Patoka Sportsman 12-28-19

Patoka Sportsman 12-28 & 12-29-19

If you have a young hunter who was born after December 31, 1986 they will need to pass an Indiana Hunter Ed Course before buying a hunting license.  You must be at least 12 years old to take the online course.  There is a fee of $19.95 to take the online course.  Many organizations will be having Hunter Ed Courses after the first of the year and throughout the year.  A youth who would like to hunt can purchase up to three apprentice licenses at a cost of $7 each to see if they like hunting before they take the course.  Apprentice licenses also apply to adults.  You must also be a resident of Indiana to take the online course.

An Indiana Hunter Education Course is slated for Friday, January 24 through Saturday, January 25 at the Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds. Classes will run from 6:00p.m. to 9:00p.m. on Friday 24th and from 8a.m. to 4:00p.m. on Saturday 25th. Participants must attend both days to complete the course. All Indiana residents are invited to complete this FREE course. All instruction will be by Indiana conservation officers and certified Indiana volunteer hunter education instructors. Certification is required for anyone born after December 31, 1986, who wishes to purchase an Indiana hunting license. The course will cover ethics, safety, laws, survival and safe handling practices for archery, black powder and firearms. Lunch will be provided for participants and attending family members on Saturday for $5/person.  To sign up, visit There is a 150- student limit for the class and pre-registration is required. This course is being sponsored by the Dubois County Shooting Sports Instructor Council. For questions, call (812)685-2447.

The DNR has recently launched a new interactive website allowing deer hunters to access white-tailed deer harvest data. Hunters have asked for detailed harvest data and comparisons between years. This new website is a direct result of that feedback. Harvest data is updated daily.  The link is To date 107,189 deer have been taken statewide. 

The special antlerless deer season runs through Jan. 5 in counties that previously had a bonus quota of 4 or more.  Now that limit is two antlerless deer in those counties using any legal equipment including firearms. Remember to check where you can hunt during the special antlerless firearms season. Counties that have historically been open for this season may have changed this year. County bonus antlerless quotas were also reduced in response to the effects of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) on the deer herd this year. Statewide archery is open through Jan. 5.   Turkey archery season also runs through Jan. 5.    Rabbit seasons runs through Feb. 28.  You can hunt quail south of Interstate 74 until January 10.  Coyote season runs through March 15.

The hunters for the hungry is still underway until the end of deer season.  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.  So far we’ve had 84 deer donated to the Hunters for the Hungry.  If you’d still like to hunt and can’t use the deer meat do something nice for those less fortunate and donate it.  The meat will be processed by one of our four processors mentioned above and paid for through a grant from the Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund.  It’s a great way to “give thanks” for the tremendous opportunity we have as sportsmen to do something we enjoy.

Experience the world of eagles in Indiana with indoor & outdoor programs at Patoka Lake Nature Center on Saturday, January 4, 2020 from 10:00a.m. – 4:30p.m. E.S.T. during the 32nd 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. Rex Watters, Monroe Lake Wildlife 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 90 registered participants.

Start the New Year off right by enjoying the outdoors on a First Day Hike at Patoka Lake. On Wednesday, January 1 at 1:00 p.m. join in a 3/4mile hike along the scenic Trail 4. 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 until 1:00p.m.