Traditional bowhunter Mark Baker will read from his new book, Tension on the String: Classic Bowhunting Tales and Insights at Elk River Books on Saturday, February 2 at 2 p.m. A Livingston resident, Baker’s book chronicles his passion for hunting in these stories from the field in Montana and Alaska.
The stories in Tension on the String, Baker writes in his preface, are about much more than the hunt: “It’s been a lifestyle, a passion, an obsession,” he says, that began with his father’s lessons on woodsmanship, self-reliance and respect for wildlife, which he in turn has shared with his sons, told here in 23 chapters worth of adventure stories.
Baker taught bowhunter education classes for 18 years, and served as president of both the Montana Bowhunters Association and the Traditional Bowhunters of Montana. He’s worked as a hunting, fishing and whitewater guide, logger, homebuilder, ranch hand and museum director, and is an avid musician.
Baker’s peers review his book with high praise: “Written in an easy style, this book is a nice mixture of philosophical thoughts and meat-on-the-table success stories,” says outdoor writer/video producer Darryl Quidot. “Permeating the book is the theme that why and how you hunt, conduct yourself while in the field, and act during and after taking an animal, is more important than killing animals. In a laidback and pleasant writing style he presents his views, beliefs, and ethics, regarding hunting, family, and society. It is more akin to having a discussion around the campfire,” hunter Walt Francis explains. “His trophies are not measured in inches, but in the memories, adventures, equipment, and family experiences of the hunt,” adds author Mike Mitten.
Baker’s reading is free, open to the public, and will be followed by a signing. The event takes place at Elk River Books, 115 E. Callender St. in Livingston.