Dear Writing Huntress,
I’m looking for hunting-related books to read, to get me through the rest of the winter, because it’s not hunting season and I miss it terribly. Are there any good reads that compel you to be a better huntress? Any that help you get through the off-season?
Bookworm in Boise
I, much like you, am a bibliophile by nature. As a rule, when I need to get away, feel more connected to hunting or simply want to relax, a book is the first thing I seek. My little personal library is growing. Because I live in the middle of nowhere, going to the library can be a monumental task. That being said, I have a few books about hunting that I tend to read when I am between hunting seasons, simply because they take me back to a time when I stood, bow in hand, atop the world.
Deer Hunting In Paris: A memoir of God, Guns, and Game Meat
Paula Young Lee
If you’re looking for a gripping read, this one is it. Lee, a former vegetarian-gone-huntress, weaves a tapestry of thick storytelling, meandering from her childhood as a preacher’s daughter to her travels around the globe and settling in Paris, Maine, where she learns the value of hunting and connection to meat. Her humor is awesome, and let’s all agree — it’s really neat to see such a representation coming from a fellow huntress.
Tide, Feather, Snow — A Life in Alaska
Alaska has always been my version of Heaven, so Weiss’s creation hits close to home, especially while I’m waiting on winter walleye. Covering her relocation from the lower 48 to Alaska, Weiss describes adventures in rich details — from her first experience dip netting for salmon, to enduring her first dark, long winter. This book transports me far away from my warm couch, to a place where the Aurora Borealis dances in the dark sky. Hunting well means eating well, resiliency is more cherished than currency and more than 3-dozen words describe “sea ice.”
The Clan of the Cave Bear
Jean M. Auel
When still-hunting, I like to believe I am stalking ancient mastodons. If you’re inclined to the fantastic while hunting, you’ll really enjoy Clan of the Cave Bear. The novel follows the trials and tribulations of a woman named Ayla during the Ice Age, who is alone until she comes upon the Clan of the Cave Bear. According to the author, at that time, women didn’t hunt. However, Ayla kills a hyena, and after being forced from the clan, returns and is awarded title of “Woman Who Hunts.” Besides being a nifty, albeit fictional, tale of a woman overcoming obstacles in order to hunt, this book illustrates prehistoric life, a much-needed view when refueling hunting instincts post-season.
Into the Wild
As much as I’m a fan of adventure tales filled with safe, happy outings and endings with everyone getting home in one piece, this book acts as a discretionary story, as well as an exploration of what it means to live off the land. Into the Wild’s main character is a man named Christopher McCandless who took a chance on living wild in Alaska — and lost. Krakauer tells McCandless’s story, along with his own and others like them — dreamers, adventurers and people who refuse to live common lives. Besides being a thrilling read, Krakauer forces a reader to pause and think about life, liberty and the pursuit of the great outdoors.
Meat Eater — Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter
Given that I’ve been limiting my meat intake to what I kill, or what a family member or friend kills, I feel I must sustain my literary diet with tales of wild game as well. That is where Steven Rinella comes in, with his tales of growing up as a hunter. The stories are funny and heartwarming — in a way that makes me proud to be a huntress, especially when Rinella speaks of taking out his first-ever loan from his dad to buy his first set of traps. Meat Eater truly celebrates the traditions of hunting and eating wild game. It’s a succulent read, if there ever was one, and a necessary addition to every hunter’s library.
Bookworm, I’m sure you have an awesome library at your disposal in Boise. Use that edifice to find more hunting-inspired titles. Luckily for us, hunters worldwide show panache for telling tales, a tradition we ensure lives on with each flip of a page.