• OUTDOOR TALES: If this old boat could only talk

    I’ve always loved being around water. Fishing and boating have always been at the top of my list of pastimes.

    Over the years, nearly every place the Junkers have lived has been on or near the water. There were a few exceptions in my early years, but in the last four decades a couple hundred yards has been the farthest we have been from a spot to cast a lure or launch a boat.

  • Photo: Turkey trophy
  • OUTDOOR TALES: Girls may want different bait

    “Grandpa, I want to fish,” said granddaughter Molly as we walked to the mini-barn where she saw some of my fishing tackle hanging on a wall.

    “It’s too cool and windy,” I countered. “Maybe later.”

    A short time later while checking my propane gas grill on the deck, “Grandpa, can we fish now, Molly pleaded. “I really want to fish.”

    “But, it’s still pretty cold and windy,” answered Grandpa again.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: When crappie spawn depends on many factors

    It’s crappie season. Usually, anglers know when it reaches its spring peak by measuring the water temperature. With the crazy weather late winter and early spring, it isn’t as easy this year.

    When the water temperature reaches the right level, the spawn occurs. Both fish and anglers go in a frenzy. The fish are active and easier to catch, and fishermen try their best to take advantage of the situation. And while you can catch crappie most any time of the year, just before and at the time of the spawn is the most productive for catching the tasty fish.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Field dressing turkeys important

    Turkey season is underway, and from all indications there should be plenty of birds for Kentucky hunters.

    Turkey season kicked off in Kentucky April 7 with youth weekend. Then, last Saturday was opening day of the regular spring hunt and the last day of the spring hunt is May 6. 

    “Our flock is stable, with a population estimate of about 250,000 birds,” said Steven Dobey, KDFWR turkey program coordinator. 

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Ethanol, old boat motors don't mix

    When I arrived in Florida last December, my old boat initially ran fine for a couple days. It has an old Mariner 60-horse engine. It’s been a good motor.

    After a couple of fishing trips in early January, the engine lost power. It obviously wasn’t getting enough gas and wasn’t running on all three cylinders.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Morel mushrooms are tasty and fun to hunt

    It seems most everything is off schedule or ahead of schedule this spring with the warm weather. That includes morel mushrooms, which people have been finding several weeks earlier than usual. 

    Veteran shroomers (mushroom hunters) were finding the yellow morels in March even before the small black morels normally begin to peek through the leaves of the south side of wooded hills.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Turkey safety equals turkey success

    Turkey hunting requires preparation. Wild turkeys are much different from their farm-raised relatives. They are much smarter.  

    The more a hunter learns about wild turkeys and their habits, hunting equipment, and where the birds are located, the more likely he or she is to be successful. Scouting for birds before opening morning is important.

    Preparation includes learning safety techniques, which may not only make the hunter safer, but also more likely to bag a bird.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: March Madness isn't just about basketball

    They call it March Madness. It’s all about basketball tournaments, and the national championship. Well, that’s what it is for most people. It’s an IU and Kentucky game in the Sweet 16. 

    But, for some people in Florida, March Madness is when the shellcrackers (redear) come into shallow lake beds and are easy to catch. It’s when in a half-day fishing you can catch your limit of 50 fish.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Boating combines fun and learning

    It was supposed to be a short, fun boat ride for the granddaughters. It was kind of a do-over after a storm shortened a ride the previous day. But, the ride turned into something more, something a bit special.

    In every column, in every story I write I try to include at least one little tidbit of knowledge a reader might not have previously known. I’m not always successful, but I try.