Patoka Sportsman 5-1-21

Patoka Sportsman 5-1 & 5-2-21

This Sunday, May 2, is the first of four Free Fishing Days in Indiana. The remaining Free Fishing Days are June 5-6 and September 25. On these special days, Indiana residents can fish the state’s public waters without a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp. This creates the perfect opportunity to invite someone to go fishing with you who does not have a license. Fishing is an excellent way to connect with family and friends. Plus, being outdoors at the water lets you disconnect from the worries of the day.

May 2 also kicks off Visit Indiana Week, and state parks, recreation areas, forests, and reservoirs are offering free admission to celebrate. What better way to explore our beautiful state than by going fishing! To discover a new fishing spot, dive into our Where to Fish map. Stay up to date with important information in the Fishing Guide.

If you'll be fishing at one of our Fish & Wildlife areas (FWAs), please visit a self-service booth to pick up a one-day access permit. The information you provide on these permits helps us identify ways to improve Indiana's FWAs. If you have questions, visit the property website or stop in the property's office.

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.

Everyone is invited to join the Daviess-Martin Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) and the DNR for a weed wrangle on Saturday, May 15 at Glendale Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA). During this event, volunteers will learn how to identify and remove amur honeysuckle and other invasive plants while helping to improve habitat quality. The weed wrangle will take place from 10 a.m. to noon ET. Volunteers will meet at the Maintenance Shop just north of the Glendale FWA office on 600 South. Please bring sturdy shoes, work gloves, water, and a face mask. Masks will be needed when volunteers are gathered together and may be removed while working. Hand tools will be provided for pulling and cutting shrubs, but volunteers may also bring their own loppers or hand saws. Advance registration is encouraged for this event. To register contact Glendale FWA at 812-674-0168 or [email protected].

Indiana’s turkey season continues through May 9.  I was successful on the second day of the season and harvested a 22 pound gobbler with a 10” beard.  Opening day was unlike any other this year with two inches of snow on the ground.  I think the turkeys were as confused as I was when I got to the woods around 6 AM.

I heard a gobbler gobbling as soon as I reached the edge of the woods from the field I was walking in on. Instead of potentially spooking him off the roost, since the ground was covered with snow, I decided to set up on the edge of the field. 

Second guessing myself I should have risked it and sat up on the ridge where I know they like to travel.  I saw the gobbler fly down in the woods.  I called a couple times.  He heard my calls and even started strutting.  Then he moved up to the ridge and was strutting and gobbling just over the side of the hill.  I decided to move and get as close to the top of the ridge as I could. 

I called and he answered.  I put my call down and got ready.  I saw him moving slowly across the top of the ridge heading away from me.  I felt it was too far to take a shot so I passed.

After he walked away I waited a few minutes and cut around the bottom of the hill where I thought he was going.  I heard him gobble once.  I sat up and called again.  By this time the snow was melting and dropping from the trees like sleet.  He was just over the hill but never gobbled again after I called to him.  I wanted about a half hour, slowly walked over the hill and he was gone.

The second morning I got there really early and sat up on top of the ridge in the dark.  As daylight dawned I heard a couple deep clucks.  I looked up in the trees about 75 yards away and saw the gobbler strutting on a limb. This went on for a few minutes as daylight was starting to break.  The gobbler never gobbled he just sat there clucking and strutting on a limb.  In a couple minutes I figured out why as other turkeys started flying down in front of me.  He didn’t need to gobble.  He knew the hens were already roosted near him.

As he flew down I heard a hen cluck from behind me.  She was moving on my left heading towards the gobbler.  All of a sudden there were 3 gobblers on the ground strutting and moving in my direction.

When the closest one got within 50 yards I fired.  He was down and my 2021 turkey season was successful.  It was the second day, 7 AM and my hunt was over for this year.  He weighted 22 pounds and had a 10“ beard.  He was a nice two year old bird. As I admired the bird I gave thanks and wished my grandson could have gone with me that morning.  He got his first turkey with me last year and he’s eager to go Mother’s Day weekend with me. It was a very memorable turkey season with unusual weather and lots of turkeys all around me.  It all happened within a couple minutes but it was VERY exciting.

If you’re still turkey hunting don’t give up.  Keep at it and good luck this weekend.