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Outdoors

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Bats not villains, but a good thing

    One morning a neighbor called. “Hey, come over to my place. You’re the outdoor guy. I want to show you something, and then I’ve got a couple of questions.”

    That type call always worries me. I’ve been writing about the outdoors for half a century, but still know very little about it. There is so much to know. Usually what I do know, is whom to ask for their expertise.

    When I arrived, my friend was still eating breakfast. “Come out here on the porch. Look up there.”

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Tips for the older bowhunter

    Each year I have a few bowhunters come into my archery shop who are having the same problems I have experienced as I age. The normal complaints are that they may have to give up on archery because of shoulder pain, or they are having trouble drawing their bow back. Some can’t see or hear as well as they used to when they were younger.

    My first question is how many pounds are you shooting on your bow? The usual answer is 70 pounds and sometimes 80. The cure is simple — lower your pounds.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Tips for the older bowhunter

    Each year I have a few bowhunters come into my archery shop who are having the same problems I have experienced as I age. The normal complaints are that they may have to give up on archery because of shoulder pain, or they are having trouble drawing their bow back. Some can’t see or hear as well as they used to when they were younger.

    My first question is how many pounds are you shooting on your bow? The usual answer is 70 pounds and sometimes 80. The cure is simple — lower your pounds.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Crankbaits catch big crappie

    When most anglers think of attracting crappie to a hook, they think minnows or jigs, or maybe a combination of both. They don’t think crankbaits.

    This old writer is in that group. Crankbaits never crossed my mind. I never heard of using a sizable bait like a crankbait to troll for crappie until a couple years ago while fishing with several outdoor writer friends prior to a crappie tournament at Kentucky Lake.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Primitive fire-making

    I had always been interested in how a fire could be built without any of the modern fire-making devices we have available to us, but I had never known or met anyone who had done it. So a couple of weeks ago, I did some research on the Internet and found all kinds of information and videos about primitive fire-making, and that piqued my interest even more.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Ticks may be plentiful this year

    An unusually mild winter may lead to an enlarged number of ticks this spring and summer.

    Cold weather never wipes out existing tick populations, but it slows them down; a mild winter can lead to an increased population

    For the most part, they are just a pesky nuisance, but caution is in order in dealing with these little nasties. In rare cases, their bite can lead to serious illness, those a reminder about these pests is in order.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Turkey hunting: the last week

    As the last week of turkey season started, I still had a tag in my pocket, but was worn out and very low in confidence.

    On my last three hunts, I had not heard or seen a turkey, so I decided to rest and hopefully pick a couple of mornings when the weather conditions would be best. My plan was to try to hunt Wednesday, Thursday and maybe Friday, if the weather cooperated.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Turkey hunting with Hannah

    My 10-year-old granddaughter Hannah has been turkey hunting five times this season, but so far the turkeys haven’t cooperated. All these hunts have been morning hunts, when Hannah and her dad get up between 4:30 and 5 a.m., depending on where they are going to hunt.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Fried morels are a spring cuisine treat

    The period for finding morel mushrooms is far too short.

    Usually in this area, morels can be found in late April and early May, so that is when the eating is good. And while they can be saved for later eating, they are best eaten when they are freshly picked and cooked.

    A couple seasons past, my brother-in-law Paul Cooper stopped by and announced he brought a surprise. It was a good one. Morel mushrooms.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Day 4 of turkey season proved productive

    Last week, I documented my first three hunts of the 2016 season, and Tuesday morning, April 19, I was again up at 5:30 a.m. I decided that I would just find a concealed spot, put a hen decoy out, call a little, and be patient.

    When I arrived at the area, I wanted to hunt, I found a spot near where I knew turkeys sometimes enter the field. I cleared a small area out between two small cedar trees, then stepped off 25 yards and placed the hen decoy. I went back and crawled into my makeshift blind, and as the sky started to lighten, I prepared to wait motionless until 10 a.m.