Patoka Sportsman 10-5-19

Patoka Sportsman 10-5 & 10-6-19

Six Indiana Conservation Officers will become members of DNR Law Enforcement’s 47-officer team of certified dive rescue specialists that serves the entire state. The officers graduated on Oct. 3 from the six-week Public Safety Dive Rescue Specialist School. The new divers, with the county in which they are based, are Alexander Quick (Starke), Derrick Beamer (Porter), Matthew Porter (Vanderburgh), Jordan Wagner (Cass), Dakota Wamsley (Ripley), and Alex Toth (LaPorte). During the demanding school, students are trained to Dive Rescue International requirements and to meet Department of Homeland Security standards, which include being able to do fully encapsulated diving with full face mask, dry suits, redundant air supply, and underwater hard- line communications. The students were drilled on basic scuba skills, physical fitness, black-water diving, boat-based and shore-based operations/search patterns, drowning victim/body recovery, evidence recovery, light salvage operations, lift bag operations, vehicle recovery, deep diving, and swift water diving. The school was based in Terre Haute. Training took place in various types of bodies of water throughout Vigo County. Indiana Conservation Officers respond to and investigate drowning incidents and all other types of water-related investigations, including evidence recovery, vehicle recovery, swift-water rescues, and boat crashes.

     Indiana’s whitetail archery season and the wild turkey bow season opened on October 1.  Fall wild turkey archery season runs through Oct. 27.  Deer Archery season is open through Jan. 5.  There is also a fall wild turkey firearms season that runs form Oct. 16-27.

With the extremely warm weather please keep in mind that deer meat only has about two hours from the time to harvest until you get it in a cooler or it probably will be spoiled.  I try to avoid evening hunts in this warmer than normal weather because if you make a marginal shot and you have to track a deer in the dark it’s unlikely you’ll find it in time to save the meat.

If you know of a youth or an adult that might want to begin their hunting experience you can purchase them an Apprentice License. 

Apprentice hunting licenses

  • An apprentice hunter can be of any age.
  • An apprentice hunter can be a resident or non-resident.
  • Apprentice licenses allow individuals to experience hunting without having to take a hunter education class.
  • An individual can purchase no more than 3 apprentice hunting licenses during his/her lifetime.
  • An individual who is at least 18 years old and has a valid hunting license (or is exempt from needing a hunting license under state law) must be in close proximity and be able to communicate at all times with the apprentice hunter. The individual who accompanies the apprentice hunter cannot accompany more than two apprentice hunters at one time while in the field.

A youth consolidated hunting and trapping license is only $7. Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1986 must successfully complete a DNR-offered hunter education class to purchase a hunting license. The Hunter Education Number (HED#) must be entered into the license system in order to purchase a hunting license that is not an apprentice version if the person was born after Dec. 31, 1986. Youth consolidated hunt/trap licenses are for residents 17 or younger. All youth hunting licenses are valid for the designated license year, even if the individual turns 18 during that year, but the license must be purchased before the youth turns 18.

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. 31, 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