Chris Montano Jr.
While Chris Montano Jr. was raised under the endless skies of Montana, it wasn't until he moved to California that he became interested in hunting and fishing. "I started hunting about eight years ago when my stepdad took me out," Montano says. "Now my mom and my daughter, Kiersten, join us out in the field for what's become a great family activity."
Montano has been pursuing wildlife photography—focusing primarily on waterfowl—for the past two years, and he donates many of his prints to DU events across the state. His talents have also given him the opportunity to spend time in the field with renowned wildlife photographer Gary Kramer. "I won best in show in a California Waterfowl Association photo contest, and part of the prize was a chance to hang out with Gary," Montano says. "Since then, we've stayed in touch, and just recently we went to Minnesota together to photograph wolves."
Montano says he sorted through dozens of shots of Cain, his friend's black Lab, before choosing one to submit to this year's photo contest. "We were hunting on the Los Banos Wildlife Area that day, and my friend let Cain loose from the opposite side of the lake to retrieve a drake pintail that had hit the water," Montano remembers. "This photo captured just the right combination of splash and dash, and the determination on Cain's face as he went after the sprig."