Never was the notion of explore, experience and evolve more clear to him than the day Fred stepped into the dark woods alone (at the tender age of 29) and embraced adventure over unqualified panic for the first time in his life. For an entitled, self-confessed five-star-resort-and-country-club snob, an elk hunting trip seemed unlikely – let alone three of them. But the evolution from an elitist with a wine list to an individual who discovers and embraces a profound love for the simple unspoiled outdoors is far deeper than exchanging a coat and tie for, inarguably, more comfortable camouflage. It is with great excitement, (read as: blissful ignorance and an unfamiliar absence of concierge and butler services) that he is plunged into a world of discomforting unknowns by his friend and hunting partner, Jon, who has lived more than a lifetime of outdoor experiences. Jon endeavors to pass along his fascination, skillset and love of the great outdoors to his friend – a true greenhorn.
In this non-fiction narrative account of Fred’s hunting adventures, you can only imagine his missteps and the relentless trepidation he faces along the way. Countless are the number of bruises his ego suffers, but successes and failures alike shape a deep transformation that extends well beyond the forest.
The goal, besides unrelenting bouts of snort-inducing laughter, is to encourage a retreat from cell phones and video games and breed curiosity and interest in the outdoors. These experiences have had a profound effect on the author, and he hopes to encourage others to leap at the opportunity to experience life firsthand while engaging all five senses and confronting fear – the paralytic instinct that occurs involuntarily (along with other bodily functions) when intimidating animals threaten one’s privileged existence in a vast and unfamiliar environment.
“You know your buddy? The one who recalls every obscure detail of every road trip you’ve taken together, and then recounts all those details at the most inopportune time? Well, Fred Kloecker is that buddy, but unlike your friend, his remembrances are actually interesting. He has managed to tune his keen eye and ears to a series of big-game hunts whose outcome isn’t the point; it’s the journey that matters. Kloecker has the rare ability to poke fun at himself and his evolution as a hunter while getting at the essence of why and how we hunt. Kloecker’s pitch-perfect description of the differences between Eastern and Western deer-antler calculation is worth the cover price of his book, alone.”
– Andrew McKean, Former Editor-in-Chief, Outdoor Life