|Media type||Hardcover and Paperback|
|Preceded by||Brian's Return|
Brian's Hunt is a 2003 young adult novel by Gary Paulsen. It is the fifth and final book in the award-winning Hatchet series, which deals with Brian Robeson, a boy who learns wilderness survival when he is stranded after a plane wreck.
Brian, who is now sixteen years old, is canoeing through the Canadian wilderness. He realizes that the woods are now his home and he will never be happy in modern society, with its noise, pollution, and fake people. He now spends his time in the wild, hunting, fishing, and home schooling himself. While Brian does not miss human contact, he finds his thoughts frequently turning to Kay-gwa-daush (also known as Susan), the teenage daughter of the Cree family who rescued him at the end of Brian's Winter. Though he has only seen her photograph, her family has described her as an adventurous, self-reliant young woman, and Brian wonders if she might be a kindred spirit.
While canoeing, Brian finds a seriously wounded Malamute dog, which he nurses back to health. The dog is clearly domesticated, and Brian begins to worry that whatever maimed the dog may have done the same to her owners. He remembers his Cree friends (The Smallhorns) and decides to go check on them.
When Brian reaches their cabin, he finds that it was a bear that had killed the parents and apparently chased Susan into hiding. Brian returns her to her home, radios for help, and buries the family. The authorities arrive to take Susan to relatives in Winnipeg. Brian, along with the dog, stays behind in order to hunt down and kill the bear, knowing very well that the hunt could cost him his life.
Brian, using skills he had learned in past books like Hatchet and Brian's Winter, searches for the bear that killed his friends. But soon, the hunter becomes the hunted. Brian finds bear tracks on an island and begins to follow them. He later realizes that he was walking in a circle. The bear is actually hunting Brian. The next day, instead of moving on, he waits for the bear, and after a hard-fought battle with the bear, Brian is triumphant. Kay-gwa-daush (Susan) and her brother and sister returns to her aunt by a plane.