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Versatile Hunter

The Old Man and the Boy

Sun, April 08, 2018

I read a lot of books; have since I was a kid.  I always have a few outdoors magazines laying around and at least one book I’m reading.  Once one book is read, I get another one.  My time to read is either during travel or just before bed.  Rarely does a book make my “must read multiple times and let others know about it” list, but my most recent read was a top 5 for me. 

My favorite book is still “A Sand County Almanac” by Aldo Leopold.  It reads like a series of stories but in each story comes an education on the outdoors.  You’re learning without even knowing it essentially.  “The Old Man and The Boy” by Robert Ruark reads much the same way.  It’s written in near the same game-rich era of the 1930’s-1950’s, and much like “Sand County” it is still as important today as ever; if not more so. . ..

Ruark’s story is one of growing up in rural North Carolina and palling around with his granddad.  My grandpa also helped educate and teach me lessons about the outdoors when I was growing up.  He too was a hard-nosed man raised poor and self-educated on all things including the outdoors.  His lessons were learned through trial and error over many, many experiences.  The lessons taught in this book are not only where to find quail, gun safety, camping, and how to lead a duck but also why being polite is important and how even those that aren’t like us are deserving of respect.  I’ll give you an example of his writing/education in a short quote on training hunting dogs (one of my favorites): “A bird dog. . . is trained in the back yard.  There ain’t no way in the world you can teach him to smell. .. . or teach him bird sense. . . all you can teach this dog is a little discipline. Like they’re trying to teach you a little discipline in school.  Whether you got brains enough to take advantage of it is strictly up to you.”

If you have any interest in well told outdoors stories and even want to learn a little more about the hunting of many species of midwestern game we seek here in Illinois, give this book a whirl—you won’t be disappointed.

Comments

A worthy read…as is the next one-can’t remember the title, but something about the boy grows up.

Posted by riverrat47 on April 12

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