HUNTING FROM HOME: A YEAR AFIELD IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS
Author: Christopher Camuto
Publisher: UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, Sep 2004
Chronicles the 4 seasons in the Virginia mountains. Takes the reader through a year of intense experiences; hunting grouse with his setter through snowbound forests in winter; wading trout streams in spring; exploring the backcountry, cutting wood & hunting deer in autumn. 4 illus.; 5.5x8 inches, 320 pgs.
A vivid rendering of the 4 seasons on a Shenandoah Valley farm & in the Virginia mountains.
Christopher Camuto has been praised for writing "with the clear-sightedness and imaginative reach--both inward and outward -- of a poet" (Verlyn Klinkenborg). In Hunting from Home, Camuto takes the reader through a year of intense experiences; hunting grouse with his setter through snowbound forests in winter; wading trout streams in spring; exploring the backcountry, cutting wood and hunting deer in autumn. He takes seriously--and joyously--Thoreau's injunction to practice "the discipline of looking always at what is to be seen."
Camulto writes incisively about the hunter's paradoxical love of the game he pursues; but he also hunts in the broadest sense possible, searching out and witnessing the life of the things he loves--brook trout and black bear, hawks and warblers--with the hope of sharing the pleasures and preoccupations of a "border life" lived, with deep satisfaction, in the shadow of the Blue Ridge.
In this celebration of a year in the country, Camuto (A Fly Fisherman's Blue Ridge), who lives in a four-room log cabin near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, meditates on the pleasures of nature and his place in it. Eloquently conveying the joy he takes in finding "the miraculous in the common," he writes of the passing seasons, the ever-changing landscape, and the animals and birds that inhabit the mountains and the 200-acre farm he calls home. He also spends much of his time hunting and fishing-grouse in winter, trout in early spring, deer in fall and early winter-and the hunting theme permeates the book. As he admits, it may seem incongruous that someone who loves nature so much is an avid hunter. But, he says, "Hunting has weighted my time outdoors and clarified a great deal for me, taught me innumerable practical lessons and taken me in certain dreamlike moments through the transcendental concentration of the hunt to contact with what I assume is the sacred pulse of being, my own and that of the game I pursue." Nicely covering the same poetic ground as Ted Kerasote and Rick Bass, Camuto describes days spent in the woods tracking grouse, the details of teaching himself bow hunting, or cleaning deer. Camuto's book holds many attractions: his observations about his world and its delights-the trees, the flowers, the stars, the unexpected sight of deer running through the snow on a moonlit night, the presence of Carolina wrens nesting on his front porch, the smell of newly split wood-are memorable and can hold their own with the best nature writing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Christopher Camuto, author of A Fly Fisherman's Blue Ridge and Another Country: Journeying Toward the Cherokee Mountains lives near Roanoke, Virginia. Camuto teaches creative writing & literature at Bucknell University. He has written for a wide range of publications, including Field & Stream, Fly Fisherman, Sports Afield, and Sierra.