December 22, 2014

Mostly clear

Squirrel Hunting Season

Fox Squirrell

My grandfather used to say, “Squirrels are smart, but they have a short memory.”  What that means is that squirrels will spot you, evade you, and even sound the alarm to other squirrels, but if you give them a few minutes to calm down, be very still and quiet, they’ll reveal themselves again. So, I’m Read More…

Early Goose Season on The North Coast

9/24/2012 Canada Geese at Sandy Ridge, North Ridgevill, Ohio. Photo by Tom Mahl

Labor Day sneaks up on us every year. The back-to-school madness puts us in blinders and we forget that there is one last shot at a beautiful summer. The boaters all think they’ve had a brain flash nobody else has had and they run to their boats for one last weekend only to find the Read More…

Low-Adventure Bucket List


People put some pretty strange stuff on their “Bucket List”, that is, the list of things to do before one “kicks the bucket”. Zip-lining, para-sailing, bungee jumping and all other kinds of high adventure are common items. However, there’s one item that you might call “Low Adventure” (as opposed to High Adventure), that’s always on Read More…

Head Boats

Boats in dock as we pull out

When most folks talk about heading out amongst the islands they are talking about the three and a half miles between the Marblehead and Kellys or the big trip of six miles up to Put-in-Bay. We have traveled almost three times that far by dawn’s early light today, approaching the international border west of Isle Read More…


Blue catfish juvenile odnr

The old Coleman lantern still gives off quite a glow amongst the lightning bugs on the shore. I have a cooler full of ice and pop, two lines in the water, half a bologna and cheese sandwich, and the world by the tail on a warm summer’s night. I also have a coffee can full Read More…

Women in the Outdoors


Hill & Dale Sportsmen’s Club stays under the radar to most outdoor enthusiasts. They don’t advertise, they don’t have to. If you have to ask about membership, you can’t afford it. It occupies an undefined area but must be a thousand acres of choice sporting grounds right in Medina, which is the domestic equivalent of Read More…

Ashes to Ashes

Dying Ash Tree at corner of Clark St. and Sumner Street near Ridge Tool Co. Photo by Tom Mahl

It’s a little green bug that’s causing a big problem and a lot of confusion. A recent survey by the USDA Forest Service found there are about 3.8 Billion Ash trees in the state of Ohio. That sounds like good news, sure. The bad news is, they’re probably all going to die. The story behind Read More…

Apple Creek


There’s an old, unfortunate, expression you’ll still hear in certain circles when a fellow is having some trouble coping with things one says, “He’s on his way to Apple Creek!” It makes reference of the old state facility for mental health deep in Wayne County. In my own case, this pre-PC expression is entirely apropos, Read More…

Year of the Walleye

Year of the Walleye

  There’s a light chop on the Lake this afternoon but it’s nothing we can’t handle. I’m trying to look cool while drinking a diet Coke although I’m struggling a little to get the can to hit my mouth. The Captain cuts the engine and we heave forward for a second and then it smooths Read More…

Frog Gigging

In the boat, a sense of “being there”.

As the evening’s campfire dies down to embers and coals, the boys are putting their gear together and pulling a twelve foot johnboat out of the truck-bed. Carefully, quietly as possible, we each step into the boat and take a seat, each man having his own job; oarsman, spotter, gigger, and bagman. A few minutes Read More…