Patoka Sportsman 10-26-19

Patoka Sportsman 10-26 & 10-27-19

The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife and Tri County Bass Anglers have been awarded a $1,000 grant from the Friends of Reservoirs and National Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership. Grant funds will be used to build Hoosier cubes for the upcoming Patoka Lake habitat enhancement project scheduled to begin in December 2019. Hoosier cubes are a PVC structure with corrugated drainage tile spiraled through the center of the cube. Designed for crappie and largemouth bass, Hoosier cubes provide long-lasting habitat. The Hoosier cubes will be part of a larger effort to build and place approximately 440 artificial structures in Patoka Lake over the next two years. To learn more about the Patoka Lake Fish Habitat Enhancement Plan visit Indiana’s Reservoir Habitat Enhancement Program webpage at

Each October, the DNR stocks over 32,000 six to eight inch walleye fingerlings in select water bodies throughout northern Indiana. Stocking larger walleye in the fall allows for higher survival and recruitment in the glacial lakes they are stocked in. These stockings, along with other walleye stockings that take place throughout the year, create ample opportunity for anglers looking to catch these toothy critters. Walleyes grow quickly and can reach legal size by their second or third year depending on the part of the state you are fishing. Check out their interactive Where to Fish map for fishing locations: Learn more about walleye fishing:

The Indiana CheckIN Game system allows hunters to check in their harvested game from any device connected to the Internet. You will receive a confirmation number that must be written down on a temporary transportation tag for the harvested game species. Hunters still have the option of visiting traditional check stations where a confirmation number will be provided to hunters to place on their temporary transportation tag. There is also a phone-in option at 1-800-419-1326, however there will be a $3 charge for this service (Visa or Mastercard only).

EHD has been a big concern this year in Indiana.  One sign that a deer has contracted and survived EHD is the sloughing or breaking of their hooves. DNR would like successful hunters to report both normal looking hooves and hooves that show evidence of breaking using the After Hunt Survey.

County bonus anterless quotas have been reduced to a maximum of two in areas impacted by EHD.
Counties that had a county bonus anterless quota of three or four, have now been reduced to two. Counties that already had a county bonus anterless quota of two or fewer have not changed. The effects of the harvest and EHD will be evaluated after the season and additional changes may be made the following year if necessary.

The Special Antlerless Firearms Season is only allowed in counties marked in green on the county bonus antlerless map. These counties previously had a county bonus antlerless quota of four, but were reduced to a maximum of two.

The hunters for the hungry will begin on Oct. 1.  We will have the same four processors involved.  They include Sanders Processing, Ferdinand Processing, Ohio Valley Custom Deer Processing in English and Cannelburg Processing.  If you legally harvest a deer and would like to donate to our Hunters for the Hungry, administered by the Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club, you can take it to any of the processors mentioned.  You must donate the entire deer.  If you donate more than once each time you donate your name will be put into a drawing to win a firearm donated by Dr. Greg Gordon at Jasper Optical Lab.

The various deer hunting seasons run through Jan. 3, 2020. It is estimated that more than 300,000 people will participate in some form of deer hunting in Indiana during that span. Such a large number makes safety more even more important. The most common injuries during deer seasons are accidents involving tree stands and elevated platforms. Follow the safety tips listed below when hunting from an elevated position.

Before the hunt read and understand the tree stand manufacturer’s instructions. Check tree stands and equipment for wear, fatigue, and cracks or loose nuts/bolts, paying particularly close attention to parts made of material other than metal. Practice at ground level. Learn how to properly wear your full body safety harness.

During the hunt wear your full body safety harness. Use a tree stand safety rope. Make certain to attach your harness to the tree before leaving the ground, and that it remains attached to the tree until you return to the ground. Maintain three points of contact during ascent and descent. Use boots with non-slip soles to avoid slipping. Use a haul line to raise and lower firearms, bows and other hunting gear. Make certain firearms are unloaded before attaching the haul line.

Carry emergency equipment, such as a cell phone and flashlight. Make a plan before you hunt. Tell someone your plan, including where you will be hunting and when you plan to return. Stick to your plan. Identify game before pointing a firearm especially if you’re using a high powered rifle. Know your target and what is beyond it. For more information, see

As the days shorten and the breeding season for deer approaches, the chances of encountering deer on Indiana roadways increases significantly. Motorists should pay particular attention while driving to decrease the risk of collision. Deer-vehicle accidents can be minimized by practicing good defensive driving skills.

Staying aware and keeping the following information in mind can help motorists reduce their chances of becoming another deer-vehicle collision statistic:

  • Deer are most active between sunset and sunrise.
  • Deer often travel in groups. If you see one deer, another is likely nearby.
  • Be especially careful in areas where you have seen deer before.
  • Use high beams when there is no opposing traffic. Scan for deer’s illuminated eyes or dark silhouettes along the side of the road.
  • If you see a deer, slow your speed drastically, even if it is far away.
  • Exercise extreme caution along wooded edges, at hills, and during blind turns.
  • Never swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Most serious crashes occur when drivers try to miss a deer, but hit something else.

The 2018 Indiana White-tailed Deer Report is now available online. This year’s publication contains more comprehensive deer data and analyses and includes results from hunter and non-hunter surveys. Data from individual counties can also now be found online.

The Deer Management Survey will be available again this year for any hunter and non-hunter who has an Indiana DNR account with a valid email address. This survey allows Indiana DNR to collect information about individual and deer demographics, public opinions on deer management, and deer trends for individual counties to incorporate into deer management decisions.