The Sporting Road: Travels Across America in an Airstream Trailer--with Fly Rod, Shotgun, and a Yellow Lab Named Sweetzer

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Overview

From renowned outdoor writer Jim Fergus comes this collection which represents a kind of extended journey across the country from Colorado to Florida and points beyond. From pheasant hunting at Nebraska's Fort Robinson to bone fishing on the flats of Grand Exuma, Bahamas, these 32 essays, arranged by season, chronicle Fergus's most memorable travels hunting and fishing over a period of 6 years. A book about the natural world and man's place in it, The Sporting Road is also a book about relationships, which for ...

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The Sporting Road: Travels Across America in an Airstream Trailer--with Fly Rod, Shotgun, and a Yellow Lab Named Sweetzer

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Overview

From renowned outdoor writer Jim Fergus comes this collection which represents a kind of extended journey across the country from Colorado to Florida and points beyond. From pheasant hunting at Nebraska's Fort Robinson to bone fishing on the flats of Grand Exuma, Bahamas, these 32 essays, arranged by season, chronicle Fergus's most memorable travels hunting and fishing over a period of 6 years. A book about the natural world and man's place in it, The Sporting Road is also a book about relationships, which for Fergus include old friends, new acquaintances, and his trusted yellow lab, Sweetzer.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fergus ... relates simple and vivid details in this pleasing account of six years of travel and sport.... the honest allure of a good campfire yarn."

Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Whether scrambling up the desiccated slopes of Utah's Desolation Canyon in pursuit of birds known as chukars or whipping a tenuous fly line into the Florida surf, Fergus (A Hunter's Road) relates simple and vivid details in this pleasing account of six years of travel and sport. Perhaps befitting a sportsman, Fergus has a spare writing style and uses only what he needs. The result is a light and enjoyable collection of tales featuring Fergus, his dog Sweetzer and a random cast ranging from a Georgia native known as Fishboy to a modern-day Davy Crockett, whom Fergus dubs the Mountain Man in deference to his flintlock rifle and steady hand with a double-bladed tomahawk. Fergus and the people with whom he hunts are not the beer-guzzling, reckless pillagers of nature who often live in the popular imagination. Even those who don't condone the sport should heed Fergus's points that hunters such as Theodore Roosevelt began the conservation movement, and that development, overgrazing and chemical farming cause incalculably greater harm to animal populations than does hunting--harm that is "rarely perceived by anyone other than the knowledgeable wildlife biologist." Because the book is composed primarily of previously published, though reworked, articles, readers are sometimes reintroduced to people and species that have already appeared. Even so, these overlapping tales have the honest allure of a good campfire yarn. Illus. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Handsome, deliberative hunting vignettes, many collected from the column Fergus (A Hunter's Road: A Journey with Gun and Dog Across the American Upland, 1992, etc.) wrote for Sports Afield. Ranging far and wide in his beaten Suburban, following the seasons (which provide the book with its superstructure), towing an Airstream and a company of dogs, Fergus hunts up hunting venues and friends, then fashions from them these neat sketches. It's clear from the start that Fergus is where he wants to be, outside, peeling back the dead skin and exposing a clean surface, drinking in the miracle and wonder of walking with a dog, a shotgun, and a well-chosen comrade in the uplands and draws and river bottoms. He talks of the attentiveness demanded of, and the grace conferred on, the hunter, visits the rarified and inaccessible homeplace of the white-tailed ptarmigan, fly fishes from a sea kayak in skinny water and gets towed by his catch (yes, shades of Papa, but Fergus's own). There are enough frustrations and minor disasters—ruined days when caught mistakenly trespassing on a very ill-disposed farmer's land, dogs meeting the wrong end of a porcupine or the lightning-quick hooves of a mule—so that when you read "opening day dawned a fine cool September morning," or that on the estate he was hunting in Florida "a dense fog settled over the massive live oaks that were hung in Spanish moss like oxidized tinsel," you actually feel good for the guy. Not all is an unqualified success—two of the fishing pieces sound more like writing assignments than experiences, and there is a hunt with Rick Bass in the Yaak Valley that aspires to portents and magic and falls way short. But the dudsare few. It is Bass who writes in an introduction that Fergus "considers and respects his friends, his prey, his dogs, and the landscapes that engage these things." That makes Fergus a rare and real presence in any world, hunting or otherwise. (photos, not seen)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312267803
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 828,340
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Fergus's articles and essays have appeared in a wide variety of national magazines and newspapers. He is a field editor of Sports Afield magazine. His previous books include the nonfiction memoir A Hunter's Road and the novel One Thousand White Women. He lives in northern Colorado and southern Arizona.

Rick Bass is the author of several books, including The New Wolves and The Book of Yaak.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 17, 2011

    good read!!

    Good read for any bird hunter, dog enthusiast, fisherman, or traveller. Fergus takes us around the country pursuing the sporting life. He describes many interesting places, people, dogs, and personalities he encounters throughout his travels. Invokes many fond memories of hunts, hunting pals, fishing trips, and dogs.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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