Blaze orange is more than just a color in the upper Midwest – it’s a tradition, a lifestyle, and a livelihood. This fall, photographer Travis Dewitz captures the textures, tones and characters of the annual Wisconsin deer hunt in Blaze Orange: Whitetail Deer Hunting in Wisconsin, a new book by Wisconsin Historical Society Press.
The book profiles not only the hunters but also the businesses that support them − from taxidermists and knife makers to butchers and mom-and-pop stores where hunters gather to warm up and swap stories.
This stunningly evocative collection of documentary pictures serves as a cultural snapshot of a generations-old hunting tradition. In 129 images, Dewitz documents the annual Wisconsin gun deer hunting season and portrays a cross section of the more than 600,000 hunters who fill the Northwoods every November.
Dewitz followed the annual “army of seasonal orange” that spreads out through the Wisconsin terrain, guided by his own childhood hunting experiences. While the hunters pursued whitetail deer, Dewitz sought to encapsulate the hunt itself – from a girl and her grandfather scanning a field in fresh snow to hunters laughing around a fire back at camp.
“I wanted to capture with my camera what I experienced growing up and what I still see among my friends and family whenever late November comes around,” Dewitz explains.
For more information or to order the book, visit wisconsinhistory.org/shop.