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Friday, December 08, 2006

Books for Hunters Young and Old

by Steve Sorensen
(Originally published in the Warren Times Observer, Warren, PA., December 9, 2006.)
The Legend of Johnny Big Buck and
Strategies for Whitetails are the perfect
Christmas gifts for hunters young and old.
One frustration hunters have is that Christmas come after the regular deer season. If it came before deer season, hunters wouldn't have to wait a year before actually using the stuff the find under the tree.

Today, I solve that problem for you with a couple of gift ideas for hunters and aspiring hunters -- things they'll want to spend some time with before the next season. First, I've discovered a book that is the perfect introduction to deer hunting for kids up to about 4th grade, and another book from Charlie Alsheimer that will soon find a place among the classics of whitetail hunting.

To the too-young-to-hunt kid who can hardly wait to join Dad as he heads out to the deer woods, give The Legend of Johnny Big Buck, written and illustrated by Jason R. Mumford of nearby Girard, PA. It's a story about archery hunting, sportsmanship and the camaraderie of five friends that will cultivate kids' interest in hunting.

By creating this book for children, Jason has done hunting a valuable service. The Legend of Johnny Big Buck helps present hunting in a positive light for children, depicts what hunting is like, and teaches some of the skills hunters use.

Each 8½" x 11" page is a full color illustration with kid-appeal. The text is large type, and will be read over and over. The pictorial cover is hardback, and it has a pictorial wrap.

If you know a kid whom you'd like to get interested in hunting, or one who is already interested but still too young to participate, this beautiful book will make a great gift. He or she will live the adventure again and again. Provide any youngster with a positive viewpoint about hunting by giving a copy of The Legend of Johnny Big Buck.

To the adult hunter, you can do no better than give Charlie Alsheimer's new book Strategies for Whitetails. Alsheimer, a top professional wildlife photographer, field editor for Deer and Deer Hunting magazine, and host of the national television show Deer and Deer Hunting TV, is from Bath, New York. The many seminars he has presented locally have made him well known to hunters in this area.

Strategies for Whitetails represents a lifetime of study of the natural history of the whitetail and how knowledge of America's favorite big game animal can help the hunter to be successful. On the back cover it's called "A landmark book from the master whitetail hunter," and that's no exaggeration. Alsheimer has been ranked with Fred Bear, Aldo Leupold and Teddy Roosevelt as deer hunting's top inspirational leaders of the past century. Anyone on the same list with those greats definitely has something to say.

When I was a kid I remember reading "All About" books on chemistry, astronomy, and a variety of other subjects on an elementary level. Strategies for Whitetails could properly be called "All About Whitetails." However, it's anything but elementary.

Read Alsheimer's book and you'll find your questions answered about how wind, temperature and precipitation affect your hunting. You'll learn what is realistic to expect with regard to antler size in your area. The chapter on "What Makes Deer Move" is worth the price of the book. A discussion of the five stages of a deer hunter will help with some healthy self-analysis. And you'll understand what "quality deer management" is.

Alsheimer has been developing a theory on what triggers the whitetail rut (their breeding behavior) and tells how its phases are broken down and how to predict its timing. And, he offers tactics for every stage of the season. Strategies for Whitetails is truly a comprehensive book, and it's loaded with the best photography you'll see anywhere.

It has been a while since a book on whitetail hunting has joined the short list of must-have classics on the subject, but I predict the Alsheimer's name will be added to those of Larry Koller, Theodore Van Dyke, and a few others.
The Legend of Johnny Big Buck
and Strategies for Whitetails are the perfect Christmas gifts for hunters young and old. Both are available from for under $18 each. And if you buy both, you'll get Free Shipping!
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