Patoka Sportsman 7-17-21

Patoka Sportsman 7-10 & 7-11-21

The Patoka Lake Watershed Steering Committee encourages individuals, families, friends and service groups to help with the 14th annual Patoka Lake Clean Up on Saturday, Aug. 28.

Changes this year include morning signup at several designated boat ramps instead of a central location and free admission into the park for lunch and door prizes after the cleanup.

Participants of all ages and abilities will be assigned an area to pick up litter along the shore starting at 8 a.m. At 11 a.m., all volunteers head into the main entrance of the park for free entrance, a box lunch, door prizes and goody bags. Volunteers are asked to sign up ahead of time for lunch so check the Patoka Lake Watershed Steering Committee Facebook page or text or call 812-639-0123 and ask to be put on the Watershed email list.

Hunters can now apply for DNR reserved hunts! Applications must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 9. The following hunting opportunities are currently available: dove hunts, Fish & Wildlife area (FWA) waterfowl hunts, FWA deer hunts, state park deer hunts, military and national wildlife refuge deer hunts, Indiana Private Lands Access hunts (deer, waterfowl, game birds), and Gamebird Area hunts (pheasants). For more information and the link to apply, visit

The Division of Fish & Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help at the State Fair Fishin’ Pond. You can help families register onsite, teach kids how to fish with cane poles, or tie fishing knots and untangle lines.The Fishin’ Pond is open on Opening Day of the fair (Friday, July 30), then every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the fair. The fair ends on Aug. 22. Volunteer shifts last four hours. Volunteers will receive free parking, a free State Fair ticket, and a free T-shirt. With four volunteer stations, there’s an opportunity for everyone.

Over the course of a year, wild turkeys tend to repeatedly return to the same locations to drink, feed, and rest. Can you think of a spot where you usually see wild turkey broods (hens and poults) or hens alone in the summer? These observations help DNR biologists calculate the annual wild turkey Production Index (number of poults per adult hens). The Production Index helps estimate wild turkey populations in the state and provides guidance for future management.

DNR biologists can’t collect brood observations across the state alone. In order to reach the goal of 3,000 observations this year, we need your help. If you’re interested in sharing your turkey brood observations with DNR, record observations any time through Aug. 31. Thanks to our new, easier reporting system, recording observations takes less than five minutes; no password required.

Outdoor Indiana magazine’s July/August issue features a cover article on the Great American Rail-Trail. The Great American, as the improved-surface trail is branded by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, will, when finished, stretch between Washington, D.C., and Washington state. The trail includes a route through Indiana. Both the overall trail and the Hoosier portion are more than halfway finished. Subscribe for yourself at or by calling 317-233-3046. To read article excerpts from this issue, go to

Anglers can find fish habitat structure locations and more on DNR’s new interactive reservoir habitat map.Habitat structure, such as bundles of Christmas trees, rock piles and wooden platforms, improves aquatic habitat for fish by creating areas for cover, nesting, and more. The structure also attracts bait fish and provides other feeding opportunities. The new interactive map includes project lakes, structure locations, structure types, and photos of structure types. As DNR completes habitat work in the future, information will be added to the interactive map.

Many of us put out trail cameras in the later summer and early fall to try and figure out deer movement.  Some of us leave them out all year long. Hunters agree to disagree the effectiveness of summertime scouting.  Some say it disturbs the deer if you’re tromping through the woods during summer.  Others say that deer will change their patterns from season to season. I decided to leave my trail cameras out on one farm I hunt all year long.  I’ve gotten some really interesting pictures of deer and other wildlife. For the most part the deer in my area are traveling the same routes they did during the fall hunting season.

If you are hunting multiple properties they can definitely be an advantage especially if you have the new cell cameras. It’s a fact that travel patterns and food sources will change before the season begins.  I just like to know if there are any nice bucks living in my core hunting area and whether ones that I’ve seen in previous years are still alive.

Trail cameras are especially useful if you are starting to hunt a new area. Like many of us, I don’t have the time to spend hours glassing soybean fields and visiting my hunting areas when you can’t see very far in the woods during summer.  Then, there are the mosquitoes. I usually wait until September to begin my scouting in earnest. If you’re a squirrel hunter, any time after August 15 would be another opportunity to get out in the woods.

Patoka Lake Bowhunters will be having a 30 target shoot on Sunday July 18.  Registration is from daylight to noon.  Shooting fees for non-members is $10. Active members are $8. Youth are $5 and the cubs and active military shoot for free.  For more information call 812-309-9373.