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Buck’s favorite links are made by Jimmy Dean. However, a slab of Hormel’s Cure 81 Ham fried in browned butter is a close second. A bed of pan-fried oysters is a given.

Buck’s non-food preferences have to do with the quality of life following the most important meal of the day and these concern books in all their glory – fiction, food, humor, sport – and music.

Buck’s Tip: Don’t borrow books, buy them. Buy them wherever you feel most comfortable – surrounded by bricks and mortar or on-line. Independent bookstores deserve your support and starting in early 2000, you can buy from them on-line at Book Sense. Until then and even thereafter, shop at Up North General Store, Powells, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For neat hunting stuff to go with Buck Peterson’s Complete Guide to Deer Hunting, head to The Deer Shack or call 1-800-443-3337.

Buck’s most favorite recent book: The Purification Ceremony by Mark T. Sullivan. This chilling mystery is set in a cold North Country hunting camp, starring a terrific female protagonist descended from a woodland shaman, who joins a hunting party stalked by a killer. A New York Times Notable Book. Buy and read it in front of the fireplace on a cold, snowy night.

Buy and read Jon A. Jackson’s Mulheisen books not only because he is a major oyster eater, but has also been filmed smoking a pipe and fly-fishing at the same time. Ambidexterity should be rewarded. Autographed books can be ordered from the author’s web site and these three books are a good start.

The Blind Pig – Detective "Fang" Mulheisen of the Detroit PD on the trail of stolen weapons. An early (1978) Jackson classic.

Hit on the House (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1993)
Someone is knocking off the top mobsters of Detroit. Mulheisen is in top form trying to find out who, why and when the next hit will happen.

Deadman (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994)
Mob freelancer Joe Service runs off to Montana with a Mafia don’s libidinous daughter and a truck full of stolen cash.

In a world dictated more by fashion than taste and nutrition, put all your trust in John Thorne . Start with his book, Outlaw Cook (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992) and then move along to Serious Pig (North Point Press, 1996) and Thorne’s subscription newsletter (and title of his first book) Simple Cooking. Burp.

America’s Most Trusted naturalist lives along the edge and his funny bone (which is well-connected) has been tickled Duck’s Breath Mystery Theater’s cultural commentator Ian Shoals who ranted before Dennis Miller sold style and content to HBO and before critics captured airwaves with uninformed ironic detachment. If Ian Shoals says, "I Gotta Go", go with him and then to Dr Science.

With only one exception and we know who that rascal is, nobody writes better and smarter about nature issues than David Quammin and Steve Bodio. They mosey inside the most difficult habitats – illuminating the way for the rest of us. Good introductions to both are Quammin’s Wild Thoughts from Wild Places (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998) and Bodio’s On the Edge of the Wild (New York: The Lyons Press, 1998)

For field sports, pull in behind Jim Fergus’ Airstream and follow A Hunters Road, a "birdy" travelogue that motors across country on a chassis John Steinbeck used in Travels with Charlie. Fergus is a brave writer – witness his imminently readable and under-reviewed One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998)

Join The Literary Coalition to Protect the Great Pulpwood Forests, a collection of authors, editors and other hangers-on. Each year the coalition releases their all-important "Books Not Worth The Paper They Were Printed On" list. Support Buck’s pro-bono effort to stop the publishing community’s irresponsible logging of dogwood and other "paper" trees for books that don’t even deserve an oral tradition.

Submit your nominations under the following categories:

  1. Fiction
  2. Outdoor (hunting/fishing)
  3. Biography
  4. Politics
  5. History
  6. Art
  7. Poetry
  8. Humor
  9. Childrens

For the year 2000 awards, all books must be published in 1999 or earlier or later. Submit your specific entries (for example, not "all books on golf or fly fishing) with specific reasons (for example, not "all books on golf or fly fishing are mid-life introspective blather") because books by a Robert Hughes or Thomas McGuane may be unfairly broad-brushed. Fiction in which attorneys, especially those who golf or fly fish and are portrayed as heroes are automatically nominated. William Tapply’s mysteries may, however, be grand-fathered unless his character, Brady Coyne starts mountain climbing or some other narcissistic nonsense. Top books in each category will be announced at the annual bookseller’s convention in June or there abouts. That’ll fix ‘em!

The CD most often played while Buck’s concentrating is Voodoo Jive: The Best of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Kick back to the tunes "I Put a Spell On You," Alligator Wine," "You Made Me Love You", "I Hear Voices," "(She Put the) Wamee (On Me)," and the hit that should have been, "Constipation Blues." Available from Rhino Records.

The CD most often played while Buck’s wearing his dancing slippers is the soundtrack to Heaven’s Prisoners. This fine blues compilation is from the film made from mystery writer James Lee Burke’s novel of the same name. Junior Wells starts off with "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl," followed by Albert King’s "Born Under a Bad Sign,", Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s "The Things (That) I Used To Do,", B.B. King’s "The Thrill is Gone," and Walter "Shakey" Horton’s "Good Moanin’ Blues." Done up rightly and sprightly by Code Blue Records.

(pronounced Layn-yap, a Cajun word meaning a little something extra tossed in for free)

Maker’s Mark was Buck’s first bottle of premium bourbon. When he falls off the wagon for most any occasion, he falls hardest for small batch or better yet, single barrel productions. Bucksters told by their physician and families to lay off adult beverages can ship their Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek and Rock Hill Farms to Buck’s favorite charity, Buck’s Advanced Plucking Institute, for disposal. Any contributions to the Institute may, sneeze, cough, be deductible.

Since Buck closed operation of Farquahar Boots, "Walk a mile in these and you’ll know what we mean", he buys his footwear from Russell Moccasins. Their handmade boots and shoes are the very best to stuff your feet into, and are made in the great state of Wisconsin, where they also tastefully stuff pepperjack cheese into venison salami.

There are two manufacturers worth looking at: Filson of Seattle for their wool garments and waxed cotton coats and Columbia Sportswear of Portland, Oregon for their Widgeon hunting jackets and soft caps.

Two small firms deserve special attention, both with owners who answer the phone: Sleeping Indian Designs for their all-wool camo shirts, pants, and the very best cold weather (i.e. northern goose pit) hunting hats, and Schnees Boots for premium, all- terrain leather/rubber pacs.

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