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Outdoors

  • 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.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Spring scouting for deer and turkey

    There is no better time of the year than spring for scouting your deer and turkey hunting areas. With the leaves off of the trees, you can see farther through the woods, making it easier to spot rubs, scrapes and trails.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Catching carp challenging and fun

    Mention “carp” fish, and most folks will either turn up their noses, make some negative remark, or simply have a blank stare.

    Common carp have been around for years. They are native to Europe and Asia, but now have been introduced and spread throughout most of the world, except the Middle East and the Arctics. They have created problems in some streams and lakes, but for the most part have been controlled.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Checking treestands important preparation for the hunt

    Last Sunday morning was the first chance I have had this year to get out and help Eric work on the treestands.

    Eric and I had my truck loaded by 6 a.m. and were at Bonnieville just after daylight. I dropped Eric off — he was going to check five stands while I was going to check four.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: March may start as a lamb, end up like a lion

    When early March rolls around, many people think spring. Admittedly, I’m in the group that gets a bit overanxious for warmer days. I’m thinking warm breezes, morel mushrooms and crappie.

    Sometimes the reality is snow and ice, or other nasty weather as the year’s third month begins. It is not unusual to find the ground covered with some of the heaviest snows of the winter in March. The good news is the white stuff usually doesn’t stick around very long.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: A miserable, wet trip

    After climbing San Luis Peak, Bonnie and I spent a night in Del Norte, Colo. Then, on the morning of July 6, 1989, we drove to Durango, where we met up with Jack and Ellen Hume, friends from Lexington with whom we have climbed ever since.

    Plans had already been made for the four of us to hike into Chicago Basin, and from a base camp at about 11,500 feet, attempt to climb one or more of the three Fourteeners you can approach from this basin.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Winter is prime time for hiking

    Winter doesn’t have to be a time for the “blahs” and a can’t wait for spring attitude. The groundhog has done his thing, but no matter what, we still have some winter weather left.

    It probably isn’t the favorite season of most, but winter isn’t a bad thing. It’s a great time for hiking, walking in the woods, trying your luck at walleye or sauger fishing, or just getting outdoors.