Review Of Book “Backcountry Lawman”

Cover of Backcountry Lawman

Cover of Backcountry Lawman

from The Fishing Wire

The book “Backcountry Lawman-A Unique Look Into Florida’s Wild History” is a good read.

“Backcountry Lawman” recounts the adventures of Florida game warden Bob Lee during the rough-and-ready years when the state was loaded with fish and wildlife poachers.

Bob Lee’s Backcountry Lawman is a fast, fun read that anyone who has spent much time in the Florida outdoors will thoroughly enjoy. Lee was a game warden with what’s now the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission for some 30 years, at a time when the state was going from pretty much anything goes in the woods to the modern conservation ethic.

Not surprisingly, as a “woods cop” he butted heads with a variety of colorful and sometimes dangerous characters including all sorts of fish and wildlife poachers along the St. Johns River, and also was challenged occasionally by the elements and the animals in a state that was still very wild. It’s an interesting look at Florida’s history from a unique perspective.

The book is 250 pages long, but you may read it in one sitting if you know and love the Florida woods; there’s a confrontation and a climax in just about every chapter as Lee recalls midnight chases by boat, truck and on foot.

Lee is a natural story-teller and has a novelist’s eye for the telling detail, the smells and sounds and sights of the woods, rivers and lakes of northeast Florida. An interesting affection for some of the law-breakers shows through, as well-Lee obviously respects truly good woodsmen, which ever side of the law they happen to be on.

And when he goes on a trail, it’s a real education for anyone who ever wants to track a deer, a hog-or a man-through the woods. Lee was so good at it he eventually became the FWC’s man-tracking instructor. The book is a nicely illustrated hard-back with black & white photos from Lee’s working era, beginning in 1977. It’s $24.95 from University Press of Florida, . It can also be ordered as an eBook and found in print at most brick and mortar bookstores.

To learn more visit the author’s website at