Book Review: A Hunter’s Heart

A Hunter’s Heart: Honest Essays on Bloodsport is a compilation of essays edited by David Petersen. The contributors, including many well-known outdoor enthusiasts including Terry Tempest Williams, Jimmy Carter and Thomas McIntyre, write about hunting from a variety of angles, which reflects their diverse backgrounds. I first discovered this book while in high school and found it quite striking in it’s eloquence and honesty. My home town listed heavily toward anti-hunting and the arguments and philosophies these essays present turned out to be poignant and persuasive when my anti-hunting classmates attempted to corner me with what they thought was infallible logic.
     I have always found these writings comforting, and effective in stimulating self-examination. As hunters it is easy for us to momentarily lose our way and make decisions we may later regret. Sometimes the prospect of a trophy set of antlers or filling one’s bag limit by day’s end makes us compromise our integrity and treat those animals we revere with less respect than we know they deserve. They help keep me honest in my outdoor pursuits. Perhaps this is hyperbole, but A Hunter’s Heart is to hunting what the Bible is to Christianity.

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