Dandelions are a gateway drug. Well, at least according to Hank Shaw, author of Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast. It’s not an edible plants guide book, nor a detailed, learn-to-hunt instructional. It’s also neither a pure narrative nor philosophical tale. The beauty of Hunt, Gather, Cook is that it’s at the crossroads of all of these things. In this part how-to, part recipe collection, part manifesto, Shaw takes the reader on a journey through his lifelong passion for wild food. I walked away with new perspective, some new knowledge, and more inspiration to diversify my wild diet.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, we hunt for mule deer out in the desert. It’s very open country. Being still-novice hunters, we probably couldn’t have picked a much more difficult first big game quarry. Mule deer are often called ‘grey ghosts’ for their elusive qualities, and attempting to hunt them in terrain that often has no more than knee-high brush — most often with a bow — makes getting one all the more challenging. You might even think, at first blush, that we’re trying to make it as hard as possible to get deer. That’s certainly not our intention, as we would really like to have the meat to eat. But given that we live in the desert Southwest, and given the seasons available to us, we’re left with a rather trying introduction to deer hunting. Fortunately, however, we aren’t starting from scratch. Last season I happened across a timeless and excellent introduction to hunting mule deer in the open expanses of the American West. Dwight Schuh’sHunting Open-Country Mule Deer, written almost twenty years ago, contains nearly all the pointers a budding mule deer hunter could want.
I just finished reading Tovar Cerulli’s The Mindful Carnivore. To be blunt, I wish that he hadn’t written it. It isn’t that I didn’t find the topics enjoyable; I did. It isn’t that he isn’t a good writer; he’s good. The reason I wish that Cerulli hadn’t written his book is because I wanted to write his book. And it’s almost as if I did.