BOBS, BRUSH, AND BRITTANIES by Joel Vance

BOBS, BRUSH, AND BRITTANIES

A Long Love Affair with Quail Hunting
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A pedestrian stroll down memory lane from a longtime quail hunter and outdoor writer. Vance has pursued bobs--bobwhite quail--for nearly 50 years. No fancy-pants plantation shoots with catered lunches for this nimrod: He's a blue-collar hunter, a brush-buster, ``the guy who gets restless on a Sunday afternoon drabbed by spitting sleet, calls the dog, and heads out for a miserable one-hour hunt before dark because the season is winding down and we never know how many seasons are left.'' Merely an average shot, Vance attributes his bird-finding prowess to outwalking lazier hunters. To this useful, if not earthshaking tactical tip, he adds advice on everything from the perfect quail gun to the best dog snack for field trips (along with the obligatory wry comments on dog training, shooting etiquette, and camp cooking). Vance, who writes a conservation column for Wing & Shot and contributes regularly to the Missouri Conservationist, is most substantive and eloquent when he concentrates on the big eco-picture. He bemoans slash-and-burn farming that diminishes wildlife habitat. He outlines the latest research by wildlife biologists who, armed with electronic monitoring equipment, are providing habitat management insights needed to reverse the species's ongoing decline while giving hunters information about quail habits (and some sobering news about the effectiveness of their bird dogs). Firmly rooted in the old-crank school of sportswriting, Vance stands ever ready to deflate pomposity (usually with good humor) in hunters and antihunters alike, but he harbors a deep streak of sentimentality regarding old dogs and old haunts. His magazine background shows--this ultimately feels like a collection of articles rather than a cohesive book. A mixed bag of how-to tips and misty memories.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1997
ISBN: 1-55821-588-3
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Lyons Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1997