Field and Stream editor-at-large Heavey (It's Only Slow Food Until You Try to Eat It: Misadventures of a Suburban Hunter-Gatherer, 2014, etc.) compiles another group of humorous and thought-provoking essays on what it means to be an outdoorsman.
The date range of the pieces begins in 1988 and ends in 2014. The author’s extensive knowledge of the natural world is evident in each story, whether he’s in a blind shooting canvasback ducks on Chesapeake Bay, fishing a stream in West Virginia or preparing for a deer hunt in Kansas. He brings readers into the immediate action with his vivid descriptions, quick wit and honest assessment of each situation. On catching bowhunting fever: “ ‘Hooked’ would be an understatement. I was filleted, battered, and deep-fried….I loved the feeling of stored energy in the bow’s limbs as the let-off kicked in, the Zen of relaxed strength, the way you maintain form and look the arrow home after it has sprung from the bow….In my dreams, every branch in the forest turned into antlers.” Heavey also brings readers into his personal story of grief and renewal with his chronicle of a series of touching events that provides a more rounded view of an individual best known for his wild adventures in the woods and waterways of America. Whether he’s trying to catch the largest trout, bag the biggest buck, finally learning to accept his father or navigating the rules of online dating, Heavey demonstrates the importance of the intent behind the action over the actual outcome. Readers will sense that it’s possible to fail at your mission and still have a grand time if you don’t take yourself too seriously. “Every so often,” he writes, “I take stock of the jerks, losers, and whack jobs who are my friends and resolve to associate with a higher caliber of people.”
Amusing and candid stories of a rich life lived in the natural world.