Sporting Road

Jim Fergus, Author, Rick Bass, Introduction by
Jim Fergus, Author, Rick Bass, Introduction by St. Martin's Press $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-24245-9
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4299-0419-3
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-312-26780-3
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Whether scrambling up the desiccated slopes of Utah's Desolation Canyon in pursuit of birds known as chukars or whipping a tenuous fly line into the Florida surf, Fergus (A Hunter's Road) relates simple and vivid details in this pleasing account of six years of travel and sport. Perhaps befitting a sportsman, Fergus has a spare writing style and uses only what he needs. The result is a light and enjoyable collection of tales featuring Fergus, his dog Sweetzer and a random cast ranging from a Georgia native known as Fishboy to a modern-day Davy Crockett, whom Fergus dubs the Mountain Man in deference to his flintlock rifle and steady hand with a double-bladed tomahawk. Fergus and the people with whom he hunts are not the beer-guzzling, reckless pillagers of nature who often live in the popular imagination. Even those who don't condone the sport should heed Fergus's points that hunters such as Theodore Roosevelt began the conservation movement, and that development, overgrazing and chemical farming cause incalculably greater harm to animal populations than does hunting--harm that is ""rarely perceived by anyone other than the knowledgeable wildlife biologist."" Because the book is composed primarily of previously published, though reworked, articles, readers are sometimes reintroduced to people and species that have already appeared. Even so, these overlapping tales have the honest allure of a good campfire yarn. Illus. (Oct.)
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