Life in the Great Smokies in the 19th century and during the pre-Park days of the 20th century might justifiably be described as arduous, hardscrabble, marginal, or demanding. Read more


Spring Gobbler Hunting

Bruce Ingram photo

Every year on the first weekend in April, my wife Elaine and I drive to the Johnson City area, stop by Mahoney’s Outfitters to pick up a hunting license, and then head for a rental house on the side of an East Tennessee mountain. Read more


It is a cold winter morning in early February when Andy Rosenberger, Paul Hinlicky, and I arrive at my mountaintop land in Craig County, Virginia. Read more


Sam Hunnicutt introduces his book by stating, “I claim to be a perfect hunter and fisherman for game fish; I know the best kinds of hunting outfit to use, I know the best kind of gun to use for killing game and also the best dogs to use for hunting.” Read more

Stories 1 Comments

The first time I went spring gobbler hunting with Larry Proffitt of Elizabethton, Tennessee, was on an East Tennessee mountain. Proffitt positioned us against a hardwood and pulled out a call I had never seen used before…a trumpet. Read more


The official state dog of North Carolina

Photo courtesy Plott Family Collections

“I don’t know what their name for the Plott dog was in German or exactly what they came from. I wasn’t there. But when the old man brought them here, they named them after him—they called them Plotts.” — Henry “Von” Plott Read more

Stories 2 Comments

Hal Herzog

Mark Haskett photo

Granted, I wasn’t always fond of snakes, and even now, picking up a non-venomous redbelly makes me flinch a little. But all in all, the snake world is one I have come to admire. But the kids’ faces are aghast. Read more


Horseback at Biltmore Estate

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

Out in an open field on the Biltmore Estate’s property, firearm instructor Dale Klug coaches me through the first steps of learning how to follow a moving target. “Have you ever missed something you’re trying to point at,” Klug asks. Read more



Photo courtesy of Jim Casada Collection

Sport has always been a bright thread woven into the fabric of the mountain folkways. Long before creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the area’s steep ridges and deep hollows were cherished bear hunting territory. Read more

Stories 1 Comments