Early hunting brings some unusual findings

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Cooler temps sending fish to deeper water in Taylorsville Lake

By Jeff Lilly

Hallelujah! Spring turkey season in Kentucky is here. 


The early spring we’ve experienced here in the Bluegrass has had me on edge for weeks before the season actually opened April 14. I’ve strutted around the house and made a hundred trips out on the deck listening for gobbling birds. I’ve also worn out my binoculars searching the woods and fields around my place in search of turkey birds to try and satisfy the hunger to go hunting.   Well, no more waiting. The season is here and is open thru May 6.

Opening Day was pretty good depending on where you were. The Lilly crew got fairly drenched just before lunch time but Hunter, Dad, brother Keith and I were able to spot and work several different birds scattered around our Franklin County farm. 

Hunter and I got within 10 feet of a hen on the nest. We had no idea she was there until she flushed. We counted 18 eggs in the nest, snapped a couple pictures and eased out as quickly as possible so she could get back to her motherly duties. 

Dad was able to take a nice jake on opening day. I blew an opportunity Saturday evening by making a final move to call one more time. Just as I picked up the call that red turkey head popped up over the ridge at 45 yards. I had called the bird in but should have waited a few more seconds. I literally could not shoot with the call in hand and the bird disappeared back behind the ridge from where he came. Only a select few know the sick feeling I had at that moment. There are just no words to describe it. 

The second day dawned with me still burning from my mistake that past evening. Not as many birds gobbled on day two and the wind was picking up. I managed to travel to the back side of the farm where two nice birds seemed excited to be there. After watching them gobble and strut around at 100 yards for half an hour I made my decision. After crawling up the hill using a rock fence as camouflage I was able to close the gap to around 75 yards. It only took a couple of gentle “come hither” calls on my Cody Glass to get their attention and I watched anxiously as they closed the gap to 40 yards.

My first long beard of the season took a dirt nap with the squeeze of the Winchester Super X2 trigger.  I noticed that sick feeling from the day before wasn’t quite as bad as it had been earlier. I slung the bird over my shoulder and thanked the good Lord for the bird and opportunities I’d been given as I started my hour long walk back to camp.


Spring squirrel season

Once Kentucky’s spring turkey season closes on May 6, grab the old .22 or maybe even keep the shotgun handy and get after some tree climbers. The spring squirrel season opens May 19 and runs thru June 15. The daily bag limit for squirrels is six per hunter. It’s a hot time of year so dress accordingly, stay hydrated and don’t forget the bug spray. 


Fishin’ on Taylorsville

Hunter and I have made a trip or two to try the bass fishing at Taylorsville Lake. We both were able to land several fish each time using mainly plastic worms rigged Texas style. I managed to pull a nice 3-pound largemouth off a 10-foot rocky point with several smaller fish caught on rocky banks. 

Hunter bested my nice 3-pounder by a little with a nice fish measuring 18 inches long and weighing a chunky 3.1 pounds.  The water has been typically murky on the Van Buren end of the lake in Anderson County, so a run down the lake toward a little clearer water may be necessary.  As of last week the water was still down a little from what will be the normal summer pool. I talked with several folks about the crappie fishing and most seemed to be catching a few but the recent cold snap may have sent the fish back to deeper water. Minnows seemed to be working as bait to catch the better fish in the brush that is exposed by the lower than usual water.  Let me know what you local fishermen are or are not catching at news@theandersonnews.com

Take a kid huntin' or fishin' soon.

See ya outside.


Jeff Lilly is an outdoors columnist for The Anderson News.