Happy Book Birthday to Stories from Afield!

Book Birthdays celebrate one year of a book’s life in tweets, reviews, ratings, and more! Today we’re saying Happy First Birthday to Stories from Afield: Adventures with Wild Things in Wild Places by Bruce Smith (Bison Books, 2016). Bruce L. Smith retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2004 after a thirty-year career as a wildlife manager and scientist.

About the book:

Over the past four decades, Bruce L. Smith has worked with most big-game species in some of the American West’s most breathtaking and challenging landscapes. In Stories from Afield, readers join Smith on his adventures as a naturalist, sportsman, and wildlife biologist, as he pulls us into the field of learning and discovery across wilderness areas of western Montana, the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and a South African temperate forest.

Ranging from humorous to harrowing, Smith’s essays recount capturing newborn elk calves, stalking mountain goats on icy cliffs, being stranded on a mountain after riding out a helicopter crash, confrontations with bears during his research, plus quirky and edifying hunting tales. Throughout his adventures, the magnetism and danger of wild nature are ever present, reminding us that our fascination with wildness often stems from its unpredictability.


Stories From Afield is more than one man’s memoir of a life spent in service to America’s rich wild heritage; in sharing the joy, wonder, humor, and dangers of being immersed in wilderness, Smith introduces audiences to a primordial, pristine, and rapidly vanishing world, with a reminder that its future is in our hands.”—Foreword Reviews

“…it is a disservice to call this a book of simple narratives. It is much more—a tapestry of adventure, natural history and personal journey that is as interwoven as the worlds he explores…”—Roundup Magazine
“Reflective thoughts and vibrant specifics bring a nature biologist’s love of the outdoors to readers.”—Kirkus
“It’s infectious and inspiring, and his storytelling makes this an excellent contribution to the genre.”—Big Sky Journal


Interviews and mentions:

On the blog:


Stories from Afield on Twitter:


A word from the author:

Bruce7Essay collections can be tough sells for authors. And unlike my previous nonfiction books of science and natural history, I didn’t know how my new venture, Stories from Afield: Adventures with Wild Things in Wild Places, would fare, that is if I convinced a publisher to take on the project. Well, since it was published by UNP last fall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Besides some nice regional press coverage, feedback at book events, and interviews on Wyoming Public Radio, the book was honored in the Western Writers of America Spur Awards (finalist in contemporary nonfiction), and won the nature writing category of the Great Northwest Booksellers Awards. That certainly exceeded my expectations for a memoir of outdoor adventure stories by a Montana wildlife biologist! My thanks to the terrific staff at UNP for making this happen.

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