• 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.

  • Still time for sauger action

    Winter rolls on. It seems endless. However as winter continues, so does the potential for good sauger fishing.

    Sauger, cousins of walleye, gather during cold weather months below dams on the Ohio, Green, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers as well as other streams. There’s still time to catch a tasty sauger meal before they disperse this spring.

    While sauger have been naturally in the Green River, stockings of the fish have been made below the dam at Green River Lake.

  • Crappie pro Braswell offers fishing tips

    When crappie fishing from a boat, is it better to push your lines, or pull your baits? Why use all the same rods? Why number them? Why fish the rods out the front of the boat when trolling rather than the sides?

    These were some of the questions Bill Braswell, a former Kentucky conservation officer, answered at a recent Crappie Master seminar at Bass Pro Shops store in Orlando. His tournament trail fishing partner, Dan Dannenmueller, also provided information and answers during the seminar.

  • Microchips help with pet return

    More than a decade ago, two of my English Setter bird dogs disappeared in different incidents. One was never found, the other returned.

    Then, several years ago, my two rat terriers escaped from the motor home while parked in a remote section of a campground in North Little Rock, Ark. I spent a sleepless night until they returned just before daylight. Having pets disappear when traveling is especially worrisome.

  • Horseback tours for viewing elk

    Few people could have envisioned the success of the elk reintroduction effort in Kentucky. It has succeeded beyond the dreams of even the most optimistic planners.

    Elk once roamed the eastern Kentucky hills, valleys and mountains, but then for decades disappeared from the landscape. Then, Kentucky biologists and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation began discussing and planning the reintroduction, which resulted in transplanting seven elk from western Kansas in 1997.

  • Wintertime is sauger time for Kentucky anglers

    When the going gets tough (fishing), the tough go sauger fishing. It’s a fish most easily caught in the coldest weather.

    Below the dams on the Ohio and other streams are prime territory for sauger, a tasty cousin of the walleye.

    Sauger action usually starts in November and good fishing continues through the end of February from the Markland Dam all the way down the river to the J.T. Myers Dam at Uniontown. There also is good fishing along other streams throughout the state.

  • Contemplating past successes and next year’s goals

    As 2010 ends and 2011 starts, it’s a time for reflection on the year gone by, and a quick look ahead.

    For those who love the outdoors, when we look back we can see some of the harmful things man has done to the outdoors. But we also can see many positives.

    When I was a kid growing up in East-Central Illinois, there were no deer and turkeys. Now, they are abundant throughout most Midwestern states. Elk once again flourish in Eastern Kentucky, and the bear population has grown to the point where two Kentucky hunters took bears last month.

  • A dog’s role in writer’s Christmas memories

    Santa’s sleigh has always been pulled by reindeer. Rudolph and his red nose came later.

    Reindeer are found in the far North. That’s true. But it seems to me that a dog sled might have worked just as well, if not better. Dogs are said to be man’s best friend, and undoubtedly are easier to train and more dependable than reindeer.

    And as far as the flying bit, my dogs always have been able to fly off the couch after a dog treat, or sail to the door if a squirrel approaches the deck.

  • Two Kentucky hunters record successful state black bear hunts this season

    Danny Smith of Phelps, carved his name into Kentucky’s hunting annals Dec. 18, when he claimed the state’s first legally harvested black bear in the modern era.

    Smith took the 265-pound male bear in Pike County about five hours into his hunt. He owned the state’s record for the largest bear for about a day, until Billy Joe Dixon, Cumberland, took a 280-pound male on the second day.

  • Photo: Scouting for Food