July 29, 2014


Oh say can you see…Canada?


    As school kids, teachers told us that it’s impossible to see beyond two miles because of the curvature of the earth. Dutifully, we believed it. But then we find there are exceptions, like when you’re higher off the ground, in a building or on an airplane. And of course it’s easier to see Read More…

Carly Bachna 2

It’s Sunday morning, and I know I should be in church. But it’s the day before the opening of Turkey Season and I’ve hardly done any scouting. I’m in the Richland Furnace State Forest, deeeeeep in Southern Ohio (Vinton/Jackson Counties). I got in the woods long before day light and hiked up the ATV trails Read More…

Sand Hill Cranes

If you haven’t seen our Sand Hill Cranes, you are encouraged to get to Sandy Ridge Metroparks Reservation in North Ridgeville. Bring your binoculars, your camera, and your walking shoes, and don’t forget to dress for the weather.

If you follow Abbe Road far enough south, they call it “Elyria Road”. Past Route 30, the Wooster –Mansfield parallel, where it becomes a twisty turny farm path through the peat bogs and past the Amish farms, to a spot where all the waters collect. It’s a place called Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area; maybe the Read More…

Gear Check

Mayapples, trilliums, distant gobbles and rainstorms will greet the woodsy this spring. You’re ready, is your gear ready?

Life is an adventure, but you have to make it happen. I break out of cabin fever like a madman just sprung from prison.  It’s not just the opportunity to be in the outdoors without freezing, but it’s a chance to see nature’s fireworks show without having to get up and leave every time the Read More…

Late Season Bird Hunts

Dr Tom Mahl shooting pheasant

A twenty mile an hour wind is whipping through the foxtails and the switch grass as I lie on my belly in the snow. Propped up on my elbows, I hold a camera I scarcely know how to use, but offers me the best chance at getting a decent shot. About three feet in front Read More…


Jousting armor weighs up to 150 pounds, so it helps to have a Squire (or three) assist with your equipment.

I would like to tell you that once the armor is fitted, the helmet goes on and once the visor is down, Charlie Andrews is all business, but that wouldn’t be the truth. Equal parts champion and court jester his six foot four, two hundred and fifty pound frame mounted on a war horse makes Read More…


Mapleing is the process of tapping a Maple tree’s fluids, pouring it into huge collecting tanks, boiling it down to a thicker sugary syrup, pouring it off and starting again.

I received a proper grammatical education in the Elyria City Schools, and I know the difference between a noun and a verb because of those good teachers. That being said, I don’t know how to convey, in a single word, the process of tapping a tree’s fluids, pouring it into huge collecting tanks, boiling it Read More…

Off-Season Archery to Keep You in Practice

The range at Spencer Lake is well maintained, but can get a little muddy in the spring, so be sure to wear boots when pulling your arrows.

Growing up, I was never much of an archer. Truth be told, I think my first shot went into the ground three feet in front of me. The second shot went sideways, some place unknown. These memories come back every year when I’ve taken a little time off the range. But shooting a bow is Read More…

Outfitters & Guides

Lady guide with Lab and pheasant. PHoto by Tom Mahl

Find something you love to do, figure out a way to make it pay, and you’ll never work another day in your life. So goes the old saying, or something like that. A few of us follow our hearts to this advice, usually in retirement. However, running your own business isn’t for everyone and before Read More…

Turkey Shoots

Do Not Straighten

Turkey Shoots could well be the original all-American sport. Going back to way before colonial times, the tradition rests on the informality of a few folks getting together for a good-natured shooting competition where anybody could win, and everybody eventually does. What may surprise you about this sport is the make-up of competitors. If you’d Read More…