Dogs That Point, Fish That Bite

Outdoor Essays

By Jim Dean

168 pp., 6.125 x 9.25

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4864-7
    Published: February 2000
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-7572-8
    Published: March 2014
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-7014-8
    Published: March 2014

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Jim Dean, longtime editor of Wildlife in North Carolina, offers his personal observations on the pleasures and frustrations of hunting, fishing, camping, and other outdoor pursuits. Dogs That Point, Fish That Bite draws together fifty of the best columns that Dean has written for the magazine over the last seventeen years. The witty, sometimes poignant pieces are arranged into a loose chronicle of the sporting year, with a generous allowance for digression: the first is set in April, on the opening day of trout season, and the last tells of a New Year's Day spent alone in a mountain cabin.

At first glance, hunting and fishing are the focus of most of the columns. Often, however, Dean is after bigger game. A crab that escapes the pot leads him to reflect on the capricious nature of life. The restoration of a cabin at the old family farm evokes memories of family and simpler times. And a May panfishing trip takes on the quality of ritual, performed by two old friends. The consistent theme uniting all the essays is the celebration of wild places and rural traditions that have become endangered in our modern world.

About the Author

An outdoor writer and photographer, Jim Dean served as editor of Wildlife in North Carolina for eighteen years and continues to write his monthly "Our Natural Heritage" column for the magazine. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
For more information about Jim Dean, visit the Author Page.


"Dean is a master of both observation and inference. He often moves from specific moments to larger musings, and can construct a compelling meditation out of a single crab's release from an overcrowded pot."--Fly Rod & Reel

"The consistent theme uniting all of these witty and poignant essays is the celebration of wild places and rural traditions."--Fly Rod & Reel

"Dogs That Point, Fish That Bite . . . is a real hoot--the poignant, witty, bittersweet, sometimes outrageous observations of a 17-year editor of Wildlife in North Carolina magazine. . . . Wonderful, wonderful reading."--Richmond Times-Dispatch

"What a delightful book! . . . Anyone interested in fishing or hunting will enjoy the wit and humor that Jim Dean weaves into each of his stories."--The Pulse

"Jim Dean brings you his outdoors with long experience, pleasant sentiment and unforgettable wry humor. His hunting, fishing and camping life may have centered in his beloved North Carolina but his pilgrimages to other fields and waters have spiced his stories with memorable comparisons. His book will last."--Charles F. Waterman, author of Black Bass and the Fly Rod

"Earthy, intimate, brilliant, and always wise, these outdoor essays spring from the heart and mind of a replete hunter and fisherman. Jim Dean is among the top few writer-sportsmen in America -- I love this book."--Nick Lyons, author of Confessions of a Fly-Fishing Addict