Great reads about hunting, fishing, and more

I probably overwhelmed Kristina Wheelock when she asked for book recommendations. I’ve got bookshelves full of books about hunting, fishing, birding, wildlife, and the great outdoors. Some are very old, some just published, and lots in between.

Kirstina is assistant librarian at Gardiner High School, and emailed me, “I am always on the lookout for hunting/outdoor books about Maine and beyond. Our students love this hunting/outdoor genre.”

That last sentence was good news indeed, so I plowed through my many books to give her the following recommendations.

Of course, I started with my own book, Maine Sporting Camps, published by Islandport Press last year. It includes a history of sporting camps in our state, and profiles 80 of them, including some wonderful stories.

Next up were two of my all-time favorites, Old Tales of the Maine Woods, and More Old Tales of the Maine Woods by Steve Pinkham.

And here’s the rest of the list.

Stoneflies and Turtleheads by Dennis Dauphinee, fly fishing adventures.

Fish Won’t Let Me Sleep by James Babb.

One Eyed Poacher and the Maine Woods, Edmund Ware Smith

Wild Brothers by Jack Aley, Maine animal tales

A Good Man With A Dog by Roger Guay, game warden stories

Nature I Loved by Bill Geaghan

A Year in the Maine Woods by Bernd Heinrich

Dances with Trout by John Gierach

Me and Joe by Walt Protera, hunting adventures

The Insightful Sportsman by Ted Williams

They Shoot Canoes Don’t They? By Patrick McManus

Remembering Dud Deane by William MacDougall

Gone Fishin’ by William Tapply

Any of Lew Dietz’s books about Jeff White

I also recommended Life on Foot by my nephew, Nate Damm, a Mainer who walked across the country and wrote this book about that adventure.

Kristina said they have one of Paul Doiron’s novels featuring a Maine game warden. I recommended they get his other novels.

They also already have Ghost Buck by Dean Bennett, a fabulous book, and John Ford’s books of his game warden stories.

I stopped there, not wanting to overwhelm Kirstina!

But I did invite her to read the book reviews posted on my website,, where I focus mostly on books by and about Maine.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.