• 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.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Is it a black bass? Probably

    When a friend sent me a fish picture, it was accompanied by a question. “Is this a black bass?”

    My response to Charlie Fields was, “I really don’t know. It appears to be a black bass, which often is the same as a largemouth. People use terminology and descriptions sometimes interchangeably. For example, there are more than 40 names for crappie, depending on local terminology.”

    For whatever reason, the photo and question did make me first think about what I call crappie; however, that is just what I call them.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: An exciting first bowhunt by Hanna Culver

    Saturday, Dec. 19, will be a day that will forever stand out in our family memories.

    Bonnie and I were up early and were at Central Hardin High School in Elizabethtown at 6 a.m., where we set up a booth for their NASP tournament, we would be there all day. With the temperature a cold 28 degrees and windy, we had no idea our 9-year-old granddaughter, Hannah, would want to go out bowhunting.

  • New Year’s a time to contemplate the future

    We already are heading off into 2016, and are contemplating an uncertain future, especially as the threat of terrorism looms like a low hanging cloud.

    However as I sit at the old keyboard, I try to focus thoughts related to the outdoors. I can’t control nature either, but I tend to find it more understandable.

    As one year ends and another starts, it is a time of reflection and looking forward to the future. Most everyone does it, even if only for a brief moment.

  • Documenting Hannah’s first bowhunts

    My 9-year-old granddaughter Hannah has wanted to start bowhunting all season, and we finally felt like she was ready.

    Eric recently put a second treestand on a pine tree so that he would be close enough to Hannah to whisper advice or let her know if he sees a deer coming before she did. After that, he started putting a pile of corn 10 yards from the tree. This way, when a deer comes in it will be well within Hannah’s effective bow range, and that it might be distracted enough and stand still long enough for Hannah to harvest her first deer with her bow and arrows.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Christmas gifts sparked outdoors interest

    In recalling Christmases past, there are many fond memories. Most aren’t about gifts, but there are a couple of presents that helped spark this old writer’s interest in the outdoors.

    One Christmas there was a shiny red bike, and another year Santa left a Red Ryder BB gun. There were many other thoughtful gifts over the years, but these two top the list and expedited outdoor exploration.

    Money was scarce when I was growing up. We always had plenty to eat and a warm house, but not a lot more. I didn’t know we were poor.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Air currents and temperature changes

    I love bowhunting during the late season, when temperatures are normally cooler, to being downright bone-chilling cold.

    To hunt now, you will face more challenges than you would during the early season.

    I consider anything after the modern gun season closes as the late season, and several things that make bowhunting harder now is the deer have just been hunted very hard for about three weeks hearing, smelling and encountering many more humans than they do at any other time of the year.

  • Florida county tax levy protects lands, water

    Historically, in the early part of the last century, people choose to drain swamps and marshes. It made better land for growing crops and raising livestock.

    While the drained land was better for some crops and livestock, it also had a negative impact on water quality and much wildlife. It happened in many places in the Midwest, and significant parts of Florida.