Review and Giveaway: "Hunt, Gather, Cook" by Hank Shaw


In The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan endeavors to create a meal solely from food he can harvest with his own two hands. As part of this experiment, he goes out with a friend to hunt boar in the wilds of Sonoma County, forage wild mushrooms and stalk the wily abalone. For Pollan, it was a journey of discovery. For Hank Shaw, it's just another day at the office.

Hank, a regular contributor to Punk Domestics,  pens the very successful blog Hunter, Angler, Gardner, Cook, which received James Beard nominations in 2009 and 2010. He's an avid outdoorsman, and with his past experience as both a line cook and reporter, brings a triple threat to the food world: A man who can hunt and forage his own food, make creative and compelling dishes from it, and then wrap it in eloquent prose. 

The book is an extension of that concept, albeit more specific in focus. In "Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast," Hank takes on three major topics -- foraging, fishing and hunting -- and breaks down what you need to know about each of them. Within each section, plants and animals are grouped into like subcategories, the hows and whys of finding them are explained, and each grouping is anchored with Hank's own recipes. 

Hank's premise is simple: You'd have to try pretty hard to starve in nature. Food abounds in our very surroundings, even sometimes the most urban ones, and you simply need to be armed with the information necessary to see the bounty in front of you. Wild greens, succulent berries and even unlikely candidates such as acorns and daylilies are completely edible, with a little finesse. 

The book is highly pragmatic, well positioned as a one-stop resource for the DIY foodist. But while it conveys a wealth of practical information, it is also thoroughly infused with Hank's indelible voice, affable and approachable, and never dry nor schoolmarmish. 

While not absolutely comprehensive (conspicuously absent from the foraging section are mushrooms, a topic so broad and dangerous as to require extensive special training, and not for the amateur), it's an excellent starter kit for budding foragers and hunters, and a good companion for those with at least a little experience in the field -- literally. And I know I'll be referring to it time and time again. 

I have one copy of Hank's marvelous "Hunt, Gather, Cook" to give to one lucky recipient. To qualify, simply leave a comment on this post describing an experience you've had foraging, fishing or hunting. (Be sure to enter your email so I know how to contact you if you win.) For a bonus entry, click to tweet this post. Entries will be open through midnight PDT on May 31. Go on, you know you want it. 

Wish I'd Appreciated Then...

At 17, straight out of the Midwest, I was on a 2 month cultural exchange to the Alsace region of France. I was taken foraging for mushrooms and was terribly unlucky. Of course since those were my years prior to 'palate expansion' (aka - when I moved to San Francisco), those that were found were wasted on me anyway.

Now that I love mushrooms, my last trip to France didn't include foraging, but happily a giant bowl of Chanterelles made it's way into our tiny kitchen.

berries and more!

I've eaten foraged and hunted food since I was a kid, in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Western Canada. Fish, deer, pheasant, moose and much more. My favorites are the berries! Mulberries, raspberries, huckleberries, strawberries, blueberries, salmonberries, soapberries!

hunt, gather, cook

I forage as often as possible in my yard and woods for edible plants. I've not been fishing much, and have been hunting never...I'd like to change those last two statements.

berries and more!

I've eaten foraged and hunted food since I was a kid, in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Western Canada. Fish, deer, pheasant, moose and much more. My favorites are the berries! Mulberries, raspberries, huckleberries, strawberries, blueberries, salmonberries, soapberries!


we forage for dandelions for wine and salad, may apples for jam, plantain for cuts and scraps, yarrow for bug spray, morels and so much more. we enjoy the adventure of finding our food in the wild.

As a kid I found a huge wild

As a kid I found a huge wild blackberry patch in a gully near my home. Wandering that patch of woodland and eating the ripe wild purple fruits was one of my great summer pleasures.

Spruce Shortbread cookies

One of my favorite things to gather is spruce tips (light green) we often use the spruce tips to flavor sugar cookies. The flavor is unique and surprisingly fruity!


We have loads and loads of wild blackberries growing around San Francisco. My daughter and I like to forage for them at a nearby park, but it's always a chore beating the birds to the fully ripe ones. I also gather excessive brambles from my friends and neighbors to feed to my goats. They love blackberry vines, though I can't quite figure out how they don't cut their mouths on the thorns.

Foraging for morels...

Finding out one side of my in-law's mountain home was a morel patch was, um, amazing. I hadn't even considered hunting for them, but here they were just popping up and waving hello! I was *cough* unemployed at the time and could spend every morning and evening walking the hillside looking...

Scared Silly & Rose Hips

All my favorite memories regarding foraging are also very fond memories of my parents. When I was a child we used to go blackberry picking along the Green River in WA. One year we scared ourselves back to the car worried aout finding something/someone the Green River Killer may have left behind. Another involves draging my parents to accompany me picking rose hips on a beautiful, breezy autumn day and the heady sent of the rose hips and apples while turning them into jam.

catching crawfish with the hide of a kill.

catching crawfish with the hide of a kill, any strapped pelt will do, as long as there is some meat left, the crawfish will attach and one can pull them out, and add them to the pot, surf and turf, usually do this with rabbit, or other small game, but we once did it with a boar's hide... amazingly hard to cut up.

Nothing tastes as good as something that was just hunting you.

Shark's my absolute favorite.

Game birds

I'd love to find more recipes for wild game birds, as my husband is an avid hunter. Often, the pheasant recipes are the basic cream of mushroom and wild rice dish, but there's so much more you can do with it. Meanwhile, duck recipes all seem to assume the bird is a fatty, farmed duck. I would be interested in what this book has to say. Thanks for the giveaway.

Admittedly, the only things

Admittedly, the only things I've ever foraged are violets and dandelions, both for syrup. I'd love to do more, just haven't had any luck in my area yet. Fishing & hunting are both very big around here tho. I don't get to go much, but I love deer hunting season, deer jerky is the best!

Hank Shaw giveaway

Hello fellow outdoor enthusiasts and foodies. I had the privilege of living in Clarksville, VA. Right on the North Carolina border and Lake Gaston. I was fishing at my favorite hole, a old broken up boat ramp, one day for striped bass and crappie (YUM!). I tied on a hula popper for fun. As I was "popping" it across the water, a baby copperhead snake slithered out from under the concrete I stood on and out towards my lure. The snake wrapped itself around the lure and got caught! As it was trying to get off, I noticed the silohuette of a gar or pike- type fish swimming over towards the commotion. The fish then surfaced to snatch the snake and lure with it's long aligator-ish mouth. The fish carried the whole mess to the bottom of the lake and broke my line. Now that was a priceless fishing experience (one that deserves to win the book -hint, hint ;). Thanks for listening!


Planted a bunch of ostrich ferns this year, so that next year I can 'forage' in my own back yard and try out fiddleheads!

Saving money & getting fit!

I grew up in the lakes country of Minnesota. Hunting, fishing, and gathering foods from the wilds was a way of life for our family. Now that I am grown, and living in Arkansas, I am having a great time teaching (& learning...Arkansas is really different from Minnesota!)the same lessons to my own kids. We are saving money, getting healthier, and eating better!

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is one of my favorite relaxation tecniques! The 1st time I tried it, I thought I got my fly caught on something when in reality I had a rainbow trout on the line...Great experience and I was as hooked on fly fishing as that trout was on my fly.

Buckets of memories

One of my favorite memories growing up is when I would trot along after my Grandfather to the beach first thing in the morning to watch him catch flounder in the ocean. I loved the quiet. I loved looking in all the fishermen's buckets to see what they had caught. I loved watching my Grandpa pull his catch through the waves. I have fond memories of my mornings on the beach with him.

Mushroom revelation

I was nervous about foraging for mushrooms, so joined my state's Mycological Society. These people are a wealth of information! On my first foraging trip, I met up with about 8 others, most in their 60's and 70's. One woman walked with a cane, and only went around the perimeter of the parking lot, but managed to find more mushrooms than anyone else! I felt so honored to have their knowledge and passion passed down to me, and hope I can one day show my great grandchildren the thrill of finding a patch of bright orange chanterelles on a summer day.

I love foraging! My favorite

I love foraging! My favorite recent find was a puffball mushroom, which I sauteed in butter with parsley and white wine and served over pasta. I cooked it for friends, and most of them loved it but a few refused to eat it because they thought I was trying to poison them. It was soooo delicious though.


couldn't believe it last year when I found a gold mine and came upon a HUGE wild blackberry patch encircling an alfalfa field. I went through blood (thorns and mosquitoes) sweat (whoa, it was humid) and tears (tripping and falling over tree branches, ouch!) to get a huge harvest of blackberries last year!

New to Foraging

We've been trying to forage for year while camping, my 3 children and I, but this year, we are making an actual effort to forage. It started with berries, but we have moved into mushrooms and I long to find ramps.

My 5 month old daughter and I

My 5 month old daughter and I have been gathering dandelions for cookies and wine. We also found sweetwoodruff and made May wine and nettles for nettle omletes. Next, nettle pesto. We're hoping to find elder berries this year.

Looks like a great book. I

Looks like a great book. I was our morel picking this past weekend and I have more than I know what to do with. I hope this book has a good recipe or two.

Finding Food!

I just learned last year how to forage for wild mushrooms in forests of Manistee National Forest come early fall. I can't wait to try out my foraging skills once again and make some mean mushroom meals!

Hunting grouse and picking

Hunting grouse and picking lambs quarters in my yard for frittata. Yumm!

The rollerskating-foragers technique!

Okay, so I have this technique down to a science! I'm a huge trail skater in the summer, I do about 1,000 miles each year on our wonderful trail system. Yes, on quad skates (I play roller derby). I'm also obsessed with foraging (I love the Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook blog). So in the summer I take a backpack with me when I trailskate; I stick a pair of shoes in there, a bunch of plastic bags, scissors, gloves, and a few wild-plant ID books. If I see something interesting I'll swap out my skates for shoes and go scrambling off the bank at the side of the trail. It's been all nettles for weeks now! Before that it was ramps. Last year I picked the nettles, raspberries, blackberries, sorrel, elderberries, milkweed, dandelions, lambsquarters. All on the trail!

Need this book!

I love foraging but my experience has been limited to berries. I am planning to brave the vehicles this summer along the side of the road near my parents house to nab tasty wild black berries and make some slammin' jam and pie. I used to go fishing with my dad but it's been a long time...been thinking about restarting that :-) nothing quite like fresh trout! I grew up on 11 acres if wooded land and I didn't appreciate it at the time. Now that I am an adult and concerned about the state of the food system not to mention being able to feed oneself from the wild, this book will come in handy! When I inherit those acres my dad has refused to sell, I will appreciate its bounty like never before.

I love foraging but my

I love foraging but my experience has been limited to berries. I am planning to brave the vehicles this summer along the side of the road near my parents house to nab tasty wild black berries and make some slammin' jam and pie. I used to go fishing with my dad but it's been a long time...been thinking about restarting that :-) nothing quite like fresh trout!

Homemade Rootbeer and Home Butchering a la Hank Shaw

We had the good fortune of finding a sassafras tree and foraged some roots to whip up a batch of root beer with a recipe from Hank's blog. Sadly our sassafras tree was broken in half by the ice over winter :-/

When deer season came around my brother offered a small white tail which we butchered ourselves thanks to a message of help from Hank. We're huge fans and looking forward to catching up with him on his tour.

What a great resource

This would be a great resource! We raise our own chickens for meat and eggs, and my father-in-law hunts some, but we are just branching out into foraging and more serious hunting and fishing. I think this book would be a great resource to allow us to grow! So far we have mostly used dandelions for greens, and there is a batch of dandelion wine aging right now. I would love to do more!

I bet I'll really enjoy it!

I bet I'll really enjoy it! We hunt deer every year and catch trout in the summer (my husband does the trout fishing). We are not so much into foraging away from home, but on our farm we've harvested lots of nettles and some burdock root and also blackberries (wild). We ate the squirrels we shot once but didn't like so much. I am hoping to go fishing on the Mississippi river this summer.


I have fond memories of fishing for "pogies" (small, salt-water fish) off of piers with my grandparents as a small child. We'd take them back to our campsite and my grandma would fry them up for us. What a feast!

book looks fantastic!

..I want it!
Best foraging experience lately: just moved to a new place, looked out the window one day and: chanterelles!! in my backyard!!

Y'know, just in case...

Over the past couple of years, my husband and I have been trying to expand our basic skills... y'know, just in case. (Zombie apocalypse and all...) This fall, he'll be hunting for the first time, and I'm actually learning how to fish. Exciting times! I've never foraged, but would love to try!

Berries, Berries!

I am always stumbling around looking for wild berries, either here in the Bay Area or at our place in Alaska. I'm eager to get my paws on a copy of Hank's book because I know it will help me branch out (ha) when it comes to foraging.


Oh man, I'd love this book! When we lived in Washington I used to forage for wild blackberries right by our apartment. So tasty!

In the summer I foraged

In the summer I foraged elderberries from the business parks in my my suburban neighborhood and I turned them into elderberry syrup which I promptly fed my sick family. A great homeopathic


This spring, I foraged in my yard to stretch a small salad I had. It at least doubled, if not tripled, in volume with the addition of dandelion leaves, chickweed and violet flowers. I chopped everything up, dressed the whole thing with oil and vinegar, and my boyfriend stopped by unexpectedly!

We shared my salad, and his apparently delicate, suburban digestion didn't take too kindly to the wild greens. (I had no problem!!) He hit the bathroom running that night and into the next day. I've promised to introduce "new" things to him more slowly next time!


I remember the first time I foraged the wrong fern...learned fast, though! And really love ramps!

and i tweeted!

and i tweeted!

I love to fish and my husband

I love to fish and my husband loves to hunt but I want this book because I want to figure out how to use more of the animal - I've seen some of his posts online about using more organs, making it delicious, etc. And finding more plants! We pick mushrooms a lot but you know there's just so much more out there in the woods that you should eat!


This is exciting. I've followed Hank's blog for a while. I can't go by a nasturtium plant without plucking a pretty flower and popping it in my mouth a bit of spice.

But I have always wanted to make horehound candy.

Daddy's little girl

I grew up on a small lake in southern Michigan. We had always collected elderberries by the bagful from the side of the road which my mom froze, jellied, and pied. I climbed the mulberry tree by our driveway for fruit and braved "wirettes" (my 4 year old term for thorns) to harvest raspberries. My dad taught me how to fish, catch turtles (we never ate them) and hunt morels. He showed me how to clean fish and gave me anatomy lessons. Once we were out looking for "mushies" I stepped on one of those three inch thorns from a tree and it pierced my poorly chosen canvas shoe and the bottom of my young foot. I thought I was crippled for life. My dad knelt down and without pause or warning yanked it from my foot. I assumed we were going to forfeit due to injury but he told me to walk it off and continued on into the woods. At the time I thought him cold but now I'm glad he didnt baby me. He is the reason I grew up to be a nature loving tree climbing tomboy that can take a few scratches and keep going, likes playing in mud, and prefers to be barefoot whenever possible. I love him for that.

Fish on...

As a child I often went to the river fishing with my Dad & brother. Each time I would ask for my own fishing pole, and each time my Dad would say, "you can use mine..." or "maybe when you're a bit older". Frustrated with this reply I stormed off, and at the ripe old age of seven, found a stick and with a bit of line and a hook I pilfered from the tackle box I fashioned my own fishing pole. I caught the biggest fish of the day and my Dad took me to buy my own fishing pole the next week.


Can I vote for this entry? Love it!

black raspberries

Of all the delicious jams I've made, my family's favorite is still the simple black raspberry jam I make from berries foraged from the wild areas of our small acreage. Nothing tastes better than found food.

Hunt, Gather, Cook

I've been hunting, fishing and foraging since I was little. I was the youngest of 6 and grew up on a farm. We didn't waste anything and got our meals where we could. Aside from having a garden, it wasn't unusual to make a meal out of the critters that bothered the garden. Squirrels, groundhogs and deer were all on the plate in addition to veggies. Fishing was like going to the grocery store for us. And it was a bonus to find morels and berries along the shore. I've been away from that, but I moved back home to help my dad and have picked those practices back up. My wife an I went morel hunting recently. On the way back from our spot, I spied a huge turtle trying to cross the road. I stopped and that turtle went in the trunk. I shared it with my dad. We had turtle soup that night. please enter me for your giveaway. I recently stumbled across both blogs and can't get enough of them. outofi at yahoo dot com

I'd love to win this book, it

I'd love to win this book, it would be so helpful for me! Please consider me for your giveaway. :)

I am brand new to foraging

I am brand new to foraging this spring, but the joy of finding the spring jackpot (ramps, naturally) opened up a whole new world. Looking forward to berries!

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