• OUTDOOR TALES: Soc Clay shares his bass wisdom

    Soc Clay has been a friend for many years, and I’ve always admired his photographic and written outdoor works. Truth is, he has been one of my idols.

    I’ve learned a lot from Soc, especially related to outdoor photography. I just wish I had retained 10 percent of what he taught.

    Soc, who hails from the hills of Eastern Kentucky near South Shore, has a newly released book. It is named “Bassin’ Around Kentucky,” and is said to be the most complete bass fishing book ever written about bass fishing in Kentucky.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Turkey hunting ain’t just about turkey hunting

    When turkey season is open, I will spend as much time as I possibly can in the pursuit of these evasive birds. But when the birds are quiet and not cooperating at all, it can be hard to keep your focus and keep getting up early to continue hunting every day.

    Here are some things I do to pass the slow time in the turkey woods.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Hannah’s first turkey hunts

    After getting out scouting and listening to the turkeys on the Saturday and Sunday mornings of Easter weekend, I felt very confident that Eric and I could get Hannah in range of a gobbler. Well it didn’t quite work out like I thought it would.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Saving morels takes effort

    There used to be years when spring would produce an abundance of morel mushrooms for this old hunter. However, weather, loss of hunting habitat and personal mobility have taken their toll.

    In my early years, I usually hunted the mushrooms with my father. I was good at finding the tasty fungi, but Dad was an expert. He knew just where and when to look, plus had good eyesight.

    Each spring, we usually found enough to send an airmail package or two of mushrooms to my aunt Florence in Denver. She loved eating them, and couldn’t find them in the Columbine state.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Old pros still do the job

    At age 39-plus, Peyton Manning won his second Super Bowl ring. The first one came with the Indianapolis Colts, and this one with the Denver Broncos.

    The feat was exceptional for Peyton at his age. In fact it is exceptional for anyone at any age. However, what Peyton did as a 39-year-old battered National Football League player will long be remembered and admired.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Scouting turkeys for Hannah

    With the youth turkey season opening Saturday, when I went to bed last Friday evening I thought, if I wake up early the next morning I could go and listen for gobblers, and maybe locate a gobbler for Hannah.

  • Morel mushroom season arrives

    With warmer weather this March, reports of morel mushroom finds are coming in early this year. Hopefully, it will be a good morel-hunting season.

    One Indiana hunter posted on the Internet that he already had found more black morels than he found all of last year, and called the 2015 season “pitiful.” In a few Midwest locations, hunters had limited success last spring, but in most areas, it was a poor year.

    From all indications, the start of the morel season is a week to 10 days earlier than most years.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Youth turkey season almost here

    The youth turkey season opens for the weekend of April 2-3. From all the turkeys I have been seeing from the road, and if the weather cooperates, the kids should have a real good spring season.

    A couple of weeks ago, Eric and I saw two gobblers in full strut in a flock of about 15 hens. While these birds are on a farm, we don’t have permission to hunt, it is a good indication the birds are starting to get into the mood for breeding season.

    Hunting during the youth-only spring season is restricted to kids ages 15 and younger.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: The overhanging limb

    For the last couple of years, Eric and I had always kept a trail camera in an area where there was a scrape and an overhanging limb.

    But during the 2014 season, bucks had torn most of the lower limb off and there was nothing low enough for them to rake their horns on, or on which to leave their scent. This spot had been so good in the past, we hated to abandon it.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Scouting key to successful turkey hunt

    Some turkey hunters get lucky on opening morning. They forget and slam the truck door. As a result, a turkey gobbles nearby, and within minutes they have bagged a tom.

    The above scenario isn’t the norm. It is very, very rare, but I’ve been present when it happened. However, the best way to increase the odds of a successful hunt takes some time and work prior to opening morning.

    The spring turkey season dates for Kentucky are April 2-3 for the youth-only hunt, and April 16 through May 8 for the regular season.