Many books for hunting enthusiasts
Thanks to my parents being avid readers and believing that a good education starts with a love for reading,
I was always encouraged to enjoy a good book while I was growing up and I am trying to instill that lesson in my children as well. In today’s technology world, a lot of my reading is now done on some type of computer but it still doesn’t compare to the enjoyment of relaxing with a good book especially on a cold winter’s night.
With the love I have of hunting and fishing, I especially enjoy outdoorsy type books and I just finished a good one. Chip Gross, an avid outdoor writer in the area and retired ODNR game warden, has just had his latest book published, Poachers Were My Prey, the story of R. T. Stewart’s career as an undercover wildlife law enforcement officer with the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
For nearly two decades, Stewart infiltrated poaching rings throughout Ohio, the Midwest, and beyond. Poachers Were My Prey chronicles his many exciting undercover adventures, detailing the techniques he used in putting poachers behind bars. It also reveals, for the first time, the secrets employed by undercover wildlife officers in catching the bad guys.
The book is extremely well written and makes for a great weekend read. The true stories are eye awaking about what goes on daily in the wildlife world. Poaching, the illegal taking of wild game, goes on every day in the United States and throughout the world. Millions of dollars change hands annually from the illegal sale or trade of antlers, hides, horns, meat, feathers, fur, teeth, claws, gall bladders, and other wild-animal parts.
As a result, wildlife populations suffer including endangered and threatened species and legitimate, law-abiding sport hunters get a bad reputation. R. T. Stewart dedicated his professional career to stopping such slaughter by actually living with poachers for months or even years.
While on the topic of outdoor books, I thought I would list a few others that I would highly recommend for a weekend in front of the fire place:
If you love hunting retrievers as much as I do, you will enjoy Panther: And Other Stories of Great Hunting Retrievers. The story of Panther, the small Labrador retriever with the big heart, leads off this exciting collection of tales devoted exclusively to hunting retrievers.
A diminutive pheasant hunting dog from the Dakotas, Panther rose from obscurity during the late 1940s and early 1950s to become the most consistent winner in field-trial history. His 24 wins and 172 championship points rank him as the best field-trialer of his time. Only one thing eluded him: A national championship.
Seven times, Panther’s wins qualified him to run in the nationals, where he was known as the dog to beat. And seven times he fell just short of the national title-twice on technicalities that seemed designed to keep the “outlaw dog from the Wild West” from attaining his rightful prize.
Though Panther never placed first in the nationals, he did eventually earn first place in his irascible owner’s heart. And so it is with the other retrievers in this anthology. Each is first in his master’s heart, and each inspires a unique story about the special bonds that form between man and dog when engaged in the common pursuit of hunting waterfowl and upland game birds.
For a bit on the lighter side for those who enjoy duck hunting, try Don’t Shoot the Decoys and The Duck Gods Must Be Crazy both by Doug Larsen. Waterfowlers may be obsessive about their sport, but at least they don’t take themselves too seriously.
That’s because duck and goose hunting is so often a humbling experience and Doug Larsen does a great job of sharing that in a very humorous way. The collection of short stories in both books will have you laughing out loud.
Of course, any of the writings by famed Field & Stream and Outdoor Life writer Patrick McManus will have you smiling. He has written quite a few books over the years that are great for some easy light hearted reading.
If you are a fisherman, you need to read A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean. Yes, this is the novel that the Robert Redford directed film is based on. This is a very enjoyable read about a family and their love for fly fishing. It has a great story line and it is a very well written book.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a classic that every young person should read, The Old Man and the Boy by Robert Ruark. The book is about a relationship between a man and his grandson as they fish and hunt the lakes and woods of North Carolina. All the while the Old Man acts as teacher and guide, passing on his wisdom and life experiences to the boy. No matter your age, it is classic that should be on your bookshelf.
I absolutely love the hunting stories in the Chesapeake by James Michener. The stories about the market gunning days of ducks and geese on the Chesapeake Bay are fascinating. Michener’s books are very long but they are very enjoyable and are based on a lot of historical facts in his novels.
The books listed above are just a few of my outdoor favorites. There are many others and of course the list of how to hunting and fishing books that are must reads is much longer and I will cover some other time. If you are looking for a way to deal with cabin fever this winter or are looking for a last minute Christmas gift for that outdoor enthusiast, you might consider a book.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing.