David Peterson lives in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
Petersen (Ghost Grizzlies) has assembled an outstanding collection of 41 essays that range from memoirs of the field to penetrating analyses of hunting ethics. Contributors include Jimmy Carter, Peter Matthiessen, Rick Bass, Edward Abbey, A.B. Guthrie Jr., Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams and a number of wildlife professionals. Their spirited defense of blood sport reflects more soul-searching than rebuttal of the antihunter lobby. One theme that resounds throughout is the necessity of knowledge of and respect for the prey. David Stalling writes about equipment technology; Ronald Jager goes hunting with Thoreau; Gary Wolfe tells us when not to shoot. On the subject of a bear-hunting controversy in Colorado, biologist Tom Beck points out that the real issue is hunter conduct, a social activity. Ann Causey asks whether hunting is ethical, and Jim Harrison writes about the violators. This collection deserves a prominent place on the nature bookshelf. (Sept.)
These 41 essays, some written especially for this collection, are all by people who hunt or have hunted, and each considers the ethics involved "in a spirit more of soul-searching explication than defensive rebuttal." The editor's intent is to encourage understanding among nonhunters and to raise the consciousness of hunters as well. There are big names here‘Edward Abbey, A.B. Guthrie Jr., Jimmy Carter, Thomas McGuane, Jim Fergus, and Ted Kerasote among them. Most write of the West and about deer; some talk about a nearly spiritual experience; some berate slob hunters who hurt the cause; many are environmentally knowledgeable; some, such as Stephen Bordio and Barry Lopez, are eloquent and lyrical; and some have turned away from hunting. If folks who don't hunt or those who are against hunting are willing to dip into this, they might take a step toward much-needed dialog and understanding. Public libraries everywhere could use this book to encourage such beginnings.‘Roland C. Person, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale
"This book is a search into the hunter's motives, the sometimes mystic connection between the hunter and food and, more fundamentally, an inquiry into our society's lost tethers to the natural world." --Los Angeles Times Book Review