cover image Hunter’s Way: A Guide to the Heart and Soul of Hunting

Hunter’s Way: A Guide to the Heart and Soul of Hunting

Craig Raleigh. Dey Street, $24.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-06-283935-0

Quartered into sections that deal with the background, the preparation, the hunt, and the harvest, Raleigh, a senior writer at Wide Open Spaces, insightfully explores the influence hunting can have on one’s physical and psychological well-being as well as the sport’s place in our culture as a whole. He shares tales that have been passed down for generations, and adds a reflective layer to his storytelling. Referring to Buddhist practices or Native American spirituality, for example, he notes how “ritual and instinct” can converge “into recreation.” He always keeps one foot on the ground by seamlessly melding introspective thoughts, like those about the failed hunter (“In the never-ending journey though the tangled vines and brambles of life, he cannot dodge the reality that he is, after all, only human,” and not as fast as the ruffed grouse that had escaped him) with humorous anecdotes, such as being surprised by a grouse flushed from the snow and thinking, “A man with a loaded 12-gauge shotgun is no match for a missile-powered chicken that can fly.” A conservationist at heart, he doesn’t hesitate to call out his fellow hunters for trophy hunting, poaching, or littering in the woods, giving this work a wider-appeal than just the avid hunters for whom it will intrigue and inspire. (Oct.)