Deer Stand And Deliver: The Hunting Blinds Of The US Midwest

Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest

If you've ever spent time in the far reaches of the US, you're probably familiar with the deer stand — a uniquely improvised, homemade shelter that gives hunters refuge, warmth, and a clear view. Though they're designed to be inconspicuous, photographer Jason Vaughn seeks them out, finding and photographing dozens of the structures across rural Wisconsin.

Vaughn is a Madison, Wisconsin-based fine art photographer whose work focuses on life in the Midwest. For a project called Hide, he wanted to document the unique architecture of deer stands around the state — from haphazard plywood shacks to snug, fully-outfitted homes on stilts. "It began as a commentary on Wisconsin's hunting tradition, using deer stands as a metaphor for the changing values of the sport," he explains. Hunting is declining in Wisconsin and across the Midwest — and with it, so are the often very elaborate deer stands that have been passed down through families for generations.

But midway through the project Vaughn, then 32 and the father of a three month-old child, was diagnosed with Leukemia — and Hide began to take on other dimensions.

Some people described building the stands as something permanent that could be passed to the next generation, especially sons who would inherit the land... Having to face mortality to unexpectedly made me come back to the project with a new perspective on the ideas of permanence and impermanence. Ultimately, Hide became my reflection on legacies and family, my homage to the state that has become my home, and a narrative about accepting change.

Hide is on view at the 2013 Wisconsin Triennial until January, if you're in the area — in the meantime, check out some of the series highlights below. [Jason Vaughn; Ignant]

Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest
Deer Stand and Deliver: The Hunting Blinds of the Midwest

Comments

    some of these are out in the open - how do they help you hunt deer if the deer can see them?

    @zen, the deers do not have a really good vision and usually are more attracted to movement than colors. and if it is something that has been there for some time, they may not pay attention to it as it is always present.

      fair enough - i didnt know deers had bad eyesight

        They don't have bad eyesight. They see light in different wavelengths to us humans. They see more blue than we do. That is why american hunters wear blaze orange camouflage. The deer cannot see orange very well.

          in that case, wouldnt it be better to wear blue, so you blend in to the deer's background?
          orange is a safety thing i know, but i dont know if its illegal not to use it.

            Why would you dress in a colour that is more obvious to them?
            In some states in the US it is illegal to not wear blaze orange while hunting.

              if you see things as more blue, wouldnt wearing blue cause you to blend in?
              like military camo

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