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Trophy Hunt (Joe Pickett #4)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  5,741 Ratings  ·  361 Reviews
It's an idyllic late-summer day in Saddlestring, Wyoming, and game warden Joe Pickett is fly-fishing with his two daughters when he stumbles upon the mutilated body of a moose. Whatever - or whoever - attacked the animal was ruthless: half the animal's face has been sliced away, the skin peeled back from the flesh. Shaken by the sight, Joe starts to investigate what he hop ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Berkley Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Book number four in the Joe Picket mystery series opens with Wyoming Game Warden Joe taking his daughters on a fishing trip. They discover the carcass of a moose, and Joe is disturbed to notice signs of mutilation. It’s only the beginning of the nightmare.

I like this series, mostly because I really like Joe Picket (and his wife, Marybeth). He is the quintessential “good guy,” fighting to preserve the environment and a peaceful setting for his family and the residents of Twelve Sleep County. Box
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
I like CJ Box. Savage Run and Winterkill were both good pot boilers that showed him becoming a better writer in this genre. Trophy Hunt I felt was a step back. There was a weirdness to the story that just didn't fit. It was like taking part of a slasher film and transplanting it to a Joe Pickett book. Or maybe an X-Files to a Joe Pickett book. It just didn't quite work. Also the whole metaphysical stuff with Nate didn't make a whole lot of sense and found myself skipping those paragraphs. CJ wen ...more
Rex Fuller
There were things about this book I enjoyed, especially the clever use of cattle mutilations without taking sides. However, for reasons that escape me Box had Joe Pickett thinking about and dealing with events driven by paranormal or mystical phenomena. The Joe Pickett I know and the world he operates in is as real as a rifle shot. So, the overall experience was like returning to the old neighborhood and finding it invaded by fast food joints.
Leave it to me to love the one book that everyone seems to like the least in this series. I did this before with James Patterson's Zoo. Everyone hated it and I'm over here like, "Wow this is one of the best books ever."

Your all probably wondering what the hell is wrong with me. Well it is quite an extensive list of what's wrong with me, but I will save that for a different time. I think what I liked best about this particular book was the "WOO-WOO Factor". I love anything that borders upon an ex
Gory. Really gory in places. Mutilations of animals and human corpses. This Joe Pickett book was not my favourite, I found myself wincing with some of the death scenes. It was interesting when describing the habits of bears in the wild and the twist at the end was pretty well done, but I got very uncomfortable with all the gore.
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gee, every time I finish a Joe Pickett mystery, I just wanna keep living with him and his family!
As always, Box creates a full, multifaceted portrait of The Man, his wife and daughters. Marybeth is the kind of wife any man would dream of: funny, smart, capable, uncomplaining, ever loyal--and ready to hop in the sack. Sheridan continues to fascinate for the way her adult-like complexity is captured.
This go-round's crimes are highly gory and hard to comprehend. A slew of red herrings is tossed to
Nov 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow - this is my favorite Joe Pickett so far. Joe has to deal with the jerk Sheriff Barnum, self-centered FBI agent Portensen, some suspicious returnees to Saddlestring, aliens, a wandering grizzly, a deeply disturbed sexually wild 'abductee', weird pressure phenomenon and a whack-a-do "scientist". Yes, it mostly all comes together and quite surprisingly. I don't believe some of the animal mutilations were ever quite resolved but the gist of the human murders were definitely solved and in quite ...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I liked this author. I thought I was getting the first book in the Joe Pickett series. Of course I didn't. I was still able to follow and really enjoyed the story.
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was my favorite in the series so far. It had a spiritual element (although some would consider a paranormal element) to it that I love to associate westerns, whether historical or modern. Normally you get that element with books like the Longmire series that deal a lot in Native American culture, and although there has been little of that in this series, our friend Nate and Joe's daughter Sheridan bring it to us.

Another thing I enjoy about Box's writing is he brings actual events that
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe Pickett is a game warden in Saddlestring, Wyoming. In this episode Joe comes across a moose that has been mutilated. As strange and disgusting as this is, it is only the beginning. Soon cattle are found similarly mutilated. When the line is crossed from animals to two men who are also found mutilated, the stakes go sky high. Joe is put on a task force of local law enforcement and the FBI to look into the deaths. It seems other worldly, and, in fact, there are those who think aliens have come ...more
Joe Pickett, Saddlestring, Wyoming's game warden, stumbles upon a dead moose decaying by a serene fishing stream. This particular carcass has been mutilated but in a precise, surgical manner. Pickett hopes this is an isolated incident, but a small herd of cattle are found with the same wounds. Joe is mystified but when two men are killed in a similar manner, the FBI steps in and a task force is assembled. There seems to be no connection between the human and animal deaths but the local citizens ...more
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's odd to say but the early Joe Pickett novels by Box are virtually as good, as well written as the later ones. I don't mean that as a backwards compliment; it's just that early novels by an author usually are less refined than novels which show how much they've learned as they practice their art. That learning would be, in CJ Box's case, minimal. That is not to say that he hasn't learned anything but it does say that he started off with a bang.

Trophy Hunt is a prime example of that. Box's lat
So, I finally got around to reading the fourth entry in C. J. Box's Joe Pickett series. I had found the first three books fairly enjoyable reading, but I have to say this one was a bit of a disappointment.

The events here take place several months after those described in the third book where the Pickett family suffered a great tragedy when their foster daughter was killed. In this book, Joe and his two daughters seem to have moved on, but the wife, Marybeth, still mourns the little girl.

The fami
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
4th in the Joe Pickett series.[return][return]Joe discovers the disfigured corpse of a moose while on a fishing trip with his daughters. There are odd overtones to the discovery, but all Joe knows for sure is that someone or something has mutilated the corpse. A grizzly is known to be in the area, and while at first glance, this may seem to be the work of a bear, there is something about the kill that doesn t sit right with Joe; the corpse has been mutilated but not fed on.[return][return]Then a ...more
Helen Drake
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another good read from CJ Box's Joe Pickett series. Some wickedly bad guys get brought down once again by hero Joe Pickett and friend, an off-the-grid falconer, Nate Romanowski. Love this series and have already downloaded the next one in the series!
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
C J Box will not be confused with great literature but he is a pretty good read. I suspect most will enjoy the flavor of the mountain west and Box gives the reader a nice picture. The plot mostly holds together except the infuriating "woo woo" of the unresolved portions. Box's main character, Joe Picket, says he hates woo-woo, as do I and all intelligent folk, nevertheless Box leaves the air full of woo-woo as he resolves the story of Trophy Hunt. He should be ashamed.
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mutilated cows. Mulilated people. This is what has Joe Pickett's interest in the 4th novel about this Wyoming game warden. Who's doing it? And, more importantly why?

Things are not calm in the Pickett household. Marybeth is being flirted with by her boss. Sheridan has more dreams which are seemingly portents to the future. Lucy is growing up and Maxine has inexplicably changed color!

Excellent book!
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Someone is mutilating and killing animals in game-warden Joe Pickett's Wyoming territory. Then two men are also found dead and cut upon. Although I love this series and its characters, the plot of this one was just too bizarre and unbelievable for me. Plus there was a supernatural element that neither Joe Pickett or I appreciated.
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't read in the dark!

I didn't want to like this one, to hippy-dippy for me but, darn it I liked it despite myself(aaargh). I'm not much into sci-fi poop and I human skin peeling, but I kept reading and it was goooood
Sep 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suspense/Mystery literature is not generally one of my favorite genres however there is something about Joe Picket that draws you in and keeps you wanting to read on in the next book. C.J. Box's Joe Picket series is a fast paced read that keeps you engaged and guessing.
Glad I didn't start with this one because the others have been good. As Joe Pickett said, I hate the woo-woo stuff.
Ken Heard
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really enjoying C.J. Box's Joe Pickett series and, after reading four so far, I've yet to burn out on them. Each of the other three received five-star ratings from me, but I dropped this to a 4-star (or maybe a 4.5-star) because of some of the story line.

Box is an exceptional writer who conveys pacing and emotions in his words. He's one of the better fiction crafters out there, I think. This is not literature, but it is escape fiction with a great plot line that's written well.

That said, th
I love the setting, Wyoming wilderness and the point of view of a game warden, Joe Pickett. To me, in order to get the most out of these books, they must be read in order. The story line keeps building in each book and there is always references to earlier plots. The mystery aspect is riveting and they keep my attention to the point where I find I can't always put the book down.
This particular book, however, was a bit confusing and there seemed to be so many questions to answer, I don't feel lik
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's an idyllic late-summer day in Saddlestring, Wyoming, and game warden Joe Pickett is fly-fishing with his two daughters when he stumbles upon the mutilated body of a moose. Whatever - or whoever - attacked the animal was ruthless: half the animal's face has been sliced away, the skin peeled back from the flesh. Shaken by the sight, Joe starts to investigate what he hopes in an isolated incident." "Days later, after the discovery of a small herd of mutilated cattle, Joe realizes this somethin ...more
Webster Bull
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Part way through, I felt the plot of "Trophy Hunt" spinning out of control. How would CJ Box ever pull together all of the strands of his story, one involving the murder of mutilation of livestock, wildlife, and then two men?

A task force is formed to solve the crimes, and the answers they come up with range from birds to aliens. The great Nate Romanowski—the mysterious falconer who seems to have become a staple in the series by book #4—says the answers are probably multiple, and he proves to be
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe is at it again. He is fishing with his girls when he encounters a fisherman who doesn't know the proper way to release fish after they have been caught. He then comes across an animal that has been mutilated. The next day he hears about some cows that were mutilated as well. Everyone is worried that their land will lose value, not to mention there may be a grizzly bear, killer, or even an alien on the lose killing animals. When two people are murder in the same way, a task force is formed to ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moving forward with my reading of the Joe Pickett series, and it's getting better. But this one is a rather gruesome entry, comparable to Silence of the Lambs or an episode of Criminal Minds.

Another observation is the comparison to the Easy Rawlings series (Walter Mosley) and the Dave Robicheaux series (James Lee Burke) in that the protagonist has a friend who is more than willing to go outside the boundaries of conventional (lawful) conduct to protect his friend and/or administer his own form o
Massanutten Regional Library
David, North River patron, July 2017, 5 stars:

Game Warden Joe Pickett is again in the midst of turmoil that seems to come every couple of years to Saddlestring, WY. And, as usual, it involves his wife and children in ways he and they find extremely uncomfortable. And yet, Joe must ask himself if this is not the way of learning and growing, at least in part. If that isn't a tough enough question to consider, Joe must also go well beyond his, and most everyone else's, comfort level as he is challe
William  Knight
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love C. J. Box's books. They seem to fly by. I can hardly stop reading them at night. I looked at the clock while reading this one, thinking it might be close to midnight. It was 3:30 am.

This book was a fine addition to the series. I love it when Nate Romanowski is involved in the plot. His mysticism is such an excellent contrast to Joe Pickett's pragmatism. They play off each other so nicely. It adds a lot to the books, in my opinion.

I would recommend this book highly. In fact, read the whole
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Edgar Award-winning author C.J. Box is the author of nineteen novels including the Joe Pickett series. He's also won the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, and the Barry Award. His short stories have been featured in America's Best Mystery Stories of 2006 and limited-edition printings. 2008 novel BLOOD TRAIL was nominated for the International IMPAC Dub ...more
More about C.J. Box...

Other Books in the Series

Joe Pickett (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Open Season (Joe Pickett, #1)
  • Savage Run (Joe Pickett, #2)
  • Winterkill (Joe Pickett, #3)
  • 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)