Outdoors in the Ozarks
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There wasn’t anything about that point to tell me it was any special hideout for bass. I knew I’d love to fish it sometimes when the wind wasn’t blowing across it. But that’s … more
I found an old pocket knife the other day, fairly rusty, and with part of the handle gone. It had three blades, but one was broken. If you soaked it in oil and sanded away the rust and loosened it up … more
I awakened early on Saturday morning, two hours before first light, and fixed myself a cup of coffee… before going out on my screened porch in the darkness to sit and listen to the gentle … more
 I was walking along a wooded ridgetop one fall when I was a kid, when a young fox squirrel fell from a limb above me and landed with a thud not more than ten feet from my shotgun barrel. He … more
What were you doing the first weekend of October, 60 years ago? I remember that weekend well.  I was only a few days away from turning 13, and I had purchased a guide’s license at the … more
I always figure the yellow leaves on the walnut trees tell me a lot about the upcoming fall. This year that yellowing foliage on the walnuts here on Lightnin’ Ridge is really late. Could be … more
Sometime in mid September Midwest states have a special two week teal season. Blue-winged teal are unusual ducks. They come early; sometimes arriving in the Ozarks during the last week or so in … more
In early September, hundreds and hundreds of young doves in nests will die because of the September 1 opening of the dove season. I know that the majority of dove hunters don’t know that, and … more
About 20 years ago I flew out to a little lake in northwest Ontario with Canadian guide and bush pilot, Tinker Helseth. It was a place where Tinker’s father, Forrest Helseth, who had also been … more
I don’t think I ever witnessed what the squirrels are doing here on Lightnin’ Ridge this summer. They are chewing up the white oak acorns in my back yard, and it started the first week of … more
The lady told me on the phone that she and her husband wanted to have a shore lunch like they had experienced in Canada, so by golly a shore lunch she was going to have, once I figured out what it … more
I caught a big bass this past week in one of my favorite places.  He was a hefty, hard-fighting largemouth, which I admired and released.  He seemed to be very appreciative as he swum away. … more
The crawdad is an unusual creature, always looking back where he has been, and going where his isn’t looking. Quite often where he has been appears quite safe and there looms a bass or walleye … more
Most reservoir bass fishermen fish deep in the summer, trying to lure a lunker by bouncing jigs over ledges and rocks. But if you want to fish a topwater lure, there are places and ways to do it even … more
A few years back there were predictions that the bobwhite quail would become extinct. They have not and likely will not because of the diversity in habitat and food that can keep them going in small … more
I was just a kid in the late 50’s and early 60’s when quail hunting all over the Midwest was something amazing. Even in the Ozarks, hunters often found 6 or 7 coveys a day. I was there, I … more
From my home and office on this high ridge, I look down upon a river valley and a stream I have gotten to know well over the years.  My middle daughter went down to a creek tributary to that … more
If I were a young man trying to find a decent job, I would buy an old pontoon boat with a good outboard motor and strip everything off of it to just leave a flat deck. I would acquire a couple of … more
People have been contacting me asking if I had heard about the Missouri Department of Conservation declaring that people who take photographs inside public areas they manage must buy a permit to do … more
I often listened to old timers who fished the river talk about various ways to tempt big bass, or to catch a limit of goggle-eye. The river was so much different then, so clear and clean. The big … more
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