Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday Freebie: "Whitetail Nation" by Pete Bodo

Congratulations to Tom Groneberg, winner of last week's Friday Freebie, Joyce Carol Oates' forthcoming collection of unsettling tales, Give Me Your Heart.

This week's book giveaway is Whitetail Nation by Pete Bodo.  From the publisher's website:
Every autumn, millions of men and women across the country don their camo, stock up on doe urine, and undertake a quintessential American tradition – deer hunting.  The pinnacle of a hunter’s quest is killing a buck with antlers that "score" highly enough to qualify in the Boone and Crockett record book.  But in all his seasons on the trail, Pete Bodo, an avid outdoorsman and student of the hunt, had never reached that milestone.  Sadly, he had to admit it -- he was a nimrod.  Whitetail Nation is the uproarious story of the season Pete Bodo set out to kill the big buck.  From the rolling hills of upstate New York to the vast and unforgiving land of the Big Sky to the Texas ranches that feature high fences, deer feeders, and money-back guarantees, Bodo traverses deep into the heart of a lively, growing subculture that draws powerfully on durable American values– the love of the frontier, the importance of self reliance, the camaraderie of men in adventure, the quest for sustained youth, and yes, the capitalist’s right to amass every high tech hunting gadget this industry’s exploding commerce has to offer.  Gradually, Bodo closes in on his target – that elusive monster buck -- and with each day spent perched in a deer stand or crawling stealthily in high grass (praying the rattlesnakes are gone) or shivering through the night in a drafty cabin (flannel, polar fleece and whiskey bedamned), readers are treated with a hilarious and unforgettable tour through a landscape that ranges from the exalted to the absurd.  Along the way Bodo deftly captures the spirit and passion of this rich American pursuit, tracing its history back to the days of Lewis and Clark and examining that age old question – "why do men hunt?"
On the surface, Whitetail Nation looks like it should be more at home on a blog read by flannel-shirt-wearing, scruffy-beard-sporting, Sports-Afield-subscribing beer guzzlers.  But enough about all the female readers out there.  (rimshot)

After skimming a little bit of what Bodo's book had to offer, this one looks like it has plenty to offer those who have to hold their place with a finger and stop reading until the laughter passes.  Yes, the book is about hunting, but it appears that Bodo doesn't take himself too seriously in his pursuit of the "monster buck."

One more thing: though we shouldn't judge the inside of a book by what it wears, I have to admit I am seriously in love with Whitetail Nation's cover design.  I'd even go so far as to frame it and mount it on my wall.  Instead of a deer head, of course.

If you'd like a shot (pun intended) at winning Whitetail Nation, all you have to do is answer this question:

According to the Boone and Crockett Club's website, in what year did hunter Milo N. Hanson rack up (another pun!) his trophy of a "typical whitetail"?  (answer can be found by clicking here)

Email your answer to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  In order to give everyone a fair shake in the contest, please e-mail the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section.  The contest closes at midnight on Dec. 30, at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on Dec. 31.
Good luck and Merry Christmas!

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