Hunting is a subject that I wanted to photograph for a long time and it has taken a long time to organise . I finally got the chance to photograph the winter hunting trip at Thorhøj on the island of Møn in Denmark.
The pictures are part of a series photographed at the Thorhøj Hunting Club on the island of Møn in Denmark December 2014. Members pay a yearly fee to join the club and compensation is paid to local farmers who set aside land that is kept in a more natural state to encourage pheasants and other animals to breed.
The club members gave me a warm welcome in their slightly unusual Clubhouse; a converted shipping container that was warmer than my house. After a breakfast of fresh bread, cakes and a few shots of Gammel Dansk we were ready.
A sweepstake was held and my limited Danish meant I didn’t understand the rules completely. It went something like this.You had a choose a number to represent the number of “kills” that day, a pheasant was one point I think, but a rabbit was two because it had a pair of ears….you understand why my Danish let me down here, a deer was 3 points because I think it had a pair of ears and 4 legs….I choose 12. Money was placed in the pot for the winner , guns were loaded and dogs cajoled then we were off!
It was my first hunt that I had been on and it took me a while to understand all the rituals and traditions involved as well as my personal safety, just shooting with a camera!
They were very well organised with some of them acting as beaters to scare the birds towards their colleagues with their shotguns and me and my camera.
The December weather was kind. I was wrapped up in a fetching combination of my winter cycling gear and various combinations of borrowed jackets, gloves and scarfs.Unfortunately or fortunately if you were a pheasant, the hunting was poor with only one bagged in the day.
The last two pictures above are my favourites of the series, shooting into the setting December sun.Overall I really enjoyed the day and a came home with what I think is a great document of it and my “fly on the wall ” take on the day. A controversial subject for some but the one kill of the day was treated with far more respect and dignity in death than many of the animals I have photographed. Thanks to all at Thorhøj. Please see my other pictures from the series on the site.
All shot on Nikon D800 with a nikkor 24-120 F4.
Settings. Raw, auto AF mode selected, auto iso on post processing done in Photoshop with Nik Color Efex Pro plugin.
Hope you enjoyed this photo story on hunting and photography.