Jim Dean, longtime editor of Wildlife in North Carolina , offers his personal observations on the pleasures and frustrations of hunting, fishing, camping, and other outdoor pursuits. Dogs That Point, Fish That Bite draws together fifty of the best columns that Dean has written for the magazine over the last seventeen years. The witty, sometimes poignant pieces are arranged into a loose chronicle of the sporting year, with a generous allowance for digression: the first is set in April, on the opening day of trout season, and the last tells of a New Year's Day spent alone in a mountain cabin. At first glance, hunting and fishing are the focus of most of the columns. Often, however, Dean is after bigger game. A crab that escapes the pot leads him to reflect on the capricious nature of life. The restoration of a cabin at the old family farm evokes memories of family and simpler times. And a May panfishing trip takes on the quality of ritual, performed by two old friends. The consistent theme uniting all the essays is the celebration of wild places and rural traditions that have become endangered in our modern world.
|Fifty outdoor essays by Jim Dean, the longtime editor of Wildlife in North Carolina magazine and a noted outdoor writer and photographer. Here Dean shares his personal observations on the pleasures and frustrations of hunting, fishing, camping, and other outdoor pursuits.
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(235mm x 156mm x 11mm)
The University of North Carolina Press
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
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US Kirkus Review »
A lighthearted, pleasantly diverting collection of Dean's columns on hunting and fishing the woods and streams of North Carolina. Editor of Wildlife in North Carolina, the official publication of that state's Wildlife Resources Commission, these pieces span Dean's 17-year tenure, though none are a bit dated. He frets that development, acid rain, and logging threaten the region: areas he hunted as recently as the 1970s are now shopping malls. But the traditions of his hobbies and the rituals of the seasons continue in spite of it all. He revels in anticipation of opening day for trout on the first Saturday in April; it's a celebration, he notes, in which trout, because of the swarms of fishermen and usually lousy weather, "rarely play a major role." He does a lot of his fishing with his son, Scott, but fondly recalls excursions with his late grandfather and other old-timers who served as mentors and companions. As a bridge to that past, he only partway spruces up an old three-room clapboard house to use as a hunting and fishing lodge. In a delightful aside, he ponders two toads at the side of the road, "big as cantaloupes," feeding on crickets and moths and other insects: "They apparently limit their intake to anything that will fit." He tracks down the surprisingly recent last sighting of an elk in North Carolina and recounts a perilous midwinter quest for spotted sea trout from a slippery cinder block jetty at Wrightsville Beach. And to the affirmation of all fishermen, he answers the question, "What is a reasonable amount of time to spend fishing?" in a piece titled "Enough Is Not Enough." As fun and important as a rainy day sittin' round the cracker barrel - and with none of the corn pone. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Jim Dean
An outdoor writer and photographer, Jim Dean served as editor of Wildlife in North Carolina for eighteen years and continues to write his monthly "Our Natural Heritage" column for the magazine. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.