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A fishing trip will put a smile on your face and make the cares of life disappear. So make time to enjoy the outdoors as we move into a new year.

Get out and relax

A chaotic year is coming to a close. Spring flooding swamped North and Central Louisiana, and Toledo Bend reached historic levels. Then the Great Louisiana Flood in August destroyed homes and businesses down south.

December 01 at 7:00am

Safety harnesses are essential

One of my most-vivid hunting memories was formed during a particularly windy day when I ratcheted up a tall, straight pine tree in what turned out to be a vain attempt — again — to ambush the buck my camp mates and I knew traveled what we dubbed The Narrow Strip.

November 01 at 7:00am
The first few months of Charlie Melancon’s tenure as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has been one marked by chaos.

Chaos reigns at LDWF headquarters

My threadbare but trusty 1995 edition of Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines “chaos” as being a state of utter confusion. 

October 01 at 7:00am
Hundreds of people were taken to safety by the Cajun Navy before authorities were able to get official rescue teams together.

Heroes live among us

The word “hero” is grossly overused today. If you pick up a stray cat and adopt it, you’re called a hero. If you feed the homeless, yep, you’re a hero. If you survived cancer, you can bet you’ll be hailed a hero. And if you care for someone with cancer — man, you’re headed for superhero status.

August 31 at 4:55pm

LDWF’s red snapper stance a big step back

Change is inevitable when new administrations come into power. So it’s no surprise that Charlie Melancon, appointed head of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries by Gov. John Bel Edwards, is doing things differently than his predecessor.

August 01 at 7:00am
Jackson Bienville WMA has provided quality public hunting for decades, but that era ended when a free-lease agreement couldn’t be hammered out with property owner Weyerhaeuser.

Jackson Bienville closure is disappointing

Jackson Bienville Wildlife Management Area has been a special place for several generations of Louisiana hunters. 

I know some folks whose earliest hunting memories were built on the 25,000-acre property. For many, Jackson Bienville WMA is part of an annual pilgrimage during which they travel from one tract of public land to the next like hunting gypsies.

July 01 at 7:00am
Jake Blanchard (right), Tate Denise and lab Duke pose with a hog shot March 19, 2016 using a night vision scope in the marsh behind Avery Island.

Night-hunting is right for hogs

I remember the first time the destructive nature of wild hogs was driven home in my mind. It was some years back, and I was riding a four-wheeler down an old gravel road on Cat Island NWR when I came across some rootings.

June 01 at 7:00am
Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an executive order protecting coastal restoration money from budgetary shell games.

John Bel Edwards’ order is on the mark

No one likes taxes. Well, maybe Bernie Sanders does. But at least no one (including, apparently, our most-socialist presidential candidate) likes paying them.

May 01 at 7:00am
The fact that last month's record flooding hasn't slowed down the lunker action at Toledo Bend is a testament to its status as one of the premier bass fisheries in the country.

Record flooding can’t stop the Bend

“Don’t be afraid to come fish Toledo Bend because it rained.”

That’s what Living the Dream Guide Service’s Jerry Thompson said when I called the day the massive reservoir hit record water levels after massive amounts of rainfall swamped the entire northern part of the state.

April 01 at 7:00am
State law allows landowners to close off most of the canals in which Louisiana anglers spend so much time, but a move is under way to push for changes.

Whose water is it, anyway?

Louisiana is known for a few things: food, its laissez-faire environment, and its swamps and marshes. Those aspects of life in the Bayou State have always been intertwined, as inseparable as red beans and rice.

March 01 at 7:00am
The outdoor life comes with inherent risks, but too often potential dangers like mean storms are ignored.

Tragic reminders - Be safe and come home

When the news release landed in my email, I shook my head at the headline that told of two hunting fatalities at a Mississippi national forest.

February 01 at 7:00am
It should be no mystery that the Mississippi River carries massive sediment loads important to coastal restoration efforts, so an LSU study into the matter was a colossal waste of money that could have gone to on-the-ground work.

LSU sediment study was a waste

The headline stopped me cold: “New report finds that most sediment that replenishes marshland comes from the Mississippi River.”

January 01 at 7:00am
Editor Andy Crawford had to use his iPhone to take this image of his son’s first crankbait bass on a vacation trip that reignited a passion for fishing.

When’s the next fishing trip?

People I meet think I have the perfect job. After all, I get to hunt and fish for a living, right? Wrong.

December 01, 2015 at 7:00am
This photo showing Jimmy Johns CEO Jimmy John Liautaud during a safari has kicked off a storm of criticism, but all indications are the hunt was completely legal.

Support hunting, buy a sandwich

When I opened my Facebook account the other day, a post by a lifelong friend grabbed my attention. This friend had shared a link decrying an African safari taken by Jimmy Johns founder Jimmy John Liautaud.

November 01, 2015 at 7:00am