• STRAIGHT ARROW: Deer season 2014 is under way

    I was very anxious to get back in the woods when archery season opened Sept. 6, and when my alarm went off at 5:10 on opening morning, I was already awake and it didn’t take me long to get out the door for my first morning out.

    After a short drive and a long walk through countless spider webs, I climbed 20 feet up into my stand, attached my safety harness, situated everything and settled down to wait for the dawn.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Moon’s phases affect fishing

    Why does a full moon seem to impact fishing, and in particular the catching of fish? There definitely is something to it.

    My friend Jim Mansfield kept detailed records over many years about the more than 100,000 panfish he caught. Without question, his statistics showed fishing was better around a full moon. The best days seemed to be three to five days before the moon was full.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Take care of that trophy deer in the field

    A taxidermist friend of mine was in the shop last week and asked me to do a column about taking proper care of your deer.

    When you shoot a deer, the work starts. In early season, with the temperatures high it is critical to locate the deer as quickly as possible and get it field dressed immediately, so the meat can start cooling down. At this point, as you field dress your deer, you don’t need to cut past the sternum, especially if it is a buck you plan to mount.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Ground cherry pie much different

    Recently our family gathered for a cookout and to celebrate my son’s birthday. My daughter insisted he must have a cherry pie — one of his favorites.

    After a relatively cool summer, the weather had finally turned not warm, but hot, so neither I nor my wife were anxious to heat up the oven and bake a cherry pie for the event. The grocery bakery came to mind.

    By chance, I stopped by a Dutch country store where the folks there sell bulk foods, meats and a number of home-grown products. The store has a greenhouse and gardens for fruits and vegetables.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Archery deer season is finally here

    Tomorrow morning, I will finally get to climb into one of my favorite treestands and enjoy a few hours of watching the world come alive.

    Maybe, if I’m lucky, I will see some deer and possibly harvest one, but I don’t really care as long as I get to spent as much time as possible in the deer woods.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Labor Day has passed, but summer still here

    Labor Day has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean it is time to put away the fishing gear for the year. There probably is even time to use bathing suits a few more times.

    Back in 1894, Labor Day became a federal holiday. And while some union folks and other workers celebrate the day related to labor, for many it has just become another three-day weekend.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Dove season arrives

    Kentucky dove season opens Labor Day, and they should be plentiful as hunters take to the field.

    Doves are good eating, but people who don’t like liver may not like doves. How the birds are prepared for the dinner table has a lot to do with their taste.

    My favorite way to prepare them is to marinate the breasts overnight. You can make your own or buy a commercial marinade.

    The next day, wrap them in bacon like rumaki, and cook them on a charcoal grill. They make a great meal-starter, or if you have enough, a main course themselves.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Make your practice fun and realistic

    Early Sunday, I tied my bow onto a rope, then slowly and quietly climbed into my treestand, pulled up my bow, loaded an arrow and waited.

    A slight breeze rustled through the trees and dislodged raindrops left from Saturday night’s storms. The cloud cover was low, and to the south the knobs were barely visible, but it was a fantastic morning to be in my stand.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Outlook good for dove season

    Sept. 1 marks the opening day of dove season. It’s a day anxiously awaited by bird hunters, and also ammunition manufacturers.

    Doves are fun to hunt, good to eat, and the weather usually is good. However, they aren’t easy targets. They zig, they zag, and hunters should have an ample supply of shells on hand.

    Most of the birds available during early dove season are those that stay in the area throughout the year. It takes a cold snap up north to push migrating birds into the state later in fall.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Keep safety in mind

    With archery deer season only two weeks away, I want to remind everyone to be careful as you enter the deer woods.

    While climbing into a treestand and sitting for hours is the most dangerous part of bowhunting, you can reduce the risk of falling by using a safety harness. And when climbing up and down the tree, if you are using a climbing stand, take your time, wear your harness and slide the lanyard that goes around the tree up and repeat the process until you are the height you want to be. Repeat the process as you descend from the tree.