Patoka Sportsman 12-7-19

Patoka Sportsman 12-7 & 12-8-19

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 99,952 deer have been taken.  This number is slightly ahead of 2018 at this same point in the season.  Last year 96,091 deer were harvested by this date.  2018 total deer harvest in the state was 111,252.  We are on track to be slightly ahead of last years numbers.  Dubois County is exactly where it was last year at this time with a total of 1,561 deer harvested. Martin County is slightly down. Orange is down. Daviess is slightly ahead. Pike’s numbers are up a little over last year.  Warrick is down.  Spencer County is the same.  Crawford and Perry counties are down in numbers compared to the same date last year.

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.  I’ll keep you posted here of Hunter Ed courses in our area.  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.

Muzzle loader season is open from December 7 through December 26. The special antlerless deer season runs through Jan. 6 in counties that previously had a bonus quota of 4 or more.  Now that limit is two antlerless deer in those counties. 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.

 It’s the season of giving and Indiana’s wildlife could use a gift from you. The Indiana Nongame Wildlife Fund benefits more than 750 endangered and nongame animals, including barn owls, hellbenders, Indiana bats, and many more. All funding comes from Hoosiers who donate; no state tax dollars are used. For every $5 donated to the fund, an additional $9 is awarded from federal funds.

Do you need to buy a gift for your favorite hunter, trapper, or angler? Not sure what equipment they want or need? Give a gift certificate to buy a hunting, trapping or fishing license.

Native wildlife could use your help during extreme weather. Wildlife species have four basic needs: space, water, food, and cover. Providing an ample supply of food and cover in the winter months can help them survive.

To increase the winter supply of food, plant a variety of native shrubs and trees that produce both soft fruits and hard seeds. Soft fruit from species like persimmon, blackgum, elderberry, serviceberry, and dogwood are relished by many species of birds and mammals. Hard-seed species include hazelnut, hickory, pecan, and oak. Plant both white and red oak groups, as the acorns develop at different times. Some other trees and shrubs provide consistent food sources throughout winter, including red cedar, sumac, coralberry, and American cranberry bush.

Winter cover is also valuable because it can shield wildlife from harsh winter winds and snow. Plant evergreen trees or shrubs that do not lose their leaves, such as pine, red cedar, white cedar, hemlock, or spruce. Allow branches to extend down to the bottom of the trunk to keep out wind and snow.
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.

While many of Indiana's new fish species are either introduced by people or invading non-native species, the banded pygmy sunfish, a native species, was first discovered in 2006. Initially collected from a stream in southwest Knox County, biologists conducted targeted sampling after the discovery of the banded pygmy sunfish and uncovered more populations in Posey County. Survey and monitoring of Indiana’s nongame fish species includes sampling locations across the state where there is little or no historic fish information. It's not surprising that the banded pygmy sunfish went undiscovered for so long, as it reaches a maximum size of less than 2 inches and lives most of its life buried in thick stands of aquatic vegetation. The banded pygmy sunfish is listed as a species of special concern in Indiana.