• STRAIGHT ARROW: Hunt dairy 2012: Gene faces moment of truth

    My son, Eric, had taken a wide 10-point buck the morning of Oct. 26, so I had high expectations as I got up at 6 a.m. the next day for my 15th hunt of the 2012 season.

    After getting dressed, I stepped out onto the porch and was greeted by a cold, wind-blown drizzle. I started to go back to my warm, dry bed, but I knew if I did I would just toss and turn thinking I should be in a tree stand hunting.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Thanksgiving special good food day

    Thanksgiving is a special holiday. It means different things to different people. It is celebrated in different ways. For nearly all, it involves food.

    For many years in the Junker family, the day involved a hunt for the guys before a big early-afternoon meal. Whether or not any game was taken on the hunt really didn’t matter. It was more about getting out together. It was about tradition. It marks the day I shot my first rabbit with a BB gun when I was probably 9 or 10.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Eric gets his buck

    Thursday, Oct. 25, would be the first vacation day for my son Eric and he would be off until Monday, Nov. 12, giving him plenty of time to take advantage of hunting the rut or breeding season of the whitetail deer.

    With the rut starting in earnest, the bucks are chasing does and they seem to not care where or when they go anywhere — including the roadways.

    At this time of year I start seeing more deer hit by vehicles and I hear warnings on the radio and even occasionally on the television about the increased deer activity and for drivers to be cautious.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Venison makes good chili, jerky

    It seems like just a few days ago we were in the middle of a drought and the thermometer was flirting with 100 degrees. Now, it is almost the end of deer season, and the first snow lingered on the deck.

    In Kentucky, modern gun deer season ends Nov. 19 or 25, depending on the zone. The second part of muzzleloading season is slated for Dec. 8-16.

    With deer season and winter here, several recipes for enjoying the deer come to mind.


    Deer chili

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: 2012 Hunt Diary

    Hunt 10: Oct. 6  — clear 48 degrees, north wind.

    I got up at 5:30 a.m. Got into the stand early, seems daylight took forever today. At 9 a.m. a small spike buck slips in at 10 yards, eats a few acorns and moves on. I get down at 10 a.m.

    Hunt 11: Oct. 7 — 48 degrees, overcast with a 10 to 20 mph north wind.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Late fall good time for crappie

    There are three good times to crappie fish.

    First is during the spring spawn, second is fall when waters cool just before winter, and the third is anytime you get a chance to fish.

    Fall crappie (“slab”) fishing is time for putting crappie in the freezer for winter meals. They taste mighty delicious with fried potatoes and slaw when the wind and snow are swirling around the doorsill.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Granddaughter's first deer hunt a success

    For Eric and I, preparation for my 6-year-old granddaughter Hannah’s first deer hunt started in May when we were working on food plots. While getting one field planted in soybeans and sorghum we decided where we could put a blind for her in a cluster of small trees and also decided to add two more half-acre food plots on each side of the blind site.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Ethanol a problem for boat storage

    A few outdoors folks use their boats year-round, but most put them away for the cold, winter months. One of the major issues is dealing with the motor and fuel system, and it has gotten more important and difficult in recent years.

    Nearly full tank or nearly empty tank? That is the big question facing boaters now in the midst of preparing their boats for the long winter hibernation. The concern these days is ethanol — an octane enhancing gasoline additive that has some unfortunate, harmful side effects on marine engines. 

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Processors, taxidermists, fish and wildlife

    In the last few weeks, I have gotten several calls from readers asking me where to take their deer either to have the meat processed or to have their trophy mounted.

    When you find your deer, the first step is to field dress it as quickly as possible. This will allow the meat to cool quicker. You want to keep the meat as clean as possible, washing the inside of the carcass if water is available will also help cool while cleaning the meat.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Tree stands require safe use to avoid accidents

    While deer hunting is a relatively safe sports compared to others, there still are too many injuries — most of which could be easily avoided.

    To the surprise of many, most deer-hunting injuries are not caused by guns or bows. They result from accidents caused by improper use of deer stands.

    There aren’t a lot of statistics on the subject — and it may be a bit hard to believe — but if viewed over a person’s hunting lifetime, a hunter has one chance in three of receiving a serious injury from tree stand use.