• OUTDOOR TALES: Crankbaits catch big crappie

    When most anglers think of attracting crappie to a hook, they think minnows or jigs, or maybe a combination of both. They don’t think crankbaits.

    This old writer is in that group. Crankbaits never crossed my mind. I never heard of using a sizable bait like a crankbait to troll for crappie until a couple years ago while fishing with several outdoor writer friends prior to a crappie tournament at Kentucky Lake.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Primitive fire-making

    I had always been interested in how a fire could be built without any of the modern fire-making devices we have available to us, but I had never known or met anyone who had done it. So a couple of weeks ago, I did some research on the Internet and found all kinds of information and videos about primitive fire-making, and that piqued my interest even more.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Ticks may be plentiful this year

    An unusually mild winter may lead to an enlarged number of ticks this spring and summer.

    Cold weather never wipes out existing tick populations, but it slows them down; a mild winter can lead to an increased population

    For the most part, they are just a pesky nuisance, but caution is in order in dealing with these little nasties. In rare cases, their bite can lead to serious illness, those a reminder about these pests is in order.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Turkey hunting: the last week

    As the last week of turkey season started, I still had a tag in my pocket, but was worn out and very low in confidence.

    On my last three hunts, I had not heard or seen a turkey, so I decided to rest and hopefully pick a couple of mornings when the weather conditions would be best. My plan was to try to hunt Wednesday, Thursday and maybe Friday, if the weather cooperated.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Turkey hunting with Hannah

    My 10-year-old granddaughter Hannah has been turkey hunting five times this season, but so far the turkeys haven’t cooperated. All these hunts have been morning hunts, when Hannah and her dad get up between 4:30 and 5 a.m., depending on where they are going to hunt.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Fried morels are a spring cuisine treat

    The period for finding morel mushrooms is far too short.

    Usually in this area, morels can be found in late April and early May, so that is when the eating is good. And while they can be saved for later eating, they are best eaten when they are freshly picked and cooked.

    A couple seasons past, my brother-in-law Paul Cooper stopped by and announced he brought a surprise. It was a good one. Morel mushrooms.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Day 4 of turkey season proved productive

    Last week, I documented my first three hunts of the 2016 season, and Tuesday morning, April 19, I was again up at 5:30 a.m. I decided that I would just find a concealed spot, put a hen decoy out, call a little, and be patient.

    When I arrived at the area, I wanted to hunt, I found a spot near where I knew turkeys sometimes enter the field. I cleared a small area out between two small cedar trees, then stepped off 25 yards and placed the hen decoy. I went back and crawled into my makeshift blind, and as the sky started to lighten, I prepared to wait motionless until 10 a.m.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Sucker fishing, snipe hunting both real

    Sucker fishing may be a bit like snipe hunting. If people have ever heard of either, they think they are jokes, but both are real.

    As a youngster, we neighbor kids used to take a new kid “snipe hunting.” The newbie was taken out in the dark and given a bag to hold, and we would drive the snipe to him. In reality, we went off somewhere and laughed, and finally the new kid figured out he had been tricked.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: In pursuit of the elusive wild turkey

    Opening day of turkey season found my daughter-in-law, Beth, going to a farm in Hart County, my son Eric and 10-year-old granddaughter, Hannah, going to another farm in Hart County, and I was going to hunt here in Nelson County.

    Hannah, Beth and Eric were on their way to the farms at 5 a.m., but I didn’t have to leave until 5:45. My hunt was very uneventful and I was never able to get set up on a gobbler.

  • 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.