Sep 132016

must-read books on huntingHunting, for many of us, can be a year-round and lifelong pursuit. Ideally, all of those devoted hours would be spent in the woods, but we know that’s not the case. Seasons, weather, work, and family often keep us out of the woods. There’s even a lot of hunting-related preparation that must be done before any outings.

One way that I try to improve as a hunter is to learn from others. There are good magazines out there — you probably already know my bias for Field & Stream — but I like a good book sometimes, too. Hundreds of books have been written, but I have a few favorite books about deer hunting, turkey hunting, or general outdoorsmanship.

Deer Hunting Books

The whitetail deer is the most popular game animal in North America, a fact reflected by the slew of books and articles written about it.

Bill Vaznis hunting books

500 Deer Hunting Tips: Strategies, Techniques & Methods

by Bill Vaznis

I read this book on my Kindle, because by the end of the sample chapter I was hooked. Bill Vaznis is an accomplished but humble deer hunter, and he offers a lot of good advice covering many aspects of deer hunting, from scouting and strategy to accurate shooting and after the harvest. Will every one of his 500 tips be completely new and applicable to you? Probably not. But many of them will be, and it’s a quick, easy-to-read format.

Chris Eberhart and John Eberhart hunting books

Bowhunting Whitetails the Eberhart Way

by Chris Eberhart and John Eberhart
This father-son team made a name for themselves in their year-round approach to hunting pressured whitetails in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New England, Ohio, and other heavily-hunted states. This book covers their approaches to quality deer management, suburban and exurban hunting strategies, utilizing new hunting technology and gear, etc.

John Eberhart and Chris Eberhart hunting books

Precision Bowhunting: A Year-Round Approach to Taking Mature Whitetails Paperback

by John Eberhart and Chris Eberhart
This book, published two years later, lays out a year-long program for locating, scouting, and eventually hunting whitetails. The emphasis is on scouting and preparation to go after the most elusive of whitetail quarry: mature bucks that have survived for years on public land. They’re out there, and the Eberharts map out a twelve-month plan for taking one during the rut next year.

Scott Leysath hunting books

The Sporting Chef’s Better Venison Cookbook Paperback

by Scott Leysath
Harvesting a deer is only the beginning of the hunter’s experience. If you were successful, you’ll end up with a lot of venison to get through winter. I’ve shared my favorite venison recipes already, but author and Sporting Chef celebrity Scott Leysath has a hundred in this cookbook, from appetizers and soups to stews and grilled venison.

Turkey Hunting Books

Turkey hunting is another favorite pastime of mine, particularly because you can hunt them in both the spring and the fall in Missouri. One of my favorite books, In the Turkey Woods, is no longer in print. However, there’s another good recommendation I can make.

Ray Eye hunting books

Practical Turkey Hunting Strategies

by Ray Eye
Here’s of the most popular turkey hunting books written in the last decade. Ray Eye is one of the foremost turkey hunting experts in the world, and here’s a bonus: he lives in Missouri, about an hour south of me. His book tells you how to effectively hunt wild turkey under any conditions: with gun or bow, alone or with a partner, in the spring or in the fall. He covers the entire hunt, from locating the turkeys, finding the best set up, calling, and making the shot. Definitely worth a read before this spring!

General Hunting and Outdoors Books

A hunter benefits from being a well-rounded woodsman. Here are a couple of books to help with that.

T. Edward Nickens hunting books

Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Manual

by T. Edward Nickens
In this manual, T. Edward Nickens is joined by Field & Stream experts to cover 374 essential outdoor skills. It’s got hunting, including the pursuit, taking, and preparation of wild game. It’s got fly-fishing and spin-fishing, boating/kayaking, and other skills for the water. It even goes into camping and survival skills. It’s like all of the F&S skills articles wrapped into a single book.

Theodore Roosevelt hunting books

Hunting Trips of a Ranchman & The Wilderness Hunter

by Theodore Roosevelt
Last but not least is a book written more than a century ago by Teddy Roosevelt — the father of conservation, who founded the U.S. Forestry Service — and well before he became president. It’s basically the story of his pursuit of a 1200 pound grizzly through the Dakota badlands.

The second part of the book is an essay about Roosevelt’s love for the outdoors (and man’s place among them). It’s not hard to imagine why he went on to play such a pivotal role in nature & conservation as president of the U.S.

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Written by Dan Koboldt

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