Hunting Around the World

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-08-07
  • Publisher: Boone & Crockett Club
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Hunting nourishes human bodies, minds, and, in some cases, careers.

Like many rural Texas youths in the 1940s, Jack Ward Thomas learned to hunt early on. It provided food for his family and a lifetime of enjoyment. But hunting also brought Thomas to his life's work in conservation, highlighted by his tenure as chief of the U.S. Forest Service.

Hunting Around the World offers the best accumulated stories, nostalgia, and wisdom of a quintessential hunter-conservationist.

Thomas hunted red stag in the Scottish highlands, doves in Argentina, caribou in Alaska, and all manner of big, small, and feathered game across the United States. But his first and most enduring love was hunting in the "high lonesome" of western wildernesses, most often with his wise companion in adventure, Bill Brown. Thomas's storytelling about those quests is classic sporting literature. Readers will feel the chill of a frosty mountain morning, tense moments as a bull elk wanders into shooting range, exhilaration as well as "pangs of conscience" in making a kill, and the wistfulness of truth that old age and old injuries will someday bring every hunter's backcountry chapters to an end.

The field accounts in Hunting Around the World are enriched by the perspective of a man who devoted his life to sustainable management of natural resources. As author, Thomas often switches from his well-worn hunting hat to that of a veteran biologist, field researcher, and U.S. Forest Service chief. This unique insight is what makes Thomas's hunting memoir an unusual and special work.

Thomas concludes with thoughtful analyses of why he hunted, fair chase, simple-minded critics of hunting, habitat loss as the greatest threat to both wildlife and hunting, and his final surrender—leaving his cherished firearms to heirs: "It seems sad that I can't pass along my memories that are attached to the rifles, shotguns, and pistols. But that's as it should be. Guns and their owners should make their own memories together."

Author Biography

A child of the Dust Bowl era who became a sportsman, biologist, and leader in conservation, Jack Ward Thomas has devoted his life and career to the outdoors.

His professional service included the dustiest trenches as well as the highest offices of natural resource management—culminating with his 1993 appointment as the thirteenth chief of the U.S. Forest Service. His personal adventures spanned hunting rabbits for Mom's skillet to leading pack strings up into the “high lonesome” of western wildernesses.

A Texas native, Thomas earned progressive degrees from Texas A&M, West Virginia, and Massachusetts universities. He spent twenty years in forest, range, and wildlife research in Oregon, becoming increasingly involved in natural resource sciences and politics in the years leading to his tenure as Forest Service chief.

Thomas later became Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Montana, a position endowed by Boone and Crockett Club, before retiring in 2007.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert “Bob” Model


1. Whiskey Jacks to Breakfast

2. Not Wilderness—But Really Close

3. Chasing Mule Deer Bucks in the Eagle Cap Wilderness

4. Elk Hunting in Wilderness—For Me, the Ultimate Hunting Experience

5. Getting There First and Staking a Claim—Even Wilderness Can Get Crowded

6. “Did You See Anything?”—Yes, Nothing and Everything

7. Despacio, Despacio—A Model for Hunting (and Living)

8. You Kill Elk Where You Hunt

9. Retreat to a Touchstone—Return to Three Buck Camp

10. Pursuing the Wily Caribou in Alaska—A New Wilderness Experience

11. All Good Things Must End—Bill Brown's Last Wilderness Sojourn

12. A Newly Minted “Gentleman” Discovers “Shooting Preserves”

13. Hunting on a High-End Hunting Preserve, South Texas Style

14. “My Heart's in the Highlands”

15. Dove Shooting in Argentina

16. Return to the Scottish Highlands

17. A Trophy for Kathy


Publisher's Notes

Author's Acknowledgments

Rewards Program

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