• 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.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: The right bow is critical for archery success

    Editor’s note: Today marks the debut of Gene Culver’s Straight Arrow column, where the local marksman will provide tips and expertise to help make you a better archer.


    When choosing a bow, whether new or used, the decisions that are critical to the bow performing well for you are not what bow company or a specific bow you choose.

    Instead, three main factors will come into play in improving your accuracy.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Outdoors helps glue marriage together

    Well, we made it. Wife Phyllis and I now have been married 50 years. It hardly seems I’m 50 years old. Maybe, I was born married.

    Anyway, according to the calendar and official records, we were married 50 years June 9. Today, I consider that an accomplishment of which to be proud, but must acknowledge some luck. I found a country girl, who would put up with a stubborn writer nerd.

    Both of us love the outdoors, and I’m convinced that has to be a major contributing factor to hitting the half-century married mark.

  • Indiana adopts new bass regulations

    Across the Ohio River in Indiana, new black bass fishing rules took effect the last week in May. The intent of the rule changes is to provide increased protection for black bass (which includes numerous bass, including largemouth and smallmouth) in certain rivers and streams in the state.

    However, the rules don’t apply to the Ohio River and most Indiana streams and rivers that flow into the Ohio. There is one exception. Thus, they won’t impact the way existing bass tourneys operate on the big river.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Free fishing weekend

    Whether you have never fished or haven’t fished for a while this weekend is a great time to wet a line in Kentucky and try your luck. It is a free fishing weekend Saturday and Sunday — no license required.

    Kentucky’s Free Fishing Weekend, which began more than 30 years ago, offers youngsters and families an opportunity to try fishing at no cost Saturday and Sunday.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Boat propellers individually crafted

    Most boaters don’t think much about their motor’s propeller. As long as the prop turns and provides the speed they want for fishing, skiing or joy riding, they are happy.

    Some may recognize there is a difference between some props used for skiing and others for enjoying a ride down the river or across the lake. However, most people use the same prop for both and rarely think about the prop unless they hit an object such as a stump, log or rock.

    However, props play a major role in boat performance.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Caution needed around ticks

    Ticks are a serious subject. They certainly aren’t fun to write about, but I do it every year anyway. While to some it is a boring subject matter, hopefully it serves as a reminder, and to others may provide some helpful information.

    One of my concerns about ticks is that hearing or reading about them may keep some people from enjoying the outdoors. But with caution and common sense, the outdoors can be enjoyed with little or no problem.

  • 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.