by Margie Crisp Foreword by Andrew Sansom In fall 2016, lifelong birdwatcher, naturalist, and esteemed Texas artist Margie Crisp decided to take up a shotgun and start hunting ducks. As a nature enthusiast, Crisp thought she understood conservation. Yet with many bird species in a precipitous decline, duck and geese populations continue to rise steadily year after year. Why? Who was responsible for the conservation of wildlands and wetlands essential to waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds and raptors? Here, Crisp goes beyond birdwatching to challenge her notions about hunting. Could duck hunters be considered conservationists? Could she overcome a life-long aversion to guns and learn to shoot birds? And could doing so help conservation of habitats for ducks and other migratory bird species? In writing her experiences, Crisp explores these questions and illustrates to both communities—hunters and naturalists—that one woman can be a birdwatcher, a bird hunter, and above all, a conservationist devoted to preserving habitat for birds and other wildlife. Readers journey with the author as she learns to hunt—to experience the emotional impacts of killing, cleaning, cooking and eating birds. First-hand accounts are seamlessly integrated with information about conservation history as well as interviews with hunters, biologists, and birdwatchers. Along the Central Flyway from the Texas coast to Canada, this revealing personal narrative traces hunting and birdwatching trips, and even a solo road trip following the birds’ migration, all through the eye of an artist whose words and drawings bring her journey to life.
Texas A&M University Press River Books, sponsored by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University
A Bird-Watcher's Epiphanies in the Blind. For a passionate birder, duck hunting riggers and unexpected lesson By Jonathan Miles Garden & Gun, December 2022/January 2023 Read the Review (PDF)