This time of year, there's always that problem of what to give people who love the outdoors. There's hunting gear and fishing gear. Then there are books about hunting and fishing. With so much to learn about these pastimes, a book full of one person's research and life findings makes a cherished gift for a hunter or angler. Here are a few freshly published tomes that would make great presents.
Goose Hunting by Charles L. Cadieux is the only recent book devoted exclusively to hunting these magestic, broad-winged waterfowl. And anyone else thinking about writing on the subject ought to look at Cadieux's book before starting. He covers the topic thoroughly, in a smooth style that mimics the graceful flight of his subject. Cadieux combines an intriguing mix of solid information about goose identification, habits, management and hunting techniques with lively anecodotes about hunting trips from Canada to Mexico and just about everywhere the goose flies in between.
A former President of the Outdoor Writers' Association of America, Cadieux has a solid writing background of several books and hundreds of national magazine articles.
He's also been a game warden and Federal Game Agent, but most of all, a lifelong goose-hunter.
Published by Stone Wall Press and distributed by Stephen Greene Press, the book sells for $12.95 and is available from Fessenden Road at Indian Flat, Box 1000, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301.
Of more general interest is Wolf of the Woods: a Guide to the Skills and Spirit of the Woodland Experience, by William M. Harlow. Published by the American Forestry Association, this handsome 144-page hardback refutes the claim that the old woodcraft is dead. The book tells the story of Harlow's 50-year love affair with the world of the woods but also offers practical information on such subjects as axmanship, shelter-building, fire layout, clothing for woods camping, map and compass use, poisonous and edible plants, finding safe drinking water and finding your way. Price of the book is $8.50, and you can order copies from the American Forestry Association, 1319 18th Street NW 20036.
Stories of the Old Duck Hunters & Other Drivel by Gordon MacQuarrie is out in a new edition. This classic collection edited by Zack Taylor of Easton, Maryland, was first published over a decade ago by Stackpole Books; the new edition is a paperback put out by Willow Creek Press and sells for $5.95.
MacQuarrie's yarns were written back in the '30s and '40s but time hasn't dimmed their charm or impact. You can count on one hand the outdoor writers who've ranked on a par with MacQuarrie. His stories about duck hunting, trout fishing and deer hunting are masterpieces that you can read over and over. If you buy this one for a Christmas gift, pick up an extra copy for yourself.
Finally, if you're more interested in writing books than giving them away, there's now a manual on how to get started. It's called Successful Outdoor Writing. And if you're really interested, you'll recognize the author, Jack Samson. He's the editor of the largest circulation outdoorsman's magazine, Field & Stream, as well as veteran outdoor writer himself and former AP and UPI correspondent.
Never before has such a guide existed, and it would be hard to think of a more qualified writer/editor than Samson. He devotes chapters to writing for outdoor magazines: how to market and package stories, columns, books and photography. There are 12 appendices with examples of what Samson considers good outdoor writing and analysis of why he thinks they're good.
Throughout, Samson sprinkles many tips that save time and misguided energy for those attempting to break into this competitive line of work. Samson stresses that though it takes some talent to be a successful outdoor writer, more importantly it takes samina, persistence and a willingness to work long, low-pay hours for the pleasure of doing something for a living that you truly enjoy.
The book may be obtained from Writer's Digest Books, Dept. B, 9933 Alliance Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 for $11.95, plus $1 for postage and handling.