Sweetgrass Mornings

(Univ. of New Mexico Press, $21.95)
(Univ. of New Mexico Press, $21.95)

The backcountry smells fatalistic in Sweetgrass Mornings, the memoirs—sprinkled with some tall tales—of Slim Randles, a veteran outdoorsman who has encountered moose, bears, cougars and wolverines in his 40 years as a guide, mule packer, fisherman and newspaper journalist. These are the stories told around a campfire, with the sounds of nature as your muzak. This isn’t the fake Bear Grylls of Man Vs. Wild, but more akin to Les Stroud of Survivorman. When Randles tells you how he single-handedly fended off a cougar strike, he means it.

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