by David Tetzlaff by
Bowhunter Magazine, September 2013
by M.R. James
Platte River Driftwood is positively endorsed by writers from two of the foremost outdoor publications in their field.
Nebraska native Bryce Lambley has shared traditional archery features with Bowhunter readers since the early 1990s. Regionally, his long-running ‘Platte Valley Outdoors’ weekly newspaper column in the Fremont Tribune has gained legions of loyal followers. And now anyone who reads Bryce’s latest book, Platte Valley Driftwood, will quickly understand and appreciate the thoughtful musings of this talented educator, coach, and family man. His unashamed love of America, nature, and its creatures is reflected in most everything he writes.
Driftwood is not a hunting book, per se, tapping into 100-plus of the author’s more than 800 outdoor columns. However, it is an eminently readable book that will appeal to outdoorsmen and women looking to ponder the insightful thoughts, feelings, and experiences that are both highly personal yet universally recognized.
I liken Bryce Lambley’s new247-page paperback book to a box of tasty chocolates. Choosing and reading any of its 102 short chapters holds the same promise of selecting and biting in to an unexpected treat. Whether it’s exploring milestone hunting and fishing “firsts,” emptiness left by the death of a close friend, sharing special times with a youngster, or recalling the other people, places, and moments that we all savor, Platte Valley Driftwood is well worth exploring.
Signed copies are available for $19.95 postpaid through Hermit House Publishing in Fremont, Nebraska. Contact the author at www.brycelambley.com . And in case you missed Bryce’s critically acclaimed My Neck of the Woods, a few copies of that popular bowhunting book are still available.
Above the desk in my home office hangs a respectable warthog. My enduring memory is not of a well-placed arrow but rather the moment when the blood trailing Jack Russell went on point but was swiftly scooped up professional hunter Wayne Cilliers, who stated matter of factly, “If the pig is still alive, the dog dies first.” Next to me is a full body mounted black bear. I can still hear the startling sound in the approaching Canadian darkness as guide Larry Gardiner racked a shotgun shell into his backup gun as we took up the trail. On the wall behind me are multiple skull mounts of homegrown whitetails—hard won animals, scouted, hunted, and recovered on do-it-yourself hunts in the soupy, heated swamps and flooded prairies of south Florida. These are just a sampling of the personal memories aroused by my reading of Bryce Lambley’s Platte River Driftwood, a collection of the author’s columns published in Nebraska’s Fremont Tribune.
At the risk of evoking the often over-used but nonetheless accurate cliché regarding the future of our sport being in the hands of today’s youth, this review is for those of us who have climbed life’s proverbial mountain and started down the far side with a cautious blend of reflection and optimism. One has to have done a lot of living to store a substantial closet of memories. Born in 1962, well-known traditional bowhunter Bryce Lambley recently crossed the halftime threshold of a 50th birthday, giving him sufficient time to create and foster the life experiences that amply fill this generous 240-page volume.
With over 100 newspaper columns it would be expected that the author would cast a wide net over a diversity of topics, and Lambley certainly delivers in this regard. Far more than the typical hook, bullet, and arrow topics are covered as the author capably, with sage wit and humor, dives into: childrearing, farm life, game management, organized athletics, animal rights, history, chivalry, politics, outdoor television programming and pop culture. Maybe due to growing up in a similar time like many readers of this magazine, I found myself in an agreeable and comfortable seat in Lambley’s pew…
…I truly believe we of the 50-plus club were raised with and have retained an acute sense of right, wrong, and the sometimes severe repercussions of when we were wrong, as evidenced by an incident when Lambley and a childhood pal skewered corn cobs on their arrow tips and proceeded to use the sheep on his friend’s farm for live target practice. The predictable results when the father witnessed the deed will come as no surprise to those of us who grew up in the age of corporal punishment:
Mr. Kenney’s punishment was equally swift and terrible, and being the neighbor kid did not mean I was spared the spanking his own son got either. And I never ‘fessed that episode at home for a long time…because I’d surely have been punished again by my own father.
The reading of Platte River Driftwood will, or honestly should, cause all of us to pause during or after each chapter and reminisce over similar experiences with family, on sporting fields, along bluegill ponds, or in the whitetail woods. So Bryce, thank you on behalf of all your current and future readers for the walk down your and our mutual memory lanes. We are you and you are us.
Bryce Lambley’s new book, My Neck of the Woods, should be required reading for all bowhunters. Refreshingly, it isn’t one of those chest-thumping “look at me and all I’ve accomplished” compilations of worldwide trophy bowhunting adventures. Neither is it a how-to bowhunting instruction manual that offers surefire success if only you’ll fork over money to learn some camouflaged stud’s hunting secrets. Nope, Bryce’s inspirational book is, in his own well-chosen words, a subtle reminder “that each season is an epic tale, and the process and the pursuit are more important than measuring a hunt solely with a tape measure.”
It’s also proof positive that you don’t have to be rich to live your bowhunting dreams. The author is a busy Nebraska high school teacher and coach, with two daughters, who makes time to pursue his passion for bowhunting (mostly near home) simply by picking up his stickbow, camera, and notebook and heading for the nearby woods. In fact, just a couple of seasons ago Bryce celebrated his 2,000th documented deer hunt, and Bowhunter readers have sampled his occasional features since 1992. He’s living proof that “where there’s a will there’s a way” isn’t simple a stale cliché.
My Neck of the Woods, 209-page softcover book, is well-illustrated with dozens of Bryce’s b/w photos. It’s 45 brief, well-written chapters hold special appeal for whitetail hunters who stick close to their own backyards and favort the tried and true do-it-yourself approach to outwitting bucks. Regardless, there’s a smattering of far-flug adventures for bears, antelope, caribou, and African plains game to complement the deer hunting tales and prove that Average Joes can live their bowhunting dreams.
To order your copy, send $20 postpaid to Hermit House Publishing, Bryce Lambley, 720 Boulevrad St. Lot 31, Fremont, NE 68025. To contact the author, send an e-mail to email@example.com .
Traditional Bowhunter April/May 2009
by Gene Wensel
Bowhunter Magazine December 2008
by M.R. James
Reviews of Platte River Driftwood
Reviews of My Neck of the Woods
My Neck of the Woods was similarly endorsed by reviewers but is now SOLD OUT unfortunately. Thank you for your support; it is appreciated and feeds my fire to produce a followpup.
Books are supposed to entertain as well as educate readers. I must admit I’m somewhat biased here, as this one was written by my “old” friend Bryce Lambley. It transpired only after a lot of encouragement from friends. Bryce has been penning magazine articles and newspaper columns for many years. You’ve probably already read some of his stories. But this book project is the first time any sort of collection of his adventures has been compiled inside one cover.
I know this is supposed to be a book review, but in this case, the author and his boundless dedication the outdoor passion we all share is what this book is really all about. Bryce Lambley could be a model for the typical American bowhunter who hunts very hard for all the right reasons. He is a stereotypical middle class working man, raising a family on teacher’s wages. What sets him apart from many others is his drive. Bryce spends literally every free moment in the woods. He hunts hard and often and has meticulously kept journals what he sees, where he hunts, weather, wind direction and all sorts of other data.
This put is easy to read, yet hard to put down. It’s full of great photos and adventure. I highly recommend it, not only because it is entertaining, but also because Bryce is one of the “good guys” who truly defines the bowhunting passion in all of us. My Neck of the Woods is available from the author at Hermit House Publishing, 720 Boulevard St. Lot 31, Fremont, NE 68025. E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Professional Bowhunter Magazine 2nd Quarter 2008
by John Vargo
My Neck of the Woods is the first book penned by Nebraska bowhunter and PBS Regular member Bryce Lambley. This 209 page soft-bound book is comprised of 45 short chapters organized into three sections: Whitetails, High Adventure, and Close to Home.
Whitetails is a collection of short stories recounting hunting adventures in Nebraska and Iowa. It covers a time period from when the author first began bowhunting in the early 1980’s to present day. Much of the action is centered around hunting the river bottoms of the Platte River in Nebraska, usually with his trusty longbow in tow.
High Adventure is a collection of short stories about hunts conducted for more-exotic game such as antelope, bears, caribou, Sitka blacktails on Kodiak Island, and plains game in South Africa. Close to Home is a collection of short essays where the author focuses more on ethical and philosophical questions.
Many of the chapters in this book are reprints from stories previously published in Bowhunter Magazine, Traditional Bowhunter Magazine, our own PBS Magazine, and others. The stories in the first two sections are written in an adventure style…a recounting to the hunt. We see evolution of the author’s hunting ethics and perspective as he gains experience and as time passes.
The author laments his inability to get the vacation time he would like to have during fall and spring for hunting opportunities due to his high school teaching duties as well as added duties as the school track coach. Don’t fret too much for his predicament as he ends up calling in more personal and sick days than Lindsay Lohan during stints in-between visits to the celebrity rehab center!
This book is well-written and is an easy and entertaining read. It’s a worthwhile purchase for your bowhunting library.
NEBRASKAland Magazine on-line
by Greg Wagner
I have to admit that I’m not much of a book reader. I do enjoy reading professional journal articles, hunting and fishing magazine articles as well as current and older NEBRASKAland magazine issues from cover to cover. However, I have been thoroughly enjoying a new book by a fellow outdoor/conservation compatriot, longtime Fremont High School Teacher/Coach and Fremont Tribune Outdoor Writer — Bryce W. Lambley.
I think what I like best about this book thus far is it’s an easy read filled with fun, informative stories along with neat black and white photos. (Platte River Driftwood) has a heavy emphasis on Nebraska’s outdoor scene. Bryce offers key outdoor messages through his personal outdoor experiences.
He writes about the chapters in his book: “All related to the outdoors, some will make you laugh while others might bring a tear. Every one of them will make you think, and most will help relive your own parallel journeys whether your home waterway is the Platte in Nebraska, or some other river, stream or creek anywhere in America.”
This book is available for purchase on Bryce’s website, at: I’m planning on taking my copy of his book with me to the turkey hunting blind this spring to read when those gobblers aren’t gobblin’!