Many of our favorite outdoorsmen and women have written books that we truly enjoy. The ones we've listed here are more about three individual people and what they did to make themselves the famous folks that we know them as.
Written in the biographical sense, these books are about their exploits as much as about the person themselves and offer some insights into what made them the person that we know and love.
These books will help you to understand a little more about their lives and why they chose to live them the way they did.
The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley
Glenda Riley's look at the life of this amazing sharpshooter from Ohio is a "well researched, smoothly written biography of Annie Oakley that accomplishes three large goals. In addition to providing an illuminating story of an intriguing person, Riley uses Oakley to comment provocatively on gender roles of her times. The author also demonstrates how Annie became--and remains--a central figure in illustrating the Wild West."
We have been writing and promoting women in the shooting sports since the beginning to try and advance women's participation in firearms use, but without arguably the most famous woman in shooting history, it may have not been possible.
Annie Oakley was a contradictory character: altogether an extremely skilled firearm user and lady marksman, she was also skilled at occupations that were reserved solely for men without abandoning her femininity.
Riley's book explores this perfectly, especially for young women.
Hemingway's Key West
There are so many biographical reads on this esteemed and valued writer that it's hard to find a starting point, but this is one that creates a good look at Hemingway's life around the Florida Keys. That's where he worked on some of his most famous volumes including where he finished A Farewell to Arms, started For Whom the Bell Tolls, and wrote Green Hills of Africa.
This book by Stuart B. McIver includes all of the obligatory eating, drinking, fighting, writing, and fraternizing with women, but also his fishing exploits in Bimini and Cuba aboard his custom-built boat, Pilar. Certainly, a book of this nature isn't so much about angling techniques as it is about a revered author that really knew what it meant to go deep-sea fishing. Hemingway is one of the most famous authors in history and one of the tip-of-the-spear reasons why most of us wanted to try it in the first place.
It's an easy read at less than 200 pages and will make you want to travel to South Florida in time for the Kingfish run.
The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt
The full title is The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History by Darrin Lunde. What else is there to say about our 26th U.S. president that we haven't already heard? Not much, but it's possible to hear it from another perspective and gain some more knowledge from the experience.
As the preface says,
"No U.S. president is more popularly associated with nature and wildlife than is Theodore Roosevelt--prodigious hunter, tireless adventurer, and ardent conservationist."
During his early years, Roosevelt modeled himself on the men--John James Audubon, for instance--who pioneered this key respect of the natural world and what it means to the humans that live on our planet.
Roosevelt wasn't just an exuberant hunter, he was actively concerned with serious scientific inquiry and a champion of conservation, especially when it came to the animals that we hunt. We all seem to be able to identify most species, particularly the ones that we hunt, but for Roosevelt, it was the same passion and obsession for identifying not only the species that we hunt, but everything that we see outdoors.
And you and I are no different.
The Best Outdoor Biographies
As stated, there are quite a few volumes on these three subjects. Included here are just some ore examples of why hunting, fishing, and the shooting sports are so popular, especially when they are romanticized by these famous figures.
Whether we look at these lives by what they did for the outdoors, for the undertaking that they represent, or by what they did for their gender, we can always appreciate them as humans that loved the same things that we love.