Photographing Whitetails

AJ Gall

It was while fighting for OUR freedom in Vietnam that Charlie Alsheimer fell in love with his dream of photographing nature.  Perhaps it was God’s plan to take Charlie into battle unexpectedly for the U.S. Air Force, but for that, we should all be thankful.  Thankful for his service and thankful that he had a boss who was very good, and willing to help Charlie begin his photography career.

Since then, Charlie has done quite well…whether you know it or not, if you have looked at a hunting magazine you undoubtedly have seen some of Charlie’s work.  He currently has over 600 published magazine covers to his name, including the most recent Legendary Whitetails Fall Catalog Cover.

Legendary Whitetails most recent Catalog Cover featuring the 100 year anniversary of the James Jordan Buck.  If you are confused on how we obtained this picture of the once long-time world record holder, that’s okay.  Today’s technology allowed us to seamlessly fuse the Jordan rack onto a separate buck Charlie photographed on his New York farm.

Charlie shares the same love and passion for whitetails as our Legendary fans and us, thus, it was an easy decision to pick where we wanted our next cover from.  Just take a look at the photos within this blog to gather an appreciation for his work.  It’s not an easy job by any means. It requires an unthinkable amount of patience, skill, commitment and even a little bit of luck. (See what Charlie’s 7 Most Important Tips for photographing deer are here)

Charlie with slide images before anything was shot digitally.

In his 35 year career, he has seen the hunting industry explode.  When he began his pursuit of whitetails through a lens, camouflage had yet to be invented.  The only pattern out there at the time was the old school military camo.  At the time there were only five or six outdoor magazines and only one that specifically covered whitetails – Deer & Deer Hunting.  Now there are too many hunting magazines to mention and just as many camouflage patterns (Shop our 5 Camouflage Patterns).  Just as the hunting industry advanced, so too did the camera equipment.  Digital cameras with autofocus have now replaced the historic 35 mm film cameras.  LCD screens display your image before you even shoot and you have the option to dramatically alter any photo via Photoshop or any other post editing software.

A beautiful picture of a doe and fawn in a small creek.

To showcase Charlie’s skill, he has over 400,000 “keeper photos” from the 35mm roll film days where he explained he would get on average 1 keeper for every 7 photos taken.  He admitted it is much easier nowadays with the help of tracking autofocus to achieve perfect clarity.  Since switching over to digital, Charlie has taken over 115,000 additional keepers.

Charlie spends a lot of time waiting for that perfect shot.

The thousands of hours logged behind a camera not only made for many incredible pictures, but also hours of incredible whitetail observations.  For Charlie, the knowledge gained turned into knowledge shared.  As one of the nation’s top authorities on deer behavior Charlie has written hundreds of articles and several books.  His favorite one to compile was Whitetails: A Photographic Journey Through The Seasons (Buy it here).  The book, as described by Charlie “Was just a joy to write.  It took me no time at all because it was so fun to write every morning.”

Deer are incredible athletes and balancers, especially when apples are on the menu.

Through all of Charlie’s successes and failures he reminded us that it all worked out because of an Incredible Country, Incredible Family, and an Incredible God. Those are the three pillars Charlie credits to his success.

Shop our God’s Country Camouflage Line  

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About The Author
From Woods to Table

AJ Gall

AJ Gall's prior hunting and wildlife experiences began long ago and make him the perfect contributing deer hunting guru.  As a habitat consultant under Dr. Grant Woods, AJ has worked on properties in 13 different states, amassing over 25,000 acres of quality deer management. He now uses that knowledge to help clients find their dream hunting properties as a licensed real estate agent in Wisconsin.  


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