• OUTDOOR TALES: Morel mushrooms are tasty and fun to hunt

    It seems most everything is off schedule or ahead of schedule this spring with the warm weather. That includes morel mushrooms, which people have been finding several weeks earlier than usual. 

    Veteran shroomers (mushroom hunters) were finding the yellow morels in March even before the small black morels normally begin to peek through the leaves of the south side of wooded hills.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Turkey safety equals turkey success

    Turkey hunting requires preparation. Wild turkeys are much different from their farm-raised relatives. They are much smarter.  

    The more a hunter learns about wild turkeys and their habits, hunting equipment, and where the birds are located, the more likely he or she is to be successful. Scouting for birds before opening morning is important.

    Preparation includes learning safety techniques, which may not only make the hunter safer, but also more likely to bag a bird.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: March Madness isn't just about basketball

    They call it March Madness. It’s all about basketball tournaments, and the national championship. Well, that’s what it is for most people. It’s an IU and Kentucky game in the Sweet 16. 

    But, for some people in Florida, March Madness is when the shellcrackers (redear) come into shallow lake beds and are easy to catch. It’s when in a half-day fishing you can catch your limit of 50 fish.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Boating combines fun and learning

    It was supposed to be a short, fun boat ride for the granddaughters. It was kind of a do-over after a storm shortened a ride the previous day. But, the ride turned into something more, something a bit special.

    In every column, in every story I write I try to include at least one little tidbit of knowledge a reader might not have previously known. I’m not always successful, but I try.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Alabama rig legal for now

    Since the Alabama rig burst onto the bass scene last year, winning tournaments and attracting fish as well as fishermen, it has been somewhat controversial.

    The rig has five spines or wires which can pull five hooks or baits. It has been ruled illegal in a few places and has been prohibited from the Bassmaster Elite bass tour and Bassmaster Classic tournament.

    However, Kentucky natural resources officials as well as those in Indiana have given the rig an OK, at least temporarily.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Sucker fishing fun, tasty eating

    Sure, you can catch fish anytime of the year, even through the ice. However, some times are better than others, and some certainly are more pleasant than others.

    Spring kicks off fishing season for most folks, and one sign of spring is sucker fishing. Yes, there is a sucker fish. (Not talking about fishermen who buy far too many fancy lures.)

    Sauger fishing is slowing. Crappie and bass can be taken early, but their numbers usually don’t pick up until later in the spring.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Top angler offers tips

    With a name like Whitey Outlaw, he might be suited to be a country-western star, or maybe a World Wrestling fighter, but to those who know the name, know he is one of the top crappie fishing pros in the country.

    Whitey has been fishing crappie tournaments since he was 15, when he won his first tournament on his home lake, Santee Cooper in South Carolina.

    He has fished every CrappieMasters major tourney since, and he and his partner, Mike Parrott, won the organization’s Classic three years ago.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Alabama rig new hot bass catcher

    Remember the craze about the Big O bass lure? There were tales of them being rented on a day-to-day basis.

    Everybody wanted one back in 1967. Founder Fred Young couldn’t make them fast enough. They were handcrafted from balsa wood.

    Eventually, Cotton Cordell’s company obtained the rights to the lure and began mass-producing it, which caught lots of big fish.

    There have been other lure crazes, but that was the biggest I recall until maybe now. Now, it’s the Alabama rig. It’s a bass catching sensation.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Snow brings back ice cream memories

    Although snow has been scarce this winter, snow still has been on my mind, and snow brought to mind something I really enjoyed in my younger years  — snow ice cream. The fact is, I still enjoy it.

    Sometimes March produces some big snows. They don’t last long, but long enough for ice cream.

    Growing up, ice cream was a real treat. It was something very special. 

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Cold nights, mild days good for syrup

    There still are people who make maple syrup. It’s tasty, a sign of spring, and a lot of work.

    Maple syrup time is time when the wonderful aroma of cooking syrup can wafts its way down the valleys from sugar camp hills.

    Making maple syrup is almost a lost art.  Most people who make the sweet, tasty syrup in this part of the country do it for the enjoyment and make enough to earn a few bucks and provide a supply for family and friends.