Stories from Afield: Adventures with Wild Things in Wild Places

Stories from Afield: Adventures with Wild Things in Wild Places

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FREE for a limited time

Stories from Afield: Adventures with Wild Things in Wild Places

Stories from Afield: Adventures with Wild Things in Wild Places

Read

FREE for a limited time

Synopsis

Over the past four decades, Bruce L. Smith has worked with most big-game species in some of the American West's most breathtaking and challenging landscapes. In Stories from Afield, readers join Smith on his adventures as a naturalist, sportsman, and wildlife biologist, as he pulls us into the field of learning and discovery across wilderness areas of western Montana, the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and a South African temperate forest.

Ranging from humorous to harrowing, Smith's essays recount capturing newborn elk calves, stalking mountain goats on icy cliffs, being stranded on a mountain after riding out a helicopter crash, confrontations with bears during his research, plus quirky and edifying hunting tales. Throughout his adventures, the magnetism and danger of wild nature are ever present, reminding us that our fascination with wildness often stems from its unpredictability.

Excerpt

Some people just know at an early age what they want to do for the rest of their lives. It helps if you have a role model, maybe an influential teacher or relative, or are presented plenty of opportunities to explore life’s possibilities. in my case, I think my lightning rod was my parents’ decision to move to the country the summer I turned seven. It was that place that lit the fire. a wondrous mix of woodland, lake, and marsh where I had room to roam and the freedom to explore all that my new environment offered. An additional ingredient that can’t be overstated is curiosity. That may be the one intangible that must come from within. It’s also what has fueled my fascination with nature to the present.

So I consider myself one of the fortunate. I leveraged my childhood passion into a career as a wildlife biologist— an ongoing adventure living and working with nearly all the large mammal species of the western United States and in some of its grandest wildlands. From a life intertwined with wild things and wild places, I’ve drawn the following collection of stories. They begin with a childhood encounter with a monster snapping turtle and move on to finding my way from Michigan to the Rocky Mountain West and include an assortment of experiences I recount as a hunter . . .

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