Wrestling With Lions

Last December a conservation officer for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources www.fw.ky.gov answered a call about a reported mountain lion. What followed sparked an avalanche of public outrage.

Read my take on it in the March issue of Kentucky Monthly. http://www.kentuckymonthly.com/explore/field-notes/mountain-lion-kentucky/.


Wildlife for Watching

The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation area www.landbetweenthelakes.us is a 170,000-acre slice of federal property that separates Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley and spills across the Kentucky-Tennessee border. It’s heavily wooded and mostly undeveloped (a few campgrounds; no commercial facilities). Residents include deer, turkey, squirrels, rabbits, a few quail, seasonable waterfowl and more. Hunting seasons do not exactly follow state regulations but there are plenty of hunting opportunities for most game species, although the elk and bison are off limits. IMG_8458

LBL has been home to a resident American bison herd for decades. A few years ago elk were added. The elk and bison now share a 700-acre fenced patch of land (the Elk and Bison Prairie) that has been replanted in native grasses. Access is by a one-way auto loop. It’s become one of LBL’s most popular attractions.


I drove through the prairie Monday afternoon. It’s usually a $5 per car fee but there was no charge in celebration of MLK Day.

The afternoon was sunny and in the 50s. Elk were out and so were the bison, both of which were apparently  undisturbed by the steady stream of traffic.

The Elk and Bison Prairie is a nice exhibit and well worth a visit. Now, if they’d just take down the fence.

What’s in a Name?

The New Year is off to a good start. I’ve not yet caught the first fish of 2015 but have readied tackle in preparation for doing so. Soon, hopefully.IMG_2808

I’m not really a New Year resolution kind of guy but I would like to accomplish a few things this year: Catch a steelhead. Visit the headwaters of the Missouri River. Spend a few extra days prowling in the squirrel woods. Try ice fishing. Camp above the treeline. Blog regularly. Make daily Bible reading a reality instead of a good intention.

This blog also has a new name. Base Camp & Beyond. What’s in a name? Check back often. We’ll find out.

Thanks, and make this year your best.



Political Angling

I happen to live in a slice of the country where we get local TV political ads from four states. It has not been easy viewing. The Illinoisans seem to be the hardest knuckled bunch but none are people I’d care to share a duck blind with. IMG_1182

In my home state of Kentucky we have a creel full of local, state and national races. The big one, of course, is for U. S. Senate, where Candidate R apparently thinks President Obama is his opponent and Candidate D can’t seem to do much more than talk about the past evils, failings and shortcomings of Candidate R.

I, for one, would like to have heard some fresh ideas, or at least some general thoughts on how any of the candidates, but especially Kentucky senate Candidate D and Candidate R, plan to deal with any of the long list of challenges facing the country: the economy, environment, ISIS, health care, immigration, crime, minimum wage, education, crumbling bridges and highways, poverty, Ebola . . . as everyone knows, it’s a long list.

The political ads have ranged from befuddled to ridiculous. I can only assume they hit the same lowest common denominator across the country. The price tag: $4 billion.

Please vote Tuesday, even if you have to hold your nose to do so.