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Wingbeats and Heartbeats: Essays on Game Birds, Gun Dogs, and Days Afield

By Dave Books
University of Wisconsin Press, contact Elena Spagnolie, 608-263-0734,,; cloth and e-book, 228 pp., 10 drawings; $21.95 and $16.95.
Wingbeats and Heartbeats is a wing shooter’s odyssey to the wild places where, at the end of the day, the companionship of faithful gun dogs and good friends matters more than a bulging game bag. In this sometimes humorous and sometimes poignant collection of essays, Dave Books celebrates a time-honored connection to the land and the hard-earned hunting rewards of an outdoor life. Through these essays, readers tag along on adventures in the forests of Wisconsin and Minnesota, the fields of Iowa and North Dakota, on the prairies of eastern Montana and Nebraska, in the mountains of western Montana and Idaho and in the deserts of Arizona. Books also writes of the game birds that hunters pursue and admire: grouse, quail, woodcock, doves, chukars, Hungarian partridge, and waterfowl.

Spearfish National Fish Hatchery

By Booth Society Inc., Rand Sue Smith, Carlos R. Martinez and Craig Springer
Arcadia Publishing,, softcover, 128 pp., 200 black and white images; $21.99.
In 1892, scientist Barton Warren Evermann was on assignment in South Dakota to survey fisheries and locate a site for a federal hatchery. The foray took him to the Black Hills and springs of Ames Canyon that poured into Spearfish Creek. The site was ideal. By 1899, Spearfish National Fish Hatchery started raising trout and its impact on fishing was profound. Today, D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives, named to honor the hatchery’s first superintendent, is a treasure trove of information related to fisheries conservation. The facility’s historic and commanding hatchery building is iconic in the community and a one-of-a-kind museum.

Feather Brain: Developing, Testing & Improvising Saltwater Fly Patterns

By Drew Chicone
Stackpole Headwaters, contact Drew Chicone, 239-898-1236,,; paperback and e-book, 168 pp., 444 photographs; $24.99.
In “Feather Brain,” Drew Chicone illustrates the mechanics of his advanced tying techniques and shares the creative thinking that leads to the design and construction of a successful fly. The book provides step-by-step instructions, as well as explanations as to how Chicone designed 14 saltwater flies. The book also includes insights from other top saltwater fly tiers and gives tips to design your own patterns tying with saltwater materials. Chicone guides you to finding the right hook, how to fix problems and inspires you to design your own flies.

Curious Critters Volume Two

By David FitzSimmons
Wild Iris Publishing, 419- 892-2900,,; hardcover, 32 pps., 51 color photographs; $19.95.
Award-winning author and photographer David FitzSimmons has a unique approach to animal portraiture, and he loves sharing it with kids. Instead of seeking rare animals in exotic locations, FitzSimmons photographs common, backyard animals against plain, white backgrounds, producing amazingly detailed close-up images. FitzSimmons’ unconventional approach allows the animals’ colors, textures, shapes, and personalities to shine. “Kids focus on the animals. That’s when the learning begins,” he said. “They notice clues about animals’ behaviors, diets, life cycles, and habitats.” In addition to the stunning photographs, each of the 20 featured animals tells its own story in playful prose that educates and entertains.

Sport Optics

By Alan R. Hale
Hale Optics, contact Alan Hale,,; paperback, 184 pp.; $24.95.
“Sport Optics” is a helpful guide for buying binoculars, riflescopes and spotting scopes for hunting, bird-watching, astronomy, nature viewing and other hobbies. The author has been in the optical industry for more than 50 years selling and designing optical instruments and he intimately knows optics. The book covers technical concepts and rules, but in a way that the general consumer can understand. Many consumers spend considerable amounts of money on optics without understanding what they are buying. “Sport Optics” gives information to help ensure you are picking the right optics for your needs so you can enjoy the maximum benefits of the product. The books is printed in four-color with numerous product images.

Fishing the Finger Lakes: A complete Guide to Prime Fishing Locations in Central New York State

By J. Michael Kelly
Burford Books, contact Peter Burford, 607-319-4373,,; paperback, 256 pp.; $16.95.
The lakes and tributaries of New York State’s famed Finger Lakes are home to some of the finest freshwater fishing in the Northeast, with salmon, trout, bass, muskellunge, walleye and more species. If it can be caught in freshwater, the Fingers Lakes have it. “Fishing the Finger Lakes” gives an insider’s look at the where, when and how of fishing these fabled waters. The book covers all 11 of the Finger Lakes, plus major tributaries, other streams and significant smaller lakes and ponds of the region. The book details where to fish for selected species, gives seasonal tips on when the fishing is best and covers tackle and techniques anglers can employ for maximum success.

Men of Valor: Combat Stories of WWII Veterans from Southern Ohio and Eastern Kentucky

By G. Sam Piatt
The Jesse Stuart Foundation,; soft cover and e-book, 300 pp.; $20 and $9.98.
“Men of Valor” is a novel about a group of boys in the summer of 1945, weaving tales of their young, carefree lives into the back drop of the Second World War and its impact on their small town. The book features the stories of more than 65 combat veterans who share tales of life in foxholes and bailing out of burning bombers behind enemy lines.

The Best Place to Shoot Duck’s, Miller’s Island

By C. John Sullivan Jr.
Full House Press, 230B Gateway Drive, Bel Air, MD, 21014, hardcover, 111 pp.; $35.
“The Best Place to Shoot Ducks, Miller’s Island,” recounts the life and times of the people who farmed, hunted and fished on the island during its 300 year history. Using land records, gun club logs, photographs, maps and interviews, Sullivan gives readers a unique perspective of life on an upper Chesapeake Bay island, said Samuel H. Dyke, with the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. The book is a testament to Sullivan’s unending quest to preserve waterfowling history, Henry A. Fleckenstein Jr., a waterfowling historian said. “What Miller’s Island once was has been brought to life by (Sullivan’s) words.”

Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet

By Todd Wilkinson
Lyon’s Press, contact Laurie Kenney, 203-458-4555,; hardcover and e-book, 392 pp.; $26.95.
You may think of Ted Turner as a media mogul; a say-anything provocateur; a tactless live-wire; a notorious lefty or conservative businessman; the “Mouth of the South.” But who really is Ted Turner? “Last Stand” is a fascinating book that explores Ted Turner’s lesser-known but larger-scale other life — his journey as a still-evolving green-minded iconoclast. From why Turner acquired 2 million acres and populated it with 55,000 bison, to how Turner and Jane Fonda bonded over nature, to wonderful stories about Turner’s relationships with such dignitaries as his mentor, Jacques Cousteau, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, “Last Stand” is a fascinating portrait of a complex man who is committed to leaving the world a better place for generations to come. ♦

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