ON THE HUNT: THE HISTORY OF DEER HUNTING IN WISCONSIN
Author: Robert C. Willging
Publisher: UNIVERSITY CHICAGO PRESS, May 2009
The story of deer-hunting in Wisconsin, from the spear-throwing Paleo-Indians to the sportsmen of today. Covers subsistence & sport hunting, deer camps, changing deer management policies, & recent developments & controversies. The perfect preparation for the avid sportsman's annual fall trek with friends & family into the woods. 141 Color & B&W photos & illus; 8x9 inches, 320 pgs.
"I remember the first white-tailed buck I ever saw. . . All I have to do is close my eyes to relive the moment. . . the image . . . comes back with special intensity in autumn, when the air is crisp & the leaves are turning. I was twelve years old at the time." - from the introduction to On the Hunt
It's a long way from the suburbs of Chicago, where Bob Willging grew up, to a deer-hunting camp in northern Wisconsin. When Willging entered the wildlife management program at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, he realized that most of his classmates not only hunted deer, but seemingly had been hunting their entire lives. As Willging recalls, "they were incredibly, insanely passionate about it." Willging, who had begged his parents for subscriptions to Field & Stream as a boy, felt like he'd come home.
On the Hunt is the story of deer-hunting in Wisconsin, from the spear-throwing Paleo-Indians to the sportsmen of today. Meticulously researched by one of the state's most prolific outdoor writers, On the Hunt covers subsistence & sport hunting, deer camps, changing deer management policies, & recent developments & controversies-from human encroachment on deer habitat to CWD. Range maps & charts tracking annual herd populations & harvest goals complement Willging's engaging storytelling. Drawing from Department of Conservation papers, hunting magazines, newspapers, historic photos of classic deer camps, & the personal stories of hunters & deer managers, On the Hunt offers a fascinating glimpse into a distant & not-so-distant past, when the hunt joined men in almost mythical unity & bucks were seemingly larger than life.
An ardent sportsman with nearly 25 years of hunting experience, Willging understands that deer-hunting is as much about the smell of the woods in autumn & the meticulous cleaning of a fine rifle as it is about bringing home a whitetail. His story of how Wisconsin's own World War II flying ace, Richard Bong, squeezed in a few days of hunting while home on leave vividly illustrates the sport's powerful pull on hearts & minds. Willging also engagingly conveys the important tradition of the deer-hunting camp, from a humble two-man shack in Chequamegon National Forest (like the one he shared with his best friend, Steve) to the grand old Deer Foot Lodge founded in 1912 in Vilas County.
On the Hunt is perfect preparation for the avid sportsman's annual fall trek with friends & family into the woods.