Patoka Sportsman 7-23-22

Patoka Sportsman 7-23 & 7-24-22

Patoka Lake will host its 31st annual star party on Saturday, July 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Patoka Lake Nature Center and 7 p.m. to approximately 10 p.m. at the Patoka Lake Beach. There will be a number of activities to celebrate the sky. Participants can make solar bead bracelets with an interpretive naturalist from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The beads change colors with the sun, and some glow in the dark. Cost is $2 per bracelet. From 1 to 4 p.m. attendees can safely view the sun through specially filtered telescopes with help from members of the Evansville Astronomical Society (EAS). At 2 p.m., the EAS will give an informational program about the sun. At 3 p.m. the EAS will give a talk titled Astronomy 101, which will cover the basics of how to look at planets, stars, and galaxies. At 7 p.m. at the beach, naturalists from O’Bannon Woods State Park will give a presentation about Indiana’s native snakes. At 8:30 p.m., members of the EAS and Louisville Astronomical Society will have telescopes set up to view the night sky and will help viewers find celestial objects. The entrance fee of $7 per vehicle for Indiana residents and $9 for out-of-state vehicles is required for the Newton-Stewart State Recreation Area at Patoka Lake, located north of Wickliffe Indiana, Highway 164. For more information regarding this program or other interpretive events, call the Nature Center at 812-685-2447.

White River Longbeards chapter of the NWTF will host their Hunting Heritage Banquet on August 6 at Montgomery Ruritan Community Building. Doors open at 4:40 and dinner is at 6:30. To purchase tickets go to  You can also contact Chris Clymer at 812-698-1026.

Several rule changes that affect DNR properties are now in effect, with the Natural Resources Commission, Attorney General’s Office, and Governor’s Office having recently approved them.

Changes include the following:

  • Stands or blinds (including portable ground blinds) are allowed to be left overnight on DNR properties if the blind or stand is legibly marked with the name, address and phone number of the owner or the owner's customer identification number issued by the DNR.
  • Trail/game cameras can be placed on properties managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife, as well as on state forests, and state recreation areas as long as the camera is legibly marked with the owner's name, address, phone number or customer identification number issued by DNR. Placement of the camera must not damage a tree.
  • The placing of bait for wildlife is prohibited on any DNR property. Exceptions are granted for bait or food placed for wildlife management as authorized by DNR, the result of authorized agricultural operations on the property (like tenant farming) or a bird feeder placed by a DNR employee. The definition of bait includes (1) a food that is transported to and placed for consumption, including but not limited to piles of corn and apples placed on the property; (2) prepared solids or liquids manufactured and intended for consumption by livestock, wild deer or birds, including, but not limited to, commercial baits and food supplements; (3) salt; and (4) mineral supplements.
  • The collection of shed antlers without a permit is allowed, except on dedicated Nature Preserves.
  • Via a permit, magnet fishing is allowed on public waters on DNR properties as long as the magnet is able to be carried and retrieved by hand. Individuals will need to contact the respective property office to get a permit for magnet fishing on a DNR property.

Media contact: Brad Feaster, Assistant Director, Office of Public Lands, DNR Fish & Wildlife, 812-512-9158, [email protected].

Wildlife management staff at Patoka Lake have selected the waterfowl resting area access dates for the 2022-2023 migratory waterfowl hunting season(s). Patoka Lake’s 8,800-acre body of water and 17,200 acres of land offer waterfowl hunters abundant opportunities to hunt open water, tributaries, marshes, and fields for various migrating waterfowl. Its three managed Waterfowl Resting Areas (WRAs) offer distinctive opportunities for hunters. Similar to past years, Sycamore Creek WRA will be closed to waterfowl hunting from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, 2023. Also at Sycamore Creek WRA, there will be no legal access for hunting, fishing, trapping, or boating (motorized or non-motorized) from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, 2023The intent of this public access restriction is to allow Sycamore Creek WRA to act as a temporary wildlife refuge for waterfowl, offering them a place of little disturbance. Wall’s Ramp WRA and Allen Creek WRA will be open to hunting (including waterfowl hunting), fishing, trapping, and boating (motorized or non-motorized) on the following specific days, Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, 2023.

All hunters must sign in at one of Patoka’s 19 hunter sign-in stations. Failure to properly sign in, carry a one-day hunter check-in card while you hunt, record all game taken on that card, and return it after you hunt (even if you harvest no game) may result in a fine. Hunters should be sure to return the card to the same hunter sign-in station at which they signed in. This system provides valuable wildlife management information. Special federal, state, and property regulations must be followed. See for details. Contact DNR Law Enforcement at 812-837-9536 with questions on regulations. Maps of the WRAs can be picked up at the Patoka Lake main office. Hunters may find additional information by visiting the Division of Fish & Wildlife Migratory Game Bird Seasons and Regulations at, or by calling Patoka Lake at 812-685-2464 from 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and asking for property wildlife specialist.

Media contact: Brian Finch, Wildlife Specialist, Patoka Lake Office, 812-685-2464.

Due to poor sunflower growing conditions locally, wildlife management staff at Patoka Lake will not conduct in-person drawings for controlled mourning dove hunting opportunities this year. Instead, the two sunflower fields on South Ramp Road within Newton-Stewart SRA will be open for mourning dove hunting on a first-come, first-served basis. The routine drawing process for mourning dove hunting opportunities is expected to return in 2023. Hunters are reminded to procure the proper licenses, stamps, and their federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. Hunters are required to sign in at a property hunter check-in station and ensure they have a One-Day Hunting Permit on their person. Hunters are also reminded that they are federally required to use nontoxic shot of size 6 or smaller, in addition to having their firearm plugged so that it can only contain three shells at any time. Regular shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset through the legal season(s).Hunters should contact Indiana DNR Law Enforcement at 812-837-9536 regarding specific questions on federal or state laws, statutes, and rules. For other information on the controlled hunt, call Patoka Lake at 812-685-2464 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and ask for the wildlife specialist.

The 2022 Indiana State Fair begins July 29 and runs through August 21 (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays). This year’s indoor theme for the DNR building highlights automobiles, machines, and more – the tools we use to conserve Indiana’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Look for some interesting equipment on display from the Division of Fish & Wildlife! Beginning Aug.10, fish from Cikana Fish Hatchery will be on display in the indoor tanks and outdoor ponds.

Patoka Lake will host a celebration for Smokey Bear’s birthday on Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Patoka Lake Nature Center. The Orange County Southeast Township Volunteer Fire Department will give a presentation on fire safety, including a demonstration of the Jaws of Life, at 11 a.m. There will also be opportunities to take pictures with Smokey, play games, and make a special craft to take home.The entrance fee of $7 per vehicle for Indiana residents and $9 for out-of-state vehicles is required for the Newton Stewart State Recreation Area, located north of Wickliffe on State Road 164.