Patoka Sportsman 12-11-21

Patoka Sportsman 12-11-21

Indiana’s Muzzle Loader Season continues through December 19. If you’re like me and still haven’t harvested your buck yet there’s still time.  The archery and crossbow seasons also continue through Jan. 2. You can still donate a legally harvested deer to the hunters for the hungry by taking it to either Sanders Processing in Celestine or Cannelburg Processing.  For each deer that you donate you will get an entry to win a gun donated by Dr. Greg Gordon and Jasper Optical Lab. Drawing to be held at the January 24 Gun Raffle meeting of the Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club at the Jasper Moose Lodge. Currently there have been 97 deer donated at our two processors.

The Indiana CheckIN Game system allows hunters and trappers 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 (turkey, deer). Be sure to check your information is accurate before submitting. Deer and wild turkeys must be checked in within 48 hours of harvest; river otters must be checked in within 24 hours of harvest. Have your Customer ID and harvest information ready. Remember, you don’t need to log in to your account to check in game for this fall – you can do so by clicking CheckIN Game and entering your Customer ID number and date of birth.

To date the Indiana deer harvest numbers are down compared to last year.  Statewide last year the harvest was 124,180.  So far only 104,332 deer have been harvested.  There is still another week or so to the muzzle loader season and archery season will end on January 2. IN Dubois County last year 1,981 deer were harvested.  This year only 1,720 so far. You can see real time numbers by visiting the DNR website.

Patoka Lake’s 8,800-acre body of water and 17,200 acres of land offers waterfowl hunters abundant opportunities to hunt open water, tributaries, marshes, and fields for various migrating waterfowl. Patoka Lake has three managed Waterfowl Resting Areas (WRAs) that can offer distinctive opportunities for hunters.

Similar to past years, the Sycamore Creek WRA will be closed to all forms of waterfowl hunting through Feb. 28, 2022. In addition, the Sycamore Creek WRA will have public access restrictions. There will be no legal access for hunting, fishing, trapping, or boating (motorized or non-motorized) within Sycamore Creek WRA through Feb. 28, 2022. The intent of this public access restriction is to allow Sycamore Creek WRA to act as a temporary wildlife refuge for waterfowl, offering them a place of minimal disturbance.

Wall’s Ramp WRA and Allen Creek WRA will be open to hunting (including waterfowl hunting), fishing, trapping, and boating (motorized or non-motorized) on the following specific days through Feb. 28, 2022.

Patoka Lak

Wall's Ramp & Allen Creek WRA Open Dates


  10, 11, 16, 17, 25, 26, 27, & 31


1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 17, 18, 22, 23, 27, & 28


4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, & 13

All hunters must sign in at one of the 19 hunter sign-in stations on the property. Failure to sign in and return a One-Day Hunter Check-in Card properly may result in a fine. All game taken must be recorded on a One-Day Hunter Check-in Card that is to be carried with you as you hunt. The card is to be turned in at the end of the day, even if no game were harvested. Please be sure to return the card to the same hunter sign-in station where you originally signed in. This system provides valuable wildlife management information.

Special federal, state, and property regulations must be followed — visit for details. Hunters are encouraged to contact DNR Law Enforcement at 812-837-9536 regarding specific questions on federal or State laws, statutes, and/or rules. Maps of the Waterfowl Resting Areas can be picked up at the Patoka Lake Main Office.

Hunters may find additional information by visiting the Division of Fish & Wildlife Migratory Game Bird Seasons and Regulations webpage at, or by calling Patoka Lake at 812-685-2464 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and asking to speak to the property wildlife specialist.

Tracking wildlife is an amazing way to connect with nature. Reading and interpreting animal sign is a vital skill for hunters and trappers to learn, but it’s useful for anyone who wants to view wildlife. One of the best times to practice your tracking is in the winter, after the snow falls. Fresh snow is like a blank page that makes it easy to read where animals have left their mark. For hunters and trappers, this is an excellent time to take an in-depth look at how animals are moving around the landscape and make more accurate predictions about their patterns. This winter, grab your favorite animal track and sign guidebook and head out to a DNR property near you to practice! Remember: Wearing fluorescent orange (“hunter orange”) is always a good practice while enjoying the outdoors during hunting seasons.

Landowners interested in developing wildlife habitat can take advantage of winter conditions to improve their property’s resources. For those who started preparing sites for seed-to-soil contact in fall, our biologists recommend waiting until a thin layer of snow is on the ground before starting winter seeding. The snow will make it easy to see where seeds have already been spread, reducing waste. Now is also a great time to gather limbs and other downed material to create brush piles, which make great shelters for different wildlife species, including rabbits.

If you want to create or improve habitat on your property next year, get in contact with your district wildlife biologist with your goals and ideas to start planning. Learn about our wildlife habitat landowner assistance programs online.