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Land Report Library: First Shooting Light

I don’t know about you, but the books I single out as worthy of going in the Land Report Library aren’t the ones I take out to the country. They are the ones that send me there when I don’t

I don’t know about you, but the books I single out as worthy of going in the Land Report Library aren’t the ones I take out to the country. They are the ones that send me there when I don’t have time to get away. First Shooting Light belongs at the top of this list.

First Shooting Light: A Photographic Journal Reveals The Legacy and Lure Of Hunting Clubs In The Mississippi Flyway (2008)
Text by Anne Cunningham O’Neill
Photography by Murray Riss
ArtsMemphis (http://about.artsmemphis.org/book)

A must-have photo journal for outdoorsmen and women — especially practicing waterfowlers — First Shooting Light ($70) recounts the history and on-going tradition of Mississippi flyway hunting clubs with such regal names as Nails Bayou, Kingdom Come, Bobo Brake, Hatchie Coon Hunting & Fishing Club, and Mallard Rest.

The longest migration route for waterfowl in the Western Hemisphere, the Mississippi Flyway stretches more than 3,000 miles from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico. As generations of birds have flown this well-traveled route to and from their breeding grounds, so too have hunters for generations returned to their hunting haunts year after year to participate in and share their passion for duck hunting.

First Shooting Light interviews long-time club members and features over 200 behind-the-scene photographs by nationally recognized lensman Murray Riss. With a deft forward penned by Paul Tudor Jones II, conservationist and chairman of both the Everglades Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, I can highly recommend this book as a fine gift for outdoor enthusiasts and arts lovers alike.

The book speaks of generations of hunters and their passion for duck hunting, their devotion to family legacies and their dedication to protecting precious land and habitat. As Jones writes in the forward, “They are the stakeholders who understand firsthand just how special and wonderful these unique places and the experiences they provide are for humanity.”

First Shooting Light also shines light on great examples of man’s stewardship for the land. As the book states, there is no farming at Bobo Brake, and another unique feature of this club is that there is no human manipulation of the water. According to Bobo Brake hunt club member Jim Crews, “With the exception of using some millet on some wetland reclamation property that has been reforested, it is all natural.”

Conservation of the land and its waterfowl is very important to Bobo Brake’s members, as it is with all of these clubs and their members, and many have seen to it that their precious recreational property has been protected in perpetuity through the use of conservation easements.

One last point: Have you got a classic or even a soon-to-be classic we need to add to the Land Report Library. Leave a comment and let us know.

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