“A heart shot is what every big game hunter hopes for,” Editor Mary Zeiss Stange explains in the introduction to Heart Shots, “that perfect shot placement, whether of bullet or arrow, which ensures a quick, humane kill. A heart shot is also what the best hunting writing has always aimed for—that certain image, or theme, or turn of phrase that strikes to the core of our flesh-and-blood humanity, piercing the tissue-thin membrane between life and death.”
Hunting and writing about it have not commonly been thought of as women’s work, but today women are hunting and writing about it in unprecedented numbers. This collection of stories by 46 hunters who happen to be female shows us that in fact some women have always hunted, and some have written dazzling accounts of their experiences. What you’ll find in k to nature and basics and to express in narrative, image, and metaphor the complex meaning of being predator, such impulses are ageless and genderless.
There are differences in the way women go about hunting and telling its story. Some are subtle and some are startling. In this marvelous collection a full range of writers from hard-edged realists to contemplative naturalists express the complex thought and emotion that constitute hunting with intelligence and insight. These women are aware of the fact that they are doing something distinctly out of the ordinary. And this is a book distinctly out of the ordinary as well, to be enjoyed, pondered, and savored by women and men alike, all who appreciate a good story well told.
[Stories and essays written by Mary Jobe Akeley, Kim Barnes, Nellie Bennett, Durga Bernhard, Courtney Borden, and many more.]
Mary Zeiss Stange is the author of Woman the Hunter, co-author of Gun Women: Firearms and Feminism in Contemporary America, and a general editor of Stackpole Books’ Sisters of the Hunt series. She writes widely about hunting, women’s and environmental issues, and is an associate professor of women’s studies and religion at Skidmore College.