It was very cold I couldn’t feel my toes, but I was just hoping for the moment that birds were going to fly over.
BENJAMIN REID, 10
Hunters often consider what they do to be a privilege, a ritual in which outsiders do not fully understand. Hunting reveals a world mostly hidden in an urban society increasingly divorced from its rural roots. While hunting in contemporary North America has lost its formative purpose – the search for sustenance – it is much more than merely a game. Hunting is a natural thread that connects us with our own roots, with who we once were, and with what it once meant to be human. These truths are often lost in the urban jungle. I spent a year and half traveling across the United States looking for its next generation of hunters. Setting out from New Mexico, I passed through Wyoming, Illinois, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, and Georgia. Along the way I joined many hunting expeditions as I sought the perspective of child hunters.
These faces show America’s youth connecting to hunting’s storied past. Many children today while away their time with video games, television and movies. These subjects take a different path. For them, the thrill is learning to follow their instincts and being immersed in nature. All these children have something in common, they are at home in nature.
You have to stay really quiet. Usually, we just don’t talk at all.
Enrique Cordova, 7
Sometimes I try to go to sleep but sometimes I read my books, and look around at all the trees and get songs stuck in my head.
Mary Dennis, 10
My least favorite thing is that you’re taking the life away from the animal you shot, but if you kill it cleanly and eat it, it makes it a lot better.
Will Freidburger, 14
Erika Larsen was born in Washington DC in 1976. She has been photographing the world of hunting since 2003 and became a contributing photographer to Field & Stream Magazine in 2005. This work has been recognized by World Press Photo, American Society of Magazine Editors, American Photography and others. She received a 2007 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts for the completion of this project. She had her second solo show earlier this year with Young Blood at the Redux Gallery, NYC. website | reduxpictures.com