This weekend, more than 600,000 hunters are in Wisconsin’s woods and fields hunting for white-tailed deer, a tradition in that state as valued and important as cheese, beer and even the Packers.
Well, OK, the Pack is more valued and important.
But you get the idea.
Travis Dewitz of Eau Claire gets it, too. A “diarist-photographer,’’ Dewitz tells stories with his camera, recording places, people and events that are of deep interest to him.
Wisconsin deer hunters, and the ritual of deer hunting in the Badger State, are among Dewitz’s favorite subjects, and he chronicles these interests in a new book published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press titled “Blaze Orange.’’
Worthy even of Minnesota book shelves and coffee tables, “Blaze Orange’’ ($29.95; in bookstores or at www.wisconsinhistory.org) is in many ways universal in its photographic capturing of the institution of deer hunting, which each fall gathers young and old in the pursuit of indelible memories.
“Working on this project,’’ Dewitz says in the introduction to “Blaze Orange,’’ “brought back all the feelings I remembered from my own hunting trips — smelling the pines as a sharp cool wind would push against my face. I try to show these emotions in my photographs.’’
And he succeeds.