Hunting Kangaroo (and other creatures)

Yesterday, I got to go out kangaroo hunting with some locals out in Mt. Margaret (about 35 km or so west of Laverton).  For my photo essay on Aboriginal diabetes, I want to show the traditional (and healthier) food sources.  Winston, Bradley, and Shane Stokes were my generous hosts and I am very thankful they let me ride along with them.

When I think about it, I realize I haven’t ever been hunting or seen anybody hunt in person until yesterday.  This is surprising given that I grew up in Missouri and went to school in Texas.  I have shot plenty of guns meant for hunting, but never at any animals.  Although I was shooting pictures (and not kangaroos), it was quite an experience going on a hunting trip for the first time.  For once, I followed my food from living, breathing animal to my plate– not something you usually get to do.  I also ended up with a little more kangaroo blood on my pants than I had orginally planned going into this, but that is all part of the fun.

When the day was done, we came back with 9 Kangaroos, 1 Emu, and 2 Goannas (giant lizards).  Because there is a funeral in town this weekend, they needed to get a lot of meat to feed everyone.  When we got back, a couple of kangaroos, the emu, and Goannas were gutted and then cooked the traditional way– buried in the ground with hot coals.  The remaining kangaroos were skinned and saved for later or given out to other members in the community.  Family slowly started showing up throughout the afternoon and the meat they cooked fed probably 30 or more people.

I tried a little bit of everything but my favorite was definitely the Goanna tail.  Just peel back the scaly skin and it tastes exactly like chicken (no really, it does).

Again, I have to thank the Stokes family for letting me hang out with them all day, inviting me to their big family event, and then letting me photograph everything.  It was a good time and I got to see some beautiful country that I would otherwise never see.

I took way too many photos and I am still wading through them.  So, I will just post a couple.  I also chose to do these pictures in black & white.  I am not sure why, but I think I like them better that way.  It also takes away the bloody shock value of the photos.  But, I still haven’t decided if my end project will be in color or black & white.  Thoughts?

Kangaroo Hunting

Australia Kangaroo Hunting

Australia Kangaroo Hunting

Australia Kangaroo Hunting

7 Responses to “Hunting Kangaroo (and other creatures)”

  1. August says:

    Good shootin’ sir. I say we see in color, shoot in color, so we should display in color unless we absolutely f’ed up the color and want to hide it 🙂 Which granted, sometimes we all do that. Oh, and if we’re entering CPOY because we all know a color photo doesn’t have much of a chance. But, that’s just my position on the matter.

    • John Schreiber says:

      Haha, I guess I will just call these my CPOY entries… But who knows, maybe this year’s judges will only vote for color. I do think the final version of the project will be in color. The light and everything out here is just too gorgeous for black and white.

  2. Mito says:

    Whoa I never realized those things were that small. Did you eat one? What does it taste like?

    • Yes, I had some kangaroo. I don’t really know how to describe the taste. It is kind of a “gamey” taste like deer meat. But not quite the same. I guess all I can say is it tastes like kangaroo. But telling you, lizard tail is where it’s at. Tastes like chicken but better!

  3. Jimmy says:

    Nice work. I’d like to see these in color. Blood is part of the hunt, why hide it? I think the contrast of the crimson blood against the brown soil might be interesting, but maybe it’s not… I don’t know. Also, I want to see more faces. Good work.

  4. John,

    These shots are amazing. I love the framing from the car in the second image and the two trees framing the hunter in the last. Makes me very jealous being stuck in Dallas. Keep us posted on your travels.

    BTW, do you know what caliber rifles they were using?


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