cover of book

History Afield: Stories from the Golden Age of Wisconsin Sporting Life
by Robert C Willging
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011
Cloth: 978-0-87020-429-6 | eISBN: 978-0-87020-570-5
Library of Congress Classification GV584.W6W55 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.09775


Stories of sportsmen past come to life in History Afield, an account of the many and varied sporting pursuits that are part of the Wisconsin tradition. Author and outdoorsman Robert Willging shares more than two dozen tales of Wisconsin sporting history, highlighting the hunt for waterfowl, upland birds, and deer; trout fishing in wild north Wisconsin rivers; and recreating at early Wisconsin lakeside resorts.


Anecdotes of fishing exploits on our plentiful waterways and presidential visits to northern Wisconsin reveal a unique slice of sporting culture, and chapters on live decoys and the American Water Spaniel demonstrate the human-animal bond that has played such a large part in that history. Tales of nature’s fury include a detailed account of the famous Armistice Day storm, as well as the dangers of ice fishing on Lake Superior. These historical musings and perspectives on sporting ethos provide a strong sense of the lifestyle that Willging has preserved for our new century.


Featuring first-hand interviews and a variety of historic photos depicting the Wisconsin sporting life, History Afield shows how the intimate relationship between humans and nature shaped this important part of the state’s heritage.

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