Hey there, thanks for dropping by.

You’ve found “To The Bone,” our space to tell it like it is, to be real and thought-provoking and raw. You know, like a blog used to be, back when blogging was a thing.

We write about the intersection of hunting and food, mostly at least, but there will be a lot more in this space — hopefully you find it at least mildly interesting.

A bit about us.

Hank

I’m Hank Shaw, and this place is where you will find me writing about things other than recipes. 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 decades. 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.

(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 our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Holly

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.

In 2013, I left the university to work for California Waterfowl, a non-profit hunter-based conservation organization where I am communications director, responsible for our magazine, website and other communications.

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.

Here’s the most quintessentially Holly essay ever - my response to the question, “Does hunting make us human?”

CONTACT

To reach Hank, email hank@huntgathercook.com

To reach Holly, email holly@huntgathercook.com

Why subscribe?

“To The Bone” is where we get to stretch a bit, as I used to long ago on Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and Holly used to on NorCal Cazadora. Essays, mostly, but also notes and letters from the field, as well as from our travels through Mexico and the United States and Canada, thoughts on select current events and news items, garden notes and the like. I’ll also cross post my podcast Hunt Gather Talk here, so you can find it here as well as out in Podcast Land.

Bottom line: If you want to get to know us, this is the place.

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