Guy De La Valdene is easy to envy. He has spent his life fishing and hunting, has owned a quail plantation in Florida, and has life-long friendships with guys like Jim Harrison and Russel Chatham. Valdene also writes, and when he does, he’s good enough at it to give me another reason to be jealous of him.
One of his earliest works is Making Game: An Essay On Woodcock. I just picked up a first edition of this book. I’m not that far into it, but when I finished the foreward last night and set the book down, I knew I was I going to enjoy the remaining 202 pages.
“The morality behind hunting is buried beneath a dozen reasons, all of which are valid, but none of which ultimately satisfy me. It wouldn’t occur to me to hurt an animal unless I were actively hunting it. I condemn cruelty of any kind, and yet I have crippled more birds than most. The contradictions are hypocritical, but, even though I cannot explain them, I do not feel like a hypocrite. What I am is a bird hunter, and sanity’s sake I will leave it at that.”
-Guy De La Valdene, from Making Game: An Essay On Woodcock.