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  • Photo: D.J. Struntz

    Cameron Kirkconnell begins his hunting dive near an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Cameron Kirkconnell begins his hunting dive near an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Photo: D.J. Struntz

    The diver lines up for a shot.

    The diver lines up for a shot.

  • Photo: D.J. Struntz

    Kirkconnell nears the end of a fight with a large bull mahi mahi.

    Kirkconnell nears the end of a fight with a large bull mahi mahi.

  • Photo: D.J. Struntz

    A hungry silky shark takes advantage of free handouts as Kirkconnell chums for tuna.

    A hungry silky shark takes advantage of free handouts as Kirkconnell chums for tuna.

  • Photo: D.J. Struntz

    Kirkconnell swims alongside a nine-foot silky shark. He said the animal seemed completely at peace after the encounter, which left him a little awestruck. That night we learned that Kirkconnell's grandfather, a guiding figure in his life, passed away

    Kirkconnell swims alongside a nine-foot silky shark. He said the animal seemed completely at peace after the encounter, which left him a little awestruck. That night we learned that Kirkconnell's grandfather, a guiding figure in his life, passed away at the same time he was swimming with the silky.

  • Photo: D.J. Struntz

    Craig Clasen hunts from the dark side of a weedline. Large game fish frequently lurk in just such a position while ambushing baitfish.

    Craig Clasen hunts from the dark side of a weedline. Large game fish frequently lurk in just such a position while ambushing baitfish.

  • Photo: D.J. Struntz

    Clasen and a 12-foot tiger shark at the conclusion of a two-hour-long battle that began when the shark rushed a videographer. "I want to be very clear," said Clasen. "That was not a proud kill for me, but I didn't have a choice. She was just being a shark

    Clasen and a 12-foot tiger shark at the conclusion of a two-hour-long battle that began when the shark rushed a videographer. "I want to be very clear," said Clasen. "That was not a proud kill for me, but I didn't have a choice. She was just being a shark."

  • Photo: D.J. Struntz

    Clasen swims beside a juvenile sea turtle in a sargassum patch.

    Clasen swims beside a juvenile sea turtle in a sargassum patch.

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