Patoka Sportsman 12-22-18

Patoka Sportsman 12-22 & 12-23-18

The annual Hunters for the Hungry program administered by the Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club is going on now through the end of deer season January 6.  Any hunter who harvests a deer can donate it to the Hunters for the Hungry by taking it to Sanders Processing in Celestine, Ferdinand Processing, Cannelburg Processing or Ohio Valley Custom Deer Processing in English.  Processing will be paid for through a grant from the Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund acquired by the Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club.  All donated deer meat is packaged and distributed through area food banks.  Each donated deer will give the hunter an entry to win a gun donated by Dr. Greg Gordon and Jasper Optical Lab.  So far 89 deer have been donated. If you’d still like to hunt you can donate to any of our 4 processors through January 6.

Deer Muzzle Loader season runs through Dec. 23.  The special antlerless deer season in counties with a bonus quota of 4 or more runs through Jan. 6.  Statewide archery is open through Jan. 6.  Turkey archery season also runs through Jan. 6.  You can also hunt geese in the South Zone through Feb. 10. Rabbit seasons runs through Feb. 28.  You can hunt quail south of Interstate 74 through Jan. 10.

The 2018–19 limited river otter trapping season opened on Nov. 15. Trappers are limited to two otters during the season and the statewide quota is 600 otters. The season will close on March 15 or when the statewide quota is met, whichever comes first. Any trapped river otters must be reported within 24 hours of harvest online or by phone through the CheckIN Game system, and otters must be registered in person within 15 days of the month of harvest. The list of registration stations is available on the otter trapping page. Upon registering the otter, the trapper must turn over the carcass to DNR staff so valuable data can be collected and you can receive a tag for their otter pelt.

Each winter Fish & Wildlife conducts an annual mid-winter waterfowl survey. These surveys provide information about the status and distribution of waterfowl in the Mississippi Flyway. Biologists throughout the state will conduct surveys as birds continue on their migration routes. This information is important to help biologists monitor waterfowl not only at the state level, but also at the national level. Biologists are interested in surveying ducks, geese, swans and other birds such as bald eagles and sandhill cranes.

Are you a homeowner or landowner who wants to see more wildlife? Now is a good time to start planning those wildlife habitat projects that can be accomplished in mid-to-late winter. Generally, the ground is frozen and there is little potential for interfering with nesting wildlife. Some suggested habitat management practices that can be accomplished during the winter months are: Creating brush piles for small mammals, songbirds, and other wildlife to usem Woodland edge enhancement, forest openings, and fencerow rejuvenation. Using a technique called hinge cutting, feathered edges and forest openings can be created. These areas can create wildlife habitat between agricultural areas and more mature woodlands, or within woodlots.

Are you looking for that perfect gift for your favorite hunter, trapper or angler?
Give a gift certificate to buy a hunting, trapping or fishing license. It's the perfect gift for that person in your life who has all the equipment they need.

Don’t know what to buy for the person who has everything? Giving a holiday gift pack from the DNR may be your solution. It’s a gift the recipient can use the whole year, saving you $31 compared to what the items would sell for separately. Whether that person enjoys camping outdoors or sleeping in the comfort of one of seven Indiana State Park Inns, the gift pack is sure to please. The $99 gift pack includes a 2019 resident annual entrance permit, a one-year subscription to Outdoor Indiana magazine, and one of two $65 gift card options. There’s a $65 gift card that can be used at the campgrounds — or for those who like to enjoy nature from the comfort of the indoors, a $65 State Park Inns gift card. There’s also an option to upgrade the gift card to $100 for $35 more.

Annual entrance permits, horse tags, off-road cycling permits and lake permits for 2019 are now on sale at DNR Division of State Parks property offices.These passes and permits make great holiday gifts for outdoor lovers and are a wise gift to yourself, too.

Get two nights for the price of one at our Indiana State Park Inns this winter. Now through Feb. 28, 2019, stay two consecutive nights and your second night is FREE. Sunday - Thursday only. Blackout period Dec. 23, 2018 - Jan. 3, 2019. Certain restrictions apply. Visit or call 1-877-LODGES1 to make your reservation today.

Experience the world of eagles in Indiana with indoor & outdoor programs at Patoka Lake Nature Center on Saturday, January 5, 2019 from 10:00a.m. to 4:30p.m. E.S.T. during the 31st annual Eagle Watch. Featured will be a resident bald eagle & other live raptors. Dana Reckelhoff, DNR Patoka Lake Interpretive Naturalist, will share the life and story of these amazing birds of prey. Join Brian Finch, Patoka Lake Wildlife Specialist and his team on driving tours to hot spots for eagle viewing. Allisyn Gillet, Indiana's Non-game Bird Biologist will share the history of the 1980’s Eagle Reintroduction Program and the success of this species! Discover interesting information about eagles found in your part of the state. Other short topics include flight and osprey. A catered meal will be provided. Kid’s activities and crafts will be available from 12:30 – 4:00p.m. Cost is $15/person. Advanced registration is required and can be submitted by calling the Patoka Lake Nature Center at (812)685-2447. Dress for the weather and don’t forget to bring binoculars, spotting scopes, and cameras! Have vehicles fueled for the driving tour. This event is limited to the first 55 registered participants.

Start the New Year off right by enjoying the outdoors on a First Day Hike at Patoka Lake. On Tuesday, January 1 at 1p.m. join in a 3/4mile hike along the scenic Garden Rock Loop Trail. Hot chocolate will be served starting at 12:30p.m. The naturalist will meet all happy hikers inside the Patoka Lake Nature Center.  On January 1, the Nature Center will be open from 11:30a.m. until 1:00p.m.