Tuesday, October 27, 2015


My weekly column and photos are below, but first I want to urge everyone to come to our get together on Sunday afternoon from 1 to 5, November 8th.  (See the end of my column below.)  I said I would list some of the things we would be selling to finance our Fatherless Boys Retreat.  We will have a Farmall Cub tractor made in 1948 that is in excellent condition, and a couple of big chest freezers, a large display cabinet, (glass and walnut), several pieces of furniture including an Ethan Allen china cabinet, boxes of canning jars, boxes of dishes—all kinds and colors, an old cabinet television that works great, lots of tools, camping gear and a big lot of fishing lures and lots of art, some wildlife paintings signed and numbered, old books and lots of other stuff too numerous to mention. All proceeds will be used to pay the insurance and electricity for the first year of this endeavor.  I hope you can make it, and if any of you would like to help on our work day of Nov. 6, Friday, we would love to have you.  Ladies who want to help can bring a cake, cookies or a pie.  You may call me at 417-894-5622.  Remember, this will be a wonderful place for lots of underprivileged children, and we hope to change lives there.   THE ADDRESS IS:  7140 SE 1200 RD, COLLINS, MO     Below is a simple map.

Justice For a Grasshopper Murderer

             The fall turkey season has come and gone.  Every year I think it becomes less of a thing to Ozark hunters, maybe because the fishing is so good in October maybe because of beggar lice and stick-tites and a growing laziness in the populations of our tweeting and twittering young folks.
            I hunted a little this fall, but not much.  Late one evening a week or so ago, while most of the turkeys seemed to be across the creek, one old gobbler made the mistake of running across a scraggly food plot I had planted in the bottoms at my place on Brush Creek.  I saw him and he saw me.  He was easily 150 yards away and all he had to do was just run off into the timber and fly across the creek to the other side.  It was amazing how he was there one minute and gone the next.  He just disappeared at the edge of the open food plot.

            Being a grizzled old veteran outdoorsman, I have seen that trick before.  I owned pointing dogs for years and I remember dozens of times seeing my English Setters come down on solid point in high grass, only to be surprised with the flush of several wild turkeys around me.  They hide darn well.  And the fact that he did that very thing does not speak well of that old gobbler’s smartness.

            With my shotgun at the ready I walked to the spot where he disappeared, expecting him to flush in a great flopping of wings.  But again, he wasn’t a real smart gobbler and he decided to come up running.  He did good for about 40 yards but with me being one heck of a shotgunner, and due to a well spread pattern of number-six shot, he didn’t make it.

            If that causes a tinge of sadness on your part, you should realize that it is likely that this past summer alone he was likely responsible for the loss of hundreds of young grasshoppers.  It is a sad fact that several grasshopper families were decimated by the loss of family members who just never came back after an afternoon of innocent foraging, and their relatives mourned their passing, knowing their loved ones were stuffed in that old gobblers craw.  (The correct word is ‘crop’ but the pronunciation is ‘craw’).

            I felt bad for awhile myself, watching him flop around like a chicken with no head, something that use to happen often on my Grandpa McNew’s farm when Sunday dinner loomed.  What you like to do is kill a young Jake in the fall and leave the old gobblers to make the hills echo in the spring.  You know, as you stand over an old tom in October that there is one less gobbler to strut and blow amongst the emerging blossoms of spring, to come all huffed up and gobbling to your call.

            But the encouraging thing is, in mid October, one evening before a storm, there were gobblers gobbling on the roost in the evening and the next morning, like they thought it was April.  There seemed to be a lot of them.  So the old timer with long spurs and a twelve-inch beard may not be missed so much.

Mike with 400 lb male black bear he killed with a bow
            Speaking of wild turkeys, my old hunting partner Mike Dodson, from Harrison, Arkansas, was quite a turkey hunter.  He and I once guided novice turkey hunters each spring in those forested mountains for many years together when I lived in north Arkansas.  He is one of those men that loves the outdoors and tackles everything with enthusiasm and gusto.  We hunted and fished for everything and often lamented the fact that there just wasn’t enough days in the year to get all the hunting and fishing done we wanted to do.
            Now Mike has given up everything for his devotion to bear hunting.  He killed another black bear with his bow, in early October.  It was in a wild and wooly section of the Arkansas Ozarks on private land that borders the National forestland where so many bears now thrive.

            On a game camera which Mike sets up early in September, he has gained photos of 15 or 16 different bears, which are drawn to the area by hundreds and hundreds of pounds of old bread and popcorn.  “There’s nothing they like better than the popcorn,” he says, “and you might think a big old bear would just gulp it down but they don’t.  They just take small bites and eat slowly.  But they put away a lot of it over the month.  I have popped so much popcorn and hauled out so many pounds of old bread you wouldn’t believe how much that bunch of bears eat.”

            Mike and his hunting partner have rigged up a zip-line from the canyon rim down into the bottoms and send down the bait in barrels.  He says that going down into the area is a chore, as the bluff is steep and rocky.  The bear season opens in early October and Mike says you don’t have long to hunt.  “When the acorns start to drop in the fall, they disperse and eat acorns and ignore the bait,” he says.

            Mike isn’t just a trophy hunter looking for another bear skin rug.  He and his partner dress out their bears and eat the meat over the winter.  He says that no matter what anyone says, bear meat is good to eat if properly cleaned and prepared.  But bear hunting is work, according to his description of descending and ascending that steep terrain three or four times a week for a whole month, filling up a bait barrel.  I asked him if he ever used day-old donuts but I remember too well the old days when the two of us would have eaten all the day-old donuts we could collect.

            “We have tried a lot of bait,” Mike told me, “but believe me, a bear would rather eat popcorn than anything else he could get… at least until he can gorge himself on acorns.”

            Please join us to dedicate the boys ranch for underprivileged boys near Collins Mo on Sunday afternoon, November 8th.  You can see a map, and read all about it on my website, larrydablemontoutdoors.blogspot.com.  We will show everyone the whole set up and the cabins, spring and old 1890’s bridge across the creek.  This setting is the most perfect situation you could ask for, where counselors and churches can come with groups of children for several days at no charge.  We’ll have trails, a trout pond and a sports field.

            We want to concentrate especially on city boys without fathers who need to learn about the outdoors, and about character and solid values from good men.   I have a flyer about this also which I can mail you, which explains the afternoon of November 8th, with a map of how to get there. In order to help raise money to pay insurance and electricity for the place, we will be selling hundreds of items on that day, an old antique tractor, many other antiques, and furniture, appliances, etc.  See a list of those things we will be selling on that website.

            We’ll have plenty of cake and coffee, and I would love to show you personally what we are trying to do.  Churches in the Ozarks should send representatives to find out how they can use this fifty-acre tract and the cabins for their youth, free of charge.  For more information, call me at 417-777-5227. To make this work, I need lots of help. We will have a workday to get ready for it all on Friday, November 6 if you would like to join us that day to help.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Know Deer Laws.. and Your Rights

         My weekly newspaper column goes to about 35 newspapers.  Most of them use it as I write it, but a few editors who are great admirers of the Missouri Department of Conservation (and receive direct benefits from them at no charge) will not. Not many, but a few.  The larger the newspaper, the ones owned by big companies far from the reader, the worse it gets.

         One editor even told me that his readers are sick of hearing my occasional criticism of the MDC.  In his town, there are more than 40 residents who have formed a group trying to do something about the corruption of that agency.  My advice to him is to use nothing but material sent by the MDC, as the Gannett newspaper in Springfield does.

         When my column is omitted or heavily edited, you may read it in its entirety here, and it will be the truth.  There is much about this one the MDC doesn’t want you to know, and there are a few editors who have forgotten what journalism is about… the attempt to give a side that is hidden from the people. 

         Read this column, which tells you how to avoid being an innocent victim of an increasingly corrupt state conservation department, and ask yourself why any newspaper would refuse to print this. Why would any paper want their readers to be in the dark about this? 

Larry Dablemont 


Does this deer have the seven points to make him legal in two-thirds of Missouri.  Photo taken at 60 yards and who can tell how many points he has?

Looks like a six pointer but the left antler actually has four points.


This is an eight point buck, therefore legal in all Missouri counties but his antlers are not close to trophy size.  He is also very sick, about to die, from who knows what disease. The MDC was called to examine him but no one came.  


          The lady seemed amused by it all.  “He came to my door several days after I killed a deer with a bow. I called it in the way I am suppose to,” she told me.  “He said he wanted me to show him my bow, and prove I could really shoot it.  Can you imagine that, at the beginning of the deer season and all he’s got to do is come and see if I can shoot my bow?”

         She took her bow and drilled the target behind her home.  She said he walked away disappointed, while not uttering a single word! No one has to show an agent where they hunt or if they can shoot, no one is required by law to go out after they report a legal kill and show an agent where they killed and cleaned their deer, no one is required to open a freezer for an agent or show him antlers unless he has a search warrant.

         As a deer hunter in the upcoming season, you need to know EXACTLY what the law requires you to do, and if a conservation agent comes to your door asking you to leave your home to help him drum up some kind of evidence against you, you can close the door and refuse to leave your home.  I am quick to point out that there are plenty of agents who do their job right and do not abuse their power.  But there are also those agents who violate the constitutional rights of those who hunt and fish, and they are accustomed to getting away with it.  I have talked with older agents who say it is a result of an entirely different way of training than they saw in an earlier day.  Whatever the cause, innocent people are often targeted, mostly because they don’t know their rights or the game and fish laws.

         If any agent threatens to arrest you if you do not consent to letting him search your property or enter your home, he is violating your constitutional rights.  They have done so in many instances and they get away with such a tactic. The two who came into a ladies home a couple of years ago, took her pet raccoon out and killed it, gained entry to her home by threatening to take her to jail if she refused them entry. If it happens to you, close and lock your door and call the highway patrol or the sheriff’s office and tell them what is happening.

         Last year I had two sets of conservation agents come to my place and spend about 3 hours each time, trying to figure out how to arrest me for things I had written.
         I had written about shooting a buck in their “four point” region, where a buck must have four points of one inch or longer in order to be legal.  I truthfully said that when I shot him, I had no idea how many points he had and I didn’t care. I have no interest in “trophies”.  One antler was very deformed and the other had a broken tine, which would have been three or four inches long. 
         You couldn’t possibly see and measure that tine at the 90 or 100 yards distance at which I shot him.  I wrote as much.  That broken tine measured about 15-16ths of an inch measured one way, 17/16ths of an inch measured another way. The two MDC agents called me out on my porch and demanded that I show them the antlers of that deer I had killed ten days before. 
         At that point I could have told them that I had discarded the antlers or I could have told them they were in the shed and they could see them with a search warrant. That would have been the end of it.

         But I told them the truth.  The antlers, an odd set because of the deformed side, had been given to a taxidermist friend in Joplin Missouri.  So at their insistence, two of the agents from the Joplin area went to the taxidermist to photograph the antlers, and spent a couple of more wasted hours. Those agents told the supervisor that the whole thing was a waste of time.

         Know your rights… know the laws.  And don’t knuckle under to a conservation agent that is trying to bully you.  No agent can enter your home, car or outbuildings without a search warrant unless there is knowledge of impending danger to someone inside.

         That comes from Chief of Enforcement for the Missouri Department of Conservation, Larry Yamnitz, who probably has never disciplined or fired an agent for anything.  Three agents in Northwest Missouri illegally searched a barn and home of someone who was not at home at the time, without a search warrant. They were reported and the incident cost the MDC one million dollars in a lawsuit.  NONE OF THE THREE WAS FIRED… ONE WAS PROMOTED!!!

         The upcoming deer season is complicated by one set of rules for one county and a different set for another.  You have to know what all the laws are, so study them.  I have determined that the MDC cannot fine you for calling in the wrong number of points on a set of deer antlers, unless they can see them.

         If you call in a seven-point set of antlers that is actually nine-points or eight, you technically have violated no laws.  Anyone can say they have simply made a mistake. So I have urged the creation of a “seven point club” where all hunters no matter where they live, call in and check all bucks as seven points.  If you do so on a deer which there is any question about, simply get rid of the antlers. I have never intentionally violated any law, especially game laws, but this is akin to some ancestors of ours throwing tea in the Boston Harbor a long time ago.

         Agents very seldom get out in the woods now, especially during deer season.  Two years ago, a young man had to use his kids Christmas money to pay a 200 dollar fine because a pair of agents came to his house at 8 p.m. and demanded he show them where he killed a doe he had legally called in on a landowners permit TWO WEEKS BEFORE.  He complied and was cited for killing the deer within the property of a neighbor, though he vehemently protested he had not.  He was railroaded because he only owned five acres, and didn’t have the money to pay a lawyer.  He broke no laws whatsoever, he simply was targeted.

         He should never have cooperated with those agents because they were violating his constitutional rights, simply drumming up charges they could not prove, without any evidence whatsoever.  Know your rights!!   Know when to say ‘no thank you’ and close your door. 
         And by all means, study the deer hunting rules, as diverse and complicated as they have become.  It is likely they will change often now, as it has recently, due to the progress of the chronic wasting disease.  That awful disease could have been prevented by the Missouri Department of Conservation, whose lax treatment of those trying to make a fortune from penned deer, accounted for the introduction of sick deer, and the spread to wild deer in those areas.  There is no way to know exactly where it exists because all regions of the Ozarks have those shameless “trophy buck growers”, and in many counties, no wild deer have been tested.

         Learn about that disease.  It is known as “mad deer disease” but it is Jacob Cruetzfeldt disease when it spreads to humans.  Deer hunters anywhere from North Missouri to North Arkansas need to know the truth about it, because you have the potential to kill and eat a diseased deer if you are not knowledgeable about those “prions” which cause it and where they are found in the body of a deer. 

         There’s not enough space here to say all I would like to say about this subject.  




            To the readers of Larry's column:

        Important information will be posted to this site later this afternoon or evening.  


Friday, October 16, 2015


The Fall 2015 Issue of THE JOURNAL OF THE OZARKS and the Oct/Nov Issue of THE LIGHTNIN' RIDGE OUTDOOR JOURNAL have arrived from the printers. They will be sent to subscribers this coming week. If anyone is interested in receiving one or both magazines, send $7 for one or $10 for both, which covers postage. A year's subscription for either magazine is $25. Send to: Magazines, Box 22, Bolivar, MO 65613. BE SURE TO INDICATE WHICH MAGAZINE (OR MAGAZINES) THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Scavenger in Paradise

     Lake of the Woods Color                                                             Immature Loon


               Lake of the Woods sandbar with driftwood

            We were fishing way off in the back reaches of the mammoth Canada “Lake of the Woods.”  My partner and I stopped on a little sand and fine gravel beach to eat dinner.  We had fished a solid five hours, with light gear, rods bent constantly with the resistance of walleye, crappie, yellow perch and a few smallmouth bass.  That little gravel bar had deer tracks that I didn’t see much of thirty years ago.  There were also some big, deep timber wolf tracks in the sand.  Driftwood was everywhere, and I started picking up a few beautifully shaped and weathered pieces to bring back home.  I am and always have been a scavenger of sorts, way back to the days I spent on Bull Shoals and Ozark rivers where I collected driftwood and rocks that I just couldn’t walk away from.  My place is filled with unusual rocks, driftwood, arrowheads and old stuff that cause Gloria Jean to call me a hoarder.  I can’t help it. There’s something out of whack in my brain that makes me treasure things of little value to anyone who is normal. But I ain’t the only one, there are several others I have met much like me.  We are the people you see in McDonalds parking lot looking for pennies.

    And as Rich built a fire, there it was, a scavengers delight… an old fishing lure. I have something in the neighborhood of five or six hundred fishing lures I have found over the years and yet finding another one brings me great happiness.
At Nestor Falls, Ontario, at a small sporting goods store, big foot-long muskie lures sell for 20 to 24 dollars.  So between our long hours of fishing, we stopped to get exercise by scouring each little sand bar for fishing lures.  We came     home with 29 of them, many of them antiques. Ten of them were big muskie lures which each sell for more than I pay for fishing lures in a year.
                                                                         Larry with a large yellow perch
         Yellow perch are not valued much in Canada, but they are one of the best fish you have ever tasted, in the same family as the walleye.  Trouble is, they are often very small, like our bluegill.  Rich and I got into a bunch of bigger ones, from 11 to 13 inches in length and we are allowed to bring back 25 of them, so we did.  The crappie which once were thick in those waters seem to have dwindled drastically.  In spots where we once caught dozens, we found none.  Where we did find them, they are big and hard fighting fish you catch right on a sand bottom in almost forty feet of water and we caught our limit quickly.

 Rich with a nice crappie

       We caught lots and lots of fish, but most walleye were small.  In fact we caught none exceeding 15 inches. Walleye fishing in Lake of the Woods seems to be declining greatly.  I hooked into a few good-sized smallmouth though, and once we got tired of fishing jigs straight down below the boat, so we tied on spinners and buzz-baits and caught northern pike by casting the shoreline.  There isn’t enough room here to say all I’d like to say about this past week in Canada.


 I have been told that my great grandfather stowed away on a ship and went to Canada from France.  He met and married a young woman who was the daughter of a French trapper who lived for a time with Cree Indians in Northwest Ontario north of Lake of the Woods.  Her mother was a full-blood Cree Indian.  So there isn’t much of the Canadian Cree blood in me, but there is a little, and I can feel it when I visit the Lake of the Woods area a couple of times a year.  It is a spectacular multicolored wilderness in October with clean, clear blue water and woods where you could get lost forever.  There isn’t a way for me to use words or photos to describe it.  It almost seems to be a sacred land, a place where God stoops closest to the earth.

            I loved the Ozarks dearly when I was young, but it is nearly gone, the Ozarks I knew.  The rivers are filled and dirty and the woodlands recede. The type of people I knew are gone, and the values and convictions they had are fading away fast.

            Canada’s cities, Winnipeg and Toronto being the two I have seen, are at the least, no better than cities found here.  They are stuffed with far too many people and they seem to crave a life of more money, and new technology.  But in the rural areas of Manitoba, Northwest Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta, you will find the greatest country people you have ever met, and their morals and values are much like I saw as a boy here in the Ozarks.
            I think if I were a young man today, I’d look at the part of Alberta just below and just east of the Rocky Mountains where the land and life is too difficult for the lazy and those looking for government handouts.  The only illegal immigrants they would ever have to worry about are those people from the U.S. like me who are craving peace and neighbors who have the old-fashioned beliefs that I have.  Small churches there are the only crowded places, made up of those who will work hard without the worship of money nor the screwed-up “diversity” we are seeing destroy our nation.
            The rural people of Canada can escape their government socialist leanings and incompetent leaders, which are as bad or worse than our government, by just going deeper into the wilderness, where the laziness of “diversity” and the heathen element of immigration which envelopes our nation doesn’t exist. You can forget who they are in that bush country of northern Manitoba or Saskatchewan.

            People in our country who are over fifty can sense what is coming here… it is something you just feel in your soul, seeing more of the west burn each summer and the consuming drought which is unmatched in history, only a part of natural catastrophes which are coming. In Korea and Iran, nuclear weapons are now being held for our cities, and if you pay attention to that little fat moron that heads Korea you know that in a matter of a decade or two or perhaps sooner, you will see great destructive, horrible bombs fall on our country, or perhaps brought across our border and detonated on the ground by those ‘diverse’ people who hate us.

            I know that a very small percentage of Americans have the love of solitude and peace that I have, but those who are younger and do share such feelings, should forsake all places where numbers of humans are increasing rapidly, and look at remote wild areas like those found in rural Canada.  I was only a small boy when my grandfather told me that a lifeboat will only hold so many, and that someday I would see the country we loved so much destroyed by numbers of people beyond my comprehension.  He added that when nature endures tremendous numbers of any species, some kind of destructiveness comes to save the lifeboat from sinking.  Something is coming, and you can feel it. We have abandoned the things that made our country great.  There are no more Abe Lincolns or Roosevelts in our future.

            I feel so fortunate to be able to live as close to the earth as I have been. If my kids and grandkids would go with me tomorrow I would be headed for Canada somewhere, never to return.  That beautiful, natural wild country is a rough land to survive in, but it is a place where life has more of a purpose than the accumulation of wealth.  Without computers or television, it would not be hard to get back to a real purpose for living, close to God again.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Gathering

In the back reaches of giant Lake of the Woods, you can find some true wilderness, and peace and solitude like nothing you have ever found.

On little remote wilderness lakes, small fly-in cabins give you a chance to live far from the crowd, alone and at peace. 

A good Labrador and an open-choke shotgun is an absolute necessity when hunting ruffed grouse, and a good hunting companion who will carry the birds. You can walk for miles in places where bear, moose and wolves are occasionally seen.

            November the 8th…write that date down somewhere so you'll hopefully remember.  That Sunday afternoon we will have a get-together at the place I hope to make into a retreat for under-privileged kids, especially boys without fathers.  From 1 to 5 that afternoon I will be there to show folks around and let them know what we intend to do.  There is a large house where we will have cake and coffee for visitors, and the two cabins on the creek that we will use as week-end or week-long housing for up to ten or twelve boys, or girls, if they’d like to come.
            I will use the creek and the land to teach lessons from nature, to allow kids to see and experience the outdoors, but I can’t do it alone, and I am asking churches and civic groups to come and see how they can help.  If you can come, bring your water bottles.  You can fill them from an artesian well that gushes up with water we have had tested, shown to be pure enough to sell.  You can take all you want home with you, free, and it is the best tasting water you will ever drink.  We hope that in time we can create a big pool filled with trout for kids to catch, constantly fed by this spring water.

            Then there is the old bridge to see.  It was apparently made from iron in the late 1800’s for horse and buggy traffic, and it is indeed an historic site. But for the kids, a network of trails through the woods will be a nature classroom, where we can teach real, common sense conservation and they can view all types of wildlife, and we can talk to them about character, old-fashioned values, and the wisdom found in the Bible.

            I hope many of you see fit to join us.  There is lots of work to be done this winter, and I can’t do much alone.  But this place won’t be used to make money for someone.  Each year we will need only enough to pay electricity and insurance, and I can’t help but believe that if God provided us this land and these cabins through the sincere efforts of a man who loved it dearly, he will provide the rest of our needs there. If you have questions about that day, you can call me for more details at our Lightnin’ Ridge office, 417 777 5227.  It will be all afternoon on Sunday November 8.  If we have bad weather we will reschedule it for the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

            I have been asked often about our two magazines; so let me take a small space here to talk about what they are.  We produce one magazine called The Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Journal which is all about the outdoors, including, but not limited to, hunting and fishing.  The other magazine is about the culture and history of the Ozarks, entitled The Journal of the Ozarks.  Our greatest cost with both is the printing and the postage, and the most important aspect of making them successful is subscribers.  You can subscribe to either for the next three issues, for $15.00, or both together for $25.00 and that includes the fall issues, just printed.  They will be mailed to you.  Our subscription address is Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613.  My office isn’t in Bolivar, it is way out in the woods, miles away.  Amazingly, this ridge top is one of the highest points in this county, and the twenty acres it sits on, with giant trees from 200 to 300 years old, has never been part of a larger tract, nor has it been divided, since the administration of Ulysses S. Grant made land grants available.  Because of the significance of this forest and the trails we have made through it, and the outdoor museum I have made of this office, I would always welcome visitors with advance notice.

            Sitting on this screened porch looking out through a woodland that just keeps growing, I see some rewarding sights.  This morning I watched a pair of young fox squirrels in a wild chase through white oak branches.  One lost it’s footing about 35 feet above the ground and came crashing through the limbs, tearing loose a tuft of leaves as it fell.  It hit with such a thud you would think it would hurt itself badly, and yet it jumped to its feet and ran back up into the tree as if nothing had happened.  In my life in the outdoors, I have seen squirrels fall dozens of times, but I never have seen any with apparent injuries.

            This fall, here on Lightnin’ Ridge, I observed a big crop of mushrooms, and plenty of acorns, a real bumper crop.  And at night I hear more screech owls, horned owls and barred owls than ever.  And while this is really hard to believe, the moon came up the other night bigger and brighter than ever, and then for about two hours the lights went out!!  Thankfully, it came back strong and as far as I can tell it’s the same old moon it was.  I think about the Indians from centuries ago, without the television to tell them what was going on, watching an eclipse like that.  What do you reckon they thought about that!

            Fall turkey hunting is a little more difficult than usual, because, from my observations, the hatch this past spring was hurt by the heavy rains.  There are young turkeys, but not as many as you expect most years.  You can’t get a true picture of what we have until about mid winter, when you see the flocks group together and they are easily seen because they move into open places where winter has knocked down the vegetation.  I see a good number of older gobblers with long beards, so this springs poor hatch won’t show up for awhile in the numbers of mature toms taken in future springs.
If the hatch in the spring of 2016 is good, then one year of poor production won’t affect spring hunting much at all.

            I am heading for Northwest Ontario where the fall color will be spectacular right now, and the crappie, bass and walleye will all be found in deep water, feeding ravenously.  But the giant muskie can still be found in the shallows, back where aquatic vegetation and lily pads are thick, and you can catch a giant on a big topwater lure if you are patient enough to do a lot of casting.  You know what fish you can find up in very shallow water with them… lake trout.  They are spawning, and it is illegal to keep them now.  Still, if you find them, in certain waters, they fight hard.

            For many years, I hunted grouse and ducks up on that giant lake they call Lake of the Woods.  But it is a real hassle by the Canadian Government, now, to bring a shotgun and a Labrador retriever into Canada.  I may spend some time hunting anyway…  with my camera.  But if there is ever a time to catch a ten pound walleye or a five pound smallmouth it is now.  Trouble is, those fronts that come through, with strong winds and rain, may make fishing miserable for a day.  If you wait awhile though, they pass and the next day will be sunny and calm. I am taking along coats and clothing I won’t normally wear here in the Ozarks until December.   To see some fall photos from past trips, take a look at my website, by typing in larrydablemontoutdoors.