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Home, At Last, Is the Hunter: Bottomland Book Club

Provided by Brent Rogers

The unexpected loss of my dearest hunting companion, my Dad, wounded me.  The promise of making future memories afield was stolen, the joy of learning from him, and reliving past hunts with him, was forever arrested. When, the following spring, I harvested a turkey using Dad’s gun and shell, wearing his camo and boots, and stroking out yelps on his calls, I found myself awash with happy tears. Whispering the words, “We did it, Dad,” and pointing to the heavens, I felt a restoration of joy!

Home, At Last, Is The Hunter by Chip Gross

Home, At Last, Is the Hunter, by Chip Gross is a well written fictional book that also brought a tear to my eye. I had read it for the first time many years prior to my father’s passing. I have since read it again, being such a heart-warming story that hits close to home. The title of the book is rooted in the unavoidable fact that we’re all mortal, and that, one day, our most beloved hunting companions will go to their eternal home. We are introduced to an eager youth, growing in his confidence as a hunter with the help of family and friends, and facing difficult - and sometimes disastrous - situations and people. I suspect the characters and setting are so compelling, because I learned that the author based the characters on real people that he knew well and is a passionate turkey hunter himself.

Finding Memories Hunting with Daddy

I tracked Chip down to find how the book came to be. Chip is a freelance writer, photographer, and speaker. In other words, he is a skilled communicator and teacher. Fascinated by the out-of-doors all his life, he was taught to fish by his grandfather, and to hunt by his father. Chip went on to earn a Wildlife Management degree at Ohio State University, leading to a full career (now retired) with the Ohio DNR.  Tragically, Chip was shot in the left side at age 34 in a state forest while turkey hunting; something we all think can’t happen to us…until it does. Another hunter heard him walking, and like so many other such incidents, did NOT identify his target. Several surgeries later, Chip permanently lost sight in his left eye. It took 4 years for him to return to the spring turkey woods; this experience inspired him to write his touching fictional turkey-hunting book, Home, At Last Is the Hunter. 

The book is solidly grounded in turkey hunting, cover to cover. It explores the influences that our relationships have on our lives, and those of others; relationships with our family, mentors, the law, the lawless, the Lord, and ultimately, the wild turkey. The book shows that how we approach turkey hunting, just like how we treat people, is a good indication of our own character. I daresay you will find yourself cheering for the young man in this story, anxious for him to make the right choices, and to overcome adversity. It is, at times, remarkably emblematic of our own experience and journey.

The 1993, limited hardback sold out years ago, but Home, At Last Is the Hunter is still available in paperback at

In the spirit of good fictional tales on turkey hunting, 2 additional books I’d recommend are One Season by Alan White, and The Dummy Line by Bobby Cole; both are available on amazon.

Mossy Oak Store turkey hunting gear

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