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Outdoors


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  • OUTDOOR TRUTHS

    Gary Miller|Feb 1, 2024

    Winter undoubtedly thwarts many outdoor plans in most parts of the country. If you don’t believe me, just wait until the first warm weekend in February. There will be more lawnmowers heard than any other time of the year. It’s not that they want to mow their lawn, but it’s just that they have cabin fever. Another problem with the winter is the amount of light in each day. There have been several times when one could hunt all day and stay out less than twelve hours. That means twelve hours...

  • Uphill Battle Continues on Bobwhite Quail

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Feb 1, 2024

    Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Now that the white-tailed deer season has ended, hunters will likely turn their attention once again to small game like rabbits, squirrels and the bobwhite quail, although quail hunting is nothing like it once was. When fence rows from small farms and family gardens crisscrossed Alabama and the Southeast, the bobwhite flourished. Since large-scale farming operations became the norm and many families moved to urban and suburban areas, the q...

  • State Public Fishing Lakes Staples in Communities

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Feb 1, 2024

    Alabama is blessed with an abundance of lakes, reservoirs and waterways for residents and visitors to enjoy for fishing, boating, birdwatching and many other outdoor activities. However, several pockets exist in the state that are not close or convenient for residents to get to the water. That lack of access for subsistence fishing, especially in our rural counties, led to the creation of the Alabama State Public Fishing Lakes (PFLs) program in the 1940’s and ’50s to serve those people who...

  • I'M IN THE WOODS

    Gary Miller|Jan 1, 2024

    Ever since last summer, I have been watching one particular buck. He’s not a giant but he has a short third beam that protrudes straight out from the bottom of his main beam. It’s only about 5 inches long but has another point growing from that. The deer is a mainframe 8 but this anomaly has always made the rack intriguing to me. And I decided early on, if I had the chance to harvest this one, I would. It would be my first non-typical. During hunting season, it has shown up on my trail camer...

  • GUN SEASON HAS COME

    Gary Miller|Dec 1, 2023

    This time of year, orange fills the woods. It confirms gun season has come. I’ve sat in many places, thinking I was the only one around, only to scan the horizon with my binoculars to discover an orange vest in a tree closer than I wanted. I can remember one time while hunting in Muhlenberg, Kentucky, staying in a hotel, and nearly every single occupant either leaving early that morning or coming in late that evening, with an orange hat and vest on. It was a hotel from heaven. Years ago, fish...

  • It's time to hunt!

    Gary Miller|Nov 1, 2023

    I’ve been waiting for this week for some time. I’ve only hunted 2 times because I wanted to save all my energy and all my wifey-points for these next 2 months. I plan on spending several hours each week looking for the biggest bucks my area offers. Plus, I’ve got a couple of away trips planned as well. There’s no doubt this is the best time of year to see the biggest bucks. But while I have not been hunting, I have been making all the preparations for the hunt. My heart has been in the...

  • OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Bow Season for Deer

    Gary Miller|Oct 1, 2023

    One of the difficulties in hunting mountainous areas is that we not only have to set our stands up according to the wind directions but also according to what are called thermals. Thermals are normal wind currents that change as air cools down or heats up. In the evening the cool air falls and when the temperatures heat up in the morning, the warmer air rises. This means if you are hunting from a tree stand on the top of a ridge in the evening, your scent is most likely going to be carried into...

  • OUTDOOR TRUTHS

    Gary Miller|Sep 1, 2023

    One of the aspects I dislike about hunting and fishing is getting ready for the first day. Whether it’s the first turkey hunt of the year or the first deer hunt, there’s always the need to make sure nothing is forgotten on that opening day. One of my on-going paranoias is to be in a tree stand when a deer walks by and realize I have forgotten my trigger release. I’ve actually dreamed several times about such an episode. The first day of fishing is the same way. Gathering up rods and reels...

  • He gives power to the faint...

    Gary Miller|Aug 1, 2023

    first decade, my knee put me on the shelf. During that time, I learned to enjoy road biking. And I still do. But my love has always been to run. There are a lot of reasons, but the number one reason will probably sound odd to you. I have actually never felt closer to God than when I run. Many of you tell me that same thing about your time on the water or in the woods. I get it, but my experience comes from running. I’ve never been much of a crier, but I’ve never cried more than when I run....

  • Let's Talk About Doubt

    Gary Miller|Jul 1, 2023

    Let’s talk about doubt. We all have it. We all use it. Even in the most certain areas, doubt is always present. I can have a trail cam picture of a certain buck that shows up at a certain time of the day, and set up there on the following day, and still have doubt the buck will show up. I can catch fish for five straight days off one point, and can show up the next day, and doubt will still rear its head to play with my head about the possibility of a sixth straight day. Pure doubt itself is...

  • Accomplishing Great Things Through Fear

    Gary Miller|Jun 1, 2023

    There’s one thing about hunting. One will have to get used to walking in the dark. I have noticed lately how each morning, I begin my turkey hunt, walking through woods and across a field in the dark. This year the lightening bugs have put on a daily pyrotechnical display. I tried to film it one morning, but there was not enough surrounding light to show its real beauty. And sometimes the sky is so clear, it’s almost that one can’t see a spot without a star. And then there are the times...

  • A lost opportunity

    Gary Miller|May 1, 2023

    I don’t remember being so annoyed as I was the other day. There I was sitting with a friend, sulking about a lost opportunity to pull the trigger on a tom turkey. The night before, we had seen a gobbler and a hen move into a certain part of the woods. We surmised they would certainly roost there, so our plans were to be their wake-up call the next morning. The next day we were in place as the sun began to rise. The woods all around us were being filled with a chorus of gobbles. None of them, h...

  • OUTDOOR TRUTHS

    Gary Miller|Apr 1, 2023

    Some of my most vivid memories come from the days of being on the lake. I can remember catching stripe bass as fast as I could cast but I can also remember being scared to death because I had not left early enough to beat the lightning storm. It seems we always think there’s enough time for one more cast. As I got older I began to value my life more. Now if there’s a storm within a hundred miles, I leave. There’s just something about holding a graphite rod in my hand in the middle of a...

  • OUTDOOR TRUTHS

    Gary Miller|Mar 1, 2023

    I spent the afternoon looking for antler sheds. It’s really too early, but the weather was beautiful, especially for February. For about two hours I traveled the well-worn paths looking for any glimpse of the rare treasures left by an unsuspecting buck. I’m not sure if they know they are falling off or if they suddenly feel the release of their unique characteristic. Hunters name bucks according to the individuality of their rack. Without it, they are the deer version of John Doe. For...

  • Outdoor Truths

    Gary Miller|Feb 1, 2023

    A beautiful buck came out about sixty yards to my right. Just by the size of his rack, I knew he was a good deer – a definite ten-pointer. I didn’t have much time to gather myself for a good shot because he wasn’t going to stay around long. When I fired I wasn’t sure I had made a good shot, from the way he ran. But shortly thereafter I realized my shot was perfect. He was a beautiful animal with a wide rack. As I began to count his points, I discovered my ten-pointer was only an eight....

  • Outdoor Truths

    Gary Miller|Dec 1, 2022

    This time of the year, my preferred hunting location is close to a heater. That means I’m either in a barn or a blind. Since I’m either rifle or muzzleloader hunting, I can give myself a little leniency when it comes to smell. Not only will I fire up my heater, but a mug of coffee sure helps knock the chill as well. Add those with a comfortable chair and my shooting sticks, and I’m pretty much able to stay as long as needed. What I can’t do anything about is my inability to see in every...

  • Outdoor Truths

    Gary Miller|Nov 1, 2022

    Next week I’m going on my annual trip to Missouri. I’ve been deer hunting there for years and have some wonderful friends there. My memories are many. I think about everything from the times of extreme weather (one time I hunted without a shirt) to trying to find my lost deer with a famous deer dog, that happened to be a dachshund. I can remember seeing some monster bucks just out of range and missing some within range. But no matter what the past held; I still look forward to going back...

  • OUTDOOR TRUTHS

    Gary Miller|Oct 1, 2022

    I made my way to the tree stand on opening day of Tennessee’s deer season. The weather was perfect, including a chance of light rain. I had prepared for this hunt by being meticulous about being scent-free as much as possible. I should have arrived a few minutes earlier, but all in all, everything was good. I was sitting on the edge of a field where deer normally skirt. If they came out, they would do so about 125 yards away and then hopefully make their way below me and maybe within the...

  • Outdoor Truths

    Gary Miller|Sep 1, 2022

    Another Outdoor Truths Circle Event in the books. This was our second one on the North Fork River. Our cabin was only a few hundred yards from the Norfork Dam. Last year was my first time to experience the daily changing conditions the river offers. And its all about if the gates of the dam are open or closed and whether both gates are opened or just one. Each condition determines if fishing will be serene and confined or if as much effort will be given to maneuvering the boat as will be...

  • OUTDOOR TRUTHS

    Gary Miller|Aug 1, 2022

    I have a favorite blanket. Don’t laugh. You probably do to. And if you don’t now, you once did. Deny it and I’ll just ask your momma, and she’ll show me picture after picture of you with your thumb in your mouth and your blanket over your shoulder. My own son was not only attached to a certain blanket, but he also had a favorite corner of the blanket. I can remember that blanket having to be restored several times and ultimately becoming a series of knots that simply held one piece to th...

  • God will Never Leave You

    Gary Miller|Jul 1, 2022

    If you hunt or fish long enough there will come times you must give up your passion for other things. I can remember years ago opening a business during hunting season. The timing of the opening was not optional. You can imagine how often I got to hunt that year. Absence did make the heart grow fonder. Another year was nearly the same. I was trying to finish a Master’s degree. That, along with all the other things in life, made it late into the year before I was able to get in a treestand. I...

  • Outdoor Truths - He said I could come...

    Gary Miller|Jun 1, 2022

    One of the obstacles most hunters and fishermen dread is the wind. A light wind is not a factor – it’s even helpful, but a windy day is burdensome to the fishermen and causes most game to stay out of sight. Most of the time, I complain about the wind like everyone else. But there are a few circumstances where the wind adds excitement to the hunt and gives me the edge. One of those circumstances is when I’m turkey hunting. As turkey hunters know, this particular bird has excellent sight and...

  • He Said I Could Come …

    Gary Miller|May 1, 2022

    I was with several other guys during my recent trip to Texas. We were all there for my Outdoor Truths Circle Event and to try our hand at downing a Rio gobbler. I look forward to this event each year. During that weekend most hunters arrive on Friday and begin their hunt that evening. My friend John is a great host, and his ranch has provided some memorable trips for both new and seasoned hunters. This year was no exception. While three toms were taken, the stories were all different. Don was...

  • How Prideful Are You?

    Gary Miller|Apr 1, 2022

    Another turkey season is just around the corner. Even though I’m excited about the possibilities, I’m reminded again of my distaste for the characteristics of this bird. Yes, he’s beautiful. Yes, he’s hardy. And yes, he’s a wily competitor. But his best contribution is his shining example of all that I don’t want to be and all that I detest in seeing in others as well. His pride is evident and that ought to be enough to make me want to blow his head off. But there are other problems...

  • What's in Your Live Well?

    Gary Miller|Mar 1, 2022

    The bass fishing tournaments are getting ready to start with a vengeance. Once they begin, each weekend will offer another opportunity to fish for money. All bass tournaments have pretty much the same rules. Two fishermen, one boat, and the five biggest fish by weight, win. Some men will literally come to blows in pursuing first prize. And first prize can be worth lots of money, even in the smaller tournaments. As I have said before, these types of events touch both the competitive and...

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