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Dan Cook

Stories by Dan

New directors to be sworn in at TVA Thursday

Four new board members join utility

Four new board members join TVA

  • Oct. 5th, 2010  |
  • By By Dave Flessner
  • Comment  |

Chattanoogan Herman Welch enjoys visiting a particular part of “the natural Florida” in pursuit of his varied outdoor interests.

Field preparation for Tennessee’s mourning dove season has gone well. Biologists and hunters just hope early results reflect the effort.

Michigan native Dave Cameron realized the advantages and disadvantages of sea kayaks as he fished from them in the mid-1980s.

It’s hard to match hooking King salmon in Alaska, Reese Griffin believes.

Heat adjustments

Ponds, cover plants areas of concern

Farm ponds and small lakes are among areas most adversely affected by the hottest summer since 1977, biologists say.

Nearly 250,000 people annually float the Ocoee River in rafts. Some pay fees for the opportunity to cover it with a myriad of outfitters. Others kayak down the stream on their own.

Summer arrives and the thermometer rises. Fish like bass and crappie go deep, seeking cooler waters.

A memorable deer hunting experience has led to a means of controlling some of the deer's biggest environmental competitors -- non-native wild hogs that challenge them for food.

GALLATIN, Tenn. — Some pro bass anglers compete in major tournaments stretched from coast to coast. Many are affiliated with the Forrest L. Wood or Bass Anglers Sportsman Society tours, which have big entry fees and large payouts. Expenses are offset by strong sponsorships for many of the fishermen.

The Ocoee River held the 1995 global spotlight when it hosted the Freestyle World Kayaking Championships and again in 1996 with the whitewater portion of the Atlanta Olympics. Now the Nantahala Gorge -- just across the state line in Wesser, N.C. -- will gain similar attention.

When Chattanooga businessman Don Oscai recently completed the coveted world slam of turkey hunting, it carried even deeper meaning than normal.

This peaceful and historic Putnam County town is well-known as the home of authors Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker.

Fly-fishing for trout had been around long before the 1992 movie “A River Runs Through It” hit the screen. Yet the Robert Redford film featuring Tom Skerritt and Brad Pitt has had a big impact even in the South — far from the movie’s setting in Montana.

A stagnant economy has affected whitewater rafting nationwide, as with other businesses.

Turkeys communicate year-round, veteran caller Ray Eye says. That’s important to remember in trying to imitate their sounds to help in hunting them.

The sluggish economy has combined with a break in the weather to produce an explosion in fishing interest.

April Fool's Day traditionally signals the start of backpackers heading north from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail.

Harry Richardson, of Centre, Ala., and John Kalabus, of Cleveland, Tenn., are two sportsmen who agree the area around Chattanooga offers much in traditional outdoor sports such as hunting and fishing.

Marty Fischer, who hosts the television show “TNT Outdoor Explosion,” grew up looking for turkeys in the Savannah River swamp region of South Carolina.

Disappearing foliage-laden fence rows long have been blamed for the demise of quail throughout the nation’s agricultural belt. The birds depend heavily upon such structure for cover and nesting, and biologists and sportsmen have been studying ways to improve their habitat.

Area spring turkey seasons Alabama: March 15-April 30 Georgia: March 20-May 15 Tennessee: April 3-May 16 By Dan Cook Being able to recognize turkey signs in the wilds is necessary in successfully hunting the wily birds. That knowledg

Monster muskies in Melton Hill

Experts envision possible state record

Muskies offer a special challenge for fishing clubs at lakes such as Norris and Melton Hill in East Tennessee.

High school senior Taylor Turner likely will always remember Lake Guntersville, where he reeled in a 5-pound, 7-ounce largemouth bass last June. He will reflect on Kentucky Lake as the place where he hooked a 32-pound blue catfish.

Growing up hunting in the mountains around Ellijay, Ga., where he still lives, Shane Newberry dreamed of killing a black bear — an especially big one.

A bumper Southern Appalachian acorn crop during the fall of 2008 kept Great Smoky Mountains National Park and North Georgia wildlife well fed. But the heavy mast enhanced the animals’ reproduction and has led to a nuisance problem for wildlife managers.

Two decades ago when a boy became lost while hiking with his parents in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Lee Lewis was left with an empty feeling.

DALTON, Ga. -- With the snow and frigid temperatures last Thursday, most area residents bundled up and stayed indoors. But several Dalton-area mountain bikers went on a ride -- at night, no less.

An effort to save the endangered native Florida panther represents a much different challenge than dealing with exotic animals that roam the southern part of the Sunshine State.

Winter is when many sportsmen climb into tree stands looking for deer. But the season can be a great time for bass, crappie and striper fishing as well.

Trout fishing training

Author says Smokies provide great experience

Yellow jackets and other insects deserve due precaution from anyone trout fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So do bears.

Here in Tennessee, a question remains as to whether genetically mixing Florida bass with the Northern strain common in Chickamauga and Nickajack lakes will have a positive effect on their sizes.

Tunnel Hill resident Ryan Fowler killed a 4-foot, 1-inch gator after a long night of bow hunting on the Altamaha River near Berrien, Ga., in late September. That actually was about the size he was looking for, because gators more than six or seven feet long tend to have tough meat.

Charlotte Harbor’s web

Gulf charter service lures fish, anglers

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — A playful dolphin leaps a few feet away, looking for a throwback fish that might become an easy meal.

The Nantahala River currently has no flow.

LAFOLLETTE, Tenn. -- Cleveland's Jeff Moses has a future stepson to thank for his selection among five hunters participating this week in Tennessee's first elk hunt in more than a century.

Smokies elk now in review phase

Experimental part of the project ended last year

As the chosen five get ready for Tennessee’s inaugural elk hunt Oct. 19-23 in the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area near the Kentucky border, Great Smoky Mountains National Park staffers are evaluating data from their own elk herd.

Kings River adventure

The steep whitewater descent follows a long flight, drive and hike to California river.

Ryan Allen knew the challenge that lay ahead. So did fellow Chattanoogan Bryce Evans and Asheville, N.C., resident Bryan Knight.

Early-season dove hunters often see native birds rather than those migrating from Wisconsin and elsewhere up North.

Rabbits as a gauge

Rise or decline may reflect coyotes’ presence

The occasional reduction in rabbits in this part of the country has interested biologists for years.

Pythons are showing up throughout the southern part of Florida, according to that state's Fish and Wildlife Commission. Estimates range from 30,000 to 80,000.

Adding shower facilities to the three major campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular upgrade request, but the idea is unfeasible, park officials say.

The two biggest challenges in learning to sail are the terminology involved and keeping track of wind direction.

When engineer Thilo Brockhaus came from Germany to Chattanooga last December to oversee building the Volkswagen plant, he greatly appreciated the surroundings.

Pikeville native Sam Roberson was in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941.

General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon of Chattanooga has fished offshore for more than 30 years. He goes on excursions with plastic surgeon Jim Eyssen and other friends aboard the Contender boat "Seacup" out of Dauphin Island, Ala.

Memorial Day weekend brought mixed economic signals for some area recreational businesses. The Fourth of July weekend should provide a clearer picture.

BIG SANDY, Tenn. — Boat-building means family bonding, Debi Weinert says. She has witnessed it numerous times at her husband Karl’s shop in the scenic, rolling, grassy farmland of West Tennessee.

Almost everyone involved in physical fitness will tell you that walking is helpful in losing weight and firming muscles.

At least one poaching incident has involved the elk herd created by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

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