By George Calef
In the first two lines of the preface to his newest book, Hunting Log, 1979-2018, Worth Mathewson laments that he didn’t start “keeping records many years prior to that.” Well, I have a related regret: namely that I didn’t share some of those marvelous hunts with him in the decades before we met and became friends in 2011. Worth is, in my mind, the most widely knowledgeable person alive about all aspects of wingshooting—not only “birds, guns, dogs, people, places” (as SSM’s tagline reads) but also decoys, boats, hunting art and literature. He is knowledgeable from both the theoretical and historical perspective and has vast personal experience afield.
For that reason, the introduction to the book alone is worth the price of admission, as Mathewson summarizes his strong opinions on the above subjects gleaned from 75 years of hunting experience—from 1946, when he helped his father pick bobwhites, to Christmastime 2018, when he and his beloved wife and hunting partner, Marge, shot mallards, teal and wigeon on their home pond in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
Each of the 40 years’ logs begins summarizing the number of days and places hunted along with the year’s tally of birds by species. Journal entries from particularly noteworthy outings follow. In his halcyon years, beginning in the mid-’90s and running through the new millennium, Mathewson bird hunted between 80 and 110 days a year; visited 24 states, six Canadian provinces and eight countries; and hunted all but one or two of the legal gamebirds of North America and many others in the British Isles, Hawaii and Australia.
My advice: Be one of the lucky 200 owners of this limited-edition volume, and check into Mathewson’s other fine works as well.
Hunting Log is available for $25 (postpaid) and can be ordered from Sand Lake Press, PO Box 130, Amity, OR 97101.