Synopses & Reviews
When Lily Raff McCaulou traded in an indie film production career in New York for a reporting job in central Oregon, she never imagined that she'd find herself picking up a gun and learning to hunt. She'd been raised as a gun-fearing environmentalist and an animal lover, and though a meat-eater, she'd always abided by the principle that harming animals is wrong. But Raff McCaulou's perspective shifted when she began spending weekends fly-fishing and weekdays interviewing hunters for her articles, realizing that many of them were more thoughtful about animals and the environment than she was.
So she embarked upon the project of learning to hunt from square one.
From attending a Hunter Safety course designed for children to field dressing an elk and serving it for dinner, she explores the sport of hunting and all it entails, and tackles the big questions surrounding one of the most misunderstood American practices and pastimes. Not just a personal memoir, this book also explores the role of the hunter in the twenty-first century, the tension (at times artificial) between hunters and environmentalists, and new models of sustainable and ethical food procurement.
"Despite what the title may imply, McCaulou and her writing are anything but mild. Her fortitude is obvious from the onset, when she takes a chance on herself by giving up her East Coast city life for a job writing for a small newspaper in Bend, Ore. Once there, she slowly embraces the outdoor lifestyle of her new home, first by skiing and fly-fishing, and later by exploring the hunting subculture that comes to fascinate her. Afraid of guns and wary of guts, her forays into hunting may be slow and sometimes timid, but the way she continually faces her fears is inspiring. With each new challenge from purchasing a license and firearms safety to pulling the trigger or pulling out an elk's intestines she makes in-depth explorations into the cultural, economic, ecological, nutritional, and political aspects of hunting. But where McCaulou's writing truly shines is when she analyzes her personal connection to how she kills to how she lives her life. Unafraid to lay bare her evolving 'cycle of life' feelings about shooting her first bird on the day her niece was born or confronting how the recent deaths of close family members affects her emotions about hunting, McCaulou forces herself to face the best and worst of both life and death. Definitely at the top of the heap of the recent array of books that explore our connection to land and food, McCaulou confronts everything you think you know about hunting and in doing so brings a welcome touch of humanity to a pursuit thought by many to be lacking exactly that. Agent, Daniel Greenberg." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lily Raff McCaulou is a professional journalist and author of Call of the Mild. In her free time, she hunts, fishes and forages — then cooks and eats her spoils. She also crafts with feathers, fur and foraged items.