The Tattered Autumn Sky: Bird Hunting in the Heartland

Overview

In these fine essays, Tom Davis lyrically reflects on gundogs and gamebirds; on the prairies, fields, and woodlands where they meet; on the delights of upland bird hunting and the dilemmas posed by the summons of blood. Far more literary than most chroniclers of the sporting experience, his work stands squarely in the tradition of outdoor writing represented by such greats as Aldo Leopold, Gordon MacQuarrie, Gene Hill, and Robert F. Jones.

More than recounting the highlights of ...

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Overview

In these fine essays, Tom Davis lyrically reflects on gundogs and gamebirds; on the prairies, fields, and woodlands where they meet; on the delights of upland bird hunting and the dilemmas posed by the summons of blood. Far more literary than most chroniclers of the sporting experience, his work stands squarely in the tradition of outdoor writing represented by such greats as Aldo Leopold, Gordon MacQuarrie, Gene Hill, and Robert F. Jones.

More than recounting the highlights of a sporting life, these twenty-five essays, spanning two decades, act as a finely etched memoir. We come to know the bird dogs that have been central to Davis's life, including the irrepressible Maggie in "Blood," an endearing yet doomed English setter pup with the distinct aroma of a chicken. We meet family and friends, observe a marriage and its dissolution, and join in the resumption of life and love. With Davis, we are swallowed up by the immense prairies of Nebraska and South Dakota; awed by the late afternoon light in the Wisconsin northwoods; and moved by the devotion of an old dog on point. Through Davis's deft pen, we, too, are bone weary at the end of a long day afield, and we, too, feel the elemental connection a hunter has to wild birds and the unspoiled places they inhabit.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An unsparing yet loving look at what it means to be a bird hunter in North America today. Mr. Davis's book is about countrysides, birds, rural people, dogs, beauty, death: the full complexity of the hunting life."--Donald McCaig, author of Nop's Trials

"You can sense the love Tom Davis entertains for his dogs and his dedication to nature on every page."--Guy de la Valdene, author of A Handful of Feathers

"Tom writes brilliantly and with poignance....He has a deeper, warmer understanding of pointing dogs and upland bird hunting than any writer I've read. --Robert F. Jones, author of The Hunter in My Heart

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592283798
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,450,123
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Davis, an award-winning writer and longtime senior editor and gundogs columnist for Sporting Classics, is also editor-at-large for Pointing Dog Journal, a contributing editor to Sports Afield, and a columnist for Just Labs. His work has appeared in Gray's Sporting Journal, Field & Stream, Shooting Sportsman, Ducks Unlimited, Gun Dog, and Retriever Journal. Davis's books include Why Dogs Do That, To the Point, and Just Goldens. He lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with wife, stepdaughter, and two English setters.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Foreword xi
1. Opening Day 3
2. Upland Afternoons 19
3. Blood 31
4. Closing Day 45
5. Heart of the Sandhills, Soul of the Prairie 61
6. This Peninsula 81
7. Emmy's Pheasants 91
8. The Practice 105
9. In Peshtigo Country 109
10. Hypnotized 117
11. Woodcock Camp Revisited 125
12. Lost in the 20th Century 137
13. The Promise 149
14. Letting Go 163
15. One Grouse 173
16. The Principality of Woodcock 183
17. The Sportsman's Bird 191
18. A Pheasant for Al 201
19. Back at Andy's Acres 211
20. Shooting Guests 219
21. How I Got My Nickname 229
22. Something So Right: Emmylou, Now and Then 233
23. A Boy and His Dog 245
24. Guerilla Quail 255
25. Prairie Fires 261
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    Tattered Autumn Sky-Tom Davis

    This is a collection of previously published bird hunting essays by Tom Davis.
    For those who love being outdoors following a bird dog, this book is for YOU! Mr. Davis, with polished prose, places the reader alongside as he goes about his bird hunting adventures!
    A FUN READ!

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