New Books and Videos -- Whitetails: Behavior, Ecology, Conservation by Erwin Bauer and Peggy Bauer

Article excerpt

Whitetails: Behavior, Ecology, Conservation by Erwin and Peggy Bauer. Voyageur Press, P.O. Box 338, Stillwater, MN 55082 (1993). 160 pp. 120 color photos. Hardcover, ISBN 0-89658-196-9. $35.

In many ways this book took a lifetime to produce. Authors Erwin and Peggy Bauer have included 120 full-color photos taken over 50 years of hunting deer with a camera. They show whitetails in a wide range of habitats from swamp and semi-desert to farms and woodlands. Photographs from Venezuela to northern Canada and at least 20 U.S. states depict several of the 30 different subspecies of whitetails (Odocoileus virginianus). The photos are stunning, in both subject matter and composition, and are magnificently reproduced.

But this is more than a coffee-table picture book. It includes a lively, well-written text by Erwin Bauer, with opening chapters on the evolution, distribution, life history, and behavior of whitetails. He tells the fascinating story of these tough, resilient creatures "super survivors" that have adapted to human impacts on their native environments. This deer, with a population of over 20 million, is the most abundant of New World large mammals.

The chapter titled "Antlers" (same title as a new book by the Bauers, soon to be released) is especially intriguing, with a lively narrative and a remarkable set of photographs of live deer with magnificent racks. "Wildlife of the Whitetail's 82 World" puts deer in ecological context by explaining their intricate relationships with the physical environment and other creatures, especially predators. …

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