Aerial Bowfishing for Bighead Carp in Missouri's Lamine River

Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair
Rick Adair

Rick Adair, a photographer whose work appears regularly in Field & Stream, tells the story of how he captured one of the magazine's "First Shot" photos.

My friends Bill and John Marshall told me a while ago about bow fishing for jumping carp. Bighead carp. It's an invasive species, and a huge threat to the ecoysystems of U.S. waters. The fish is also a threat to boaters, because they leap high out of the water when a prop goes by (check out this story about one that broke a woman's jaw in Illinois). The government spends millions of dollars every year to prevent these things from spreading, but sportsmen have found a more interesting way to help control their population -- by driving around in boats and shooting them out of the air using bows and arrows.

I knew that John was a great shot with his bow, and so I figured I'd get the chance to capture some great action on film (and maybe land one of my photos in a "First Shot"). Here are some of the images I came back with.

The shooters are Tyler and Doug Burke and Bryant McCartney. The location is the Lamine River in central Missouri. The guys shot 80 carp while I watched. The largest weighed 15 lbs.

Click through the slides to check out my photos. - Rick Adair