cover image A Hunter's Heart: Honest Essays on Blood Sport

A Hunter's Heart: Honest Essays on Blood Sport

. Henry Holt & Company, $25 (331pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-4423-2

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.)