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Read the classics now

12/3/2007

Wow, I just spent some time watching some of the latest hunting DVDs out on the market. Let it suffice to say it was a bunch of trash. Whack 'em and stack 'em garbage.

Endless shooting.

No storyline.

No useful teaching.

Sheer boredom.

Music soundtracks that make you want to go out and commit murder.

What a bunch of crap.

So this is the prevailing image of hunting? This is what's going to encourage people to join the ranks of hunting?

Watching this will make me a better hunter? You've got to be kidding.

Here's a better suggestion: Go back and read or reread the classic hunting books. They are so much better than the DVD drivel that's out there now.

Really.

Read Larry Koller's "Shots at Whitetails" or some of the old Stackpole books series on hunting. The authors (Francis E. Sell, Edward A. Freeman, Durwood L. Allen) are long gone and forgotten.

Some of it is dated, of course, but the basics and real woodsman's skills necessary to succeed are all there. The writing is entertaining, and the subject matter is covered thoroughly with information you can use.

A more modern series of useful books is the "Hunting & Fishing Library" series from 1980s and early '90s. The books are profusely illustrated and packed with use-it-right-now information.

When was the last time you went duck hunting with someone who knew how to lay out a decoy spread and why?

Do you know?

Read Ralf Coykendall's "Duck Decoys: And How to Rig Them" and you will know more than you need to know.

And if you want "Ding" Darling's raccoon recipe or White House housekeeper Mrs. Henrietta Nesbitt's rabbit recipe — or even an old Indian recipe for baked deer head — try reading the 1945 classic "Cooking Wild Game."

You'll be entertained for hours and spared the bad video and murder music.