Happy Groundhog/Woodchuck Day!

So, have you read The Woodchuck Hunter by Paul C. Estey?

The Woodchuck Hunter bookWhy not celebrate Groundhog Day by checking it out?  It’s an oldie dating back to 1936, but still a very fascinating read.

The following is Townsend Whelen’s review of the book from the September 1936 issue of The American Rifleman:

“I have read my friend Paul Etsey’s book with intense interest, for Paul and I have had many fine chuck and deer hunts together.

Paul, besides being the most efficient and experienced chuck hunter that I know, and a most remarkably fine rifle-shot to boot, is a keen lover of nature, and the love of his beautiful country, – its hill and streams, its game and its birds, crops out throughout his interesting little book.  It was a perfect delight to read it.

Paul has studied the habits and traits of woodchucks the year round.  He has lived with them and understands them as no one else does.  His first chapter deals with their life history and habits.  Then he goes on with a most complete and thorough description of the necessary equipment for hunting them; various chuck rifles, telescope sights, etc., etc,  He covers in detail all of the various makes, models, and calibers of rifles, the best types and their fittings, the cartridges, and the best handloads for them.  And he knows his stuff from A to Z because he has owned, used, and experimented with every one of the rifles and cartridges he describes.  Not only does he live in one of the finest chuck countries in the world, but he has a little range and bench rest of his own, and in his home he has full equipment for handloading and all kinds of tinkering and experimental work.  The advice that he gives is sound and up to date [for 1936].

Like a true rifleman, Paul glories in successful shots at long range, and always passes up the easy ones.  He believes in giving the game a chance.  But most of all he loves the surroundings: the green hills, the luscious meadows, the clear gurgling brooks, the apple trees in blossom, the song of the birds mingling with the shrill whistle of the chucks.  His last chapter, “Ramblings Afield,” takes you out with him into his country; makes you see and feel the beauty and quiet and fascination of it all.  That chapter is worthy of ranking with some of the best of Burroughs’ writings.

I hope all riflemen will read this little book.  If they aspire to hunt the woodchuck, or any varmint, they will profit greatly by the information contained; and if they are nature lovers – as they should be – they will be charmed with the descriptions of the chuck meadows and the day spent on quiet New England hillsides.”

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