"DOGS THAT POINT, FISH THAT BITE: Outdoor Essays" by Jim Dean


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A lighthearted, pleasantly diverting collection of Dean's columns on hunting and fishing the woods and streams of North Carolina. Editor of Wildlife in North Carolina, the official publication of that state's Wildlife Resources Commission, these pieces span Dean's 17-year tenure, though none are a bit dated. He frets that development, acid rain, and logging threaten the region: areas he hunted as recently as the 1970s are now shopping malls. But the traditions of his hobbies and the rituals of the seasons continue in spite of it all. He revels in anticipation of opening day for trout on the first Saturday in April; it's a celebration, he notes, in which trout, because of the swarms of fishermen and usually lousy weather, ""rarely play a major role."" He does a lot of his fishing with his son, Scott, but fondly recalls excursions with his late grandfather and other old-timers who served as mentors and companions. As a bridge to that past, he only partway spruces up an old three-room clapboard house to use as a hunting and fishing lodge. In a delightful aside, he ponders two toads at the side of the road, ""big as cantaloupes,"" feeding on crickets and moths and other insects: ""They apparently limit their intake to anything that will fit."" He tracks down the surprisingly recent last sighting of an elk in North Carolina and recounts a perilous midwinter quest for spotted sea trout from a slippery cinder block jetty at Wrightsville Beach. And to the affirmation of all fishermen, he answers the question, ""What is a reasonable amount of time to spend fishing?"" in a piece titled ""Enough Is Not Enough."" As fun and important as a rainy day sittin' round the cracker barrel--and with none of the corn pone.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1995
ISBN: 0807848646
Page count: 220pp
Publisher: Univ. of North Carolina