For a Handful of Feathers
An avid hunter and wildlife preservationist, the Field & Stream contributor explores these seemingly opposed passions in this “beautifully written” memoir (The Bloomsbury Review).
After traveling the globe on expeditions with world-class sportsmen, Guy de la Valdéne purchased an eight hundred–acre farm outside Tallahassee and set out to raise and hunt his favorite game bird, bobwhite quail. But de la Valdéne is also a naturalist at heart, and as he planted trees and divided fields, he found that running the farm compelled him to operate as both hunter and protector.
Along the way, de la Valdéne gets pulled into some eye-opening adventures: to a masterpiece of controlled burning performed by a Vietnam veteran in a helicopter with three hundred gallons of napalm, and to his own experiences building a dam to fill his pond.
For a Handful of Feathers reconciles a passion for hunting with a deep sentiment for the wild. With sensitivity and patience, de la Valdéne searches for his, and our, place in the natural world.
“A classic that compares well with Turgenev’s A Sportsman’s Notebook.” —The Bloomsbury Review
“An American classic . . . A book as unapologetic as it is thoughtful about blood sport . . . [It] has the verbal spark and pace of a fine novel.” —Gray’s Sporting Journal
“A gem that will appeal not only to hunters but to all readers who love the land.” —Publishers Weekly
“Valuable for its insight into quail behavior and its thoughtful address of hunting ethics.” —Kirkus Reviews