A Southern Sportsman: The Hunting Memoirs of Henry Edwards Davis

A Southern Sportsman: The Hunting Memoirs of Henry Edwards Davis


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Henry Edwards Davis (1879-1966) began his hunting adventures as a boy riding in the saddle with his father on foxhunts and deer drives in the company of Confederate cavalry veterans. Born on Hickory Grove Plantation in Williamsburg County, South Carolina, Davis developed his taste for the hunt at an early age. In later years he became a renowned sportsman and expert on sporting firearms. Published here for this first time after a four-decade-long hiatus, his collection of southern hunting tales describes his many experiences in pursuit of turkeys, deer, ducks, and partridges through the fields, forests, and swamps of South Carolina's Pee Dee region. His memoir offers a lucid firsthand account of a time before paved roads and river-spanning bridges had penetrated the rural stretches of Williamsburg and Florence counties, when hunting was still one of a southerner's chief social activities. With a sportsman's interest and a historian's curiosity, Davis intersperses his hunting narratives with tales of the region's rich history, from before the American Revolution to his times in the first half of the twentieth century.Davis, a connoisseur of fine sporting firearms, also chronicles his personal experiences with a long line of rifles and shotguns, beginning with his first "Old Betsy," a fourteen-gauge, cap-lock muzzleloader, and later with some of the finest modern American and British shotguns. He describes as well a host of small-bore rifles, many of which he assembled himself, bedding the barrels and actions in hand-carved stocks.Edited by retired lowcountry game warden Ben McC. Moïse and featuring a foreword by outdoor writer Jim Casada, Davis's memoir is a valuable account of hunting lore and historic firearms, as well as a record of evolving cultural attitudes and economic conditions in post-Reconstruction South Carolina and of the practices that gave rise to modern natural conservation efforts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570038631
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Publication date: 01/31/2010
Pages: 440
Sales rank: 1,031,574
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Henry Edwards Davis was a successful attorney in Florence, South Carolina, and an avid sportsman, horticulturist, furniture maker, and historian best remembered for his 1949 book, The American Wild Turkey, considered to be the definitive work on wild turkeys and turkey hunting. Between 1932 and 1949 he contributed technical articles on sporting guns, ammunition, and turkey hunting to the American Rifleman.

Ben McC. Moïse was a conservation officer with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources from 1978 to 2002. In recognition of his achievements in law enforcement, he was presented the Guy Bradley Award by the North American Fish and Wildlife Foundation in 1990 and the Order of the Palmetto by South Carolina governor Carroll Campbell in 1994. A contributor to the Charleston Post and Courier, Charleston Mercury, and other regional publications, Moïse lives in Charleston.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"If you've spent any time in the turkey woods, Henry E. Davis's hunting memoirs should be required reading. His tales and descriptions of hunting, calling, and dogging are not only entertaining but provide a window into the turkey scene of yesteryear. Through Davis's words, you can almost smell the South Carolina dawn and hear him yelp on his box caller. His detailed recollections are priceless."--Brian Lovett, editor of Turkey and Turkey Hunting Magazine

"Back in the mid-1930s, now nearly eighty years ago, the only two men writing turkey stories, real turkey stories that is, were Henry E. Davis and Archibald Rutledge. This first publication of Davis's forty-year-old manuscript is an enchanting view into another era, with all of that era's faults, foibles, and misconceptions. The book is pure Davis: literate, articulate, beautifully written, and a fascinating look into the past. It also serves as a warning not to be overly critical of rifles, predator elimination, mistaken opinions, and driven birds. God knows what they will be thinking of us eighty years from now."--Tom Kelly, author Tenth Legion: Tips, Tactics, and Insights on Turkey Hunting

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