“Al Cambronne’s deep, clear-eyed, and sometimes unsettling story about deer, about the concept of wildness, and about the elusive search for balance in a world that by its nature abhors balance, is one of the year’s must-read eco-books. Penetrating and exhaustively researched, Deerland belongs on the shelf alongside Aldo Leopold’s 1939 classic Game Management. This wonderful book is about much more than hunting, though it is also very much about deer hunting in its many forms. In the end, Cambronne is after larger quarry—nothing less than a unified theory of humankind’s place in nature. A captivating and important book.”
—William Souder, author of On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson
“Deerland is an inquisitive and eye-opening tour through the history, science, politics, economics, and cultural quirks of our uniquely American relationship with the white-tailed deer. From ecologists and foresters to farmers, hunters, homeowners, and business owners, Cambronne introduces us to a fascinating cast of characters whose lives, like yours and mine, are inextricably linked to whitetails.”
—Tovar Cerulli, author of The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance
“Whether you hunt them or watch them, love them or loathe them, you need to understand that deer are not just another wild species on the rural and suburban landscape but the single most economically important and problematic wild creature in our midst. This book tells you why in fascinating detail. Cambronne offers up a tour de force on deer history, biology, ecology, economics, and politics, and how the quest for deer and their antlers largely built America’s outdoor industry. He’s a good reporter, taking the reader along to learn from experts, then putting down what he learns in a wonderfully-written, comprehensive, balanced, often funny and important book.”
—Jim Sterba, author of Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds
“Deerland is an absorbing survey of both the depth and breadth of America’s obsession with deer, and of the biological, economic and sometimes lethal consequences of that obsession. From the multi-billion dollar deer hunting industry’s antler-mania to the surge in “adult-onset” meat hunters to the bizarre way we have transformed our landscape into ecologically unbalanced deer preserves, after reading this book you will never look at Bambi in quite the same way again.”
—Hank Shaw, author of Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast
“Fair-minded to a fault. . . . Even if you do not care about deer, deer hunting, or deer hunters, Deerland is a book well worth reading. Deer have become a major force in shaping the landscape. They also impact our economy: crop damage, collisions with deer, and treatment for Lyme disease add up to several billions of dollars annually. Al Cambronne has written a lively, thoroughly researched book on the way deer have shaped us and we have shaped deer.”
—Jan Dizard, author of Going Wild: Hunting, Animal Rights, and the Contested Meaning of Nature
America’s Hunt for Ecological Balance and the Essence of Wildness
Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press is proud to announce the April 2, 2013 release of Deerland: America’s Hunt for Ecological Balance and the Essence of Wildness by Al Cambronne (Lyons Press, 978-0-7627-8027-3; $18.95, Paperback), an important and timely look at America’s conflicted relationship with whitetail deer.
Behind the unassuming grace and majesty of America’s whitetail deer is the laundry list of human health, social, and ecological problems they cause. They destroy farm crops and vegetable gardens, devour suburban landscaping, ravage entire ecosystems, endanger motorists, and spread Lyme disease all across the United States.
In DEERLAND, Al Cambronne ventures afield with botanists, ecologists, frustrated farmers and foresters, overworked body-shop owners, camo-clad hunters, and humble deer enthusiasts. Along the way, he gives readers an insider’s tour of America’s deer-industrial complex—and makes a convincing case that yes, there really is such a thing. Cambronne examines our history with whitetails, pinpoints where our ecological problems began, and asks tough questions about what it will take to restore the balance we’ve disrupted.
With over 30 million deer in the U.S., a hundred times more than just a century ago, DEERLAND is a timely and insightful look at the ecological havoc being wreaked by this innocent and adored species. Whether you’re a hunter or a gardener, and whether you care about the environment, the deer in your back yard, or the shrubbery they just ate, DEERLAND is an eye-opening read that will change forever the way you think about deer and the landscape we share with them.
Al Cambronne is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in magazines that include Canoe & Kayak, Cooking Wild, Deer & Deer Hunting, Meatpaper, and Sierra. He lives with his wife in northern Wisconsin. You can visit him at www.alcambronne.com.