• OUTDOOR TALES: It doesn't get much better than fried crappie

    There is nothing finer on a cold winter day than reaching into the freezer and pulling out a bag of crappie filets to fry for dinner. 

    Well, there is one thing better, if, despite the cold and some ice, you have been lucky enough to catch fresh crappie through the ice or from a lake with open water.

    There are many tasty fish, but crappie is at or near the top of my list, and it seems they taste even better when prepared on a day unfit for catching fresh ones. Those caught earlier and carefully frozen will do just fine.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Seven months till bow season opens

    While seven months sounds like a long time, there are a lot of things to do to pass the time and be better prepared for the early September opening.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Groundhog day forecasts usually questionable

    If you have a coin in your pocket, you have a predictor of spring about the equal of the groundhog, which is looked upon for a forecast each Feb. 2.

    Around my place, Feb. 2 is a special day. It’s the day Punxsutawney Phil and his pals are pulled from their den to determine if they see their shadow, and it’s also my wife Phyllis’ birthday. 

    It’s interesting both the famous weather forecaster and the Mr. are both named Phil. And since the two events the Phils celebrate coincide, I don’t forget the birthday. 

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Visiting an old bowhunting friend

    A month ago, I had ordered another load of targets and was scheduled to pick them up last Thursday.

    While attending the Archery Trade Association show on Jan. 6, Bonnie and I ran into M.R. James and his wife, Janet. During our conversation, I told M.R. that we had been picking targets up at American Whitetail Inc., and had been meaning to call him and try to visit him in Evansville.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Snow brings back ice cream memories

    Winter storm Jonas, which gained the name Snowzilla, caused much hardship for many as it swept across the South and Midwest to the east coast.

    No storm is a good thing, but for some it has its good points, especially if it drops just a few inches of fresh, white stuff in your area.

    Youngsters in particular enjoy snow. It is a time for sleds, building snowmen, playing fox and geese, and making snow ice cream. Snow ice cream is a winter delight forgotten by many, and probably not thought of by many others.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Our last bowhunts of 2015-16

    With deer season coming to a close Jan. 18, my granddaughter Hannah had been in a treestand bowhunting every Saturday and Sunday evening, with her dad in a stand just above her.

    But after getting really cold on Saturday the 16th, Hannah decided she was done bowhunting for this year, even though she was seeing deer on almost every trip out. Her grandpa wasn’t that smart!

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Duct tape — the wonder tool

    First, being upfront, I wish I owned stock in the company or companies that manufacture and sell Duck tape (or is it duct tape?). However, I don’t.

    Like many folks, I use Duck tape for many things, and others use if for many purposes most people would never think of. There are even websites touting the varied uses. Some are very practical. Some are just plain crazy.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: A tough, determined little bowhunter

    Since the Christmas break from school, Hannah has really proved to us just how passionate and determined to hunt with her bow and arrows she really is.

    Last weekend while I was at LBL bowhunting, Hannah and Eric were doing the same thing here at home.

    On the evening of Saturday, Jan. 2, with the temperature in the 40s, Hannah and her dad were in their stands a little after 4 p.m. for the two-hour wait until darkness would fall. They saw some deer, but none that got close enough to get excited about.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Rod choice makes difference

    Most anglers think it takes a heavy-duty rod to land a big bass, especially if you are a tournament fisherperson.

    Todd Faircloth has a different take.

    Faircloth, a Yamaha-sponsored pro angler and six-time Bassmaster Elite tournament winner, isn’t always looking for a sturdy rod to quickly hoist his catch into the boat.

    Yamaha’s media relations folks recently shared interview thoughts with Faircloth, who hails from Texas, and his thoughts may be useful to the everyday bass angler as well as those who fish the tournament trail.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Another trip to Land Between the Lakes

    At 5:15 a.m. Jan. 1, I was up and ready to go to the Land Between the Lakes for another bowhunt before the season ended Jan. 18.

    This hunt would be different for me, because in 1980 Bonnie and I started hunting at LBL together. Then, Eric got old enough to go with us, and now Eric and I usually go together. This would be the first time since 1980 that I have gone to LBL with someone other than Bonnie or Eric.