A Portrait

156 pages

Hardcover with numerous illustrations

Genre: Picture Book, Nature Writing, Nature, Essay, History, Nonfiction

The roaring stag with mighty antlers inspired the fantasies not only of aristocrats, high daughters and romantics, but was also emblazoned as a picture on the walls of many a German petit bourgeois. But it was precisely his antlers as a symbol of the potent ruler that made him at the same time the pitiable object of hunting lust and the tragic figure of the forest. Wilhelm Bode, himself once a passionate hunter from family tradition, describes the eventful natural and cultural history of the deer. He not only tells of his fascination with Bambi, the significance of the deer for Frida Kahlo and Joseph Beuys, and the ups and downs of hunting history. He describes how his encounters with the deer gradually turned him away from trophy hunting and made him a convinced opponent of a reckless hunting practice that does not ask about its consequences for the natural environment. Thus, this excursion through the native cultural landscape is not least an engaged plea to transform the hunt for the proud wild animal into a new relationship of respect for nature. 

German title: Hirsche - Ein Portrait
ISBN: 978-3-95757-672-9
Publisher: Matthes & Seitz Berlin
Publication date: 2018
Series: Naturkunden Vol. 046
Illustration: Falk Nordmann

Wilhelm Bode, born in 1947 in Westphalia, is a lawyer and a certified forest manager, and was head of the state forest administration and the highest nature conservation authority in Saarland. He has published numerous books and articles on the future of the forest, hunting and forestry, among others in the series Naturkunden Portraits on deers and fir trees.

By the same author(s)

"This sophisticated and attractively designed book can be warmly recommended to anyone interested in native nature, forests and wildlife, and cultural history as an entertaining, enlightening, and educational read." - Hans Dieter Knapp, Naturschutzinfothek