Should the Tent Be Burning Like That?: A Professional Amateur's Guide to the Outdoors

Should the Tent Be Burning Like That?: A Professional Amateur's Guide to the Outdoors

by Bill Heavey

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Overview

Should the Tent Be Burning Like That?: A Professional Amateur's Guide to the Outdoors by Bill Heavey

For more than twenty years, Bill Heavey—a three-time National Magazine Award finalist—has staked a claim as one of America’s best writers. In feature stories and his Field&Stream column “A Sportsman’s Life,” as well as other publications, he has taken readers across the country and beyond to experience his triumphs and failures as a suburban dad who happens to love hunting and fishing.

Should the Tent Be Burning Like That? gathers together a wide range of Heavey’s best work. He nearly drowns attempting to fish the pond inside the cloverleaf off an Interstate Highway four miles from the White House. He rents and crashes a forty-four-foot houseboat on a river in Florida. On a manic weeklong deer archery hunt in Ohio, he finds it necessary to practice by shooting arrows into his motel room’s phonebook (the blunt penetrates all the way to page 358, "KITCHEN CABINET—REFACING&REFINISHING"). Accompanying a shaggy steelhead fanatic—Mikey, who has no job or fixed address but owns four boats—on a thousand-mile odyssey up and down the California coast in search of fishable water, he comes to see Mikey as a purer soul than almost anyone he has ever met.

Whatever the subject, Heavey’s tales are odes to the notion that enthusiasm is more important than skill, and a testament to the enduring power of the natural world. Whether he’s hunting mule deer in Montana, draining cash on an overpriced pistol, or ruminating on the joys and agonies of outdoor gear, Heavey always entertains and enlightens with honesty and wit.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802189271
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 12/05/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 337,099
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Bill Heavey is an editor-at-large for Field&Stream and the author of three previous books: You’re Not Lost if You Can Still See the Truck; If you Didn’t Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat?; and It’s Only Slow Food Until You Try to Eat It. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Men’s Journal, Outside, Washington Post, New York Times Magazine, and Los Angeles Times. He lives in Maryland.

Read an Excerpt

We descended into the deep ravine and climbed up the other side. It was getting late. We were walking along a flat, brushy hilltop, looking for birds, when Budz grabbed my arm. The toms, 20 yards ahead of us and just coming into view, had no idea we were there. “Shoot!” Budz said. Then he pleaded, “Please shoot those turkeys!”

I shouldered the gun and realized I had two red heads lined up perfectly in my sights. The world slowed. Even I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But whoever had commandeered my body decided that it was a good time to practice flinching. My shot hit the ground 10 yards in front and 10 yards to the left of the birds. Hevi-Shot, incidentally, is devastating on dirt, at least in South Dakota. The turkeys spread their wings languidly and glided down the long hill we’d just scaled, back into the thick woods.

Budz said nothing and walked off a few yards to be by himself. He was facing away from me. His head and torso were bobbing rhythmically, like a man banging his head against an imaginary wall. It reminded me of the TV footage you see of people at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. A strange thought coursed through my brain. Maybe they’ll put up a Wailing Wall in South Dakota in my honor.

The bobsled run was over for the day. I had just medaled in the Loser Olympics. I felt for Budz. He had done nothing for the past 15 hours but try to spoon-feed me chip shots at wild turkeys. My only part in all this was to aim a stick at the birds and then move my right index finger. That, obviously, had proved too complex a task.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I

Chasing the Chrome 5

Adventures of a Deer Bum 18

Angler's Paradise 27

No Pain, No Elk 30

The South's Top Gun 33

Fifty Shades of Green 41

The Making of a Stand Hunter 44

My Gun Guru 49

Castaway in Deer Paradise 52

The Odd Couple 60

Deer, Lies, and Videotape 63

Father Knows Less 66

Some Home Truths 69

In the Face of Failure 72

The Stalk 75

Part II

The Stand 85

If Hunters Ruled the World 88

The Slam Man 91

Meat Matters 101

Not the Same 104

Boys Should Be Boys 107

Hands off My Stuff 110

Cross-Country Skiing Among the Cree 113

Car Talk 120

Going to Pieces 123

The Rope Report 126

Inward Bound 129

The Bear Essentials 132

True Grit 135

Part III

Task Master 141

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Eye 144

Man Overboard 151

The Sky's the Limit 154

Turkeys: Life on the Square 157

Grand Guns 161

Gee Whiz 164

Dyeing to Connect 167

Buddy Trip 170

Crash Course 177

Bass Land 180

Point Well Taken 184

Turf War 189

Wild Ride 192

Home Water 195

Part IV

Fishing on the Edge 201

Gear Good! 204

Bow Crazy 207

Feet First 210

The Backcountry Cure 212

How to Be a Winner 222

Flats Fever 225

Faced with an Anti 228

The Lake Effect 231

Out of Orbit 234

The Smallmouth Man 237

Tackle Underworld 242

What the Horse Saw 245

Bull's Eye 248

Hoofing It for Caribou 251

Wishful Thinking 259

Acknowledgments 263

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Should the Tent Be Burning Like That?: A Professional Amateur's Guide to the Outdoors 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Gilbert_M_Stack 3 months ago
I feel I should start by pointing out that I don’t hunt or fish and the closest I’ve ever come to guns is the .22 I shot in scout camp. I stumbled across this collection of essays while searching my library collection for a Patrick McManus book and decided to give it a try. Heavey offers an often humorous look at a world I have very little to do with. It was an education of a decidedly painless variety and while I don’t expect to run off and buy a shotgun or a fishing rod, I really enjoyed Heavey’s experiences learning how to be more effective with both. If you’re curious about what life would be like if you spent more time in the woods, you might want to give this thoughtful collection a try.
NovelKim More than 1 year ago
My father taught me how to shoot a rifle when I was young and before I raised the weapon I was told that it was never to be pointed at anything living. I kept that lesson close and always wondered about people who hunt for sport. Bill Heavey has successfully, humorously and intelligently explained why hunting is more than a challenging sport. He can make you understand that “an hour means nothing; the innocent rustle of leaves is a matter of life or death; and a change in the wind can bring panic or euphoria.” I probably didn’t need the detail on flies and fishing lures but wow, really an $85,000.00 rifle?! Heavey tells stories that are infused with homilies that just make you understand and feel better. There is Tony, who owns a tackle store, and has a purpose and a connection to his business “It’s about running things the way his father and grandfather had, not just profitably but well, aiming higher than the bottom line. It is about honor.” And Heavey gets it. He understands on the day that he kills a deer as an older hunter the sport was becoming more complicated for him introspectively. There is always a personal price to be paid. He has the ability to describe lunatic situations with great alacrity, self-deprecatory wit and sense of self. He can be humble, and wrong-footed but always an avid and eager hunter and fisherman. He describes how in his hands “a fly line becomes a physical example of Obsessional Defiant Disorder - negative, disobedient, and hostile.” We are taken into his closest relationships and friendships and made to understand that this is a man who cherishes those who pierce his armor. He admits to too much time alone and gives credit to those who make him remember that he is “straddling the edge between the sublime and the ridiculous, that that was exactly” where “he belonged” These are a great bunch of stories and I am so glad I invested the time to get to know more about Bill Heavey and his years of outdoor sporting activities.