Patoka Sportsman 8-29-20

Patoka Sportsman 8-29 & 8-30-20

A hunter education course will be offered on Friday, Sept. 18 from 6-9PM and Saturday, Sept. 19 from 8 Am – 4 PM at the Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds.  Instruction will be by Indiana Conservation Officers. Anyone born after December 31, 1986 is required to be certified in Hunter Education before they can purchase a hunting license.  You can sign up at pass it on Indiana dot com.

National Hunting & Fishing Day celebrates the sportsmen and women whose recreational activities have impacted fish and wildlife conservation. To align with National Hunting & Fishing Day, the last Free Fishing Day of the year is Sept. 26. Anglers are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to bring someone new along to enjoy the pastime they love.
This also marks the start of Youth Deer Season, Sept. 26-27, a chance for hunters to pass on their passion to the next generation. Recreational shooters are encouraged to enjoy the 12 public shooting ranges and 10 archery ranges that DNR has to offer:

Sept. 26 is National Public Lands Day – the largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands.During the weekend of Sept. 26-27, celebrate National Public Lands Day by choosing your own adventure at your favorite DNR property: Give back to an area you love by volunteering – find events near you. Get outside and enjoy your favorite recreational activity.
To find a property near you, visit Indiana State Parks will be offering free admission for visitors to enjoy the fall season on Sept. 27.

The fire tower at McCormick’s Creek has re-opened to the public after decades of being closed. During the 1980s, the cab atop the tower was locked by park management due to vandalism and for safety reasons, and it wasn’t until the Friends of McCormick’s Creek group funded the tower’s restoration in 2019 that the public was able to enter — but only during guided hikes.

With only 4% of Indiana’s land public and accessible to anyone who wishes to spend time outdoors, little space is left for protected wildlife and areas where people can recreate. Indiana ranks 43rd out of 50 states in terms of percentage of public land. One of our main priorities is to increase the public lands available to Indiana residents, and the need for more land has been made clear in the last several months.Quarantining and social distancing led many Hoosiers to seek the great outdoors. Indiana’s state parks have seen a large increase in the number of visitors.

Fall weather means hunters will take to the fields as several seasons open in September. Starting Sept. 1, gamebird seasons, including dove, snipe, and sora rail, will open. Sept. 12 marks the start of waterfowl season for early teal and geese. Deer reduction zone season starts Sept. 15. You can find the designated locations for this season on our website.

Outdoor recreationists should check with DNR property offices before visiting if they plan to go off the trails. Certain areas may be closed for reserved hunts or designated seasons. Individuals can wear hunter orange as an additional precaution when entering areas where hunters may be present.

A black bear has been confirmed by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources on the Kentucky-Indiana border near Clark County, Indiana. Bears are strong swimmers - the bear could potentially cross the Ohio River into the Hoosier state. We are encouraging Clark County residents to report any potential bear sightings through our large mammal report form: or to DNR Law Enforcement at 812-837-9536.

The sighting is not a cause for alarm. As populations of black bears in neighboring states continue to increase, it is not unusual that bears may disperse into Indiana.

Learn more about black bears and their history in Indiana: For more information regarding bear-safe practices visit:

State Park Deer management draw dates are November 16-17 for the early hunt and November 30-December 1, 2020 for the late hunt. Applicants must possess any valid license to take a deer in Indiana at the time of the application, not including apprentice licenses. Applicants must be Indiana residents (or possess a valid lifetime comprehensive hunting license to take deer in Indiana), be 18 years of age by the date of the first hunt, and must possess the proper licenses to hunt deer in order to apply. Once you have submitted your application online, you cannot change your information.

For successful applicants, deer harvested at a State Park Management Hunt are in addition to regular deer-season bag limits. You do not need to purchase additional licenses to harvest deer if participating in the management hunt. For questions regarding State Park Deer Management Hunts, please contact DNR's Division of State Parks at 317-232-4200.

Available state parks locally in 2020 include Brown County State Park, Harmonie State Park, Lincoln State Park, McCormick's Creek State Park and Spring Mill State Park.

Don’t wait until right before deer season, purchase your 2020-21 deer hunting license now. Season dates and answers to deer hunting FAQs can be found at Deer licenses can be purchased at an authorized retailer or online at Find instructions for getting started online. For additional assistance with user names or passwords, call 800-457-8283 for Access Indiana customer support. DNR is unable to assist with user names and passwords. More information about the Access Indiana portal, answers to FAQs, and other helpful information is available online.

The new DNR Hunting & Trapping Regulation Guide should be available at a local retailer or DNR property. The new guide will also be posted online at If you don’t already have your Harvest Information Program (HIP) number for the 2020-21 migratory bird seasons, register now online or by calling 866-671-4499. It’s easy to register online, and there’s no cost for using either method.

Wildlife Management staff at Patoka Lake will conduct two separate in-person drawings for two controlled mourning dove hunting opportunities on Sept. 1, 2020. The drawings will begin promptly at 6:00 a.m. (EST) at the Archery Range Shelterhouse in Newton-Stewart State Recreation Area. Hunters are also reminded that they are federally required to utilize non-toxic shot of size 6 or smaller, and have their firearm plugged so that the firearm can only contain three (3) shells at any time. Hunters participating in the controlled-hunt will be limited to 50 shells. Shooting hours for both of the controlled hunts at Patoka Lake on Sept 1, will be from 6:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (EST). Both controlled hunt fields will be closed after 1:00 p.m. (EST). All fields surrounding the controlled sunflower field will be subject to similar time restrictions. Hunters should contact the Indiana Conservation Officers at (812) 837-9536 regarding specific questions on federal or state laws, statutes, and rules. Interested persons may contact the Patoka Lake Main Office between 8:00a.m. and 4:00p.m. at (812) 685-2464 if they require further information.

Indiana DNR is seeking applicants to volunteer for Snapshot Indiana, a citizen-science trail camera project that collects information about Indiana’s wildlife. Applicants must own at least 10 acres of land and have no bait or feed near where the camera will be set. Selected applicants host a trail camera on their property during October and November and return the camera to DNR. Selected applicants will receive the best photos from their camera after all photos are processed. Learn more or submit an application at