Book Review: Bear With Me, My Deer

posted on September 15, 2018

David Kocka is a wildlife biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Contrary to belief, he explains, biologists are not park rangers or game wardens. Mainly, they perform scientific work in the field and in offices most of us would find boring—and this book covers none of it. Rather, it relays all the other things Kocka does that remind him his duties are apt to evolve at a moment’s notice.

Specifically, it’s the interaction between 8.47 million people and the wildlife that also inhabits Virginia that Kocka finds amusing and at times trying.

His often humorous “tails” (all short, all worth taking to deer camp) highlight a reminder that deer are not pets even if they are raised in the basement of a double-wide; the difficulty in convincing people they need bear-proof trash containers; and his work on a 10-year bear study when Kocka personally dealt with dozens of bruins that were trapped, tagged and cataloged. What is also amusing is the number of times Kocka must dart a deer or bear in the presence of witnesses. It’s enough to remind us we are lucky if we never become the fool who accidentally darts a bystander.

• Pages: 92
• MSRP: $12.95 (softcover); Christian Faith Publishing Inc.;,


Cornbread In Skillet In Oven
Cornbread In Skillet In Oven

Recipe: Venison Beans with Cheesy Cornbread

Brad Fenson whips up a quick yet filling hunting camp favorite in this latest wild-game recipe.

Taxidermy Paradise: The Wildlife Sports and Educational Museum

The 26,000 square-foot museum in Amsterdam, N.Y., boasts an impressive taxidermy collection of over 100 animal species—including one of the largest whitetail trophy deer mount displays in the country—tastefully displayed with the interest of education at heart.

Review: Heritage Settler Lever-Action .22 LR Rifle

Contributor B. Gil Horman reviews the rimfire Heritage Settler lever-action rifle.

#SundayGunday: TriStar Bristol SxS

Get a closer look at the TriStar Bristol SxS, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.

First Look: Barnett Hyper Raptor

With a lightweight composite riser and measuring just over 7 inches axle-to-axle when cocked, the Hyper Raptor provides maneuverability in tight-quartered hunting spaces.

Recipe: Venison Sausage Balls

If you’re looking for a new breakfast idea, these are quick and easy to make, and come out of the oven golden, crispy and flavorful.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.