One of the beliefs that civilized men continue to share with primitive societies is that a degree of manhood is best achieved through the self discipline imposed by hunting well. The author makes a strong case for this belief through the development of 16-year-old Joey Moncrief, from clumsy, thoughtless amateur to committed, if inarticulate, sportsman. Set in the early 1900's, most of Joey's story takes place at The Pond, his father's small hunting preserve outside Richmond, Virginia. Control is the hunter's hallmark and Joey learns to control selfishness and pride, to exert patience and to find compassion in scenes that the author handles beautifully -- the stalking and taking of small game. Joey is far less sophisticated than his contempories in the race for college space today can afford to be, but under the author's hand a boy does grow through the mystique of the hunt. This is Dutton's Nature Award Book, as was Rascal last year. A masculine readership.