Experiencing the uniqueness of wildlife

Kansas City
Austin Thomas, 24, is a photographer from Kansas City, Missouri. He doesn’t have any long family tradition of hunting, but hunting is part of his life today.

The way in which we hunt depends on varying game species, regions, hunting cultures and hunting techniques. But the passion and delight of being out in nature is the same everywhere in the world.

For our article, we talked to three young hunters from very different corners of the world about their first hunting experiences, how they got into hunting and what hunting means to them today. Part two is about Austin Thomas, a passionate hunter and photographer from Kansas City.

Concerning equipment, Austin Thomas "is a real nerd".

For me, there is no typical hunting family tradition and I was not educated in hunting as a child. I just had a couple of friends who took me to a farm in the region, and they just happened to hunt there.

After the first prey, I caught hunting fever. Only then can you understand other hunters. Over time, my hunting passion has increased. But more than anything else I wanted to be outside as often as possible.

As a photographer, nature is part of my life. For the past five years I have had the opportunity to hunt and work for the most well-known giants of the outdoors branch.

"I want to be outside as often as possible."

Hunting is much more than shooting game. It is about the experience; where it leads you; and with whom you share it.

Austin Thomas (24 years)

"The shy white tailed deer has become a real obsession of mine."

Each week I am outside between four and six days – for hunting or shooting pictures. Most often I go after white tailed deer or turkey. The shy white tailed deer has become a real obsession of mine because it’s the game species that is the most difficult to hunt in the Midwest. It is less about the prey than about the hunting experience itself. You can’t forget it.

You look for trips in the summer; look through your still hunt pictures; think about where you could best build a perch; check the wind conditions; and pay attention to all of the small details that play a major role in the world of the white tailed deer. Which tricks do you use to eliminate your own scent because the white tail deer will get wind of you if you can’t command the game of the winds.

Hunting - that also means spending time with my family and friends in nature.

Today I enjoy being with anyone who has encountered the unique experiences with wildlife like I have. Part of that naturally is also the sharing of the game.

"An excellent hunting scope is essential for me."

I am a real nerd when it comes to equipment. I am infatuated with reliable equipment which can also take a beating and can be counted upon when it matters. An excellent hunting scope is essential for me. Whether that is for observing the velvety white tail deer in the summer or being able to distinguish between the mature animals from the young ones in the twilight. I think ZEISS represents the culture of hunting in the correct manner and offers the best glass in the business.

I don’t have any dreams for the future. Only goals. And they are simple: I want to enjoy the small things outside in nature. When I am old and wise I would like to look back on my life and see that hunting and the experience with nature helped me to become the man that I am.

  • "The best glass in the business."

  • "I think ZEISS represents the culture of hunting in the correct manner."

  • "Reliable equipment must also take a beating and can be counted upon when it matters."