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Pheasants of the Mind: A Hunter's Search for a Mythic Bird Hardcover – 1990


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1st edition (1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0136627501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0136627500
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

No single title, in our opinion, sums up the life of the solitary pheasant hunter like this masterful work. Pheasants of the Mind is an introspective, sensitive book of timeless flavor in which pheasant hunting dominates the author's thoughts and actions throughout the year. It is a celebration of the time-honored art of pheasant hunting. 154 pages. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

One by-product of current anti-hunting sentiment is that hunting lore gets lost in the process. In the musings of Proper, however, such literature lives on. Pheasant hunting is his focus and serves as a springboard for philosophizing on camaraderie, recreation, agricultural methods, dogs, outdoor equipment, property management, cooking, and other important facets of leisure or not-so-leisure time. Those who think hunting is hokey or barbaric have probably never read Aldo Leopold, Theodore Roosevelt, or Datus Proper. The love of land, seasons, or times of day, the old and new ways of outdoor sportsmanship, and the styles and manners by which we live are admirably explicated in these well-crafted essays. Highly recommended for hunting/natural history collections.
- Henry T. Armistead, Thomas Jefferson Univ. Lib., Philadelphia
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Poetically written as well.
Just Me
Datus C. Proper's Pheasants of the Mind is a highly thoughtful treatment of the ringneck pheasant and those who pursue it.
Jim Brown (sportnlyf@aol.com)
He had it read in 2 days and said it was a "good book".
Minnesota Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In Pheasants of the Mind, Mr. Proper explores not only his personal, and quite entertaining, exploits while chasing pheasants, but he also covers the fairly esoteric subject of pointing dogs for pheasants and outfitting for a successful hunt, based on the culmination of years of experience. A fascinating read, written in fairly complex tongue. If you love pheasants and fine literature, then you should love Pheasants of the Mind.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I have read scores of outdoor books and this is one of the best. Proper's writing transcends the genre. His references to mythology brings hunting literature into a larger realm and shows us more than we guessed about ourselves. The precious sounding title was a turnoff until I read the book and saw how it reflected the text. It combines instruction and the pleasure of pheasant hunting in an exemplary way. The line drawings are good too, at least,in the original edition. I haven't seen the reprint.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jim Brown (sportnlyf@aol.com) on December 8, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Datus C. Proper's Pheasants of the Mind is a highly thoughtful treatment of the ringneck pheasant and those who pursue it. More than a book about hunters, guns and dogs, this is a great read that goes beyond the mind and right to the heart of the pleasure, perils and ethics of upland bird hunting. Along with Steve Grooms' Pheasant Hunter's Harvest, it stands out like a bold cock pheasant in a recently plowed field.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Datus Proper has written about both the spirit
and the practical aspects of pheasant hunting.
And he has done it well.
This is the best (and best written)book on bird hunting I've ever read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By scrapiron on March 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I had this book before I ever owned a pointer-read it, loved it...then my old faithful chocolate lab died after 13 great years and I waited for the right pup to come along. She did, a German Shorthair/English Pointer (by design) with a chocolate lab colored head. After one full season hunting wild pheasants with her I read this special book again. Certain chapters many more times.

"You may want to think your dog is hunting pheasants for you. He thinks he is hunting them with you. He does not reason well, but he perceives what you want before you understand it yourself. He also runs beyond your aspirations, and he knows something at which you can only guess: where the bird is. You and dog mesh. You are strong in what he lacks, weak where he is strong. No other team has so little redundancy of skill, such economy of baggage. The shared part adds no weight. You and your dog have the same emotions in the field. It feels odd to share things like that, uncomfortable, even, if you believe only one of you has a soul."

God bless Datus C. Proper
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Smith on January 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In addition to the other reviews, I can't emphasize enough that this book not only has great tactical, historical, and cullinary perspecitive, but is actually LITERATURE. I've read the book perhaps 5 or 6 times through now, and it's just a classic--easy to read and food for the mind. Although Datus Proper has passed on now, his story will live on. My style and thought on pheasant changed after I read this book. Critical to your hunting library!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Just Me on October 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What makes this book a gem is the description of how the author hunts a particular pheasant. His dog sticks with tracking/trailing an individual bird. This changes the style and tempo of the hunt. Very interesting. Poetically written as well. Proper is a true author as well as a true hunter. Rare mix.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark N. Russell on June 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Reading Proper's book is like hunting with one's favorite relative, if that person were also well traveled, learned, and above all, entertaining in the best sense. There aren't many hunting books with footnotes, but this is hardly a boring, or condescending work. Proper hunted in Europe and all over the U.S. but never presents his experience without telling a joke or two at his own expense. (His attempts to find briar-proof clothes are humorous, only because my own thorn wounds are long healed.) He writes movingly of the alchemy of a hunter working with a fine gun-dog. In addition, he makes serious comments on the questions of land use and species conservation and the proper balance of a fine sporting arm. There are even some recipes that are simply mouthwatering to merely read! There are also evocative drawings by Eldridge Hardie. A non-hunting relative who is a veterinarian read much of the book since she was familiar with Proper's writings on Portugal, and loved this. Reading doesn't help me push birds out of the mazes of dried cattails they often favor or stop me from blasting the dried leaves rather than a rooster. (Could I see a show of hands from those who have also missed this way... thanks.) But it makes some of those nights away from the fields better.
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