Patoka Sportsman 5-7& 5-8-22
The spring turkey hunting season is now open until May 15. This season’s resident Spring Turkey License fee is $32 plus the annual gamebird stamp ($11) for a total of $43. The Resident Youth Consolidated Hunt/Trap license fee is $12 (no stamp required). This license is also available to nonresident youth who have a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian who is an Indiana resident.
Fish & Wildlife areas (FWAs) often allocate spring turkey hunting opportunities through a reserved hunt draw. Hunters drawn for a reserved hunt must claim their spots daily by a certain time each morning, or that hunting opportunity will be included in the standby draw. Non-reserved hunters who hold a valid turkey hunting license and game bird stamp may sign up for standby draws each morning for a chance at one of the unclaimed spots. Remember, these spots can only be claimed in person, and there is no guarantee there will be openings available. Hunters interested in participating in turkey hunt standby draws should contact the property they wish to hunt for more information regarding draw times and procedures.
Avian influenza has been confirmed in two wild raptor species in Indiana, according to the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW). Diagnostic testing on the raptors was done at Purdue’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, where the birds tested positive with the (HP) H5N1 strain that is circulating in North America.
The individual raptors that tested positive were one bald eagle each from Starke and Miami counties, and a red-tailed hawk from Johnson County. Since the beginning of the year, avian influenza has been detected in raptors in multiple states.
Michelle Benavidez Westrich, a DFW wildlife health says the current H5N1 strain has not been detected in wild turkeys, and she does not expect that to happen. “While wild turkeys are presumed susceptible, the likelihood of wild turkeys catching this disease is very low; it has never occurred in Indiana,” she said. As always, meat harvested from wild birds in the state, as long as it is handled properly and cooked to an internal temperature of 165F, does not present a food safety risk.
Avian influenza has been detected in various wild water birds in multiple states this year. A redhead duck collected from Dubois County by the USDA tested positive for the H5N1 strain earlier in 2022. The DFW is partnering with USDA-Wildlife Services to increase surveillance efforts throughout the state. People who see waterfowl or raptors that are dead or appear sick are asked to report them using the DNR online reporting tool: on.IN.gov/sickwildlife.
Join Patoka Lake’s interpretive naturalist for a kayak tour starting from the south boat ramp on Saturday, May 14 at 9:30 a.m. Osprey and swallows can be seen along the journey. Paddlers should arrive no later than 9:15 a.m. and bring their kayak, binoculars, life vests, cameras, sunscreen, and refreshments. Non-motorized boat launch permits are required and will be sold at the event for $5. For more information regarding this program, kayak rentals, or other interpretive events, please call the Nature Center at 812-685-2447.
Nearly 22,000 trout are being stocked by the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife in 16 different streams across Indiana for inland trout season, which started at 6 a.m. local time on Saturday, April 30.Trout will bite on a variety of artificial baits such as spinners and flies, but natural baits such as worms and bee moths tend to be the most popular.
As you prepare your boat or recreational equipment to get back on the water this spring, remember to look for aquatic hitchhikers. Zebra mussels, aquatic plants like Eurasian watermilfoil or starry stonewort, and many other invasive species continue to be a threat to Indiana’s waters by degrading fish habitat and negatively affecting recreational boating and fishing. The most common locations where plants, mussels, and animals hitch a ride include: Transom well near the drain plug. Axle of the trailer. Lower unit and propeller on the boat motor. The rollers and bunks that guide the boat onto the trailer. Anchor and lines. Bait bucket and live well
Boat owners are asked to drain water from bait buckets, live wells, and boats before leaving the boat landing; leave drain plugs out while travelling on land; clean and dry anything that came in contact with water; and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Learn more about aquatic invasive species and how to prevent their movement.
Sample the offerings of central and southern Indiana distilleries during Spring Mill State Park’s first Village Tasting Experience on June 11 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in the park’s Pioneer Village. The event will help raise money to purchase a still and improve displays for the park’s own 1824 village distillery. The event cost is $30 for those staying at Spring Mill Inn or the park’s campground and $40 for everyone else. That cost includes a sample from all distilleries in attendance. All other purchases from those businesses must be made in cash. Participants must be 21 or older and show identification upon arrival. A shuttle service will be provided to and from the campground and inn. Those not staying at Spring Mill Inn or the park campground must have a designated driver with them. Free soft drinks and appetizers will be available for the designated driver. The event will go on rain or shine. Advance registration is required by June 8 and can be made by calling 812-849-3534 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. The event is limited to the first 300 people to register. Payment must be made when registering. There are no refunds. Park admission during the event is $7 per vehicle for in-state residents and $9 per vehicle for out-of-state residents. Spring Mill State Park (on.IN.gov/springmillsp) is at 3333 State Road 60 East, Mitchell, 47446.