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Reviewed by Tom Gauthier for Readers' Favorite
The Hunting Rookie is a refreshing personal journey related by Bert Rico of his first experiences as a new hunter and his discovery of nature. Growing from being a rookie in the field and on until he becomes a mentor to another new hunter, Rico shares his child-like excitement of discovery in a clear, no preaching story. He captures in vivid, freely expressed detail what it is like to experience hunting later in life. As his experience grows, he shares his increasing passion for the wildlife he learns to respect as he learns conservation and the beneficial use of game. He relates a list of rookie rules based on his own rookie mistakes and provides us with views of mentoring he receives from Uncle Manny in a great mix of storytelling, information on ecology, and simple truths of nature.
Bert Rico is a talented storyteller. His fresh and personal explanation of “why I hunt” in terms that are self-deprecating and genuine will draw in the most cynical reader. In The Hunting Rookie, Rico provides a beautiful build of tension, genuine feelings, paying close attention to the senses … smell, skin feel, the light and sounds … of the experience of a hunt. As a hunter in my younger years (before the legs got too old) I was leery of finding a dry how-to book at first. But to my growing pleasure, I found Bert Rico’s storytelling drawing me close as he describes totally common experiences in a way that brings memories flooding back of my own early hunts and missed opportunities. His enthusiasm, freely expressed, is contagious. No macho, just a real wide-eyed need to learn it all. I highly recommend The Hunting Rookie to curious new hunters and grizzled old camp denizens alike. A beautifully written and worthwhile book.