Hey there, my name is Hank Shaw.
I write. I fish. I dig earth, forage, raise plants, live for food and hunt anything that tastes good. I’ll drink fancy Scotch, craft beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon, a fine Barolo or hell, even kombucha, depending on my mood or who’s offering. I spend my days thinking about new ways to cook and eat anything that walks, flies, swims, crawls, skitters, jumps – or grows.
I am the omnivore who has solved his dilemma. This is my story.
Honest food is what I’m after. Nothing packaged, nothing in a box, nothing wrapped in plastic — unless I wrapped it in plastic myself. I eat meat, but I loathe industrial farming. So I have not bought meat or fish more than a handful of times since 2005.
But I’m more than a hunter. I am also a constant forager, angler, gardener and fan of farmer’s markets. Eating locally and making good food from scratch is what I do. Seasonality rules my diet: If you catch me buying asparagus from Chile, you have my permission to slap me upside the head.
I am especially interested in those meats and veggies that people don’t eat much any more, like pigeons or shad or cardoons. I have nothing against good grass-fed beef or a head of lettuce, it’s just that others are doing just fine writing about those foods. I’m trying to walk a less-traveled path.
Who am I?
I am a former restaurant cook, 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 about food, fishing, foraging and hunting. I’ve written four cookbooks, and have more on the way.
As a food writer, my work has been published in Food & Wine, Petersen’s Hunting, Garden & Gun, Organic Gardening, The Art of Eating, Field and Stream, Sactown and several other publications. I was profiled in the March 2009 issue of Field & Stream magazine for my wild game cookery, which was an honor.
I’ve been featured on a few TV shows, too. I’ve been on Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America,” and have been 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, one of my favorite podcasts.
If you want to see a short video about what I am all about, here it is.
To reach me, email scrbblr AT hotmail DOT com
My latest book, Pheasant, Quail, Cottontail: Upland Birds and Small Game from Field to Feast, was released in March 2018. It covers all the upland birds, doves, pigeons and all the small mammals we normally hunt in North America. It will be available wherever books are sold in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Moose, Antelope and Other Antlered Things, published in September 2016. It is the most comprehensive, lushly photographed book on cooking all sorts of deer and deer-like things ever produced. I hope it opens up whole new worlds for those who hunt deer, elk, moose, antelope and caribou.
My second book, Duck, Duck, Goose: Recipes and Techniques for Ducks and Geese, both Wild and Domesticated, was released by Ten Speed Press in October 2013. This book I hope will be useful both to waterfowl hunters and home cooks alike. I tried to include everything you’d want to know about cooking ducks and geese, and the recipes work just as well for store-bought birds as wild ones.
My first book, Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast, was released in 2011 by Rodale Books. My hope is that the book will help open the world of foraging, hunting and fishing to those interested in food, but who may have never hunted mushrooms or picked up a gun or cast a rod and reel before.
It is also my hope that hunters who want to expand their skills to foraging, or anglers who want to hunt, or foragers who want to fish, will find value in this book.
I’ve been featured on a bunch of shows, podcasts, etc. These are some of my favorites.
- A clamming trip in Northern California for Western littlenecks, and another one for gaper clams.
- An adventure in Canada’s Rocky Mountains, in search of trout.
- Bumming around in my home kitchen, talking about wild food and good cooking…
My book Pheasant, Quail, Cottontail won the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) book award for best self-published book in 2019.
I was honored to win a Bert Greene Award from the IACP for Best Food Blog in both 2010 and 2011. In addition, a story I contributed to for Field & Stream was nominated for an American Society of Magazine Editors award in 2010, and my foraging column in Sactown magazine won a national award by the society for city and regional magazines in 2014.
I’ve also been featured twice in the book Best Food Writing by Da Capo Press. An essay I wrote on this site, “On Killing,” was included in Best Food Writing 2012, and another piece from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, “An Awful Mercy,” was included in Best Food Writing 2013.
My books Duck, Duck, Goose and Buck, Buck, Moose each won Excellence in Craft awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of America in 2013 and 2017, respectively.
About the Pictures
While I do take some of the pictures on this site, the vast majority (and all of the really good ones!) of the images you see here are taken by my partner, Holly A. Heyser.
Holly is a hunting writer, now communications director for the California Waterfowl Association. She’s also a professional food photographer. You can find her photography here.
Contact Holly at heyserphoto AT gmail DOT com.