• 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.

  • Archery tourney in Louisville

    Inaugural Fun Shoot archery tournament at E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park in August 

    E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park will host its inaugural Fun Shoot Archery Tournament for children and adults on Aug. 11. 

    Participants in the children’s division (ages 7-13) will shoot targets at 10 and 15 meters. Adult participants (ages 14 and up) will shoot at targets ranging from 10 to 40 yards. There will be different divisions within the age groups based on the equipment and bow used.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Preparation is the key to landing that big buck

    As bowhunters, for my son Eric and I, our next season starts the day the current season ends.

    In late January, we start scouting, looking for scrapes, rubs, trails, anything that gives us hints about deer movement (especially bigger buck signs) that will be helpful in the future.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Smith at all the tourneys, but not to fish

    Chad Smith has been traveling the country to fishing tournaments for nearly 20 years. He travels 35,000 miles or more a year to be with the top national anglers, but Smith isn’t there to fish. He’s there to make sure their Yamaha outboard boat motors are working well.

    More than a decade ago, I met Chad, who was headed out on the bass tournament trail with a new mobile workshop. Our paths crossed again a few weeks ago at Indiana’s Lake Monroe.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Getting proper accessories is a necessity

    Last week, I wrote about proper draw length, poundage of the bow and the feel or balance of the bow.

    If your bow didn’t come with the accessories already installed, you will need to choose the equipment you want, install it properly and then sight the bow in.

    The first thing I always install is the arrow rest. I have set up hundreds of drop-away rests and thousands of Whisker Biscuits. Before these it was the T.M. hunters, Bodoodles or springy rests, just to name a few.