• 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.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Most exciting time of season

    As bowhunters we consider the last week of October up to the opening of the modem

    firearm season to be the most exciting time of the year to be in our treestands.

    The bigger bucks are starting to feel the effects of the rut coming on and are wandering, looking for receptive does. Your trail camera will have photos of bucks traveling that you have not seen all year. One fellow I know, killed a great buck and was given photos of that deer that were taken a few days earlier about five miles away. This time of the year you never know what may walk by.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Cautious driving needed to avoid deer

    It’s deer season. It’s the time when hunters take to the woods in hopes of bagging a deer to have venison for the holiday table. It’s also the time when deer and autos meet far too often.

    Deer movement peaks in late October and continues through the first part of December. During this time, the deer rut or annual mating season takes place for whitetail deer, and it ‘s also the time some deer are on the move when hunters are in the woods.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: Just passing time

    I’ve been asked, doesn’t it get boring when you are bowhunting?

    Just sitting there, 20 to 30 feet above the ground on a platform that only measures about 20x30 inches, for three or four hours at a time and making up to 50 trips afield every season.

    My answer is yeah, maybe sometimes, but not very often.

    I always enjoy seeing what each morning’s sunrise looks like as I drive to work, but I especially enjoy the experience of sunrise from a tree stand. You experience first-hand the world of nature waking to a brand new day.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Predicting fall foliage is a guess

    It seems to be really difficult to predict the impact summer weather, including drought, has on fall foliage.

    Many forecasters projected the drought would mostly eliminate fall tree color, to the disappointment of many who enjoy it. Touring the countryside viewing leaves is something anticipated by many, including promoters of fall festivals and many shop owners.

    It seems there is a lot known about what causes color in the leaves, but predicting its intensity isn’t easy.

  • STRAIGHT ARROW: 2012 Hunt Diary

    Hunt 4, Saturday 9/8

    I got out of the archery shop at 5 p.m. After a quick shower and change into camo I was in my stand by 6 p.m. It was hot with a light southwest breeze. I saw a few squirrels, lots of small birds and just at dusk a rabbit hopped into sight but no deer. Got home about 8:30 p.m.


    Hunt 5, Saturday 9/15