• OUTDOORS: Brujes outlines case for hunting sandhill cranes

    To hunt or not hunt sandhill cranes, that is the question. A proposal to hunt the big birds in Kentucky is before the Department of Fish And Wildlife Resources for consideration.

    Opposition to the proposal has appeared in the past several months. Those who oppose hunting sandhills appear to have several reasons. The controversy may be much like the opposition raised in some states over the years related to dove hunting. It is more based on the heart or general opposition to hunting than wildlife biology.

  • OUTDOORS: Stewart's project races ahead

    Tony Stewart ran out of gas on the final lap of Saturday night’s NASCAR race, and dropped him from third to a 12th-place finish, however a favorite project of his continues racing ahead.

    Stewart owns more than 400 acres near his hometown of Columbus, Ind. It is named Hidden Hollow Ranch and is a place for Tony to get away when he isn’t battling on the NASCAR circuit.

  • OUTDOORS: Morel mushrooms fun to find, good to eat

    It’s morel mushroom time again — a time many people wait for all year.

    Depending on weather, morels usually make their short-lived annual appearance for about three weeks in mid-April into early May.

    Veteran mushroom hunters say a late snow also forecasts more morels, and we meet that qualification this year. Two indicators I have found over the years which are important to morel production are moisture and warm days during the April-May time frame.

  • OUTDOORS: When dogwoods bloom, sucker fishing is tops

    Almost no one sucker fishes anymore. There are some valid reasons, but there also are reasons to give it a try.

    As a kid growing up in Eastern Illinois, there were far fewer fishing opportunities than there are today. Few lakes existed to fish for bass, crappie and bluegill in early spring. Fishing was limited to streams and a few farm ponds, if you were fortunate enough to have access to them.

    However, there are still anglers who look forward to sucker fishing — one of the earliest opportunities as spring arrives.

  • 500 trout released into Bloomfield Lake

    Kentucky Fish & Wildlife is encouraging fishers to take advantage of the 500 rainbow trout released into Bloomfield Lake in Bloomfield Memorial Park Monday.

    “This is an opportunity for us to bring fishing close to home for people. That way, they don’t have to travel as far to catch quality fish,” Fish & Wildlife Biologist Kathryn Emme said.

  • Survey reveals favorite hunter brands

    Surveys create a bit of skepticism on my part. No one ever calls me to ask about my favorite TV show. They don’t ask me if I watch reality shows, or whether I am sick of hearing about Charlie Sheen. Nor do they ask me about my favorite cereal or why I don’t like oatmeal.

    However, apparently there are thousands of surveys taking place every day. And while I question the conclusions of some, the results of a few are interesting. Others seem to just be silly and a waste of time.

  • Too anxious for spring

    When the first of March rolls around, I always over react. I think it should be spring, but I’m at least two weeks and maybe four too early for the good spring weather to have arrived to stay.

    It’s not unusual for a big snow storm to strike in March. They can be deep and wet, but fortunately they don’t stick around long. Forsythia and daffodils are beginning to announce the coming season and better weather. Crocus already are blooming.

  • Camping season is rapidly approaching

    As spring approaches, so does camping season.

    It soon will be time to get the RV or camping gear ready for spring, and time to make a reservation for Memorial Day weekend.

    This winter in Florida, friends Diana and Gary Johnson joined my wife, Phyllis, and myself for a few days at the Harbor RV Resort & Marina, just east of Lake Wales in Florida. The Johnsons have a nifty trailer; one which caters to Gary’s love for outdoor cooking.

  • Ignorance of law no excuse

    Ignorance of the law isn’t a valid excuse when it comes to wildlife violations. However, it is relatively easy to violate the letter of the law even though your intentions are good.

    Refreshing your memory related to the law is wise. And besides, regulations change.

    This hit home when a friend, Lee Leschper, was charged and fined for a bear hunting regulation in Alaska. Lee has been a longtime outdoorsman, outdoors writer, and has spent considerable time promoting wildlife conservation, especially encouraging the involvement of youth in the outdoors.

  • Good news from Groundhog Day?

    Well, the groundhog didn’t see his shadow, or at least most of them didn’t. Hopefully, the folklore is true and we’ll have an early spring. We need it.

    Groundhog Day is an important day in my household. I’m truly happy for the hoopla associated with the day. It also is my wife’s birthday, and the attention given the groundhog serves as a reminder that I had better be looking for a card and gift.