I recently finished reading Fifty Years of Fur, Feathers and Fins-Stories of a Wildlife biologist’s Life written by E. Reade Brown. I don’t want to admit this, but I am not much of a reader. To give you some idea of the type of reading material I do read, the last books were the Harry Potter series a few years back. But Reade hired me at the Dept of Game in 1966, so when I attended the Sinlahekin’s 75 Anniversary celebration, I decided to support Reade and buy his book and give it a read.
I was pleasantly surprised and actually had trouble putting it down. It was very well written and entertaining. Reade is quite a name dropper and for anyone who worked for the Dept from 1947 to the mid 1990’s will find it quite entertaining and probably know everyone in the book, which makes it even more fun to read.
And yes, he intercepts a lot of the information about early elk tracking, tagging various wildlife, banding waterfowl, along with some of the business aspects of the Department, but he is a very competent story teller. Almost every time he egins an adventure you somehow know he’s going to encounter something he wasn’t expecting and it’s fun to see how he’s going to get out of each predicament. It’s also quite humorous to see which fellow co-workers give him some of the lame ideas they try out. I didn’t know dynamite has so many purposes!
There were several parts of the book that were frankly quite ‘laugh out loud’! It’s hard to believe the predicaments he and his fellow compatriots found themselves in. Reade is an entertaining writer and actually held my attention throughout the book. What made it a lot of fun to read is that I knew many of the people.
I was on the ferry coming back from Victoria recently and the lady sitting across from me asked me what I was reading because I was laughing so much. So we talked a little about the book and she wrote it down and said she would like to read it since she was quite a wildlife buff herself. I hope she bought it.
He mentions “that each chapter is complete unto itself” and I found that to be true. However, I just started at the beginning and read it thru. It certainly gives you a wonderful and entertaining perspective of what the early days were like when there were few rules and most of the information and ideas had to be developed and figured out on one’s own. If you get a chance I encourage others to read it as well. It certainly is worth the money. The book is available at Amazon.com as well as the Spokane and Cheney area bookstores.
I just hope that everyone enjoys it as much as I did.