hewitt