January 25, 2015


A Winter Walk


I’m out on another field day, this time at Black Fork Bottoms Hunting Area in Ashland County. A lot of hunters overlook county parks, but sometimes you can hunt in them; it’s just not overly publicized. For instance, right her in Lorain County you can hunt pheasants in Charlemont Reservation south of Wellington. During public Read More…

Starting out with a bang: Vermilion’s Taylor Ritchie, 14, makes her first deer a memorable one … a 17-point buck

Taylor Ritchie, 14, of Vermilion poses with the 17-point buck she bagged in late November. It was her first. PHOTO PROVIDED

Imagine a Little Leaguer winning the World Series. Or a peewee hockey player hoisting the Stanley Cup. Or even a go-karter driving to victory in the Indy 500. Impressive? You bet. Exciting? Ask Taylor Ritchie. The 14-year-old did none of the above, but, as a hunter, accomplished the equivalent — bagging a prize 17-point buck. Read More…

Scouting for Deer


Scouting for deer in the early season is a little like sneaking a peek at a blind date before you meet. When it comes to deer, if you don’t put in the time and effort to do the scouting, you might miss out on the date completely. In the early season the weather is often Read More…

The Traditions of Hunting

This photo is the creation of Tom Mahl, and the result of more than one reminiscence about our paternal grandfathers, Ben Mahl and Jim Scarbrough. Both were 20th Century Elyrians who loved to hunt. Ben’s photo is from his chauffer’s license, and Jim’s photo was taken on July 4th, 1919 when he was a Marine on the Rhine River Patrol in Germany.

  Hunting is, at least in part, about tradition. My grandfather was a folk hero to me, and in my earliest memories I dreamed of going fishing with the master angler or maybe, someday, even hunting with him. He taught me how to shoot at a young age, and brought me along teaching me nature’s Read More…

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…