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A Hunter's Heart: Honest Essays on Blood Sport [Paperback]

David Petersen , Richard K. Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 15 1997
Without apology, the voices here speak of the verities of the hunt, our connections to the land, and the ethics of blood sport, with essays by the best writers in the field: Edward Abbey, Rick Bass, Tom Beck, Jimmy Carter, Jim Fergus, Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Tom McGuane, Richard K. Nelson, David Peterson, and Terry Tempest Williams.

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A Hunter's Heart: Honest Essays on Blood Sport + Heartsblood: Hunting, Spirituality, and Wildness in America
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From Amazon

The collection of essays about hunting catches the eye at first for noted authors who turn up among its many contributors: from Peter Matthiesson is a beautifully written account of whaling in Greenland; Thomas McGuane offers vignettes about hunting in Montana; and novelist Jim Harrison writes a moving piece about poachers. But beyond the contributions by big names are many other thoughtful essays, including a controversial piece on bear hunting techniques that led the resignation of the two top editors at Outdoor Life magazine when the magazine's publisher spiked the article. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

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
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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None of this was quite enough, all together, to keep a family of seven in meat, all the time, through the frozen Appalachian winters. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pray, read this book. Oct. 17 2001
By A Customer
I could not think of a title for my review. I don't write many and find Amazon's 5 star system constraining. This book is extraordinarily good. The title will, unfortunately, be off-putting to some. If one could choose another title, I would suggest: A compendium of almost four-dozen essays written by men and women about their love and passion for wildlife and conservation. It is so much more than a book about hunting, that one cannot describe it simply. Further, what is equally astounding is the fact that the "collector," David Petersen, was able to obtain such a wonderful robust collection.
If one expects this to be a book merely about hunting, that expectation is wrong. If one expects this to be essays written only by undereducated, good old boys-"slob hunters"-who relish ambushing Bambi from a truck that is wrong. If your expectation is that all the essays will be unambiguously pro-hunting or gun sport, you are "off the mark." Fairly, Nelson, in his introduction says," In the United States, hunters are probably the largest, most diverse, and most important potential advocates for preservation of natural habitats and protection of wild animal populations." That remark comes close.
I believe that many city folk have so lost touch with wild life that they now believe that hunting is something akin to a video game using live ammunition. That a hunter would relish spending an entire day tracking game, and not succeed seems antithetical to their purpose for some. After reading these essays, one understands why the writers deem the day a success, something very special; e.g., "I began to realize that what I like best about hunting was the companionship of a few good old trusted buddies in the out-of-doors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Living with Blood on Your Hands. Jan. 28 2002
By A Customer
This book is a collection of essays on hunting by some excellent outdoor writers, including former President Jimmy Carter. The writers talk about why they hunt. This book examines that question and finds that there are many reasons different people give to that same question. You may agree with some or disagree, but you'll definitely think long and hard about the answers given.
This book's thought provoking essays also force all of us to think about our own carnivorous instincts. Since almost all of us eat meat from the supermarket the book takes cows as an example and asks non hunters if the castration of bulls, the branding, the feeding of them in outdoor, closed in, excrement filled pens and the eventual slaughter of them is really somehow better than the hunter who shoots and kills a deer in the wild? It seems we all live with blood on our hands. But not to let you think this book is simply cut and pasted from the pages of American Hunter. The book also questions trophy hunting and whether hunting should even be considered a sport.
Since many hunters spend a good deal of time defending what they love to do, I would recommend that they pick up a copy of this book in order to be able to answer the question "why do I hunt?"
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As a hunter I've always marveled at how joy and sadness can dwell in the same moment, that moment when you reach out - with gun or bow or spear - and take the life of a wild creature. But there are many hunters who don't notice or care, and who treat this most awesome and mysterious thing as a sport like golf or car racing. The best part of "A Hunter's Heart" was spending time, so to speak, with others who see more and deeper things in hunting, and who can express it more vividly and truthfully than I have been able to. Each story is beautiful and eloquent and impactful in its own way. I reread the book often, enjoying it more each time, which is the best compliment I can give.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For All Hunters Feb. 28 2000
By A Customer
What a teffific book. Each chapter is written by different authors expressing their opinions on hunting practices, ethics, and why we hunt. Very thought provoking and insightful.From high-tech equipment to baiting,this book gives the reader many different viewpoints of hunting to look at and ponder.I have read many chapters numerous times and given copies of this book to several friends. Dan Teets- Mission Viejo, Ca.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible read Jan. 10 2001
One of the things a hunter struggles with is how to describe to others what the importance of hunting is. This book is a compilation of insights written by those who ask themselves the question, "Why do you hunt?".
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