You might have noticed a few less posts on the Rok Blog this spring. Besides launching Boot Month, Backpack Month, Camp Month, and Weapons Month, I was also completing a dream of 25 years – writing a book on hunting big mule deer.
I was in my early twenties when I decided that some day and Lord willin’, I’d love to write a mule deer book. I kept journals since the early ’90s of nearly everyday I spent in mule deer country, whether it be scouting or hunting. This last December I was contacted by an editor, Kelly Andersson, who said she’d love to work with me on publishing a book of my adventures that could also help others become a better mule deer hunter. She didn’t have to ask me twice! I hit the keyboard in late December and finally clicked the “send” button last week. The book is going to be available for purchase in the next few months.
While I’ve published dozens of articles and nearly a hundred blog posts on mule deer, this book is very different from anything I’ve done before. You see, in the world of magazines, the internet, and short attention spans, it’s very hard to teach people through anecdotes (stories that illustrate a point, concept, or principle) due to space and time constraints. I’m often forced to teach without a lot of background or example- just describe the technique, mention a hunt I applied it in, then wrap it up in under 1,000 words. Articles like that are great over a cup of coffee or while waiting in the dentist’s office but don’t really give the reader a true sense of reality. This book allowed me to do what I’ve always wanted to do – that is illustrate the “how-to” of hunting big mule deer through short stories. To me, it’s the most effective way to learn.
The book is far more than stories, though. Titled “Hunting Big Mule Deer: How to Take the Best Buck of Your Life” I go way beyond stories and show you exactly what I’ve done to find and kill dozens of big mule deer over the years. Hunting Big Mule Deer begins with my formative years learning to buck hunt from some very important mentors, including my father, and I include what these men taught me that can help you. I then examine the more recent history of mule deer hunting that is affecting today’s hunter. I round out the book with both the essential gear and the nine techniques every mule deer hunter should be using no matter if he’s hunting the high country, the desert, or the foothills. I thoroughly discuss what I’m doing today to both find areas that hold big mule deer and what I do to punch my tag once I’m there.
Hunting Big Mule Deer is a huge expansion of new material based partly on my Rok Blog series, “Killing Big Mule Deer.” If you’re new to the Rok Blog and want to catch up on all those posts, including several years of in-the-field Live Hunts, click on the Mule Deer category on the right side of this page.
At over 70,000 words (most how-to books are less than 50,000 words), Hunting Big Mule Deer promisies to be a resource you can use for years. I know that even as an experienced mule deer hunter, I can learn from anyone’s experiences in mule deer country, and you can too through this book. I wrote Hunting Big Mule Deer to both teach and entertain. With over 220 photos, including live photos by top mule deer photographer Rod Sinclair, you will “feel” like you’re there with me.
So here’s where I need your feedback. I submitted the edited manuscript back to Kelly Andersson on June 2nd. She’s now doing the final edit and artwork. She’s given me three example cover designs to choose from. Besides your feedback, this will be your chance to win one of three of the first copies due out in August. Most of you know the Rok Blog is a great place to learn and win, and this project will be no different.
Here are the rules:
From the sample covers shown, provide your feedback in the comment section below. I’d like to know which cover you like the most. You can also comment on fonts and color schemes that you think look the best. For you long-time subscribers who’ve also followed my Live Hunts, I’d especially like to hear from you as you know the “feel” of what it’s like to go in the field with me. If possible, I’d like to capture that feeling in the cover of the book.
Once the book publishes later this summer, I’ll draw three winners from the list of comments below. Make sure you’re a Rok Blog subscriber by clicking “Subscribe to blog” upper right under Fitness/Other and please use your first name and last name (or last name initial) when you comment. Since I’m not quite sure when we’ll draw for the winners, you should subscribe to this blog post by clicking “Subscribe to this entry” below the comment box.
You can comment as many times as you like, but we’ll only count one entry per person. For clarity, the book covers are numbered 1, 2, and 3 from left to right. For reference, you’ll notice the covers at the top of the blog have better resolution than these below. Depending on you browser, you might be able to click on the top covers and see a larger version. Thank you for your feedback.
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