Patoka Sportsman 5-9-20

Patoka Sportsman 5-9 & 5-10-20

This is the final weekend for Indiana’s turkey season.  If you’re still chasing a longbeard good luck.  I’m taking my grandson this weekend and I hope he will be successful. Indiana DNR launched a new interactive website allowing turkey hunters to access spring turkey harvest data as it is collected by the state. Harvest data is updated daily during the spring turkey season. As of May 5 the statewide turkey harvest was 12,385. 154 turkeys have been harvested in Dubois County.

The extension for 2019-20 annual licenses and stamps per Indiana Executive Order 20-08 ends May 22 at 11:59 p.m. After this date, those wishing to hunt and/or fish will need a valid 2020-21 license. Buy yours online or at a local retailer.

Turkey hunters and anyone else visiting or planning to visit an FWA will need to be aware that spring turkey season runs from through May 10. FWAs will restrict property hours for visitors during these dates. Only visitors who are turkey hunting or participating in water-based recreation (i.e., fishing, kayaking, boating) away from turkey hunters are allowed to be in the field each day of turkey season, from 30 minutes before sunrise until 1 p.m. ET (noon CT). Turkey hunters on FWAs must stop hunting at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT) and be out of the field within the next hour. After 1 p.m. ET (noon CT) each day of turkey season, other property users are allowed to enter the property for other permitted activities, such as nature walks or mushroom hunting.
This rule is in place to help prevent conflicts and possibly unsafe situations between turkey hunters and other property users. Abiding by this rule helps to ensure a high-quality and safe outdoor experience for all property users. If you encounter non-hunters in the field during restricted hours, please be courteous and call DNR Division of Law Enforcement’s 24-hour dispatch line at 812-837-9536. Statewide, wild turkeys may be hunted only 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. For more information on turkey hunting safety, including tips, visit Locations open for turkey hunting, including property contact information, are listed at

The following areas are ordered closed until termination of this emergency closure order or 120 days from the signature date, whichever comes first: The section of Birdseye Trail located in T3S, R2W, sections 5 and 6 and T2S, R2W, sections 31 and 32 in Crawford County; T2S, R3W, section 36 in Dubois County. The rest of the Birdseye Trail remains open. Management activities are focused on the removal of non-native pine in the area to promote restoration of native hardwoods, and the creation of critical young forest habitat for wildlife that depend on those conditions. Please use caution and pay attention to your surroundings while you enjoy recreation on the Hoosier National Forest. For more information about closure orders on the Hoosier National Forest, please visit or call 812-547-9051. For up-to-date information on the Hoosier National Forest, visit , and

USDA Forest Service staff plan to conduct trail maintenance activities, such as clearing downed trees, beginning this week. To prioritize public and employee safety in support of efforts to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, trails that are undergoing maintenance will be temporarily closed to visitor use.

Unfortunately, due to weather and other on-the-ground conditions, a schedule cannot be made available in advance. Therefore, visitors are advised to check the Hoosier National Forest’s website ( and social media ( prior to visiting for updates on specific trails closed for maintenance on a daily basis. In addition, if a trail is temporarily closed for maintenance it will be posted at the trailhead. Visitors are reminded that these short-term closures will be enforced and going around a barrier or gate when the area is posted closed is subject to violation notice.

Everyone is urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Park interpreters are normally on the frontline, providing park visitors with in-person nature hikes and programs. Now, they are providing online park visitors with virtual hikes, presentations, and live streaming programs. Their interpretive naturalists are dedicated to sharing virtual tours of the outdoors to keep you engaged and uplifted. Topics include wildflower walks, live critter feedings, history programs, crafts, pre-school programs, and more. Virtual programs can be found on individual park Facebook pages, or a listing can be found on the Indiana DNR calendar at You can find these programs by using the Advanced Search and choosing the “Virtual” category or by typing “Virtual” in the Keyword Search.

May is a wonderful time to go fishing – longer, sunny days mean the water is warming and the fish are biting. Largemouth bass, bluegill, and redear all start to spawn when the temperature reaches 65 degrees – they will be busy feeding in the shallows and defending their nests. Not sure what to use as bait or a lure? As active as fish are now, they aren’t picky. They’ll bite artificial lures like spinners, jigs, and flies. Small hooks with red worms, bee moths, or crickets also work. Some aquatic insects will be hatching, so you may wish to match the hatch. The best thing to do is get out there and wet a line.

Warmer water temperatures trigger spawning activity for many of Indiana’s native fish species. These activities require a lot of energy and can weaken fish, leaving them susceptible to infections from diseases or parasites that can eventually kill them. Spawning activities can last for weeks and large numbers of fish may die. However, these events rarely have a lasting effect on the population.

If you find a large number of dead fish of several species or sizes, or a pollutant is suspected, please contact the Indiana DNR TIP line at 800-847-4367 or the Indiana Emergency Spill Line at 888-233-7745 or 317-233-7745.