Top positive review
Complete? Hardly. Worthy read? Depends.
Reviewed in the United States on March 19, 2011
I struggled to decide how many stars to give this book, and ultimately decided its value depends entirely on what you hope to get from it.
This book is an excellent, well-rounded introduction to the world of hunting. The author talks about various methods of take (guns, bows) with some equipment specifics (rifles, shotguns, muzzle loaders) and also introduces the reader to various hunting tactics such as stand hunting, driving, etc. The author clearly introduces the reader to various types of ammunition, the physics of shooting, how to make clean kills, hunter safety, and much more. Probably half the book is devoted to giving extremely high-level summaries of the various game options, such as the habits and habitat of everything from black bear and mule deer to pheasant and squirrel. His writing style is clear and concise, and there are a lot of helpful and interesting photos and illustrations.
That said, this book most definitely is NOT the "complete" guide to hunting. Not even close. You will not find details about how to track or field dress game, or anything about camping to name but a few examples. You'll probably find yourself constantly asking, "But what about...?" The book is entirely too shallow to be anything remotely "complete" and is silent on numerous peripheral, but very important topics (such as base camp) that most hunters need to know about. Anyone more advanced than novice will probably be bored with this book. But if you're interested in hunting but don't know anything about it, and just want a broad introduction to see what all the buzz is about and perhaps start learning what interests you, this book is definitely for you. It's essentially a hunter's education course with less information about laws and technical details and more information about the animals you may wish to hunt.
If this book had be entitled, "A Novice's Guide to Beginning Hunting" or something to that effect then I'd have given it five stars.