Patoka Sportsman 4-17-21

Patoka Sportsman 4-17 & 4-18-21

Youth season for spring wild turkey hunting is April 17-18. Adult hunters can take to the fields beginning April 21 through May 9. Hunters will need a valid turkey hunting license and gamebird habitat stamp to participate.

The Natural Resources Commission recently gave final approval to administrative rule changes to expand legal equipment for hunters during the spring wild turkey hunting season, and DNR Director Dan Bortner authorized their use by emergency rule in time for this year's spring turkey season. The changes allow the use of 410 caliber and 28-gauge shotguns in addition to already-legal 10-, 12-, 16- and 20-gauge shotguns. It also expands the legal shot sizes (4,5,6,7, 7.5) to include smaller Tungsten Super Shot #9 and #10.

In 2020, Fish & Wildlife Areas (FWAs) suspended stand-by draws for wild turkey hunts due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year, turkey stand-by draws will resume to fill all hunting opportunities. Hunters must wear a mask and practice social distancing at each property office.

Wild turkey hunts on many FWAs are initially allocated by a reserved hunt draw. Reserved turkey hunters must claim their spot by a specific time each morning or that hunting opportunity will be included in the stand-by draw. Hunters who are not reserved and hold a valid turkey hunting license and gamebird stamp may sign up for the draw each morning for a chance at one of the unclaimed spots. Hunters interested in participating in turkey hunt stand-by draws should contact the property they wish to hunt for more information regarding draw times and procedures.

Hunters looking to chase gobblers on public land this spring can find plenty of opportunity in Indiana’s forests. All 15 state forest properties and 204,000-acre Hoosier National Forest are open for walk-in hunting. It’s important to remember that these forests are managed for multiple types of recreation, which means you may encounter more people than just other turkey hunters. Hikers, foragers, horseback riders, campers, and many others enjoy these spaces, too. This openness also allows you to do more than just turkey hunt, so it’s a great excuse to bring the family along.

Patoka Lake Bowhunters will have a 30 target 3D shoot on Sunday at the Patoka Lake archery range.  Being an ASA Club they are moving to the ASA scoring format for 2021. Registration is from daylight till noon. Cost is $10 for non-members and $8 for active members.  You are just $5.  Active military and cubs shoot for free.  For more information call 812-309-9373.

The Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club will have their monthly meeting on April 19 at Fleigs in Ferdinand. All members are encouraged to attend and bring your gun raffle tickets.  The gun raffle will be held at the May 17 meeting, which will be held at the Moose Lodge in Jasper.  Big Buck contest winners will also be announced at the May meeting.

Purdue University in conjunction with Extension Forestry & Natural Resources, Forestry DNR, Four Rivers Forestry Committee and the Dubois County Soil and Water Conservation District will sponsor an event on tree planting for conservation timber and wildlife on April 22 from 4-6 PM EDT at the Ken Otto Property on Whooderville Rd. in Jasper.  There is no cost involved and you can register by April 19 by calling Ron at 812-678-5049 or Judi at 812-482-1171. 

This year's four Free Fishing Days are May 2, June 5-6, and Sept. 25. Indiana residents do not need a fishing license or a trout stamp to fish in public waters on these days. Free Fishing Days are a great opportunity to give fishing a try or share fishing with a friend or family member.

Visitors to our Fish & Wildlife Areas (FWAs) will notice some changes this spring and summer. Later this summer, a new property rule will go into effect that requires all visitors to sign in and get a one-day permit card before going out on the property, regardless of activity. To prepare for this new rule, the DNR has been asking that visitors sign in and take a permit since April 1. The one-day access permit must be kept with you while visiting and must be completed and returned to a kiosk, drop box, or the office before leaving. The information you provide helps them identify ways to improve Indiana’s FWAs for all users.

The opening day of trout season for inland streams is April 24 at 6 a.m. local time. DNR’s biologists are currently stocking rainbow trout across the state. To find locations near you that are receiving trout, check out the 2021 trout stocking plan. You will need a valid fishing license and trout/salmon stamp to fish for trout.

Red Dawn Archery in Princeton is offering an introduction to archery for women only.  This 5 week class will be taught by certified instructors. You will learn the basics of all types of archery in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.  All equipment is provided.  No experience is necessary.  Classes start May 5 from 6-7:30 PM nightly for 5 weeks.  For more information call (812) 385-4741.