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Outdoors notebook: Good reads, and a farewell salute

Winter arrived late this season and spring is just a week away, but TV programs and even the most sociable media often do not offer a cure for that disconnect from the outdoors. Three publications, a thoroughly updated revision, a good historical novel and a new novel, could beat boredom during idle hours.

Ed Van Put, inducted into the Outdoorsman Hall of Fame in 2011, has just completed an extensive revision of his classic book “The Beaverkill: The History of a River and its People.” Deemed “America’s River” well before the Civil War, the Beaverkill in the Catskills became the ultimate trout-stream destination for anglers with fly rods traveling from the New York City metropolis or anywhere a guy could tie a fly.

Van Put chronicles the cast of characters who fished Beaverkill waters, who began conservation programs and who strived to retain its pristine settings seen today. For a copy, visit and scroll to “Fishing, New Titles.”

Buffalo News outdoor writer Michael Levy died March 2, 2011, before seeing his Five Valley Press novel “Hunting with Teddy” in print. Levy, an avid photographer, penned a personalized picture of the famed hunter/outdoorsman Theodore Roosevelt, who served as the 26th U.S. president.

Using photographs as well as thorough readings of Roosevelt’s biography, Levy creates a fictional friend who hunts with Teddy from his ranching days in the Dakotas to the White House, starting with his inauguration at the Wilcox Mansion in Buffalo. One chapter focuses exclusively on photography, describing still shots and early-stage video production.

Hunters, history buffs and all interested in one of America’s most enigmatic presidents and most zealous hunter-conservationists will enjoy reading this novel available at Just enter “Hunting with Teddy” in the search.

If you have yet to hear or see something about Bob Rich Jr.’s new novel “Looking Through Water,” be prepared for a remarkable read. Rich, an avid angler and writer of nonfiction books on angling, has brought together his fishing forte and storytelling skills to produce a novel with deep touches about anglers’ quests from the depths and the unfolding of the many human dramas that surround all those who go out looking through waters.

The story takes readers from inland lakes and streams to ocean outings, as characters work to work out their relations with relations and others. As with his earlier publications, Rich forwards profits from his writings to worthwhile recipients. Proceeds from this Skyhorse Publication “Looking Through Water” go to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. To order a copy, visit and enter “Looking Through Water” in the search.

Goodbye Butch

Outdoors enthusiasts, especially in the hunting, trapping and shooting sports ranks, lost a devoted volunteer in the sportsmen education program on Jan. 30 with the passing of Richard C. “Butch” White of Lake View.

White coordinated certification classes in Erie County for hunter, archery and all other sportsman-ed programs.

Before a modernized computer system was set up to register class students, White would check on each applicant, arrange class setups and promote course offerings to recruit youths and interested adults in certification programs for outdoors involvements.

Butch, a lanky, low-key guy, worked behind the scenes when setting up programs, volunteered without any compensation and steadfastly avoided occasions where he might be honored or awarded. When asked what he had received for all his volunteer efforts, he quickly quipped, “I got a DEC hat once.” Butch and his contributive spirit will be missed.