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Outdoors

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Who can shoot a bow?

    We get asked quite often what age is a good time to get my son or daughter started in archery.

    Best answer is probably if you are shooting and your kids are watching and interested, it’s time!

    Our granddaughter Hannah started shooting a compound bow when she was 19 months old; she’s 6 1/2 years old now and still shooting.

    When she first started, we had to put the arrow on the string and she would put her tiny fingers around the string and cables, but it wasn’t long before she understood to put her fingers around only the string.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Drought may impact squirrels

    Squirrel season is almost here, and despite the heat and drought there should be plenty of squirrels to hunt.

    Kentucky’s season opens Aug. 18 and runs through Nov. 9. Then it will close for a couple days before reopening Nov. 12 and continuing through Feb. 28 of next year.

    The Kentucky daily squirrel limit is six with a possession limit of 12.

    Squirrel populations are dependent on a number of factors, however two keys include weather and mast (nut) availability. The nut crop one year impacts the population the following year. 

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Quality mid-priced arrows will do the trick

    Writing about arrows is a tough subject. With arrows being made from wood, aluminum, carbon and a combination of carbon and aluminum, it seems like there is an endless selection to choose from.

    We carry about 10 different types of arrows from four different manufacturers, and normally have about 40 dozen arrows in the shop at all times.

    How do you choose the arrow that is going to work best for you?

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Beat the heat — stream fish

    While we’ve had a bit of a respite from sizzlin’ summer heat, we still have plenty of hot weather ahead before the cooler days of autumn arrive. 

    Fishing action slows during the hot days of summer, and this year we have had more than our share. Most fish don’t feed as aggressively during hot days, and anglers slow down as well. Few people want to sit in the hot sun and fish.

  • Hunting experience about more than bagging a buck

    Sometimes I wonder how to inspire young archers to take up and enjoy bowhunting.

    When I started bowhunting in the middle 1970s, it was almost impossible to even see a deer. Since my first successful bowhunt in 1979, 1 have had the privilege to bow hunt in Colorado, Wyoming, Ontario and Quebec Canada as well as here at home in Kentucky.

    The thing that keeps me excited heading into the outdoors is I never know what I’m going to see or encounter.

  • Bill wins again and dry weather

    They did it again. Pro angler Bill Braswell from Hazard and his partner, Dan Dannenmueller of Wetumpka, Ala., won the Crappie Master “Angler Team of the Year” award. They also won the award in 2011.
    Braswell is a retired Kentucky conservation officer and has become one of the country’s top crappie anglers.
    Bill and Dan comprise the Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits pro staff team and concluded the 2012 Crappie Masters tournament season and secured their victory following the recent event at Truman Lake, MO.  

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Inspecting string and cable key to maintaining your bow

    With bow season less than two months away — archery deer season opens Sept. 1 — it’s time to get your bow out, check it over well and start shooting if you haven’t been shooting all year like we do.

    When you get your bow out for the first time, you need to pay close attention to the string and cables. The normal life of a string and cable is about three years, but we have seen strings still in use after six years.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Spring duck numbers at all-time high

    There’s good news for duck hunters. In fact it’s some of the best news in years.

    North America’s total spring duck population is the highest ever recorded, according to the annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey. 

    That doesn’t mean all of those ducks will make their way through central Kentucky come the fall hunting season, but it’s a reasonable assumption there will be more birds this fall.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Sighting your bow

    Setting the sight on your bow is something every archer has to do, and while it’s not rocket science, it can be frustrating, time-consuming and intimidating to someone new to the sport.

    Before you start adjusting, the top pin on your sight is always set for the closest distance — normally 10 or 20 yards, depending on your personal preference. Each additional pin below that one will usually be set in 10-yard increments. For example, if your sight has three pins and you hunt thick cover, I would set the pins at 10, 20 and 30 yards.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Sticky stuff not sap

    Finding sticky stuff on your car when parked under a tree, you probably either said or heard someone say, sap fell on my car. Been there, done that.

    But what you actually are finding on your vehicle is, well, what’s the best way to say it — insect or bug “poop.” Yeah, gross.

    This year, it is particularly noticeable under the state tree, the poplar. I recently wrote a column about it, but now have some follow-up information.