/05 Animals

Kenny Trice

Living with taxidermy

Proof of the Hunt

While being initially attracted to the aesthetics of amimal trophies, I soon became interested in those who live with animal mounts as part of their everyday lives. I grew more aware of this relationship while visiting the home of a friend in Kentucky who is an avid goose hunter and has an incredible number of mounted birds all in one small room of his house. It was both beautiful to see and strange to behold.

As taxidermy has become more prevalent in popular culture, I wanted to photograph the actual hunters and taxidermists with the animals that they have on display. There is an intimacy of space that is shared by the hunter and his quarry. It is interesting to see how the hunter brings the wild and outside into the home in an attempt to capture and keep a visual memory of a certain event or time in life.

Though hunting and taxidermy are controversial subjects to many people, most of the hunters that I have photographed are quite sensitive to the issues and would be considered conservationists. Hunters are also very aware of the game management concerns, which dictate the thinning of certain herds of animals on the local level to promote healthier populations in the ecosystem.

Additionally, many hunters share the meat from their kills with family, friends and neighbors in a tradition that goes back many generations. The final testament to the life of the animal and the sport of the hunt ends up gracing the walls of many homes for years to come.

Kenny Trice