Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to Accessorize with a Moose

A great book on wilderness skills came into the shop last week and I thought I would share the details with you.

The book is titled Wilderness Hunting and Wildcraft, with Notes on the Habits and Life Histories of Big Game Animals by Townsend Whelen (Marshallton, DE: Small Arms Technical Publishing Co, 1927). This interesting book features many photographs and illustrations by the author, a larger-than-life outdoorsman, who, like Teddy Roosevelt, came from a patrician background and was a spindly lad, later blossoming into a hale and hearty wilderness adventurer after a course of self-improvement in the American and Canadian forests. He was a soldier in the Spanish-American War and served as a Colonel in the 29th Infantry Regiment guarding and mapping the Panama Canal Zone and surrounding rain forest. He was never happier than when he was by himself in the woods, hunting (and sustaining himself on) big and small game, tinkering with guns and ammo and writing his experiences up for his many published articles and books.

This volume contains chapters about various game animals, clothing and personal kit, how to make camp beds and shelters (Whelen preferred a lean-to) , rifles, marksmanship, photography and the physical preparation needed to survive extended wilderness outings in all manners of terrain. There are many wonderful photographs of wildlife, dead and alive, and of Whelen posed with various beasts and portions thereof, including a splendid shot of the author with a bull moose head and scalp on his shoulders, "a heavy and awkward load of from 125 to 175 pounds".

The book is listed on our bookstore website for $100.

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