• STRAIGHT ARROW: Recovering your deer

    Last week’s column ended just after shooting your deer.

    Now after waiting an hour — sometimes longer — it’s time to carefully get out of your stand, very quietly go to the spot where the deer was standing. Mark this spot with surveyor’s tape or a strip of paper towel. These markers need to be removed after you retrieve your deer. This will let you search the area where your arrow should be by lining up the marker with your tree stand. Hopefully, you will find your arrow and verify a good hit or a clean miss.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Impromptu trips can be the fun ones

    Some of the best vacation plans are impromptu, maybe no plan at all. Certainly planning can be beneficial, but sometimes it is fun just to do it, “go with the flow” as they used to say.

    For our 25th wedding anniversary, my wife, Phyllis, and I had a well-planned trip to Ontario, Canada. We visited three different fishing camps. It was a great trip. However, 25 years later, things were different. We had less coins in our pockets, less mobility in our bodies, and less time between doctor appointments.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Moment of Truth

    You have spent all year scouting, positioning stands in prime areas and practicing with your bow every chance you get. Deer season has finally opened, and you are in your stand.

    From the corner of your eye, you catch a glimpse of a tan movement 60 yards away. You freeze, staring at that area. Your heart rate and breathing increase with excitement.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Change it up to bag fall turkey

    Most turkey hunters confine their efforts — and that usually is a lot — to spring. Many of the avid spring hunters never venture into the woods in pursuit of a turkey in the fall.

    While it’s the same wild bird whether in April or October, the actions of the birds and the hunting is so different, one might think they are different species.

    And while fall hunting is more popular and more hunting available than a decade ago, the number of hunters and the number of birds harvested still is miniscule in comparison to those in the spring.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: School archery programs growing

    Recently a reader called with questions about the NASP program in our area. The program is being offered at several schools in our area but no one with whom I spoke had any exact dates set for the start of this year’s program.

    Anyone in grades 4-12 can participate.

    Competition distances are from 10 and 15 meters and new this year; archery is being recognized as a varsity sport by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Persimmons fun to hunt

    Mother Nature produces a fall harvest of good things to gather and eat. Persimmons are among those good things that can be found on a hike in the woods or on a special trip just to pick them.

    The persimmon is one of the most popular items harvested in the fall, although other fruits of interest include the pawpaw, wild grapes, elderberry, and wild cherry. These can be picked while on a fall hunting trip for squirrels or a fishing trip, or they can be hunted and picked on any fall outing.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Opening weekend 2012

    With deer season opening Saturday, Eric and I made plans to hunt in Hart County that morning.

    When we got out of the archery shop Friday night I got all my gear together and checked my backpack for all the essentials. I keep a gallon Ziploc bag with gutting gloves, latex gloves, paper towels, more Ziploc bags for the field dressing process and an ink pen for filling out the deer or turkey tags. I also checked to make sure my knives were sharp. I carry a Kodi-Pac set from Outdoor Edge that contains a skinning knife with a gut hook, a caping knife and a saw.

  • Despite drought, doves plentiful as season starts

    Dove season is here, and despite the hot, arid summer, birds seem to be plentiful as the season starts.

    “There are plenty of doves around Kentucky,” said Rocky Pritchert, migratory bird coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in a recent department news release 

    “It’s a mixed bag. Some dove fields are looking good while some were affected by the drought.”

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Scent control

    When stalking the whitetail deer, the bow hunter has to get very close to one of the wariest big game animals in North America.

    We have to become almost invisible, moving in slow motion to avoid being detected, and be as scent-free as possible to overcome the whitetail’s No. 1 defense — its sense of smell.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: KDFWR experiences belt-tightening

    Kentucky’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources faces some pocketbook issues similar to most folks who enjoy the outdoors. 

    The KDFWR must live within its revenues, says Dr. Jon Gassett, commissioner of the department.

    In the August commissioner newsletter from the KDFWR, Gassett, outlined the current status of the fiscal year 2013 budget. He explained how despite belt tightening, the department strives to offer quality facilities and experiences for the public.