Our review of Zumbo by K.J. Houtman

I just finished reading ZUMBO by K.J. Houtman.  It took me a few months to complete this book; I started it in December right before Christmas and tonight I just finished it.  Taking time out of a busy life to stop and read is not one of my strongest qualities.  Five kids, a website and business to run, the holidays and two major outdoor shows keep my pretty busy in the winter.  ZUMBO was a book that was important to me and I really did want to read it so I made the time to dedicate to reading it.


For as long as I could read, I would beg my dad’s friends for copies of Outdoor Life.  I read those magazines cover to cover and the amazing stories of hunting written by Mr. Zumbo always got me thinking about chasing big Rocky Mountain elk or antelope on the prairies.  I continued to read his work for several decades and I have many of his books on the office bookshelf.


I first met Mr. Zumbo at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Bull Run Chapter Banquet in Fairfax, VA.  I was impressed with his seminar on elk hunting.  I listened to his tips and took them into the field on my first elk hunt.


In 2005, I started my own blog and I was reading every blog that I could get my hands on and Mr. Zumbo’s blog rose to the top of my list.  I watched from the sidelines as Jim was caught up in the firestorm in 2007 with his blog about the AR-15.  I stood and watched Jim climb out of the controversy and lose everything around him.  It was an incredibly tough situation to watch as a blogger and as a writer. As someone who admired the man and who understood the lifetime of dedication Jim had given to the hunting industry and wildlife conservation it broke my heart to see him struggle.

Zumbo the book, follows the personal and professional life of Jim Zumbo from his upbringing in New York to his life today.  Jim’s college days in Paul Smith College, his completion of college in Utah to his work at West Point to his days of editing Outdoor Life.  We learn of his first article, The Legend of Old Joe to his many articles, books, television fame, conservation work and his willingness to stand up for what he believes.  Whether it is his palpable excitement of meeting General Chuck Yeager or his excitement of dropping a big bull elk, following the story of Jim Zumbo throughout the book leaves you flipping through the pages, one after another.

K.J. Houtman wrote a fantastic book about Jim. This is a success story of someone who has worked his way around the industry and never once settled or really changed who he was as a person.  You will learn a ton about the man that is Jim Zumbo.  Maybe you will continue to be inspired by him like I am.


Go buy ZUMBO the book: