We came up with a list of the 5 best hunting books, and would love to hear your additions. Share them in the comments below.
During hunting season, there isn’t much time to sit back and read for pleasure. We take almost every spare minute we have to hit the woods and search for the buck or duck we’ve dreamed about all summer.
However, if you are going through some serious hunting withdrawals as opening day approaches – or if you are about to begin hunting for the first time and want to learn a few things before going into the field – then this reading list should have you covered.
(Click the book titles to purchase)
“The Art of Big Game Hunting in North America” by Jack O’Connor
Noted hunting authority Jack O’Connor has a lot to say and share throughout this Bible of hunting knowledge. In today’s modern age, you can find a lot of valuable deer hunting information on the Internet, but no website can compare to this book, which will tell you everything you need to know about big game populations, habitats, behaviors, feeding habits, and of course, hunting methods. Whether you are after deer, elk, or something markedly more exotic, O’Connor’s book should have a place on your shelf.
“The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting Deer for Food” by Jackson Landers
As far as beginner’s guides go, this one might be the finest hunting compendium out there. From rifle and ammunition choice to field dressing, butchering and cooking, Jackson Landers covers almost all of the bases of killing a deer and turning it into an inexpensive and nutritious meal.
“Beyond Fair Chase” by Jim Posewitz
Jim Posewitz may be a passionate elk hunter still active on the great plains of Montana, but in this book, the author presents a range of complex and thought provoking questions that bring the ethics of hunting to center stage. Posewitz questions the practice of hunting for purely trophy-seeking purposes and reveals that many of the arguments that anti-hunting activists use against us are perfectly valid. If you hunt for big game on captivity reserves or gun for the biggest buck with the biggest antlers, Beyond Fair Chase might well give you a few things to think about.
“The Politically Incorrect Guide to Hunting” by Frank Miniter
Then again, maybe what you need isn’t a complex web of ethics and questionable hunting behaviors, but a fearless and strikingly blunt defense of hunting. Using statistics and anecdotes in an unorthodox fashion to argue for the benefits of deer hunting as a means of population control – anti-hunting policies regarding alligators, bears, and other predators that ultimately backfired when they led to human deaths – Miniter’s thoughts give good balance to those of Posewitz.
“Green Hills of Africa” by Ernest Hemingway
Arguably the most famous author to ever call himself an outdoorsman, Hemingway was both a noted angler (“The Old Man and the Sea,” anyone?) and hunter. This book gives a stirring and journalistic account of Hemingway’s time spent hunting on an African safari in 1933. It meanders a bit, as most of Hemingway’s work does, and you may find yourself skimming some of the author’s self-indulgent tangents to get to the hunting stories, but anyone who is looking to hunt beyond the borders of the United States will enjoy this eye-opening take on African history and hunting in a world full of different rules.
And of course, one more book needs to be part of this list, and can’t be denied for its status as one of the preeminent hunting books of our time.
“How to Bag the Biggest Buck of Your Life” by Larry Benoit
Quite possibly the most well-known book on hunting deer, “How to Bag the Biggest Buck of Your Life” proves how traditional and time-tested hunting strategies haven’t changed much over generations. Benoit was known as one of the greatest hunters of all time, and unfortunately passed away at the beginning of October. First printed in 1975, Benoit’s book has become that of legendary status.