A Way To See The World

A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There (Outdoor Essays & Reflections)


This special edition of the highly acclaimed A Sand County Almanac commemorates the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Aldo Leopold, one of the foremost conservationists of our century. First published in 1949 and praised in The New York Times Book Review as “full of beauty and vigor and bite,” A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America’s relationship to the land.

The volume includes a section on the monthly changes of the Wisconsin countryside; another section that gathers together the informal pieces written by Leopold over a forty-year period as he traveled around the woodlands of Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Sonora, Oregon, Manitoba, and elsewhere; and a final section in which Leopold addresses more formally the philosophical issues involved in wildlife conservation. As the forerunner of such important books as Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire, and Robert Finch’s The Primal Place, this classic work remains as relevant today as it was forty years ago.

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To Look Through A Hunter’s Eyes

 

Bowhunter Pat Hayes dressed in full camo camoflage with headnet, lies in wait for elk while hiding behind a rock with arrows and bow in northwestern colorado. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty
I Shall Wait Forever, Watching…Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

Greetings From The High Rocky Mountains,

My name is Michael Patrick McCarty, and I wish to welcome you to our online sporting journal, and to our little window of the world. It holds a dazzling view that can change with the seasons and beckons us to roam as far as the eye can see.

Mine is an Irish name to be sure, and my family lineage also includes a healthy dose of old country Polish and American Indian ancestry.

Plainly said, my family history sports a long list of colorful characters; free thinkers and independent cusses who lived and made their livings’ close to the earth. Most of them were hunters and fishermen too.

I really can’t remember when I was not a hunter, because before I was one I wanted to be one. It’s in my blood and within my nature, and I can say without apology that I was surely born that way. It’s a good thing to know, as it is a simple fact that it is important to embrace the foundations of who you are and where you come from.

Most of all it can be said that I see everything through a hunter’s eyes.

It is not something that I can change, and I wouldn’t if I could . The fish and game animals that we pursue are great and wondrous gifts from the creator of all things, and should never be taken for granted. It is a privilege and an honor to follow their trail. To know that puts a certain spin on things.

These gifts I accept, and in so doing I owe a debt of gratitude which I plan to pay. Within this acceptance lies an opportunity to learn, to write and to teach, to give back, and wonder…and to see each other as part of something much bigger than ourselves.

I am hunter, and in that I am always exactly where I need to be, …be it near, or far, from home.

Thankfully, the place of the moment is often filled with wild fowl suspended in cloudless blue skies, or with broad-tailed fish below, hovering ghost-like amidst the rushing waters.

No doubt you can see them too. You’ve made it this far.

Enjoy!

 

Michael Patrick McCarty

Active Member of The Outdoor Writers Association of America

 

THROUGH A HUNTER’S EYES:  A JOURNAL OF WILD GAME, FIGHTING FISH, AND GRAND PURSUIT

Pat Hayes glasses for elk on an archery hunt on Red Table Mountain in Western Colorado during the early 1980's. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty
Glassing For Elk On A Crisp, September Morning. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

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“Rich, ‘the Old Man said dreamily, ‘is not baying after what you can’t have. Rich is having the time to do what you want to do. Rich is a little whiskey to drink and some food to eat and a roof over your head and a fish pole and a boat and a gun and a dollar for a box of shells. Rich is not owing any money to anybody, and not spending what you haven’t got.”

Robert Ruark, The Old Man’s Boy Grows Older

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A Journal of Wild Game, Fighting Fish, and Grand Pursuit