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Two stories about the late, great Jack. The first I heard from someone who worked at Outdoor Life during O’Connor’s reign as Shooting Editor. There was some kind of conference O’Connor was attending where everyone had to introduce themselves and say what they did. From Jack came: “My name is Jack O’Connor and I tell a hunting story better than anyone in the world.”
Second: During the early 1970s when I started at Field & Stream magazine publishing was a lot more leisurely, and I found myself with time to spare. In the office library were bound volumes of Outdoor Life, dating from the late ’40s forward. I would sneak back there and read O’Connor’s stuff. I think I’ve read everything he wrote.
Anyway, there is no shortage of O’Connor collections, but this new book is a particularly good one as it contains work from the beginning of his career to the end, from a variety of magazines, and on all sorts of subjects. It covers big game, birds, guns, hunting in general, and an absolutely wonderful essay on the Great Man by his friend John Madson. There are 40 terrific line drawings and lots of hitherto-unpublished photos that really are hitherto-unpublished.
He has been gone lo these many years, but his hold on us has not loosened. If you’re an O’Connor fan, you gotta get this one.
440 pages, hardcover, $35, sportingclassics.com