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'Ramblin' Outdoors' both entertaining, educational

Seldom has a more appropriate title been attached to book about hunting, fishing and wildlife.

Bob Fala's new book, "Ramblin' Outdoors: A Favorite Selection of Wildlife Stories from the Woods and Waters," takes readers from the pheasant fields of Kansas to the deer woods of West Virginia, the pike-filled lakes of Ontario and many points betwixt and between.

Fala, the longtime outdoors columnist for The Logan Banner, packs a lifetime's worth of outdoor adventures into a single 184-page paperback volume. As a certified wildlife biologist and former conservation officer, he brings a uniquely knowledgeable perspective to the task.

The book's 39 chapters each contain a single outdoor story. Many focus on Fala's first love, bird hunting. But there are also stories about deer hunting, turkey hunting, bear hunting, bass fishing, saltwater fishing and nature.

Some stories are pure entertainment. Fala's anecdote about a bear-plagued deer-hunting trip with his sons is sure to bring a smile or two, if not a chuckle. His vignette about an elderly deer-camp patriarch is downright heartwarming.

Other chapters, such as Fala's takes on albinism, rare bats and ginseng, are pretty darned educational.

I enjoyed the book because it took me to places I know, such as the hills of Logan County and the trout-filled pools of Dry Fork; and to places I've never been, such as the rugged depths of Blackwater Canyon.

The book is light reading, and it's fun.

Reach John McCoy at 304-348-1231 or  johnmccoy@wvgazette.com.


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