Born A Hunter

If you dream of the next trophy, you'll find yourself in at least one of Van Brunt's tales.

Dwight Van Brunt unabashedly gives his passion free rein. Forthright and energetic (some would say brash), he beams when describing plans for his next hunt. His first book is "the product of a youthful dream that refused to pass."

I witnessed his driving pursuit of perfection a few years ago when Van Brunt invited me to join him in New Mexico to hunt elk. He said the bulls there would rival anything I'd envisioned. He planned to shoot the best one he could and advised me to do the same. In the end my gamble paid off, and I'm thankful I followed his advice. Which says something about the kind of writer Van Brunt is, too.

He's published hunting stories in this magazine and others since the early 1980s. Careful readers and friends of Van Brunt will remember some of the yarns in the book, but those who don't will understand his passion for hunting the world's magnificent game in Chapter 2, "Eleanor's Bulls." There, the author brags that a streak of straight A's was almost broken in sixth grade when he wrote a report for science class on Cape buffalo complete with the beast's Latin name, a ballistics table ... even a quote from an article by Robert Ruark (a hero of Van Brunt's). Imagine young Dwight's shock when his teacher accused him of fabricating the quote and gave him a "C."

Dwight presented his case to the principal who, as a hunter himself, sent the pupil back to class with a note: "Give the boy an 'A,' Jerry. I read that Ruark article last week."

If you dream of the next trophy, you'll find yourself in at least one of Van Brunt's tales.

($40, 218 pages, hardcover; Sporting Classics;  800-849-1004; )


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