While not usually connected, hunting and great literature go hand in hand. From hunters of previous generations writing down their secrets to famous authors retelling their favorite hunting experiences, there is something beautiful in reading a good hunting story. These stories not only teach us about hunting, but also how to be respectable men and women. For hunters out there looking for the next good read in the off-season, we have a few ideas for you.
“Green Hills of Africa” by Ernest Hemingway
One of the only authors also known as an outdoorsman, Hemingway dazzled the masses with his words. “Green Hills of Africa” recounts his adventures hunting in the safari of Africa.
“Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls
If you don’t cry at the end of this novel, you have no heart, or you have never owned a good hunting dog. “Where the Red Fern Grows” has touched the hearts and minds of children and adults alike, and it’s a great book to revisit. It can renew the childlike love of dogs and hunting in the hardiest hunters.
“Boone: A Biography” by Robert Morgan
Undoubtedly the most well-known hunter in American history, Daniel Boone is surrounded by myths, truths and awe-inspiring stories. Robert Morgan decided to untangle Boone’s history with this educational biography. Did you know that Boone didn’t actually wear coonskin caps? We were slightly disappointed too, but Boone is still the ultimate badass.
“Greatest Hunting Stories Ever Told: Twenty-Nine Unforgettable Tales” by Lamar Underwood
The 29 stories featured in this book will make you laugh, cry and bring back all of your favorite hunting memories. Written by Lamar Underwood, this compilation of tales will make you want to hit the trails and step up your hunting game. They will also remind you of why you developed a love for hunting in the first place, from camaraderie to traditions to successes and failures.
“The Old Man and the Boy” by Robert Ruark
Originally published in “Field and Stream,” this coming of age story is truly something to behold. Stylistically similar to Hemingway, Ruark tells the story of a young boy becoming a man through the guidance of his grandfather, the Old Man, and the “salt of the Earth” people who surrounded him during his youth. This book isn’t just about hunting and fishing, it’s about how those actions and the lessons learned from experienced mentors can shape us into the people we will one day be. It’s a beautiful story every hunter, young and old, should read.
“American Buffalo: In Search of the Lost Icon” by Steven Rinella
One of the animals that flooded our imaginations as kids is the American buffalo. After winning a lottery permit, Steven Rinella journeyed to the Alaskan wilderness to hunt the great American buffalo. He recounts his journey, in its entirety, including the post-kill process of hauling the meat back to civilization while being followed by grizzlies. It is an amazing tale that will make you think about our place in the world and how we, as hunters, can conserve our planet for generations to come. Fun fact: American buffalo are actually bison, not buffalo.
From your Carhartt hunting boots to your well-worn hunting books, you are covered now. Happy reading, hunters!