Deer Camp: Last Light in the Northeast Kingdom

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9780262132831: Deer Camp: Last Light in the Northeast Kingdom

Honorable Mention, 1992 Golden Light Book Awards sponsored by the Maine Photographic Workshops.

Neither advocacy nor indictment of deer hunting, Deer Camp documents the rituals and traditions of hunting season in Vermont's fabled Northeast Kingdom, a landscape increasingly threatened by development and changing social values. John Miller's text and photographs capture the culture of hunting and its place in country life. The cabins, the hunters and their families, and hunting artifacts and memorabilia are evocatively chronicled.

The sixty black-and-white photographs record with unsentimental honesty the multigenerational ritual of deer camp, showing the camps themselves (ranging from converted school buses with stovepipes sticking out the roofs to comfortable second homes in the woods), the pickups and jalopies, hand-drawn maps and hand-carved furniture, polished snowshoes, inlaid rifles, smoking camp stoves, and snowy woodpiles.

Miller's text details - among much else - the methodology of the hunt, woods lore and recipes, and the basics of camp life and ritual. Especially moving are the oral histories he includes along with the narrative which reveal the complicated richness of the hunter's world: its hardness, its camaraderie, its passion, and its underlying respect and reverence for the woods and the deer.

Copublished with the Vermont Folklife Center

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About the Author:

John Miller, a documentary photographer, began his career working for the Shelburne Museum in Vermont and has been the project photographer for seven major exhibits funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a native of Coventry, Vermont.

From Publishers Weekly:

Two weeks in November--the deer-hunting season--are sacrosanct to many Vermonters. Deer camp is a vestige of rural life that is tied to the land and seasons, maintained within the family and across generations. Documentary photographer Miller, who spent his childhood in Vermont, obtained invitations to several camps--isolated and primitive, without electricity or plumbing, some reached only by logging road or track. He has recorded, in 60 stark b & w photographs and in oral histories, a unique, enduring heritage. Deer camp is primarily but not exclusively a masculine activity, a convivial period of card games and storytelling. But hunting is serious work--hunters provide meat for the table--and hunters take pride in their rifles. In both text and photographs, Miller gives a sympathetic, enlightening perspective on a facet of rural life in Vermont.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by The MIT Press (1992)
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