Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Young lady's trophy buck

This is 14-year-old Michaella Monroe of Spencer County. This buck scored 219 5/8.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Historic Bear Hunt awaiting Bluegrass Hunters

On Saturday, December 19th Kentucky hunters will have an historic opportunity. The Bluegrass State will host its first bear hunt in over a century.

The hunt is limited to Kentucky residents only. The season will be open in Pike, Harlan and Letcher counties on the 19th and possibly the 20th. The hunt will end after 10 bears or five females are harvested. Hunters need to call 1800-858-1549 by 9 p.m. on the 19th. to see if the season will be open the following day.

Successful hunters must take their bear to one of the check-in stations set up in each of the open counties. Locations are listed at the department’s webpage online at fw.ky.gov, or hunters may call 1-800-858-1549 during regular weekday business hours prior to the hunt for check-in station locations. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife biologists will weigh the bears, take body measurements and biological samples for research, and attach a permanent tag to each harvested animal. Hunters must also telecheck their bear before leaving the check station.

Hunters may not take female bears with cubs or bears weighing less than 75 pounds. A 75-pound bear is about the same size as an adult Labrador retriever. Baiting is prohibited, including garbage used as bait. For example, hunters may not shoot a bear feeding at a garbage can or dumpster.

“The population has shown phenomenal growth from only a decade ago,” said Steven Dobey, bear program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “We’ve been monitoring this population and have been involved in research with the University of Kentucky for almost 10 years. Based on our research efforts, it’s clear that Kentucky’s bear population can support a sustainable harvest.”

Portions of 10 public hunting areas are open for bear hunting, though hunters should consult maps to ensure they hunt only within Harlan, Letcher and Pike counties. Excluding Hensley-Pine Mountain WMA, there are 29,651 acres of public land available to hunters within the three-county bear zone. Hunters must have landowner permission to hunt or retrieve downed bears from private land.

The Hensley-Pine Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is closed to bear hunting, and a 12,500-acre area surrounding the WMA is open only to landowners, their spouses and dependent children hunting on their own property. Those boundaries are clearly delineated in the 2009-10 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide, available wherever hunting licenses are sold and online at fw.ky.gov.

“This season is particularly exciting because black bears are the first species to repopulate naturally in Kentucky,” said Rick Allen, president of the League of Kentucky Sportsmen. “I’m glad to see this season become a reality for Kentucky’s sportsmen and sportswomen.”

For more information you can contact the KDFWR at 1-800-858-1549 or visit their web site at www.fw.ky.gov.

A wonderful book

I recently acquired a copy of a new book regarding fly fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is a subject near and dear to my heart and having purchased every other guide book on the subject that I am aware of, I must say that this one is superior in every way.

Jim Casada’s Fly Fishing In The Great Smoky Mountains National Park: An insider’s Guide to A Pursuit of Passion deals with all aspects of fly fishing in the park. However, this not just an ordinary guide book. The author is a son of the smokies, having been raised on the North Carolina side of the park. He has fished these streams extensively and is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the regions fly fishing.

The one thing that makes this book so important is all of the historical information it provides. It should come as no surprise, because Mr. Casada is a historian of the first order and a retired history professor. In addition to covering all of the major watersheds in the park, each stream has a base of operation section and a “Back of Beyond” listing, a phrase coined by the legendary Horace Kephart.

In addition, there are elevation charts provided by the author’s brother and a map of park’s streams. The book is rounded out by spectacular photos, and true to the author’s background in history, an excellent bibliographical section completes it.

The book comes in a hardback version which sells for $37.50 or a soft cover version for $24.95. You can purchase inscribed copies from Mr. Casada’s web site www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Elk hunt application process underway

It is time once again big game hunters. If you want a shot at Kentucky's biggest game of all, now is the time to submit your application for the state's elk hunt drawing. Applications cost $10, and give the purchaser a chance to win a bull or cow elk tag. Applications are available online only.

You may apply by logging onto the homepage of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at fw.ky.gov and clicking on the yellow “Buy Licenses Here” box on the right side of the page. If you wish to purchase a chance for someone on your Christmas shopping list, you will need that person’s social security number.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife issued 750 cow elk tags and 250 bull elk tags for the regular 2009 lottery quota hunts. More than 46,000 people applied for the 2009 hunts.

Youth hunters 15 years old and younger may apply for the 2010 youth-only elk hunt at Paul Van Booven Wildlife Management Area. Youth may apply for the regular quota elk hunts and the youth-only hunt, but each application costs $10.

You can only apply one time (except those youth applying for the youth-only and regular elk quota hunts). The lottery is open to Kentucky residents and non-residents. The deadline to apply is April 30. The drawing will be conducted in May.

Eighty-seven percent of those drawn for the 2009 bull elk hunt successfully harvested a bull elk during the current season.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Good friends, Good Times and No Deer

The arrival at the primitive campground at Yellowbank Wildlife Management Area was not originally planned for 9:30 p.m. on Thursday evening. Of course a homecoming parade and a missed turn contributed to the four of us setting up camp by lantern light.

Once tents were erected and wood was gathered, a campfire was blazing and a bull session with beverages was planned. Of course it was short lived thanks to rain and thunderstorms that moved through the area, sending us scrambling into tents. The rain continued throughout early Friday, cancelling the morning hunt.

A trip to the nearby town of Hardinsburg was hatched in order to gather our groceries for the rest of the weekend. The menu consisted of lot’s of bologna, hot dogs and canned beef stew. No gourmet meals for us hard-as-leather bowhunters.

We were finally able to get in the woods Friday evening and hunted till dark. Two of us saw deer (I was not one of them) and one of us got really lost (once again, not me). Our lost companion made it back to camp before any of us, after hitching a seven mile ride with a farm lady who spent the better part of her days around smelly livestock and obviously wasn’t offended by a one-eyed man in camouflage who hadn’t showered in a couple of days.

The wind swirled around 20 mph for the rest of the weekend and the moon was full, making less than idea hunting conditions. We did finally start figuring them out by Saturday afternoon and the other two of us finally saw deer.

The final tally from the weekend went something like this: four cans of beef stew, two 30 packs of Busch Light, four packs of hot dogs, three packs of bologna, a fifth of Jim Beam Red Stag and no deer.

We enjoyed it so much we will be doing this again at the end of the month.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The 14th. State, ready for archery season

The Dark and bloody ground is one translation for Kentucky. When I think of this, I think of the 14th. State’s historical past, much of which revolves around the game rich land when Native Americans and early explorer’s first roamed this land I call home.

The game is still rich and readily available here, from whitetails, wild turkey, elk and black bear. On Saturday, deer archery season opens in the Bluegrass State and continues through the middle of January. It is something that I look forward to each year.

Grabbing my Osage longbow and quiver full of cedar shafted arrows and pursuing the game of my ancestors red and white. It just seems right, like a genetic effect in my brain, left over from the hunter/gatherer days of old.

Some people ask me why I hunt; others ask me why I hunt using the most primitive of weapons. To the former I explain that meat really doesn’t originate in plastic wrapped packages in the aisle of Kroger. To the latter I tell them that it is my way of traveling back in time to a world that was a lot less complicated.

The Spanish philosopher Jose` Ortega y Gasset said that “One does not hunt in order to kill, but one kills in order to have hunted.” So I will be in the woods before daylight Saturday morning, as I have too many opening mornings to count, doing as those who came before me did.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rainbows rebound on fabled Madison River

Rainbow trout are rebounding nicely on Montana’s famed Madison River. The Madison was where the first cases of whirling disease occurred 15 years ago, decimating this world class trout fishery.

This is good news for lovers of the Madison, where a guided drift boat trip will run you around $425 per day.

To check out the entire story young can go to: http://www.billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_436aa078-74f3-11de-8520-001cc4c03286.html

Kentucky hunters needed

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) need information from turkey and waterfowl hunters in the state.

The questionnaire for turkey hunters involves the opening date of the spring season. The commission wants to know if hunters want to continue the opening day as we have it now, which is the Saturday nearest the 15th of April, or if they would like to see it moved to the second Saturday in April.

The survey for waterfowl hunters asks if the state should change the limit on mallard hens from the current one per day. It also asks about the youth weekend in the two zones.

If you want your voice heard you can visit www.fw.ky.gov and take the survey online. You have until August 10th to do so.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fly rods and farm ponds

Nothing says the lazy days of summer to me than a combination of fly rods and farm ponds. I discovered two ponds within a mile of my house and have been fishing them about once a week, usually during the evenings and sometimes early mornings. They, like most bodies of water this time of year, tend to go dead during the heat of the day.

There are plenty of bluegill and bass to be caught and I have had most of my luck on No. 8 Sneaky Pete poppers in chartreuse and on No. 4 black nose dace streamers. If you haven’t tried fly fishing in small ponds, you might want to give it a try.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An old friend battles ALS

This past Saturday I went to a trap shoot at Jefferson Gun Club in Brooks, KY. This was not an ordinary shoot, but was the One Shot Doc trap shoot put on by the National Wild Turkey Federation Bernheim Chapter. The event is to reward the people involved in the chapter’s Wheelin’ Sportsmen program which gets disabled hunters back into the woods.

While there I met some fine folks and also touched base with an old friend.

Mitch Ensor and I went to high school together, where we used to talk about hunting and fishing. As adults, we were members of Chickasaw Archery Club in Shepherdsville and used to shoot together on occasion. Mitch is one of those guys that everyone likes. Always has been. He has a wife and two young children and something else; Mitch has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

There is no cure for ALS. He will eventually die from this disease and the world will have lost a great soul. In addition to support from family and friends Mitch has his faith and not the kind of faith you sometimes see. He lives for the Lord 24 hours a day, seven days a week and has for as long as I can remember.

Mitch was an active outdoorsman even after this terrible disease hit him. He even got his Osceola Turkey in Florida from a wheel chair, with the help of David Blanton and Realtree Outdoors. This was his last bird to complete the American grand slam of turkeys.

Only God knows what the future holds for Mitch and his family, but if you want to find out more about ALS and perhaps make a donation to support research you can go to: http://www.alsa.org/.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lane leads wire to wire at Kentucky Lake

Bobby Lane lead wire to wire and took his first BASS Elite series victory at Kentucky Lake this past week.

His 97 pounds, 9 ounces was enough to hold off the legnedary Kevin VanDam.

Things were plenty stressful on the final day for Lane. A two hour fog delay kept the anglers at the Paris Landing takeoff. Once the field was finally released Lane had to contend with approximately 120 spectator boats parked around his honey hole. He still managed to catch 16 pounds 15 ounces from the ledge he had fished all week.

VanDam's second place finish helped him to extend his lead in the Toyota Trucks Angler of the Year race. He now leads 2009 Classic Champion Skeet Reese by 15 points.

To read about the Bassmaster Kentucky Lake tournament you can check out www.bassmaster.com.

The tournament will air Saturday June 13 at 9 a.m. EST. on ESPN2.

Up next at Kentucky Lake the FLW Tour Pro's take their shot at this 160,000 acre impoundment on the Kentucky/Tennessee border. Their tournament begins thursday and will run through Sunday.

To follow the FLW tournament you can visit www.flwoutdoors.com.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Big stringers at Kentucky Lake Bassmaster tournament

Anybody that competes in or just follows tournament bass fishing would feel good about a five bass limit weighing 19 pounds 12 ounces. That is the weight that Paducah’s Mark Menendez weighed in at the Bassmaster Elite Series Tennessee Triumph at Kentucky Lake yesterday. Unfortunately for Menendez, that was only good enough for 32nd place on day one of the four day event.

31 anglers weighed in stringers over 20 pounds with Florida’s Bobby Lane leading the way with 29-14 and Kevin VanDam close behind with 28-11.

The weather has changed to rainy and windy today as a front moves through and am not sure what this will do to the fish. Most anglers are fishing off shore ledges, which is generally the predominant pattern this time of year at the massive lake. Both VanDam and Lane are fishing off shore and reports are that KVD caught most of his fish yesterday on a Strike King Sexy Shad Series 6 Crankbait.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

National Archery in the Schools Program

Bull’s eye

National Archery in the Schools Program getting kids involved in shooting sports

By Tim Tipton

Thousands of young archers from across the country recently made their way to Louisville to participate in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) National Championships. This was the sixth year for the national tournament and to proclaim the program a success would be a huge understatement. The event set a new record with 4,565 shooters from fourth through twelfth grades.

NASP began in the planning stages in August of 2001 and was the brainchild of former Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) Commissioner Tom Bennett and former KDFWR Wildlife Director Roy Grimes. The program was launched in March of 2002 with 21 Kentucky middle schools initially involved. The program was later expanded to include elementary and high schools.

Today NASP is in nearly 5000 schools in 46 states and five countries and it is still expanding. The growth of NASP has surprised even Bennett.

“We wanted to do something to get more kids involved in the shooting sports,” Bennett says. “When we started it, we thought it would get this big, but we actually thought it would take at least 10 years.”

According to Bennett, the program was begun in the hopes of improving hunting license sales. The state of Kentucky was losing two percent of their license sales and it is hoped that this can be made up by introducing the sport of archery to kids who might not otherwise have gotten involved in hunting. However, there are other benefits to getting kids into the program.

“It brings kids with different backgrounds together in a way that is not provided by other activities,” said Jodi Grant, sponsor of Eastside Middle School’s team in Mt. Washington, KY. “It brings out kids not involved in other activities. In archery anybody can participate, you don’t have to be the biggest, strongest or most athletic to be involved. That opens a lot of doors for kids that otherwise would not participate in extracurricular activities.”

Bennett see’s the benefits of archery being taught as part of the physical education curriculum and says there is more to it than trying to put an arrow in a bull’s eye.
“The sport of archery teaches young people to focus, concentrate and practice,” he said.

“By teaching the kids these skills, it carries over to other parts of their life and these are skills to be used throughout their life.”

That is something that many of the young archers agreed on.

“Archery has taught me how to concentrate because I have always had a problem concentrating,” said12-year-old Rande Hopkins of Kaufman, TX.

The sixth grader was competing for the first time in Louisville and said the level of competition at nationals is humbling.

“Even if you’re the best in your state, you might not be the best at nationals because there are so many good shooters,” she said.

Hopkins’ friend and teammate Kylie Gardner was also making her first trip to the nationals after finishing third in the state of Texas. She enjoys the chance to travel with her friends and family and the perks offered in Louisville and surrounding areas.

“It is a lot of fun because we get to miss school and be with our friends,” Gardner said. “While we were here we went to the Louisville Slugger Museum and on our way here we stopped at the Country Music Hall of Fame.”

If you are interested in getting your school involved, you can get information at www.archeryintheschools.org.

NASP Final Results

Elementary Team:

1.) Trigg County Intermediate --- Cadiz, KY

2.) Meigs Intermediate --- Middleport, OH

3.) Westonka Elementary --- Minnetrista, MN

4.) Zaneis School --- Wilson, OK

5.) Maysville Elementary --- Zanesville, OH

Elementary Individual Female:

1.) Katie Rappuhn, Breitling Elementary --- Grand Bay, AL
2.) Kayla Dowell, Payneville Elementary --- Payneville, KY
3.) Jordan Lewis, George Guffey Elementary --- Fenton, MO
4.) Kaila Cunningham, Trigg County Intermediate --- Cadiz, KY
5.) Meredith Noland, Chickasha Elementary --- Chickasha, OK
Elementary Individual Male:
1.) Kolt Perkins, Zaneis School --- Wilson, OH
2.) Jeremy Elliot, Corbin Intermediate --- Corbin, KY
3.) Clayton Knott, Payneville Elementary --- Payneville, KY
4.) Blake Taylor, Lewisburg Elementary --- Lewisburg, KY
5.) Keenan Jones, Bondurant Middle --- Frankfort, KY
Middle School Team:
1.) Ashville Middle School --- Ashville, AL
2.) Henderson South Middle School ---Henderson, KY
3.) Stuart Pepper Middle School --- Brandenburg, KY
4.) Maysville Middle School --- Zanesville, OH
5.) Boyd County Middle School --- Ashland, KY
Middle School Individual Female:
1.) Patsy Banister, Trigg County Middle School ---Cadiz, KY
2.) Stephanie Whisenant, Ashville Middle School --- Ashville, AL
3.) Shaye Patterson, Trigg County Middle School --- Cadiz, KY
4.) Brianna Gilliam, Elliot County High School --- Sandy hook, KY
5.) Jessica Workman, East Noble High School --- Kendallville, IN
Middle School Individual Male:
1.) Taylor Knott, Stuart Pepper Middle School --- Brandenburg, KY
2.) Nathan Owens, Ashville Middle School --- Ashville, AL
3.) Hunter Brown, J.D. Adams Middle School --- Prestonsburg, KY
4.) Ethan Flynn, Henderson South Middle School --- Henderson, KY
5.) Micah Baker, Ashville Middle School --- Ashville, AL
High School Team:
1.) Henderson County High School --- Henderson, KY
2.) Trigg County High School --- Cadiz, KY
3.) Meade County High School --- Brandenburg, KY
4.) Maysville High School --- Zanesville, OH
5.) Alma Bryant High School --- Irvington, AL
High School Individual Female:
1.) Jessica Nystrom, Hartland High School --- Hartland, MI
2.) Danielle Reddick, Trigg County High School --- Cadiz, KY
3.) Brandi Waters, Meade County High School --- Brandenburg, KY
4.) Lindsey Carr, Madison Southern High School --- Berea, KY
5.) Kelsey Taylor, Morgan High School --- McConnelsville, OH
High School Individual Male:
1.) Adrian Sprankle, Maysville High School --- Zanesville, OH
2.) Will Thompson, Breckenridge County High School --- Harned, KY
3.) Jacob Riffle, Meigs High School --- Pomeroy, OH
4.) Eugene Patterson, Meigs High School --- Pomeroy, OH
5.) Ethan Gish, Henderson County High School --- Henderson, KY

A new blog to follow

My good friend and aspiring outdoor writer Matt Lockman has a new blog that I would encourage folks to follow. Matt is a married father of two with a beautiful (He overachieved) wife and two youngsters, a degree in History and decided to be a writer. I guess he dislikes money.

You can access Matt's blog at mattlockman.blogspot.com. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

World's best bass pro's visit Kentucky Lake

For the next two weeks many of the world's greatest bass tournament anglers will be visiting Kentucky Lake.

June 3-6 the BASS Elite Series Anglers will take center stage at Kentucky Lake, the 160,000-acre lake on the Kentucky/Tennessee border. The tournament, will be held out of Paris Landing State Park in Buchanan, TN. For more information check out www.bassmaster.com

The following week June 11-14 will see the FLW stars take the famous Tennessee River Impoundment. Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. Thursday and Friday from the Kentucky Dam Marina located at 466 Marina Drive in Gilbertsville, Ky. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will also be held at the Kentucky Dam Marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Regional Special Events Center at Murray State University located at 1401 State Route 121 North in Murray, Ky., beginning at 4 p.m. For more information on the FLW Tour check out www.flwoutdoors.com.

This writer will be in attendance for parts of both tourneys and will blog from there. Expect both tourney’s to be won by anglers fishing off-shore ledges at this time of year.

Kentucky Free Fishing Weekend June 6-7

This weekend, June 6-7 is free fishing weekend in Kentucky. Anglers may fish this weekend only without a Kentucky fishing license.

There are also many fishing events for kids that will be put on across the state.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) and Kentucky State University will host a Fishing Derby for youth under the age of 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. June 5, and from 7 to 10 a.m. June 6 at the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Headquarters off U.S. 60, west of Frankfort. The two lakes at the Headquarters will close to fishing on June 3 and will reopen to all anglers at 10 a.m. on June 6.
“They will stock 1,000 catfish and 1,000 sunfish up to one-half pound in the Upper Sportsman’s Lake,” Johnson said. “And, new this year, we will stock 77 largemouth bass in both the Upper and Lower Sportsman’s Lakes that weigh 1 to 7 pounds. We would like to thank Kentucky State University for supplying a portion of these largemouth bass. After the kids are done June 6, the public is welcome to fish the lakes after 10 a.m.”
Prizes will be awarded by random drawing throughout the event. “We try and make sure everyone walks away with something,” Johnson said.
The event is free, but participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment and preferred baits or lures. A limited amount of fishing equipment and bait will be provided for those who need it.
Captain Myra Minton of KDFWR’s Law Enforcement Division will be hosting an event at the Jim Beam Distillery off HWY. 245 in Bullitt County. The event will run 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Conservation Officer Scott Herndon will host a kids fishing event at the Taylorsville Lake tailwater below Taylorsville Lake Dam from 8 a.m. to noon on June 6. No registration is required for both of these free events.
“After noon, we will move to the Spencer County Fish and Game Club on KY 44 east of Taylorsville where we host a kid’s fun day with archery, trap shooting, paintball and a casting contest,” Herndon said. “Lunch is provided and we go until they get tired of shooting.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be hosting their 23rd. annual Catch a Rainbow Fishing Derby on June 6 at the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery. This event is free for kids 15 and under and registration begins at 8 a.m. central time at the hatchery below Wolf Creek Dam on Lake Cumberland.
Those who live in the Louisville area and in northern Kentucky, six lakes will be stocked this week to provide good fishing for Free Fishing Weekend. Tom Wallace Lake in the Jefferson Memorial Forest and Waverly Park Lake will each receive 1,000 catfish and 1,000 sunfish. Miles Park Lake #4 will receive 600 catfish and 600 sunfish.
Middleton-Mills Lake in Covington gets 200 catfish and 200 sunfish while Stein Community Lake in Alexandria receives 1,200 catfish and 1,200 sunfish.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kentucky hunters set record harvest

Kentucky’s recently completed spring turkey season was a success as hunters harvested a record 29,006 birds. That eclipsed the old mark of 28,797 birds in 2006.

“Despite the bad weather, turkey hunters are dedicated sportsmen and sportswomen,” said Karen Alexy, wildlife division director for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “They still got out there and made this the best season ever.”

poult counts last summer were the highest in the 25-year history of the program, which left many predicting a fabulous harvest for this spring.

“We had more birds on the ground than probably at any time in modern history,” said Steven Dobey, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s turkey program coordinator. “Interest in turkey hunting continues to grow. That, combined with the record number of turkeys on the ground, resulted in a phenomenal season.”

KDFWR officials should know in a matter of months how successful this years hatch is.

“By early fall, we’ll have a post-harvest estimate of what the population looks like,” said Dobey. “I expect it to be great – those hens made it through the spring season and are nested now.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife make changes for elk season

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission has made several modifications to the upcoming elk season.

The Commission recommended splitting Elk Hunt Unit 6 into four sub-units designated by letter. Elk Hunt Unit 6 is home to the 16,704-acre Graham Wildlife Management Area (WMA), the 30,038-acre Begley WMA and the 54,838-acre Corrigan WMA. Subdividing Elk Hunt Unit 6, which is located in all or parts of Clay, Leslie, Harlan, Bell, Knox, Whitley and McCreary counties, will help more evenly distribute hunting pressure during the quota elk hunts. The subdivision would take effect this year.

Commission members also recommended changes to the 2010 late season quota elk hunt. The hunts began last year to help control elk-related property damage. Hunters drawn for this hunt will come from the pool of regular hunt applicants who are also residents of the 16-county elk restoration zone. Hunters may also harvest a few spike bulls. The number of hunters to be drawn for this late season hunt has not yet been determined.

The Commission also standardized the definition of a youth for elk hunting as “a person who has not reached their sixteenth birthday by the day of the hunt.” This regulation would not take effect until 2010. It would not affect youths drawn for the 2009 hunt.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kentucky officials call special meeting

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commision has called an emergency meeting for Friday May 8, at 11 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) headuqarters in Frankfort.

The meeting is to discuss regulations for Kentucky's elk hunt. Items to be discussed include the possibilty of a late season quota hunt, requiring youth hunters to be under 16 at the time of the hunt and the subdivision of one elk hunting unit (EHU).

The meeting is open to the public.

For more information you can contact the KDFWR at www.fw.ky.gov or by calling 1-800-858-1549.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

BASS Postseason announcement

Before the BASS Elite Series season opener BASS announced changes to the format due to the economy. Inluded in these changes was the announcement of the first ever postseason. Today BASS released the information via a press release that follows below:

BASS announced Wednesday that the organization will head to Alabama, the state where it was founded more than 40 years ago, for the inaugural Bassmaster Elite Series postseason. The postseason, dubbed the Toyota Trucks Championship Week and set for Sept. 10-18, will be played out on two productive Alabama fisheries, with the first leg set for Lake Jordan out of Wetumpka and the finale, the Evan Williams Bourbon Trophy Triumph, slated for the Alabama River from Montgomery.

Rich with BASS history, Alabama has hosted 10 Bassmaster Classics and will be the site for the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, set for Feb. 19-21 out of Birmingham and Lay Lake. The 2009 Bassmaster Elite Series season will culminate with the final day’s weigh-in in Montgomery, a city in which BASS was headquartered for more than 35 years. The 2009 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year will be crowned at the season finale and will be awarded the accompanying $200,000 top prize.

“What a way to end the 2009 season in a state where BASS was established,” said Tom Ricks, vice president and general manager, ESPN Outdoors & BASS. “With this new format, we anticipate an exciting finish that will create excellent content for fishing fans.”

Additionally, at the conclusion of the final weigh-in, Academy of Country Music Award winner for 2009 Best New Group and recent CMT Music Award nominee, Zac Brown Band, will play a free, live concert at the Montgomery Riverwalk Amphitheater. Best known for the No. 1 hit single, “Chicken Fried”, the Zac Brown Band ushered in the 2009 BASS tournament season with a rambunctious set at the 2009 Bassmaster Classic in Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

With the introduction of the new postseason format, a detailed schedule has been created for the Toyota Trucks Championship Week, beginning with two practice days, Sept. 10-11, followed by two competition days, Sept. 12-13, on Jordan, titled the Trophy Chase. The 12 qualifying anglers will then take a one-day break Sept. 14 for media and sponsor activities. Anglers will then move to Montgomery for the final competition, the Evan Williams Bourbon Trophy Triumph.

A two-day practice period, Sept. 15-16, on the Alabama River will be followed by the season’s final two days of competition on the spacious fishery Sept. 17-18. With the postseason about four months away and half of the regular-season events in the books, the jockeying for postseason position is heating up.

Only the top 12 anglers in the Bassmaster Elite Series regular-season AOY standings will qualify for the postseason. The regular season will conclude with the Aug. 13-16 Ramada Champion’s Choice on Oneida Lake out of Syracuse, N.Y.

BASS is matching the prestige of the postseason events with an ambitious multimedia schedule. As part of daily, live updates on Bassmaster.com, the popular webcast, Hooked Up, will host on-the-water coverage from practice and competition days coupled with live post-competition interviews. Also, similar to the Elite Series regular season, streaming, video from the daily weigh-ins will be streamed on ESPN360.com.

Other events planned as part of Bassmaster.com postseason coverage include live skills contests, content from morning launches and on-the-water updates throughout the competition. ESPN Outdoors personalities Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders will anchor the coverage with significant contributions from BASS emcee Keith Alan.

Fishing fans can also catch expanded television coverage chronicling the two postseason events on The Bassmasters on Sept. 27 at 2-4 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
As previously announced, the scoring format for the postseason will ensure the integrity of the Angler of the Year award and provide for an exciting, down-to-the-wire race. After the regular season, BASS will determine the top 12 moving into the postseason based on their final place in the regular-season standings.

Postseason scores will be calculated by moving one decimal place to the left and rounding to the nearest tenth. Additionally, each angler will receive two bonus points for each regular-season win. For the two postseason events, anglers will be scored on a 50-point sliding scale. Full details can be found at Bassmaster.com.

Monday, May 4, 2009

National Archery in the Schols tournament coming

The National Archery in the Schools Program will host its national tournament in Louisville, Kentucky May 8 & 9, 2009.

Student archers from 30 states in elementary, middle and high schools will compete in the tournament. Over 3500 students are expected to compete, and some will vie for over $14,000 in scholarship money.

Thirty-six state tournaments were conducted over the course of the spring, and the champions from each state have been invited to compete in the national tournament, which is expected to be the largest archery tournament in the United States.

The National Archery in the Schools Program began 7 years ago in Kentucky , and now has chapters in 46 states, 5000 schools, and has expanded to Canada , New Zealand , Australia , and South Africa . One millions students are expected to participate in the current 2008-2009 school year.

The tournament will be held at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center from 10am-6:30pm on Friday, May 8 and from 9:00am-4:00pm on Saturday, May 9, 2009. More information is available at http://www.nasparchery.com/ or by calling 802-865-5202.

I will be at the event on both Friday and Saturday and will post info and results here on my blog. I will also be writing a feature story about the event that will run in the July issue of Midwest Outdoors.

Archery Park opens

Over 150 people were present at the Cullman Community Archery Park grand opening ceremonies last week in the Alabama town.

The park is one initiative in the larger Community Archery Program to grow archery and bowhunting. The $285,000 project, a collaborative effort between the City of Cullman, the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (ADWFF) and the Archery Trade Association (ATA), will also act as a show piece for states across the country that are interested in providing similar archery and bowhunting participation opportunities through local archery parks or shooting facilities and introductory archery programs such as the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and the After School Archery Program (ASAP).

The Cullman archery park features 36 targets, including an eight-target beginner's range from 5 to 20 yards; an eight-target general target range of 15 to 50 yards; a four-target bowhunting range of 10 to 40 yards with a 12-foot platform; and a 16-target walking course with shots out to 70 yards.

I would love to see something like this in my home state of Kentucky and am going to speak with members of the KDFWR to see if it is feasible. I think it would be a perfect fit in our archery rich state which founded the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).

Youngster Blaylock knocks off the big boys

On April 26, Stetson Blaylock became the youngest bass tournament professional to win a Walmart FLW Tour event at 21-years-old.

Blaylock outdistanced a of veteran field at North Carolina’s Lake Norman. The young man began fishing FLW events at 16-years-old as a co-angler and captured a victory at the Walmart Open on Beaver Lake in 2008. That win and several consistent finishes propelled him to the Co-Angler of the Year award.

To read more about Blaylock’s story go to: http://flw.flwoutdoors.com/tournament.cfm?cid=1&did=25&t=news&tday=4&atype=6&tid=6123&tyear=2009&aid=149772

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bizzare bear story

Of all of the bizarre stories I have read about bears, this one may top the list.

Ashley Swendsen, a 26-year-old, pregnant Colorado native was out for a walk along a creek when she was followed by a cinnamon-phase black bear. As she retreated to a nearby road she was struck by a car.

Swendsen, was not injured but was taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution, where she was treated and released.

The bear was later captured and euthanized by Colorado Department of Wildlife.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easy to fool bass? It could be inerhited.

Why are some bass easier to catch than others? That question could have been answered by a University of Illinois study and the answer may surprise you. Genetics!

A 20 year experiment supports the idea that some largemouth may be easier to catch than others and that trait may be inherited. Here is a copy of the entire press release:

Largemouth bass vulnerability to being caught by anglers a heritable trait

URBANA - In an experiment spanning over 20 years, researchers at the University of Illinois have found that vulnerability to being caught by anglers is a heritable trait in largemouth bass.
The study began in 1975 with the resident population of bass in Ridge Lake, an experimental study lake in Fox Ridge State Park in Charleston. The fishing was controlled. For example, anglers had to reserve times, and every fish that was caught was put into a live well on the boat. The fish were measured and tagged to keep track of how many times each fish had been caught. All fish were then released.

"We kept track over four years of all of the angling that went on, and we have a total record – there were thousands of captures," said David Philipp, ecology and conservation researcher at U of I. "Many fish were caught more than once. One fish was caught three times in the first two days, and another was caught 16 times in one year."

After four years, the pond was drained, and more than 1,700 fish were collected. "Interestingly, about 200 of those fish had never been caught, even though they had been in the lake the entire four years," Philipp said.

Males and females from the group that had never been caught were designated Low Vulnerability (LV) parents. To produce a line of LV offspring, these parents were allowed to spawn with each other in university research ponds. Similarly, males and females that had been caught four or more times in the study were designated High Vulnerability (HV) parents that were spawned in different ponds to produce a line of HV offspring. The two lines were then marked and raised in common ponds until they were big enough to be fished.

"Controlled fishing experiments clearly showed that the HV offspring were more vulnerable to angling than the LV offspring," said Philipp.

This selection process was repeated for several generations over the course of the 20 year experiment.

"As we had predicted, vulnerability was a heritable trait," he said. Philipp went on to explain that with each generation, the difference between lines in angling vulnerability grew even larger.
"Most of the selection is occurring on the LV fish – that is, for the most part, the process is making that line of fish less vulnerable to angling. We actually saw only a small increase in angling vulnerability in the HV line," Philipp said.

Male bass are the sole caregiver for the offspring. Females lay eggs and leave. The male guards the nest against brood predators for about three to four days before the eggs hatch and another eight to 10 days after they hatch, before they become free-swimming. Even after the baby bass start to swim, the dads stay with them for another three weeks while they feed and grow, protecting them from predators.

Philipp explained that the experiment sped up what's actually happening in nature. "In the wild, the more vulnerable fish are being preferentially harvested, and as a result the bass population is being directionally selected to become less vulnerable. We selected over three generations, but in the wild the selection is occurring in every generation.

"We've known for 50 years that commercial fishing exerts selection on wild populations," he said. "We take the biggest fish, and that has changed life histories and growth patterns in many populations of commercially harvested species. Because there is no commercial fishing for bass, we were assessing the evolutionary impacts of recreational fishing."

Philipp explained that the perception among anglers is that catch-and-release has no negative impact on the population. During the spawning season, however, if bass are angled and held off of their nests for more than a few minutes, when they are returned to the lake, it's too late; other fish have found the nest and are quickly eating the babies.

Philipp recommends that to preserve bass populations across North America, management agencies need to protect the nesting males during the spawning season. "There should be no harvesting bass during the reproductive period. That makes sense for all wildlife populations. You don't remove the adults during reproduction.

"One of the big issues for concern is the explosion of tournaments. Lots of bass tournaments are held during the springtime because there are lots of big fish available. In tournaments you put fish into live wells, and yes, they're released, but they could be held for up to 8 hours first. They're brought back to the dock, miles from their nest. So, basically, if a fish is caught in a tournament and brought into the boat and put into a live well, his nest is destroyed."

Philipp recommended that if fishing tournaments were held during the spawning season, then regulations should require that there be immediate catch-and-release, eliminating the use of tournament weigh-ins.

Philipp urges management agencies to go even further and suggests that a portion of each lake could be set aside as a bass spawning sanctuary, where all fishing would be prohibited until after bass reproduction is complete. In the rest of the lake, mandatory catch-and-release regulations could be put into place during that same reproductive period. In Illinois, the bass reproduction period is from about April 1 through June 15. Philipp said that in that way, anglers could help protect the long-term future of the resource without completely restricting fishing.

"The potential for angling to have long-term evolutionary impacts on bass populations is real. If we truly want to protect this valuable resource into the future, then we need to understand that and adjust our management strategies," Philipp said.

Others on the University of Illinois research team include Steven Cooke, Julie Claussen, Jeffrey Koppelman, Cory Suski, and Dale Burkett. Selection for Vulnerability to Angling in Largemouth Bass was published in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 138:189-199, 2009.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Biffle take BASS Elite Series

Over the weekend I wrote about veteran tournament angler Guido Hibdon taking the title at the FLW Series event on Lake Eufaula.

Another cagey vet gave the youngsters a lesson at the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Alabama’s Wheeler Lake. Waggoner, Oklahoma’s Tommy Biffle, longtime professional angler, took home $100,000 after boating 50 pounds, 13 ounces in the weather shortened event.

Biffle found a secluded spot and the 51-year-old managed 14-13 on the final day to hold off Casey Ashley for the Evan Williams Bourbon Dixie Duel.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Angler, gator and law enforcement

A Jacksonville, North Carolina Marine recently had a fishing trip he is unlikely to forget.

Adam Robert Rush, 27, a Marine sergeant was bass fishing the Blue River in his 10-foot john boat when his trolling motor quit working. An alligator, estimated by Rush to be nine-feet long, made a bee line for the disabled watercraft.

“He had fish hanging off his boat, and I suspect that is what the alligator was after," said Sgt. C.F. Smith with N.C. Wildlife.

With the gator trying to get the stringer of bass, Rush pulled the fish on board, which prompted the reptile to follow them.

"He tried to get into the boat, so I hit him in the head with the oar," Rush said. But with the engine dead and the oar broken, Rush was stuck. Not only was he dead in the water, but he now had a hungry gator with a taste for fresh fish, circling his boat.

Rush was eventually towed to shore by a friend who was nearby and law enforcement officials arrived on the scene. The story didn’t get any better for the angler from there. He ended up being cited for having short fish and not having his boat registered.

You can read more at: http://www.enctoday.com/news/rush_63451_jdn__article.html/alligator_boat.html

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Legend picks up Tournament win

One of the unique things about the sport of bass fishing is that fish don’t care whether you are eight or 80. Nothing illustrates this any better than Guido Hibdon.

The bass angling legend from Sunrise Beach, Missouri racked up another professional win at Alabama’s Lake Eufala on Saturday. The 60+-year-old Hibdon (it is tough to find his exact age) sacked a four day total weighing 83-9 to capture the Walmart FLW Series event. Hibdon earned $125,000 and outdistanced Tom Mann Jr. by a 5-pound, 1-ounce margin.

Hibdon said he fished the entire tournament near the dam south of Eufaula and managed to land about 10 keepers on the last day of competition. Hibdon said every one of the fish he caught Saturday came on a Copper Perch-colored Lucky Craft RC 2.5 square-billed crankbait. Hibdon said he controlled the depth of the crankbait by varying the size of line he paired it with.
To read the entire story on Hibdon’s win visit:


Friday, April 3, 2009

News and notes from the outdoors

Many outdoorsmen and women are technology freaks and it is nice to have some of the finest gadgets that help us do things a bit easier. In all of technology available to the outdoors community, nothing has made life easier than GPS. If you are going to rely on GPS, it might be a good idea to remember that these units are only a tool and not infallible.

Take the case of Wisconsin women how followed the advice of her in-car GPS unit, only to be stranded for eight hours on a snowmobile trail.

You can read the story here:


The Bassmaster Elite Series day two at Wheeler Lake in Alabama was cancelled this morning due to unsafe weather conditions. 2008 Classic champion Alton Jones will lead the pack into day three tomorrow. Last week’s winner, Kentuckian Mark Menendez currently sits in seventh place.


If you are a live bait fisherman, please respect your bait. A Huntington Beach, California man didn’t heed this advice and died.

Jeff Twaddle, 54, a deckhand on the charter boat Gale Force was clowning around for about 20 school kids when he placed a bait fish in his mouth. The bait became lodged, Twaddle lost consciousness and choked to death. The Coroner's Office deemed his death an accident, attributing it to “aspiration of fish.”


Monday, March 30, 2009

Menendez wins Elite Series event

Congrats are in order for Kentuckian Mark Menendez. The Paducah native used an aluminum boat to access a shallow backwater area on Arkansas’ Lake Dardanelle and bagged 55 pounds seven ounces over three days. That was good enough to capture the Bassmaster Elite Series Diamond Drive and earned Menendez $100,000 and valuable points toward qualifying for the 2010 Bassmaster Classic.

Kevin VanDam made a charge and finished second and took over the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year lead.

You can read more about the tournament at http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/tournaments/elite/news/story?id=4026140

You can also watch Menendez’ victory Saturday April 4th at 9 a.m. on ESPN2.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cumberland bass future looking bright

I recently completed an article on the effects of the lake drawdown on Lake Cumberland’s bass population and while researching the article discovered that there is plenty of good news for Kentucky bass anglers.

For those who were not aware, in 2007 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lowered the lake level to 680 feet above sea level while repairs are being performed on Wolf Creek Dam. The project is expected to take a few years to complete and has worried the tourism businesses that surround the lake.

In talking to John D. Williams, fisheries biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, I learned that the bass populations are doing well and the future look bright.

Williams told me there was a very good spawn in 2008 and populations of all three species of bass (largemouth, smallmouth and spots) are thriving. He expects the fishing to only improve in the next few years and that when the water level is eventually brought back to normal, there will be lots of new cover for the fish.

You can catch the entire article in the May issue of Midwest Outdoors.

News from KDFWR

We have a little news concerning the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR).

First, congrats are in order after the KDFWR received the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative Award from Quail Unlimited (QU).

"We are humbled and honored by the recognition that this award brings to our Commonwealth,” Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Jon Gassett said in a press release. “It reinforces and strengthens our mission to restore the northern bobwhite to the numbers enjoyed by our parents and grandparents."

QU cited numerous reasons for the award. Since the launch of the department’s private lands program two decades ago, biologists have helped more than 11,000 landowners and managers improve their property for wildlife. During that time, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has restored more than 163,500 acres of quail habitat in the state through federal farm bill programs alone.

Also from the KDFWR, they are holding an archery event at the Salato Center on Saturday April 4th from 11 a.m. to3 p.m.

The event is open to the public and there is no cost. If you are a beginner wanting to learn how to shoot a bow or a veteran who just wants to get in a little practice, it should be a good time by all.

The event could be cancelled by bad weather. If you would like more information you can call KDFWR at 1-800-858-1549 or check out www.fw.ky.gov.

Farm pond fishing

On Monday I decided to get out from the computer, take a break and go hit a local pond. This particular pond is about 4-acres and sits in a bowl surrounded on three sides by woods. The farm is a 250-acre working cattle farm that also harbors a good population of whitetail deer.

The property belongs to a friend’s uncle and I don’t fish it without him, so when the invitation came I jumped. We proceeded to catch four bass in an hour of fishing from a johnboat. Each of the fish were 15-16-inch fish and were caught slow rolling a spinnerbait parallel to an emerging grass line. These were not vicious strikes, but more lethargic. You were working your lure along and suddenly it would feel heavy and the blade would stop turning. That was the key to set the hook.

We didn't have time to thoroughly fish the pond, but felt good that we did figure out a pattern. All in all a good day, but still waiting for the opportunity to get the boat out and hit one of the bigger lakes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fantasy Fishing

Fantasy Fishing has become very popular recently. Currently both of the major tours, FLW Outdoors and Bassmaster offer fantasy fishing leagues. In these leagues you can compete in private leagues against your friends as well as competing nationwide.

FLW Outdoors pays $100,000 to the winner of the national contest after each tournament. The overall winner of the league will be presented with $1 Million first prize. Last week saw Bruce Curtis, a retired educator from Florida collect the $100,000 first place prize after the Table Rock Lake event.

In the first FLW event, held at Alabama’s bass factory Lake Guntersville, Kentuckian Terry Moberly took the top cash prize. Moberly has a good story about how he got involved. You can read it at the Louisville Courier-Journal web site: http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090222/SPORTS09/902220473/1002/ARCHIVES

I compete in both the Bassmaster and FLW Leagues. Of course you would think that a professional outdoor writer who makes his living fishing with and writing about the pros would have a decided advantage. This appears to not be the case as I continue to struggle putting together a line up for each tournament.

If you would like to sign up for fantasy fishing with FLW Outdoors you can visit: http://www.fantasyfishing.com/

To play the Bassmaster version go to: http://games.espn.go.com/bass/frontpage

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kentucky's conservation camps

Conservation camp sign ups are now being taken through the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR).

KDFWR operates camps at three different locations across the commonwealth and these camps provide an opportunity for youngsters to learn a variety of skills including boating, swimming, fishing and many others.

My wife and I both attended the KDFWR Conservation Camp at Camp Earl Wallace on Lake Cumberland and are two kids followed the same route. The experiences are fantastic and you can make lifelong friends there. Here is the entire press release with information about the camps from KDFWR:

Kentucky Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Resources News
Kentucky Afield Outdoors:
Registration underway for conservation camp fun
March 19, 2009 Contact: Lee McClellan FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1-800-858-1549, ext. 4443 Frankfort, Ky. – I remember the first time I operated a motor boat. It was at Camp John Currie on Kentucky Lake and I was in sixth grade. One of the counselors took me out on the lake to earn my boating patch.
I was nervous. Being on a bay of Kentucky Lake with a loud motor and driving a boat was a bit intimidating. I didn’t realize at the time that left means right and right means left when turning a boat propelled by a tiller-style outboard. My counselor made me back it down into neutral and start over after I turned the boat the opposite way he instructed.

Soon, I relaxed and my confidence grew as I successfully negotiated turns and crossed a few wakes. I earned my boating patch and bragged to my buddies when I got back to school that I could drive a boat and they couldn’t. I’ve cherished every moment spent on a boat since.

We who love the outdoors lament the slow decline in the number of young people who pursue our ancient arts. More children now live in urban areas with little chance to fish or hunt. They have video games, texting, iPods and soccer. We had bluegills, bass and squirrels.

Sending your child away for a week to one of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ summer camps is a great way to introduce them to the outdoors and help keep these traditions alive. The application period for this year’s summer camps ends April 15.

“Our summer camps provide a fun and affordable place for Kentucky children to learn how to safely enjoy outdoor activities,” said Laura Burford, assistant director of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Information and Education Division. “At camp, they will make new friends and have the chance to try things they may have never done before, such as shooting a bow or a .22 rifle.”

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife operates Camp John Currie on Kentucky Lake, Camp Earl Wallace on Lake Cumberland and Camp Robert C. Webb on Grayson Lake. Campers arrive at camp on Monday morning and return home Friday afternoon. Transportation is provided.

“We have more than 4,500 children attend our camps each summer,” Burford said. “Campers earn achievement patches for activities in boating, archery, fishing, casting, swimming, nature and outdoor survival. Those campers who earn all seven patches will be awarded an outdoorsman or outdoorswoman patch. Campers may also earn their boater education and hunter education cards that week.”

Camps cost $215 a week or $200 if you apply for camp online. To apply for summer camp online, go to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s homepage at fw.ky.gov and click on the “Education and Outdoor Activities” tab and then on the “Conservation Education” tab. Conservation Education Program Leaders for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife are visiting schools right now and distributing summer camp applications. You may also call 1-800-858-1549 for more information.

Author Lee McClellan is an award-winning associate editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. He is a life-long hunter and angler, with a passion for smallmouth bass fishing.

Deer do crazy things

Veteran hunters know that deer do strange things during the “rut” or mating season, especially big bucks with love on their mind. That does not explain the recent rash behavior of a few post-rut whitetails recently.

In Baraboo, WI a whitetail broke into a motel, went for a swim and checked out unscathed on Friday the 13th.

“The front desk called me, and there was only an hour left to Friday the 13th," Manager George Zapuchlak told the Baraboo News Republic. "The phone rings at 10 (minutes) to 12 and I said, 'You've got to be kidding me.' "

Apparently a security officer was on his way to lock up the pool area when he startled four deer. Three of the deer fled to the nearby woods while the fourth busted through a glass door and went for a dip.


A deer in Clarksville, TN was evidently trying his hand at trick or treat when the young buck got his head stuck in a plastic jack o lantern.

We started receiving calls on Monday about this deer, but responding officers couldn’t get close to it,” said Deputy Chief Frankie Gray told the Tennessean. “We were hoping that we wouldn’t have to destroy it.”
Clarksville police officers lassoed the animal and were able to remove the plastic bucket and the deer trotted away unharmed.


My personal favorite is the story of three deer went on a beer run in Pennsylvania.
The deer scampered through an open door at a liquor store, shopped around for a few moments, before scampering out the back door and disappearing. The incident was caught on store security cameras and can be viewed at:


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Poaching news of the weird

What is it with poachers? Could it be some genetic deficiency? I don’t have the answers, but some game law violators sure appear to be mental midgets.

In Vermont, 19-year-old Marcel Fournier was charged with illegally taking a doe and checking it in as a buck. It wasn’t his hunting prowess, but his lack of taxidermy skill that landed Fournier in jail for 10 days. The poacher used lag bolts and epoxy to place antlers on the doe and checked her in at the check station.


In my home state of Kentucky, a Morehead resident was charged with 48 counts.

A Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) press release states:

“It all started when a conservation officer for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources received a tip about illegal deer kills in Rowan County.

A Rowan County man is free on a $7,500 full cash bond and awaiting arraignment after conservation officers charged him Feb. 20 with a total of 48 counts, including illegally killing deer, cultivating and trafficking in marijuana and drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, pills in improper containers and trapping without a license.

Officers arrested Kevin Watkins, 35, of Morehead at his residence and lodged him in the Rowan County Detention Center. Officers executed a search warrant after Conservation Officer Glenn Kitchen received a tip that Watkins had killed three deer illegally.During the search, Kitchen, joined by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Captain Paul Teague, Sergeant Herb Booth and Conservation Officers Loren Clark and Andrew Black, seized 94 sets of deer antlers, seven marijuana plants, indoor grow lights, a cloning system, 16 bags of processed marijuana totaling nearly 1½ pounds, more than 100 pills in plastic bags, four sets of weighing scales, 19 firearms and $1,251 in cash.

Watkins was scheduled to be arraigned in Rowan District Court March 11 before District Judge Donald Blair.”

Monday, March 16, 2009

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and New York Newsday are all guilty of disturbing headlines in recent weeks.

With Newsday it is literally a headline. The Associated Press released a story concerning Sunday hunting in New Jersey.

The Garden State is one of a handful of states with archaic laws that prohibit or severely restrict hunting on Sunday. A bill is being debated today by New Jersey lawmakers that would allow bowhunting on Sundays. That is good news for hunters in the area; however Newsday decided to run the AP story with the accompanying headline “Deer could soon be slaughtered on Sabbath in NJ.”

Slaughtered? Really? Here is a thought, why not check into how many deer are “Slaughtered” each year in New Jersey by hunters who buy licenses and permits, buy gas for the trucks, buy food, snacks or whatever else they crave while on a hunting trip.

To overturn this law makes sense economically and in my mind, since it is a blue law designed to protect the Christian Sabbath, it would appear to violate separation of church and state.

To read more follow this link: http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj-xgr--legislativepr0315mar15,0,93281.story

PETA continues to amaze, this time causing a spider monkey to lose its mind.

At a recent performance of Liebling Brothers Circus PETA member Jamey Binneveld, was upset about elephant rides being offered.An argument ensued and Reggie the spider monkey went bananas.Reggie broke loose and disappeared into the nearby woods. No word yet on wether Reggie has returned.

Click here for the Orlando Sentinel story: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/lake/orl-bk-monkey-031309,0,7967840.story

Finally, HSUS is using a gullible celebrity to promote their agenda and it has the potential to promote it to a large audience.

Underwood recorded a cover version of Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” that is played as the farewell song on the Fox hit show American Idol each time a contestant is eliminated from the karaoke contest. The song is also being released as a digital single and partial proceeds will benefit HSUS.

Rick Story, vice president of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance said in a statement ;
"Carrie Underwood has decided to use her talents to benefit an organization dedicated to destroying the rights of thousands of her fans, HSUS does not operate or oversee animal shelters; it is a radical organization that seeks to end hunting and other responsible uses of animals in America."
You can read the Los Angeles Times take on this at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/outposts/2009/03/carrie-underwoo.html

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bass and bass tournaments

One of my favorite things in the world is bass fishing and I really enjoy bass tournaments. While not much of a tournament angler myself, I follow the tournament trails, fish with some of the pros (hey it's part of the job) and have written hundreds of articles about bass fishing. The professional circuits are in full swing and this week finds both the FLW and Bassmaster trails competing.

The Bassmaster Elite Series kicked off their first tournament of the year at bass factory Lake Amistad in Texas. A severe cold front moved through the area right before the tournament began and the temperature dropped around 40 degrees overnight. This hampered the anglers who were on bedding fish, but some anglers, Most notably Mike Iaconelli and Gary Klein are fishing more stable fish.

Iaconelli is leading with a 27-pound, 9-ounce limit. His stringer was anchored by big fish of the day, a 12-pound, 13-ounce hawg. To read all of the details check out http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/tournaments/elite/news/story?id=3975348.

Cold weather is also the word at Missouri's Table Rock Lake, where the stars of the FLW Tour are battling. That didn't stop former Kentuckian David Walker from weighing a five fish limit of 26-pounds, 11-ounces.

You can check out the FLW Tour at http://flw.flwoutdoors.com/tournament.cfm?cid=1&did=25&t=news&tday=1&atype=6&tid=6122&tyear=2009&aid=149565.

Finally, congratulations to the Eastern Kentucky University team of Tyler Moberly and Richard Cobb for winning the College Bass East Super Regional on Clarks Hill Lake in Evans, Ga. The duo outdistanced 38 collegiate teams to take the trophy after several near misses in recent years.

You can read all about it here http://www.collegebass.com/news/templates/news.aspx?articleid=90&zoneid=2.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wolves and problems

Wolves out west have been making the news quite a bit in recent weeks. Last week, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar upheld a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to remove gray wolves from the threatened and endangered species in certain areas of the west.

When wolves were reintroduced out west, there was a lot of controversy among hunters, ranchers and animal rights activist. As numbers have skyrocketed across large parts of the west, discussions have heated up over hunting these anuimals to control the population. Here is a link to an article discussing the decision by Salazar.


In the last few days wolves have been responsible for killing a mountain lion and killing hunting dogs. Here are links to those two news stories



I will not pretend to have all of the answers, but it sure seems that a limited hunting season would help control the population and perhaps put a little fear into wolves before things get severely out of hand.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Crazy Weather

The weather here in Kentucky is nuts and has been for quite sometime. Today's forceast is calling for a high in the 70's with a possibility of breaking the record for this day of 77 degrees. So what does tommorow have in store? A high of 45 degrees.

Water temperatures on most lakes are climbing, but all of these cold fronts are making the fishing tough. Bass should be moving up shallow soon and the spring turkey season is just around the corner. It is a fun time of the year, but the weather certainly plays a role.