Bill Buckley is a Montana-based outdoor photographer who is known for his regular contributions to Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, American Hunter, and Ducks Unlimited magazines, but he’s also a heck of a storyteller. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Bill every time his work was chosen for F&S’s First Shot section—a two-page spread of a fantastic photo that makes you say, “What’s going on here?” or “I so want to be there.” (Case in point, this shot and this shot.)
From now through November 8, Buckley is guest judging your best dog photos for this round of the #PublicLandsProud photo contest. He’s looking for a winning photo with an intriguing, animated quality, so let your gun dog’s personality shine through.
TRCP: So, Bill, how do you like to spend your time outside?
Buckley: Living in Montana, I spend a lot of time doing what most folks I know do here: hunting, fishing, hike, and enjoying nature. That’s why I’ve been an outdoor photographer for much of the 24 years I’ve lived out West. I’m probably revealing my age here, but one of my favorite activities is being in my backyard, where I might see anything from mule deer, whitetails, and tons of turkeys to the occasional elk, bear, and even pheasants or ruffed grouse.
TRCP: What makes a great photo of man’s best friend?
Buckley: Great dog photos convey whatever’s animating a dog at that moment, whether it be a Lab focused on a flock of ducks, a pointer snuffling bird scent, or a house dog staring intensely at a ball about to be thrown. I’m always looking for intensity and drive, like whatever the dog’s doing right now is the most important thing he could imagine. And a good catchlight in their eyes never hurts!
TRCP: What makes you #PublicLandsProud?
Buckley: I moved West to have daily access to thousands of acres of public land, from the backcountry to the plains. What satisfies me most is filling my freezer every year with meat largely collected on public land. Downing a good bull elk on private land usually isn’t that big a deal; doing it regularly on public land says you’re a competent hunter.
Show us your #PublicLandsProud moment and you could be featured on our blog and win a new pair of Costa sunglasses and a copy of Steven Rinella’s new book, The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game.