Me looking all pensive and stuff on the American River in Sacramento.

What is To the Bone?

If you know me at all (most don’t), you probably know me from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, which, to my knowledge, is the largest souce of wild food recipes on the internet in any language. It’s been my core work since 2007.

Back in the day, when blogs were blogs, HAGC had lots of other stuff besides recipes: Hunting and fishing stories, cooking notes, essaays on life and even travelogues. But that fell out of favor long ago.

So here at To The Bone, I’m bringing all that back. Old school style. I want to stretch a bit here, as I used to long ago on HAGC. Essays, mostly, but also notes and letters from the field, as well as from my travels through Mexico and the United States and Canada, thoughts on select current events and news items, garden notes and the like.

Paid subscribers will also get access to some recipes, recipes for wild foods that I happen to love, but which might be very regional or esoteric. Being a slave to the Almighty Google as turned me away from many such recipes, because, frankly, they’re not “search engine optimization” friendly. Meh.

I primarily write about the intersection of wild food and life, and by so doing try to understand my place in this world — a place we all share. The specifics of my experience are unique, but the lessons I’ve learned are universal.

Wanna Contact Me?

Here’s my email:

Paying Subscribers Get:

  • A $5 off code for discounts on my three most recent books; you can see them here.

  • Advance notice of and discounts on any of my culinary hunts.

  • Full subscriber-only access to special recipes not on Hunter Angler Gardener cook.

  • Periodic “ask me anything” sessions where, if I don’t know the answer, I’ll research it for you.

  • A free Hunt Gather Cook sticker if you want one. Message me your address to claim it.

  • Early and exclusive access to portions of my upcoming book Borderlands.

  • Most importantly: This is a way to support and sustain my work, which I dedicate to not only exploring the world of wild foods, but also how we as people interact with them and nature as a whole.

Paying Subscribers Say:

  • "You do amazing work, Hank. I benefit from it and I want to support it in any way possible."

  • "I have used your recipes for years and while I don't hunt, I respect your experience and knowledge on those subjects. I support as many small creators as I can."

  • "I enjoy reading your common sense philosophy and especially your wild eats information."

  • "I don't hunt or fish, but I love your posts. And your recipes. The ones I've tried have all been successes, and a couple – the ramp (or other wild onion) risotto comes to mind – have entered my regular "rotation," such as it is.."

  • "I support your work to be a more responsible hunter and fisherman. "

  • "I believe in you and what you are doing, and I want to learn to be a better cook and human being."

About Hank

I’m Hank Shaw, and this place is where, for the most part, you will find me writing about things other than recipes. There will be some special, paid subscriber-only recipes, but for generally speaking, if recipes are what you seek, I have nearly 2000 of them, compiled since 2007, on my website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.

It’s been a whirlwind these many years. I’m a former restaurant cook, carpet cleaner and janitor, I’ve caught fish and dug clams for a living and, after 18 years as a political reporter for newspapers ranging from New York to Virginia to Wisconsin, Minnesota and California, I now pay the bills writing cookbooks, fishing, foraging and hunting. I’ve written five cookbooks, the most recent published in spring 2021. I am currently at work on a sixth, due out in May 2025.

(You can find out more about me on this Wikipedia page.)

As a food writer, my work has been published in Best Food Writing 2013, Food & Wine, Garden & Gun, Organic Gardening, The Art of Eating, Field and Stream, Sactown and many other publications. I won the James Beard Award for Hunter Angler Gardener Cook in 2013, and my book Pheasant, Quail, Cottontail won the International Assn. of Culinary Professionals Award in 2018.

I was honored to be the consulting editor of both the wild game and the fish and seafood sections of the latest edition of the classic, The Joy of Cooking. To be a part of such an iconic work was incredibly rewarding.

The Joy of Cooking book cover

I’ve been featured on a few TV shows, too. I’ve been on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” twice, and was a guest on Steve Rinella’s “Meateater, ” Mike Rowe’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” on CNN, and on Scott Leysath’s “The Sporting Chef.”

I’ve also been on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

If you want to see a short video about what I am all about, here it is.

To The Bone is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.


NOTE: Holly and I started To the Bone together while we were a couple. We have since split up, but I am keeping her work up here because it’s good and valuable. ~ Hank

The single greatest intellectual spark I have ever experienced came the day I began hunting, at the age of 41. It was the most obviously natural thing I had ever done, and simultaneously the most intriguing, as it upended everything I had known up to that point about life on earth. I went down the rabbit hole that day, and never looked back.

At the time, I was teaching journalism at my alma mater, Sacramento State. But like Hank, I’d spent nearly two decades as a newspaper reporter and editor, mostly covering politics for newspapers including the Orange County Register, the St Paul Pioneer Press, the Virginian-Pilot and the San Jose Mercury News. Within a year of taking up hunting, I started the blog NorCal Cazadora, where I would probe some of the thorniest issues facing hunting and hunters, with an audience that engaged in vigorous debate and commentary. The blog continued through 2012.

At the same time I was blogging, I began doing most of the food photography for Hank’s website, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, as well as his cookbooks. I’ve always loved photography, and quite honestly, Hank was taking the lion’s share of available time in our tiny kitchen, so I had to find something else to do with dinner. That passion continues to this day, and you can explore my photography here.

Starting hunting as an adult has led me to spend a lot of time helping other new hunters. I co-founded the Novice Women’s Duck Hunt in 2011, and I was co-host of the inaugural Black Heritage Hunt in 2021. I volunteer for a variety of other adult hunter training events as well, serving as a guide and shooting instructor, as well as doing hands-on demonstrations on how to process ducks.

My episode of PBS’ “Original Fare,” where I take host Kelly Cox duck hunting.

Here’s a good article profiling me on public television’s KQED.

To The Bone is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

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Exploration and insights at the intersection of food, hunting, fishing and nature


Cookbook author, sometime chef and commercial fisherman, constant hunter, angler, gardener and gatherer. Lover of history and student of Mexican cuisine.