What do books have to do with the future of hunting? Some books may have content that directly relate to that topic, others do not. The books that follow have little content about the future of hunting (well, actually the Wensel books do); however, I’m a firm believer that reading makes a stronger America. Reading yields knowledge. More knowledgeable people make stronger communities. Stronger communities makes a stronger America.

In addition, more knowledge about deer makes better hunters. Better hunters have a higher potential to be better representatives to non hunters about our values, our way of life. And when non hunters have a more positive view of hunters, that is good for the future of hunting. It’s true. All were written by hunters, and good friends. All the authors are professional in every sense of the word, and their books reflect their character.

The two best whitetail hunters I know are Barry and Gene Wensel from Iowa. Almost every year they take recurve bows and harvest huge bucks. Truth is that they pass up bucks that would be lifetime achievements for most of us. In addition to being great hunters, they both are superb writers and each has a new book. Both of their books are a mix of hunting stories, philosophy and tons of information on whitetails. Such books are rather rare, but both of these books do just that. Barry’s ‘Once Upon A Tine’ has a dozen chapters with many stories on whitetail hunting. However, Barry and Gene are both excellent hunters of other species and in this book Barry covers some of his hunts for antelope, elk, mountain goats, wild hogs, nilgai, black bears, and plains game from Africa. The stories are exciting, funny and worth your time. This 350-page hardback book is typical Wensel, with great information for beginners and experts alike. You can order it for $28 plus $7.50 shipping from www.brothersofthebow.com or send a check to P. O. Box 234, Libertyville, IA 52567.

Gene’s book is titled ‘Buckskin and Bone’. This book is filled with information on timing, how to find the best locations for stands, the ambush, wind, funnels, trail cameras, etc., as well as stories on many hunts. Gene is an unusual man who believes that “I am closest to God in the outdoors. I eventually saw that hunting and religion are very similar in many ways. Both are spiritually based faiths. As a good hunter matures, he or she hopefully realizes that hunting is much more important than shooting.” I have every book that Gene has written and this is another classic. Just a wonderful read. You can get this book at the same price and address of Barry’s. www.brothersofthebow.com

Charles Alsheimer is, in my opinion, the best deer photographer in the country. He hosts the Deer and Deer Hunting television show, does dozens of game dinners in churches every year, and his ‘Whitetails; A Photographic Journey Through the Seasons’ is a very unique book. It’s a story book that follows the life of six whitetails (a mature buck, a yearling buck, an adult doe, the doe’s two fawns and a yearling doe). Each deer is named and the book reads like a novel, following each deer, month by month. Through the eyes of the deer, you see life from their perspective. It is a beautiful, coffee table book that the family will love. You can get this book at most book stores, and also at www.krausebooks.com for around $20.

Hunters love to use trail cameras. The Quality Deer Management Association has just released ‘Deer Cameras, The Science of Scouting’. Thirteen of the countries experts on trail cameras have compiled chapters on everything you will ever need to know about trail cams. Chapters cover the latest technology, choosing the right camera, how to set up for a deer survey, how to age bucks on trail cam photos, how trail cams can help target big bucks and determine seasonal movement patterns, and how to use trail cams to catch trespassers. It sells for $24.95 at www.theshed-qdma.com. Great book.

Finally, although a bit hesitant to ‘beat my own drum’, I have a new deer book that people seem to like. I’ve sold a number of them to wives and grandparents to buy for their hunting husbands and relatives. ‘Whitetail Racks’ is all about antlers. What causes big antlers, including management options, antler restrictions and nutrition. How to find sheds, why we get nontypical antlers, why you should not shoot spikes and how to score antlers. There is information on the states that are best for finding big bucks and what you can do to get big bucks on your property. This 200-page coffee table style book has 250 full-color photos and pages of information on antlers.. One chapter where the photos really come into play is on bucks locking horns and fighting to the death. I think we have descriptions of four such occurrences in there with photos. Sad but reality.

My second deer book, ‘Whitetail Advantage’ has been out for two years, but I’m still sending quite a few out to hunters. Bill Winke, the top deer hunter outdoor writer in the country called it “the best book on deer and deer hunting I have read.” Coming from Bill, that’s a great complement. Thanks Bill. Both of these books are available on the Internet at Knowhunting.com. Once there you can order via Pay Pal or send a check.

Many hunters are readers. Hopefully one of these books will appeal to you and appear under your Christmas tree.