As we were putting together our new digital hunting book a few months ago, we realized it was missing something – the photos and stories of our fans and customers in the field. So we put the call out on Instagram asking for your wingshooting photos that captured your hunting experience. The result was hundreds of photos entered, with a dozen chosen to be in the book. We love how the spread turned out and wanted to do more to tell the stories of the people behind the photos. So watch this space for profiles of these intrepid photographers, as well as examples of their work
Our fourth photographer is Mark Coleman, from South Carolina. His winning photo captured the magic of an early morning hunt in the quail woods.
What’s the story behind your photo that’s in the Orvis Digital Hunt Book?
The shot was taken at the Renew Area near Lick Fork Lake in South Carolina. This public land is part of The South Carolina Bobwhite Initiative, a statewide effort to restore bobwhite populations. More than 25 government and non-government organizations have pulled together to pool their resources and transform land across the state, both public and private, into places that support huntable populations of bobwhites. Results so far are impressive.
When did you start bird hunting?
In my mid-twenties. Not having anyone in my immediate family who hunted, I came to the game a little later than most. If you have a friend who’s never been hunting, do him a favor and take him..
What’s your favorite species to chase and why?
Bobwhite quail, not even close. The combination of dogs, pine woods, and a covey rise in unmatched by anything else I’ve hunted.
What’s your most memorable bird hunting moment?
It’s amazing how many I vividly recall from the last few decades. It might be an amazing shot or a stunning point or just a beautiful view. The one I think about most often seems to always be something from last weekend, which I guess is a good sign.
What’s your most forgettable moment?
I can’t seem to remember. [Editor’s note: Sigh.]
What do you love most about bird hunting?
All the cliches about dogs and friends and time outside hold true, but what I love most is that this emotional cocktail can make me so excited about the approaching season or the next hunt and can have me daydreaming about it year-round.
Where’s your favorite place hunt?
I’m really becoming a fan of some of the public land nearby that’s part of The South Carolina Bobwhite Initiative. It’s so nice to finally have beautiful places where quail are thriving that I can hunt whenever I choose for the cost of a WMA permit ($10 a year). I love South Dakota and South Texas and South Georgia, but the home acres here in South Carolina are a treasure hidden in plain sight.