Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
Fincop Reviews Judd Cooney’s Book
The Bowhunter’s Field Manual
Ok, now I’m back after a small break and it is great to see the input the HH forum readers have put into my questions on the forum!
The reason for the slight delay of this review is that I’ve been away on a month long working trip abroad, with all the preparations and aftermaths of that and I’m currently close to the end of my studies at the National Police College, which requires “some” study time. At this moment I “should” actually be writing my dissertation, but enough is enough.. A person needs some relaxation too!? I had actually already gone to bed an hour or so ago (local time now is 23:14) for an early morning shift, but the first “real” winter storm started to blow and keeps the windows rattling, so I can’t get any sleep yet. So I jumped out of bed and started writing this review that is overdue.
This review is going to describe Judd Cooney’s bookThe Bowhunter’s Field Manual, which I bought and read already a couple of months ago. In the aftermath I think it was a really good idea not to write this article without the time gone by! After reading the book I had a quite strong negative attitude against the book, and could not see past the first feelings that arose from reading it. A feeling that actually has nothing to do with the content of the book!! Let me tell you a little bit more about it.
I’ll have to start off with the fact that I’ve personally worked about 2 decades in various “customer service” professions, including about a decade as an instructor, and to my opinion you should NEVER make fun of your customers. Especially publicly or behind their backs! So now we get to the first point that annoyed me during the reading of this book. That is that Mr. Cooney has a slightly “sarcastic” way of telling stories about his former customers that have messed up in some way during hunting trips he has been guiding. Mr. Cooney’s attempt is probably to point out various important lessons by these “examples”, but at first I missed the point. Another negative word about the book is the poor printing and / or proof reading of the first chapters of the book. It is actually quite hard to read when you have the same words “double printed” and sentences jumping from line to line..
BUT.. After 2 months of “settling” down my initial thoughts on the above mentioned subjects AND an interesting moose / deer hunt, where I actually got to test a few of the ideas Mr. Cooney puts to public knowledge in his book, I’ll have to admit that this is a book worth reading after all! The book has almost nothing purely on “how to bow hunt”, since all the information can be put into good use in any kind of hunting! Surely the book describes a variety of pointers to take into consideration when bow hunting also, but as a novice hunter in all aspects, I did find the pointers and instructions helpful, stalking a buck deer in November with a rifle in my hand!
The book is divided into 18 chapters, which each covers a different prey and the ways on how (and where!) to hunt this kind of animal. The book is written with the North American hunter in mind, and some of the animals described in the book cannot be even found here in my country. Not that I personally would even be that eager to go hunting for grizzly bears or cougars with a bow.. The content of each chapter is almost the same and is at first telling a short anecdote about Mr. Cooneys hunts for the aforementioned animal, to then be continued with a description of the actual animal’s habits and habitats. Then he goes on telling about different hunting techniques, tactics and equipment effective for the prey in question. Ok, I still have to admit that the anecdotes seem a little long compared to the rest of each chapter and the reader can easily understand that Mr. Cooney sees himself as the ultimate hunting guide in the US. An attitude I might not like too much as a paying customer spending Big $$$ on a “all inclusive” hunting trip, but as a reader of his book I might accept it whilst he still is sharing a LOT of useful information!
So as a conclusion, I would recommend reading the book even if you are a seasoned hunter. There most surely is a pointer or two that almost anyone can pick up as for hunting tactics or equipment? IF you are a novice hunter like me, BUY the book and just bare with Mr. Cooney’s way of telling things! I’ll promise you that you will be returning to the book for more information after being out on a hunting trip that nearly got you that deer.. As I did! It does not teach you anything in archery, but it will give you very important advice on how to successfully hunt various animals, whatever your weapon might be.
There is also a need for a few words of warning! Do NOT attempt to hunt all the animals in the book with the mentioned tactics, if this book is your first “look” into bow hunting! Or even if you have hunted for a few years.. I personally think that Mr. Cooneys tales about “stalk hunting” black bear with a bow is close to madness!!! But then again, we all have our “joys”!?!
Next article is coming in a month or so, after I’ve finished all my “school work” and in that I’ll be telling you a little about my “evolution” as an archer, as in describing how I’ve learned to shoot a bow. I just barely might say that I know how to shoot these days, since I’m at currently at a 575 points level in 18 meter indoor competition. But more of that in a later story! Now the storm have passed our little town and I’ll try to get some hours of sleep before this mornings shift..
Success to you all in your huntings!