This book is without doubt the most underrated work about sambar deer available. You are welcome to read this book review, but if you have an interest in sambar deer, you can save yourself some time — just buy this book.
Sambar The Magnificent Deer is first and foremost a book about sambar deer, their relationship with the Australian environment, their life cycle, habits and behavioural patterns. It is a book that has a lot to offer the thinking hunter, biologist and student of biology. Any person who wants to improve their knowledge about sambar deer is well advised to read it.
To understand this book is to understand the author Mike Harrison and his passion and commitment to the deer, the truth and all things wild. His work is without peer and represents 24 years of daily observations in a bush pen representing natural habitat and is also complemented by his knowledge of sambar in the wild —and is conveyed with an easy no-jargon style that makes for effortless reading.
The section on hunting is not about how to hunt sambar but about hunting, and Mike also delves into the world of politics — and tells it how he sees it.
The sections on hunting and politics are important; both have an integral relationship with the deer, because the actions of hunters and politicians have a major impact on sambar and the future of deer hunting.
Mike’s comments are a valuable contribution to understanding factors other than biology that do have a positive and negative impact in the world of sambar.
As with any work of this type, for some readers this book will raise questions while at the same time provide answers. It can spur the reader to think deeply about what they think they know about sambar and to question both their own knowledge and what Mike has documented. Mike has a passion and commitment for expanding our knowledge about sambar and would be very happy if his work causes us to question what we know about sambar and send us in search of facts as opposed to fiction. He is not one to hold back and will tell you the more we know about sambar deer the more rational decisions can be made about their future management.
Do they have a place in the Australian bush? Read his book and find out.
More importantly, this book should be a reference for anybody with an interest in sambar deer whether they are a biologist, hunter or conservationist.
I doubt if any other person has had such a close association with these deer. Certainly, no-one has produced a work about sambar deer of this quality that talks to the average reader with the clarity of SAMBAR The Magnificent Deer.
The Magnificent Deer
by Mike Harrison
Published 2010 By: The Australian Deer Research Foundation Ltd.
Hard cover, 245 pages. Well illustrated with an abundance of photos and charts.
Available from the Australian Deer Association.
Contributed by Peter Burke.