• OUTDOOR TALES: Turkey is key part of Thanksgiving

    Turkeys and Thanksgiving are synonymous; at least they go together, one with the other.

    Wild turkeys probably were part of the first fall celebration that preceded the Thanksgiving we know today. They were on the scene long before the domestic variety we find in the grocery store.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Venison donations help hungry

    People who hunt deer are enthusiastic about their sport, and most love to eat venison, but if not there are a number of places to put the tasty, healthy meat to good use. There are people who want it, and those who need it.

    Taking an extra deer really is a good thing. It helps manage the continued growth of the deer herd, and it also can help those in need of food.

  • Modern gun deer season arrives for hunters

    Bow deer season has been open for more than a month, and this weekend thousands of hunters will take to the woods and fields as modern gun season opens. It is a fun time and a time when hunters hope to bag venison for the freezer.

    Kentucky modern gun season opened Saturday, and the second part of muzzleloader season starts Dec. 10-18.

    It was sad to hear a southern Indiana hunter lost his life last month when he fell from a tree stand from which he was hunting. Several other non-fatal falls also have been reported.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Start youngsters early in outdoors activities

    When it comes to teaching youngsters the basics and traditions of hunting, often squirrel or rabbit is the game that usually come to mind for the initial outings.

    Squirrel are a good choice because many of the basics learned apply to other types of game, like deer and turkey. 

    My first hunting was for rabbits. Almost by accident I shot one with a BB gun. While rabbits are good for learning, it seems these days there are fewer and fewer rabbits to hunt.

  • Persimmons make good fall treat

    When most people think of dessert treats for Thanksgiving, images and thoughts of pumpkin pies come to mind. For others it is persimmons and persimmon pudding.

    For many, persimmon pudding is as traditional as that oven-browned turkey and pumpkin pies with a bit of whipped cream on the top.

    However, persimmon pudding probably is losing the popularity battle as persimmon pulp is harder to come by these days. There is canned pulp available as some specialty stores. It’s OK, but it’s not as tasty as the home grown and processed pulp.

  • Kids love campfires, water, but why?

    Kids love campfires and throwing sticks into water. I’m not sure why. But, they do. It is like an instinct. It’s like part of nature.

    Somebody probably has studied why they are attracted to campfires as well as tossing stuff into water. Everything else seems to have been studied. However, if anyone has studied kids and campfires or sticks and water, I’ve never seen one.

    Most people enjoy sitting by a campfire, but tossing things — other than fishing lures — in the water seems to be a natural kid thing.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Kentucky angler wins top crappie award

    Bill Braswell from Hazard and his fishing partner, Dan Dannenmueller of Milbrook, Ala., won the 2011 Bass Pro Shop’s Crappie Masters “Angler Team of the Year” national points championship.  

    Braswell, a retired Kentucky conservation officer, and Dan, who fish as the Gary Yamamoto Custom Bait’s pro staff team, began their chase for the points title back in January of this year on the Harris Chain of Lakes located at Tavares, Fla.  

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Fall turkey hunting challenging

    Most people who hunt fall turkeys find it considerably different than spring gobbler hunting. They also find it more challenging, and that says a lot. Spring turkey hunting itself is a test of outdoor skills.

    Fall archery turkey season is underway, and despite the dry, hot 2011 summer, there are plenty of birds for hunters.

    In Kentucky, fall turkey archery season opened back on Sept. 3 and runs through Jan. 16. Shotgun season is Oct. 22-28 and Dec. 3-9. Crossbow season is Oct. 1-16, and Nov. 12 through Dec. 31.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Walnuts one of fall's favorite treats

    One of the bounties of fall is the harvest of nuts. In this part of the country, the most valued are walnuts and hickories. Both are great in desserts.

    In the wild, hickories are more abundant. The nuts make good cookies, however you need a lot of patience I don’t have to pick out the meat from the shell.

    Walnuts ultimately are easier to hull, but are really messy and also can be a lot of work. Harvesting walnuts is almost a lost art. While they are expensive in the grocery store, most people buy them these days rather than picking out the meat.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Worms and muddy water aid survival

    In this part of the country, people hunting or hiking in the woods rarely get lost — really lost. Sometimes they are lost for a few hours, possibly even overnight, but rarely really lost.

    In most of the lower Midwest, you can walk in straight line and you will find a road or find a stream to follow. People frequently get disoriented and walk in circles. And, sometimes injury can curtail movement.

    It’s always wise to take precaution and be prepared — even on a warm sunny day. It could turn into a cool, rainy night or even nights.