Why a book?
Too be honest I'm not sure. In defence of a book I can honestly say I've had a few people say I should write one. I'm not sure what that translates into in the literary world, other than the fact I have had those requests from folks I beleive were not just humoring me. I've spent much of my spare time hunting and or trying to generate an income from it. At this point in my life, I've given up on that notion for the most part. At least in any significant way.
So that brings me back to this book, or rather, this collection of memories and experiences. In truth, that's all it is. I have no idea if it will appeal to anyone. I hope it does.
If nothing else, I suspect the vast majority of us have a similar story. Our hunting journey likely started out tagging along behind a relitive or family friend. Most of us were not born into a hunting dynasty type of family . We just went hunting for enjoyment and a few healthy meals. Not for fame or certificates or with the notion of writing a book or selling a magazine article. We hunted for the love of it.
However, the hunting bug does take us down many paths. It's different for each of us. But often, the underlying common denominator remains the same....simply for the love of the hunt, the land, and often, the adventures.
We twist and turn through all the possible hunting paths and adventures; big and small, but many of us find ourselves full circle to where we started, often enjoying a back 40 hunt with dear friends as much as any far off destination we may have been fortunate enough to have experienced.
Unless my phone rings in the near future with a publisher offering a sweet deal, I'm contemplating putting the chapters of this book here in this space for free. For me, that's less daunting than asking someone to pay for something mediocre.
Sending an article into a hunting magazine editor seems less presumptive than a book to me for some reason. Partly because a single story for a magazine reflects one particular adventure and may be of interest to others . A book however, reflects a person's life, and to be a good read, the life better be interesting and compelling. Right out of the starting blocks that has me stumbling.
I've suffered that same internal dillema when guiding hunters. I struggled with why experienced hunters would pay me money when in many instances, they were far more experienced than I was. I over compensated by hard work and ran more baits than I needed, I would run on mere hours of sleep a day. I would track a wounded animal into the late hours if need be. Always trying to convince them they spent their money wisely without the use of words. Actions always speak louder than words. At least in that endeavour , at the end of the week I could calm my nagging doubts with punched tags and animals observed.
Those guiding results were tangible at least. Writing and sharing memories such as a book are much less easily defined. Much harder to quantify success. A number of first time hunters and repeat clients have told me straight up that they appreciated the no BS type of hunt I tried to run. In a nutshell, they enjoyed hearing the truth more than hype. If nothing else, I promise honesty in this look back at a lifetime of hunting. Where that lands is still open to speculation.
I've made very little money from this thing called hunting, so why start now? Make no mistake though, hunting and the love of wild places has made me a rich man in many ways.