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A COMFORTABLE  RANGE
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A COMFORTABLE RANGE

Author: Jim McDermott
Publisher: NATIONAL BOOK NETWORK, Mar 2005
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 0-89272-675-X

Synopsis
A powerful, personal narrative; McDermoot struggles to understand his talented, independent English setter, Speck. From suburban Virginia to the sprawl of South Dakota. 5.5x8.5 inches, 144 pgs.

More Information
In his prologue, author Jim McDermott writes: "In my neurotic imagination, the field held any number of threats to the well-being of a bird dog . . . but when hunting with Speck I most feared his push for the excessive range that led to loss. I wanted to keep Speck safe and, at the same time, I wanted to have the pleasure of watching him run, but it wasn?t easy to figure out how to do these things without diminishing his enthusiasm for our time in the uplands. Learning to hunt with Speck in an authentic way meant learning not to question the wildness in him. . . . More than anything else, that learning was what our quest for a comfortable range was all about."

In this beautifully written book, McDermott describes his struggle to understand his talented, independent English setter, Speck, at the same time he confronts his innermost fears for the safety of this much-loved gun dog. A Comfortable Range is a powerful, personal narrative in which McDermott and Speck carry the reader from the confines of suburban Virginia to the sprawl of South Dakota, where man and dog ultimately find resolution to their quest for compatibility.

REVIEWS:
"A Comfortable Range is a dog lover's dream of a book. It's good for hunters too. It provides the kind of poetic experience of working with a dog -- like two allies, two companions, two trusting friends -- in the thrilling, cold air of the hunt. The book, like hunting itself, takes you away from the fever and fret of everyday life, away from yourself, for a bewildered while. It brings with it the memory of all those long, forgetful days walking in the deep woods or across wide open fields, a companion at your side, a shotgun slung over your shoulder and nothing but expectation in your heart. This one is awinner." --Robert Bausch, author of The Gypsy Man and A Hole in the Earth

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Prologue
Housebound
Ranging West
Minnesota: Ruffed Grouse
South Dakota: Prairie Grouse
South Dakota: Ring-Necked Pheasants, Part I
South Dakota: Ring-Necked Pheasants, Part II
Epilogue

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK:
"In my neurotic imagination, the field held any number of threats to the well-being of a bird dog ... but when hunting with Speck I most feared his push for the excessive range that led to loss. I wanted to keep Speck safe and, at the same time, I wanted to have the pleasure of watching him run, but it wasn't easy to figure out how to do these things without diminishing his enthusiasm for our time in the uplands. Learning to hunt with Speck in an authentic way meant learning not to question the wildness in him.... More than anything else, that learning was what our quest for a comfortable range was all about."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jim McDermott
has trained and hunted English setters for more than twenty years. Following his dogs, he annually pursues a variety of upland birds from the Southeast to the Western prairies. McDermott holds a Ph.D. in English literature, and he has published articles in national magazines. A Comfortable Range is his first book. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife and his English setter, Speck.


 
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