Hunting News

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Tattered Autumn Sky: Bird Hunting in the Heartland

Tom Davis (Author)

In these fine essays, Tom Davis lyrically reflects on gundogs and gamebirds; on the prairies, fields, and woodlands where they meet; on the delights of upland bird hunting and the dilemmas posed by the summons of blood. Far more literary than most chroniclers of the sporting experience, his work stands squarely in the tradition of outdoor writing represented by such greats as Aldo Leopold, Gordon MacQuarrie, Gene Hill, and Robert F. Jones.

More than recounting the highlights of a sporting life, these twenty-five essays, spanning two decades, act as a finely etched memoir. We come to know the bird dogs that have been central to Davis’s life, including the irrepressible Maggie in “Blood,” an endearing yet doomed English setter pup with the distinct aroma of a chicken. We meet family and friends, observe a marriage and its dissolution, and join in the resumption of life and love. With Davis, we are swallowed up by the immense prairies of Nebraska and South Dakota; awed by the late afternoon light in the Wisconsin northwoods; and moved by the devotion of an old dog on point. Through Davis’s deft pen, we, too, are bone weary at the end of a long day afield, and we, too, feel the elemental connection a hunter has to wild birds and the unspoiled places they inhabit.

The long-time Senior Editor and Gun Dogs columnist for Sporting Classics, award-winning writer Tom Davis is also Editor-at-Large for Pointing Dog Journal, a contributing Editor to Sports Afield, and a columnist for Just Labs. His work has appeared in Gray's Sporting Journal, Field & Stream, Shooting Sportsman, Ducks Unlimited, Gun Dog, and Retriever Journal. Davis's books include Why Dogs Do That, To The Point, and Just Goldens. Davis lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with wife, stepdaughter, and two English setters.

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