Duck hunter stands in a marsh and loads his shotgun
Mossy Oak

7 Best Books for Adult Onset Hunters That Prove It's Never Too Late to Learn

Lucky for us outdoorspeople, there is a plethora of books on the market about hunting, conservation, and the thrill of wildlife. For late-onset (or adult-onset) hunters, reading one of these to gain a better perspective can really help with motivation, knowledge level, and understanding. These books do not focus so much on family traditions or lessons learned while growing up hunting. Instead, these books focus on the chase and the adventure, tips, tricks, or tactics you can implement at any stage in the hunting journey. Here are our curated picks.

1. Conservation Adoration

"That Wild Country"

This book by Mark Kenyon is a modern conservation masterpiece. Kenyon takes readers on a journey through the United States, bringing the reader through time and space as he parallels his experiences with important conservation milestones. Along the way, readers meet some folks that fought to protect public lands, and also meet some characters that threatened to try to take it away. Kenyon offers information and a rallying call for conservation advocates with "That Wild Country."

2. Hunt Mindfully

"The Mindful Carnivore"

This book by vegan-turned-hunter Tovar Cerulli shares a refreshing perspective from an adult onset hunter. Cerulli documents his life as both a vegetarian and an eventual vegan, tracing the ins and outs of how food relates to the life cycle. Cerulli brings the reader along his profoundly personal path that brought him to hunting.

Nontraditional stories like Cerulli's matter. This shift in perspective mirrors the changes happening in the hunting community. People are finding new ways to connect with the Earth, and one of them is through hunting their food. Stories like this have the power to influence meaningful connections, through hunting, with a whole new audience.

3. Have a Good Laugh

"If You Didn't Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat"

This book by Bill Heavey is pure fun balanced by the perfect amount of poignancy. Heavey is a masterful storyteller, capturing the mountains and valleys of the human experience as it relates to hunting and the outdoors. This is a hugely entertaining read, and exactly what an adult needs to see that hunting isn't always about taking yourself so seriously. If you aren't having a good time, something's not right.

4. Learn How to Eat What You Hunt

"The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game"

Steven Rinella's comprehensive guides are almost mandated reading for new hunters. They lay it all out, from start to finish, in a cohesive and organized fashion. Anecdotes are laced throughout, nicely breaking up the technical information and humanizing the experience. Rinella has a way of articulating the hunting experience unlike other writers in his niche. He makes things easy to understand for novices and interesting for experts. There is a reason he is a leader in the hunting industry - he knows hunting and how to communicate it.

5. Take the Path Less Traveled

"Sidetracks: 40 True Stories of Hunting and Fishing on Paths Less Traveled"

This book chronicles the adventures (and sometimes misadventures) of the inventor, engineer, and businessman Gary Oberg. As an avid outdoorsman, Oberg shares his life experiences of pushing the limits outdoors, where he said he learned about taking chances and mitigating risk. Oberg shares a selection of stories from his life spent outdoors with humor and humility. "Sidetracks" is an Amazon bestseller, reaching the number one spot in the Amazon category of Sports Hunting and Sports Fishing.

6. Answer the Age-Old Question

"Why We Hunt: The Five Motivations of the Modern Hunter"

Buy this and you'll own one of the best books for older hunters. Futrell dissects the unique motivations for modern hunters, the attacks against hunting, and how to defend it against those attacks. His book argues that every person is alive today because their ancestors picked up a spear and hunted. Yet, modern society is downplaying and even trying to destroy hunting's relevance. "Why We Hunt" explores what motivates the contemporary hunter to go out into the great outdoors and be an active participant in nature.

7. Learn to Love Backpacking

"Becoming a Backpack Hunter: A Beginner's Guide to Hunting the Backcountry"

This particular book written by an adult-onset hunter for adult-onset hunters. It breaks down the process for beginners, offering practical advice, gear lists, and helpful tips to navigate the process. Kirchner compresses all the information he has learned as a backpack hunter and offers it up in an easily-digestible way.