Pastor, insurance salesman and now-writer Drotos reflects on what he’s learned about getting through the hard times (divorce, bankruptcy, etc.) by hunting white-tailed deer in the Virginia woods.
In bite-sized anecdotes intended for reading in the deer stand, Drotos shares memories of his hunting life, beginning at age 18 when he killed his first buck. Amusingly, he relates getting suckered into buying a time-share for its hunting provisions and suffering a blow to his ego when he’s out-hunted by a first-timer. There are also cautionary tales, as when, seemingly in a fugue state, Drotos shoots and kills four deer, violating game law. “My definition of integrity is doing the right thing even when nobody is watching,” he writes. “I failed that day.” Now in his mid-40s, the author says his love for hunting has only increased—along with his tendency to find moral instruction in the sport. In practiced Sunday-school style, Drotos treats his hunting stories as parables from which one can easily draw the conclusion: “Life is nothing more than seasons,” “Life is never what you expect,” and “[L]ife is not a straight highway. It is more like a winding road.” Such bromides often feel at odds with the events described, as when Drotos writes of landing a lucky shot into a deer’s brain through the ear: “In life when you get your opportunity, pull the trigger (metaphorically speaking) to make your dream come true.” Some readers may also pause over Drotos’ tendency to see divine intervention in the oddest places. When a coyote crosses his path (and he kills the animal), the author calls it a “divine wink from God assuring me that He will be with me in both the good times and the bad ones.” The final section of the book is filled with lined pages in which readers can write their own hunting journal.
Will appeal to readers with subscriptions to both Guideposts and Guns & Ammo.