Spring turkey season is still a few days away in Michigan. We are all pretty much stuck at home right now waiting for the pandemic to slow down enough that we can return to normal. This is a great time to kick back and do some quality reading about hunting. Here are a few essential books (in no particular order):
Tenth Legion: Col. Tom Kelly
This is arguably the best book ever written on turkey hunting. Tom Kelly grew up in Alabama. The book compares the army of turkey hunters who hit the woods every spring and fall to Julius Caesar’s famed 10th legion. Filled with anecdotes, tips, and just the right amount of southern charm. Consider this required reading if you are a turkey hunter
That Wild Country: Mark Kenyon
Mark, a Michigan native, has spent many years of his life traveling to the great public lands of the United States. This book tells the story of those public lands. You will learn about why they exist, Mark’s own stories visiting those places, and what we need to do to keep them public. It is a complicated issue presented in a very approachable manner. Not strictly about hunting, but written by a hunter, it is a great portrait of America’s greatest treasure: that wild country.
This book is expansive in scope and content, truly living up to the title “The Complete Guide”. Includes lists of quality gear to buy, full-color instructions for field dressing and butchering every big game species you could imagine, and unique recipes to help you prepare your next big game meal. This book is informative, fun to read, and the first place to start if you are planning on hunting a species that is new to you. It even includes biological information about each animal and the best way to locate and hunt them.
On Bears and Bear Hunting: Duncan Gilchrist
Gilchrist was a guide in Alaska for many years. Best known for his books on sheep and mountain goat hunting, his true passion was guiding hunts for Alaskan bears. This book is filled with information about Brown and Black Bears and amazing stories from his 25 years as a guide. Out of print, but worth finding if you can pick up a used copy. Beautifully leather-bound, this is the book you will be giving to your grandchildren someday. Caution: It may make you want to buy a bush plane and move to Alaska.
Precision Bowhunting: John Eberhart
Another book by a Michigan native, John Eberhart has a collection of bucks on his wall like few other living people. The godfather of saddle hunting, he outlines a year-round approach to planning for and hunting mature whitetail deer. All the more impressive is the fact that John killed most of his mature bucks exclusively on public land and properties he gained free permission on in Michigan.