For nearly a decade, Bill Heavey, an outdoorsman marooned in suburbia, has written the "Sportsman's Life" column on the back page of Field & Stream, where he does for hunting and fishing what David Feherty does for golf and Lewis Grizzard did for the South. His work is adored by readers--one proclaims him "the greatest sportswriter who has ever walked the planet," and another recently wrote in to nominate him for president of the United States in 2008--and his peers have recognized his work with two prestigious National Magazine Award nominations. If You Didn't Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat? is the first collection of Heavey's sidesplitting observations on life as a hardcore (but often hapless) outdoorsman. Whether he's hunting cougars in the southwest desert, scheming to make his five-year-old daughter fall in love with fishing, or chronicling his father's slow decline through the lens of the numerous dogs he's owned over seventy-five years, Heavey is a master at blending humor and pathos--and wide-ranging outdoor enthusiasms that run the gamut from elite to ordinary--into a poignant and potent cocktail. Funny, warmhearted, and supremely entertaining, this book is an uproarious addition to the literature of the outdoors.
Bill Heavey is my favorite writer. When I die, I want him to gut me, stuff me and deliver my eulogy for one good last laugh.” Ted Nugent
Bill Heavey’s writing is funny, moving acerbic and, best of all, always alert to the absurdities of life. This is a book that will be read and reread for years and probably for generations.” Patrick F. McManus, author of Kerplunk!
Heavey’s writing is at times so honest, so soul-baring, that he makes you feel downright uncomfortable for peeking into his life or the lives of his subjects, despite being invited.He conveys his foibles and follies with a wit to which most of us can relate.” Billings Gazette (Montana)
[Heavey’s stories] will leave you snickering, snorting, belly laughing, and succumbing to uncontrolled outbursts. Mixed in there, I will warn you, are a few stories that might leave you heading for the back room so nobody will notice the tear in your eye.” Maine Hunting Today
"The art of the story, a casualty of the era of Internet fixation, is a thing of beauty in Bill Heavy's voice. His best 62 yarns with Field & Stream are published in this collection, including "Rut Strategies For the Married Hunter," "Death and Fishing" and "The Art of Lying." One theme that runs through the yarns is the difficulty faced by a suburban outdoorsman who wants to fish and hunt. These make for great out-loud bedtime reads for kids." Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle
Bill Heavey works his hunting and fishing schedule around the duties of a modern dad: mowing the lawn; paying the bills; and ferrying his daughter Emma to school, the dentist, play dates, and toy stores. In other words, he lives like most of us, and perhaps that is why his pieces are so resonant. For him, being at large in the woods for even a few hours is a spiritual journey, and the fact that the enterprise is doomed to failure more often than not is almost incidental. While he may not be in the accelerated class, skills-wise, Heavey has the heart of a true hunter. I urge you to buy this book.” David E. Petzal, Field & Stream columnist and author of The Complete Book of Hunting
Oh, Bill Heavey, you’ve gone and done it now! Just when I thought all the outdoor writers who could bring the feel of the woods to the printed page had all gone to their rewardguys like Ruark, Hemingway, and Babcockyou come along and prove me wrong. Heavey has an incredible talent for taking the stuff of everyday lifethe frustrations and snippets of conversation and days when you don’t catch a fish or see a deerand throwing it all back at us with a slant that somehow brings us hope, reassures us we’re not alone, and actually makes us grin. He does all of this because he was born to do it. I think God put him here to show us that what seems like just another day is actually a miracle, a once-in-a-lifetime event that we ought to be grateful for even as it slips through our hands.” Will Primos, founder and president of Primos Hunting Calls