Category Archives: Natural and Wildlife History

Clark range Hunting Lodge Has Personality!

 

AmericanPressTravelNews-Sept. 19th, “Bob and Barb On The Road Again”–What would make a modern family leave California, and pioneer backwards towards the east coast of the U.S.?   When the Echternacht family; Jim and Sandy and their son Ian headed to Tennessee, from their home in Santa Barbara, CA. in a circuitous adventure, they had made the decision to purchase Ken Moody’s hunting lodge, and the many hundreds of acres it afforded for client-hunters since the 1950’s.The family wanted to change their life’s paradigm. No more super highways to sit in traffic, no more anti-hunting,  and negative target shooting people to have to deal with, no more incredibly high prices for everything to continue dragging them down.

Son, Ian loves the shooting sports life, handling the dogs, putting hunters on to a wild boar, or the various other game animals on their hunting lodge properties.  I had a chance to shoot with Ian at their range, try out some fine weaponry, and master-blast a few sporting weapons-it was great fun and in an environment where booms and rifle cracks were perfectly acceptable.

The family are happy campers since purchasing the lodge in September, 2016.  “We knew we wanted to leave CA. so we made an RV out of a 1986 shuttle bus. The bus had a fine diesel engine, and no fancy electronics. We traveled all over looking for a place to land outside of CA. We wanted a rural, quiet place to spend our lives that had water, trees and hunting opportunities. So we coined the term: “Go east young man.”  We finally found it here in Clark range.  Just down the road from great service,  and shopping in Crossville, great neighbors, plenty of room, and very happy hunters are our lot now”, said mom Sandy.

When they got into to TN. they stayed at Fall Creek Falls State Park. “We loved the park, the people and the feeling of being in a state that was more laid back than any other we visited, and upon our return to CA. we looked on a land and business sale site, found this lodge here in Clark Range, and studied the idea of buying and settling in the woods and waters of TN. We took quite awhile to decide, and after selling our home in Santa Barbara, and a few trips to, and from Clark Range, here we are”, said Dad, Jim.

Hunters can stay and hunt at the lodge for boar, Fallow Deer, Black Buck and anything non-indigenous to TN.   Whitetail deer, black bear, and other specially licensed animals require a state license. People who wish to have a mount, and the meat hunt here. Several of the long term clients have stated that actually hunting is secondary to being in the wild with family and friends just to hang together-being happy to just be together with those they enjoy  in a relaxed, non-working environment in nature.

The property has diverse terrain with waterfalls cliffs and caves for the adventurer, as well as accessible locations with blinds for the more laid back hunter. First hunts for youngsters with their parents are welcomed. A few groups have come year after year for decades.

There is no plan for clear-cutting; just cleanup as the previous owner wasn’t around for controlling usage of his lands perimeters. Today, Ian is on it all! A great sportsman in his own right, he appreciates, and has the drive to renovate and upgrade the lodge to its original condition, yet upgrade in the style and manner of what a true hunting lodge really feels and looks like. Mom, Sandy, treated us to a great chicken dinner, and we slowly began to lose the trappings and feelings of the life in hustle-mode. Yes, while visiting, we relaxed and understood why folks from all over would come and de-stress at the Clark Range Hunting Lodge. A guide with 16-years experience takes you & your party on guided dog hunts. There are tree stands, and ground blinds also available for hunters of any age, and physical condition is what you’re in for. Parties of 10 or more have exclusive use of the Lodge and Preserve, and smaller parties too are always welcome! We’re going back for some more of that “personality.”

Located at 1640 Campground Road, Clarkrange, TN.  www.clarkrangehuntinglodge.com

 Phone- 931-863-3203

Note* There are several hunting  and sporting lodges in Tennessee, and we plan on visiting a few of these that are in, or are close to Crossville for Fall features.

 

How Sweet It Is. Thank the Bee’s!

American Press Travel News–June 6th, Crossville, TN.-Bees; Oh How Sweet It Is!  When a wall in my “Man Cave”, writers cabin at the farm began vibrating and humming, I knew something strange and major was up.  I felt that it wasn’t a paranormal happening, so I stepped out back behind the cabin. I stood and watched (from a distance) honey bees flying to and from a small crack in my wood wall.  I looked up a professional Apiarist, and found Jeff Dayton from Rainbow Gold Apiary who promised to visit, assess exactly where he needed to open our interior wall to vacuum up the bees along with his 22-year old son, Tyler, after first finding the Queen.  They live-caught more than 50,000 bees with a painless vacuum (five pounds) and later transferred the Queen to a new hive box on his property to happily reunite the little fantastic critters with their leader. When the wall was opened, there was no honey left in the wax combs, as it was all eaten by the bees over the winter. They were getting ready to swarm again so in the coolness of early April, and without anyone getting stung, he successfully captured and relocated them to his bee field. My cabin was also not dripping with natures golden delight, and all I had to do was lots of cleaning, and redo the wall-case closed after closing up that outside crack.

Jeff has been at his bee business for the past 25-years, and now has 60-managed hives. He relocated about 10-outside hive colonies this year alone.  Jeff said about 80-percent of hundreds of colonies this past winter were lost in Tennessee.  Parasites like Varroa mites,  tracheal mites, poor bee nutrition , pesticides, and colony collapse disorder  were all known causes of bee losses. Dayton remarked that: “we all got to eat and everyone needs bee-power. Bees create our foods.”

Bees are fiercely protective of their Queen and their hive. Each of the hundreds of hexagonal wax pupae cells in the honey comb is constantly being attended to by worker bees.

In a way, Bees can be compared to the Trojan warriors of history. They take no prisoners and are inherently endowed against all odds, to fight till their death to protect their home and family. To me thinking about what Jeff Dayton told me about the number of bees it takes to make up 5-pounds, that takes 50,000 individuals was incredible. These bees alone (amongst other myriads of insects, and birds too, not to mention the other bee-billions around the world) assist in propagating thousands of fruit trees, vegetables, flowers, bushes and sundry field crops, fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, orchard cherry trees, peach, pear, apple, etc. The world would be a dead place if not for bees.

Jeff said that when he was a youngster he and his dad would raid old bee trees. They would “course” the bees flying to and fro, and follow their angles of flight. “We would triangulate where the hives were. I sure miss my dad, he got me into the Apiary profession, and I am what I am today due to his nurturing and teaching.” Jeff has passed his passion for the little liquid gold -makers in several ways. Besides teaching his son Tyler, he is a fixture at most outdoor special events.  This “sweet” guy teaches all who have interest, about the life of the bees and special nature they possess. He sets up a window case where people can watch the bees going about their daily lives supplying honey for their hives. Rainbow Gold Apiaries can be reached at (931) 484-9430. He can offer all hive products, offer his bees for pollination and does bee removal from anyone who needs this service at no charge!

 

Bob’s Reverie At The Farm

 

Barb loves to fish when she has an edge and doesn’t have the whole day to hopefully hook a neighbor with shoulders enough for us to spar with! 

APtravelnews-May 16th-Crossville, TN.—Goose Holler’ Farm—Bob’s reverie at the farm–I Woke up this morning to chirps from at least a dozen birds: Blue, red, black, gray, mottled, white, yellow, striped black and gray. Their songs and calls were sweet, some raucous, some sounding playful and a few staccato as in three different kinds of woodpeckers including a bright red headed one with a real attitude that come to our feeders and the older trees with lots of dead wood near the fence-line of Goose Holler Farm.

Today was especially auspicious, as the deer with and without antlers and testicles were feeding along a weed whacker line I made near the pond (the pond brings many varieties of ducks and geese over the year to rest and feed)  to keep our paths from growing wild and hiding some other unsavory visitors. These serpent critters such as water moccasins come looking for a red- eared, or blue-gilled sunfish, or a bass fish dish alongside the weedy shallows, along with some other potentially poisonous water snakes that we all prefer not to tread on, or brush by, by accident.  Sure, I have more squirrels and chipmunks per acre than probably anywhere in our area, as I have at least 150 trees per acre on our ten acre little farmstead, but until they get into our attic, I don’t shoot at them with anything more powerful than a stinging B-B gun to keep them from clearing the bird feeders within an hour or less.  

The trees are mostly big trees of nut and flower, oaks, black walnut, maples and almond, the billions of leaves- each one slightly different than the other, keep us shaded and cool in the summer. Together with the blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, gooseberry bushes and a sundry, seed bushes, not to mention our grown fresh veggies and herbs, we have a fine cornucopia. I guess that in the great profusion of wild plants, it would take a true horticulturist to be able to name them all.  I love waking and spending my day writing, looking out and on our land and up-keeping and gardening here.

 I guess the reason for this post is I really feel blessed to wake up to nature, and the honeysuckle, roses, peonies and lilac bushes blended a sweet natural aroma to a day full of promise that anyone could enjoy if they gave their I phone, laptop and TV a rest for a day or, two a week!

Tony Romano-Wood Carver Extraordinary

American Press Travel News-Florida-Feb. 25th,-Bob and Barb “On The Road Again“-When I met Tony Romano, I had no idea until I saw a large showcase filled with some of his over 600-various carvings, in genre’s that include birds, fish and other wild creatures, of how creative and talented he is.

He is a fine soft-spoken fellow who moved from Orient, NY, to Florida in 2010. His previous life revolved around a quality taxidermy business for 6-years, and then spent twenty years in the wine and liquor business before retiring to warm, and comfy Florida.

Residing in Port St Lucie, FL, his favorite relax time where we met, is a hot tub where we both jiggle our back, arms and legs against the powerful jets of a fabulous and large hot tub system. “Carving takes my mind off of mine, and the worlds issues, I totally immerse myself into creating something out of 3X6 inch rectangular block of wood, creating a pretty, lifelike Cardinal bird, that once I paint it, people can enjoy the look of a nearly real bird. My sense of satisfaction is beyond words. My favorite piece (all of them really are) is my Redhead Duck. I won a ribbon my first time I entered into a jury’d carvers contest” said Tony Romano.