I’m looking for a YA novel- I would have read it in the 90s. It was about a boy that lived in the wild and how he survived and took care of himself.

I remember a specific part where he hunts deer. They come in herds- migration? And he hunts as many as he can and then has to prepare the hides, and dry the meat.

He might have siblings?

Any ideas?

  • 2
    This description is almost a whole genre: there's a ton of YA books about boys surviving outdoors in the wild (we've even had another question on this site looking for such a novel). Can you remember any more details to narrow the search? The list of questions in the ID-request tag wiki may be helpful in jogging your memory for more details.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 3 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


It could be "My Side of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead George, though its been a while since i read it, it has some similarities to what you mention. It was published in 1959, and its the first book in its series, the second book follows the sister of the protagonist of the first book.. and then it degrades but that's another discussion. A quick summary from wikipedia :

Sam Gribley is a 12-year-old boy who intensely dislikes living in his parents' cramped New York City apartment with his eight brothers and sisters. He decides to run away to his great-grandfather's abandoned farm in the Catskill Mountains to live in the wilderness. The novel begins in the middle of Sam's story, with Sam huddled in his treehouse home in the forest during a severe blizzard. Frightful, Sam's pet peregrine falcon, and The Baron, a weasel, share the home with him.
In the fall, Sam makes a box trap to catch animals to eat, and catches a weasel. Sam calls the weasel The Baron for the regal way the animal moves about. When a poacher illegally kills a deer, Sam steals the carcass, smokes the meat, and tans the hides. Frightful proves very good at hunting. Sam prepares for winter by hunting, preserving wild grains and tubers, smoking fish and meat, and preparing storage spaces in hollowed-out trunks of trees. Finding another poached deer, Sam makes himself deerskin clothing to replace his worn-out clothes. Sam notices a raccoon digging for mussels in the creek and learns how to hunt for shellfish.

But as @Rand al'Thor♦ says there are many stories with this same backdrop, more details would be appreciated.

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