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Open Season

(Joe Pickett #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  25,323 ratings  ·  2,183 reviews
Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden--especially on like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way--is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitte ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Turtleback Books (first published May 7th 2001)
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Alissa F. I've read this book three times. Twice for fun and this last time for my book club. I enjoyed it every time.
…more
I've read this book three times. Twice for fun and this last time for my book club. I enjoyed it every time.
(less)
Alyssa Yes! They are best read in order as there are some story lines that continue throughout the series.

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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,323 ratings  ·  2,183 reviews


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Matthew
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any mystery series fans
Shelves: own, western, mystery
Are you looking for a new mystery series? Do you like a beautiful western setting with modern day cowboys and outlaws? Do you like your justice served with rawhide, gun oil, and cheap saloon pilsner?

Look no further - welcome to the world of Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett whose heart is way bigger than his luck. While going about his daily tasks of checking hunting licenses and counting antelope, he is always getting himself caught up in mysteries and conspiracies that end up with him almost los
...more
Lyn
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
NEW BEST FRIEND!!!

Hello CJ Box and his game warden protagonist Joe Pickett! I’ll be coming to visit your little part of Wyoming again and again.

Box introduced game warden Pickett in this debut novel in 2001. Since then Box has been a steady and prolific writer, giving us fans a novel a year so this is a new series I can get to know and spend some time with.

Mystery and thriller fans are accustomed to protagonists being either a police officer and some sort or a private investigator and that’s alw
...more
Kemper
“Looking for a new exciting career? Love the outdoors and working with animals? The state of Wyoming is accepting applications for positions as game wardens. If you’ve spent years obtaining a college degree in fields related to conservation or ecology, you could qualify to be one of our low-paid government agents with a huge territory to cover along with more work than you can possibly do. As a bonus, you’ll get to issue tickets to heavily armed drunken rednecks with no back-up in the middle of ...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller

It’s actually been two weeks or so since I’ve finished this – so this review may be a bit sparse on details.

Not that a lot of exposition is required to review Open Season. Simply put: I enjoyed it.

While the structure of the story isn’t particularly novel as far as mystery stories or police procedurals are concerned, the environmental aspect certainly is. See, Joe Pickett isn’t a cop or a P.I., he’s a game ranger. However, he apparently isn’t exempt from dealing with murderers and/or crooks on t
...more
Dan Schwent
When a man dies in his front yard carrying a cooler, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett finds himself thrust into a mystery, a mystery that might cost him everything he holds dear...

Over the past ten years, I've read hundreds of mysteries and thrillers. There's a stripped down charm to some of them and many of them boil down to the oldest of tales: people being shitheads to each other. When this one popped up on the cheap, I decided to give it a shot. "Wyoming game warden" isn't something that come
...more
Suzanne
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first C.J. Box book I have read and I am not disappointed at all! I found it so interesting and actually read it in one sitting. I have been wanting to read the Joe Picket series for awhile now and am so glad I finally did. This game warden is one intriguing character. I will continue the series after finishing the Alex Cross series.

My quick and simple overall: an awesome start to a series. 👍👍
 Li'l Owl
This debut novel by cj box is absolutely sensational!! The beginning pulled me in immediately, making it nearly irresistible to stop once I started.

The set of characters are so different than ones that make up detective procedural novels or even private investigator crime solving thrillers. It's unusual in so many ways but it's still completely absorbing. The individual personalities are well defined and are full of depth. I immediately fell for Joe and his family. Joe is such an endearing and
...more
Carol
Published in 2001, Open Seasonis the solid debut of the long running C. J. Box’s Joe Pickett Series

The Hook Over and over again I have heard praise for C.J. Box and his Joe Pickett series. I couldn’t ignore all the rave reviews for #16 Off the Grid. I decided it was now or forever hold the page. Besides, Box thinks Michael Connelly is great and as you all know I’m a Connelly fan.

The Line ”Joe rarely found a reason to draw his weapon, and even if he did, he doubted he could hit anything with it.”
...more
Cathrine ☯️
3.5★

The wilds of Wyoming, controversy between ranchers and conservationists, plus our main guy, game warden Joe Pickett made for an entertaining mystery/thriller and introduced me to book 1 in a series that I will continue reading. Rumor has it that Robert Redford would like to produce a TV series based on the books. Since I can’t get enough of Longmire, bring it on. I loved the unlikely heroine of Sheridan, one of Joe’s two daughters. I would classify this as man-lit which women can appreciate.
...more
Jim
This is a mystery / thriller but it also (IMHO) a story with a message about the Endangered Species Act. Joe Pickett is the game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming and relatively new on the job. He is a family man and dedicated to his job. He has two daughters, Sheridan and Lucy, and his wife Marybeth is expecting their third child. He is honest and doesn't take bribes or look the other way and because of that he is not always popular. He isn't a sharpshooter and he makes mistakes. Sometimes embarr ...more
Michelle
Dear Sheriff Longmire, please don't be mad at me for cheating on you with another Wyoming lawman. He meant nothing to me, I swear!

I was set up on a blind date with Joe Pickett, Saddleback Game Warden and family man. We had a good time. I mean, Joe is lawful good, to an extreme. He's a good husband, father, and morally in the right. Plus Wyoming is always a good time for an outdoors-lovin' girl like me. The mystery was solid and I will continue the series, but I think Joe and I will remain "just
...more
Stacey
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been meaning to read Open Season for a long time! Joe Pickett, our main character, is the new game warden In Wyoming. Joe is the kind of guy I like to read about. He's down to earth, down on his luck and rather bumbling on the job. "When Joe screwed up, he did it massively and publicly." He's a family man and wears his heart on his sleeve.

Bodies start piling up on the wood pile in Joe's backyard. He starts looking closely at the murders and possibly an endangered species living in that wood
...more
Henry
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first of C.J. Box' Joe Pickett novel. Terrific and extremely well written. I am looking forward to reading the next in this series.
Cydni
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I’m ready to read the next one.
Howard
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars for Open Season (audiobook) by C.J. Box read by David Chandler. This is a great start to an interesting series. I’ve read a later book in this series and I really liked it. So I wanted to see how the story started. I enjoyed this one and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. The narration is great too.
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery, fiction
At first I didn't really like Open Season, I thought it was too typical, but it quickly built up into a book full of suspense and mystery, and I ended up really enjoying it.
Charles  van Buren
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will admit that I always wanted to be a game warden which undoubtedly prejudices me in favor of this novel. In Joe Pickett's Wyoming, political patronage to get the job is not mentioned. But keeping the job? That is quite political. With corruption, politics and big business all playing a part. The characters are realistically drawn. In my law enforcement career, I worked with real life counterparts to several of them. The pretty boy officer whose own family couldn't trust him; the old, corrup ...more
Lisa Kay
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I haven't heard the narrator, David Chandler, read before. At first, neither he nor the book grabbed me. I mean, I was interested, but not captivated. That changed as the book progressed! Looking forward to listening to him narrate the rest of this series, as he certainly became Joe Pickett to me.

Excellent start to the series. Nice slow build, that comes to a believable and satisfying conclusion. Sure, at times, I knew where the story was going, but the
...more
Veronica
Well, this didn't end up being what I was hoping for.

Joe Pickett is a Game Warden in Twelve Sleep River County (Wyoming) where he lives in State housing with his pregnant wife and their two daughters, ages 7 and 3. This was a quick and simple read...and by simple I mean obvious in pretty much every aspect. Joe is such an OBVIOUS boy scout...whose only flaw seems to be a couple of personal habits that cause his wife to fear that other people will think him mentally slow. I don't think he's necess
...more
Robert French
The first book of C.J. Box's Joe Pickett series, Open Season is the second I have read. I first read Off The Grid, his latest. I was not that exited about that book, but decided to give the series another try. Frankly, there is something, very difficult to define, that I do not like about these books. Somehow they do not ring true. Maybe it was because I grew up in Idaho, not far from Wyoming. My dad had been a Deputy Sheriff at one time (in Colorad0). I grew up with guns as my dad was also a co ...more
Kevin Scott Olson
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was recently introduced to the writing of C.J. Box after hearing an interview with him on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. Since then I have read Endangered, Blue Heaven, and now Open Season, the first novel in the ongoing Joe Pickett series.

These are crime novels, set in states such as Wyoming and Montana. They revolve around ordinary people becoming involved in extraordinary situations. In the Joe Pickett series, Joe is a game warden, married, with three daughters, a unique and creative choice fo
...more
Irene
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was typical of the genre. The body of a murdered man on the wood pile behind the home of a young game warden leads him to an investigation in which he will bring down corrupt politicians and big oil money. Despite being out numbered and facing threats to his livelihood and the safety of his family, he never falters. There is the usual amount of implausible scenarios, including the incredible shoot out. There is enough attention to developing the characters that the story was more interestin ...more
Sharon Huether
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family, wyoming, mystery
WOW!! What an exciting story.
Joe Pickett a new game warden in 12 Sleep Wyo., had a mishap. The poacher took his gun away from him as Joe was going to arrest him for poaching three animals out of season. That incident traveled the county like a wild fire.
The rest of the story is just as exciting with Pickett trying to save an endangered specie and keeps his family safe.
He unravels the mystery and sends the two guilty parties to jail.
I'm anxious to read the next book in the series.
Lynn
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick but predictable mystery set in Wyoming. I may read more, but for now I like Craig Johnson's WY setting and Paul Doiron's ME game warden more.
Jason Parent
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was only going to give this three stars, but shit got real toward the end.
MadProfessah
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
A solid 4 stars.

This is the first entry in the long-running Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box. It’s a police procedural mystery thriller set in Saddlestring, Wyoming where Pickett is a U.S. Game and Fish warden for Twelve Sleep County.

This is definitely an unusual setting since the area is so sparsely populated that the number of characters in the story is pretty small. Joe is the main character and he lives in Saddlestring with his pregnant wife Marybeth and his two daughters Sheridan and Lucy. Ve
...more
Christine Zibas
When Open Season took nearly every "first novel" mystery prize, it wasn't a surprise. This reissue of the Joe Pickett classic has all the tell-tale signs of greatness that would keep its author, CJ Box, crafting many more novels to come. A Wyoming native, Box infuses his books with a love of the land and the modern issues that concern the people who live there.

In this first novel, readers are introduced to straight-shooter Game Warden Joe Pickett and his family. Trying to eke out a living, Joe d
...more
Brenda
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a couple transcripts of interviews with C. J. Box where he stated this book was about the Endangered Species Act and not meant to become a series. His publisher requested two more Joe Pickett books and thus it began.

The book takes off very slowly and I was concerned it was going to be too political. I kept an open mind and got to know the characters. Joe Pickett is an atypical protagonist. He is a family man, dedicated game warden, and tries to do the right thing according to his moral co
...more
Sheila
Apr 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by C.J. Box and luckily it was also the first in the Joe Pickett series. I really liked this book. The protagonist is an average Joe (no pun intended) who isn't particularly clever or handsome or strong. He is just a hard working guy trying to do his best for both his family and his job. I like books that have characters that are a bit flawed to make them more believeable.

I will definitely read more in this series. That seems to be my problem. I can now take 1 book off my
...more
Judy
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous! I am thrilled to find this “new to me” author. Box’s debut novel is suspenseful and informative. It is the second book about a game warden that I’ve read recently. The locale for Game Warden, Joe Pickett, is Wyoming. Box develops interesting characters and I am looking forward to reading more books in the series.
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3,359 followers
C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, two Barry Awards, and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Award for fiction. He was recently awarded the 2016 ...more

Other books in the series

Joe Pickett (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Savage Run (Joe Pickett, #2)
  • Winterkill (Joe Pickett, #3)
  • Trophy Hunt (Joe Pickett, #4)
  • Out Of Range (Joe Pickett, #5)
  • In Plain Sight (Joe Pickett, #6)
  • Free Fire (Joe Pickett, #7)
  • Blood Trail (Joe Pickett, #8)
  • Below Zero (Joe Pickett, #9)
  • Nowhere To Run (Joe Pickett, #10)
  • Cold Wind (Joe Pickett, #11)

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“Wyomingites, Joe had observed, didn’t know what to do when it rained except get out of it, watch it through the window, and wait for it to go away.” 5 likes
“In Wyoming, the people owned the game animals, and they took their ownership to heart.” 2 likes
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