Patoka Sportsman 9-14-19

Patoka Sportsman 9-14 & 9-15-19

Lab results were found positive for epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) virus in samples of dead deer from seven different counties. Results of deer samples from other counties are pending. EHD is a viral disease that affects white-tailed deer to some degree every year and is spread by flies commonly known as biting midges, sand gnats, and “no-see-ums.” Humans are not at risk for contracting EHD.

Hoosiers who observe a deer that they suspect may have or may have died from EHD, can report it directly to the DNR through the website at Both epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) and the bluetongue virus (BTV) are viral diseases that can infect deer, but EHD is more commonly found in white-tailed deer. Neither EHD nor BTV affects humans.

The clinical signs or symptoms seen in deer typically show up about seven days after deer have been infected with the EHD virus. These signs can include not eating, weakness, loss of fear of humans, circling, and other neurological signs. Deer that have died from EHD may have a swollen tongue, eyelids, neck, or head. The disease is often fatal, but some deer will survive and develop immunity.

EHD is transmitted by biting midges (genus Culicoides) known as “no-see-ums” or gnats. These breed and live in small pools of standing water, pools even as small as a hoofprint filled with water. EHD can only be diagnosed by a qualified laboratory using blood and internal tissues such as spleen and lung. Indiana DNR tracks the reports of EHD through online public reporting and, when possible, samples deer in the field to confirm the presence of EHD.

Totals as of September 10 include:  10 confirmed cases, Deer reported 600, dead deer 418, sick deer 115, health deer 67 and tested deer 50. Parke and Perry County have had 2 confirmed cases each.  There have only been one confirmed case in the following counties:  Hendricks, Vigo, Clay, Owen, Harrison and Clark.  I have the links on the WITZ website and Facebook page if you want to take a look at the latest information.

Deer Reduction Zones, previously called urban zones, give hunters opportunities to harvest deer in defined urban areas and along portions of Indiana highways, in addition to harvests allowed within statewide bag limits elsewhere in Indiana. View an interactive map. There is a statewide bag limit of 10 for deer harvested in reduction zones during the reduction zone season, but a doe must be harvested first in a deer reduction zone and be checked toward the bag limit for the deer reduction zone season before harvesting a buck to count toward the deer reduction zone bag limit. The deer license bundle cannot be used to harvest a deer toward the deer reduction bag limit. Archery equipment and crossbows can be used in deer reduction zones starting Sept. 15.

Deer season is quickly approaching. There are several license options available:

* Deer bundle license - If you hunt in more than one season, this is the license deal for you.
A deer bundle license can be used in all seasons (except the deer reduction zone season) using legal equipment during that season and gives the hunter the privilege to harvest up to three deer (3 antlerless OR 1 antlered and 2 antlerless deer). Season dates, legal equipment, and all other deer hunting laws apply. Antlerless deer taken with a deer license bundle can count toward the archery season bag limit, muzzleloader season bag limit, or as a bonus antlerless deer in that county, depending on the season and equipment used.

* Youth hunt/trap combo license – Resident youth must purchase a youth combo license, which includes deer hunting privileges.

* Crossbow license - A crossbow license is required to use a crossbow during archery season.

* Archery license – The archery license allows long bows, recurve bows, or compound bows to be used during archery season.

* Firearms license – The firearms license can only be used for a buck during the firearms season.

* Muzzleloader license – This license can only be used in the muzzleloader season.

Licenses can be purchased online, at a retailer, or over the phone at 317-232-4200.

Remember, to get a discounted bonus antlerless license, you must first purchase a bonus antlerless license at the regular price. Purchasing a deer firearms license or deer bundle license does not qualify towards the discount. Hunters can apply online for a reserved waterfowl hunt through Sept. 16. Participating properties include Goose Pond, Hovey Lake, Kankakee, Kingsbury, LaSalle, and Willow Slough Fish & Wildlife Areas. Monroe Lake and Province Pond Wetland Conservation Area are also participating. The online method is the only way to apply.

Inclement spring and summer weather has impacted property management efforts at some Fish & Wildlife Areas and other properties in 2019. Flooding has negatively affected several properties. Hunting conditions this year may differ from those in previous years. If you have questions about the hunting conditions at a specific property, please contact that property directly during normal business hours. You can find contact information and other property-specific information for Fish & Wildlife Areas online.

Hunting seasons beginning in September

Snipe: Sept. 1 – Dec. 16
Sora: Sept. 1 – Nov. 9
Early teal: Sept. 14 – 29
Dove: Sept. 1 – Oct. 20
Canada geese (all zones): Sept. 14 – 22
Deer reduction zone: Sept. 15 – Jan. 31, 2020
Youth deer: Sept. 28 – 29
Deer archery season: Oct. 1 – Jan. 5, 2020

You can reserve a spot for put-and-take pheasant hunts on designated DNR properties starting Sept. 7.
The cost is $30 per reservation. Participating properties this year include: Atterbury, Glendale, J.E. Roush Lake, Pigeon River, Tri-County, Willow Slough, and Winamac Fish & Wildlife Areas. You can make your reservation online by clicking on Register Now under Reserved Hunts. You do not need to log in or have an online account to purchase a reservation. Reservations are non-refundable but can be transferred to another person. All hunters are required to have a current Indiana Hunting License and Gamebird Habitat Stamp to participate in pheasant hunting. Youth age 17 or younger on the date of the hunt can participate but must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years of age.

The youth hunter must possess a valid license for hunting deer (youth hunt/trap combo or other) while in the field unless exempt from needing a license. The youth’s adult partner must possess a valid hunting license of any type that is not an apprentice license. All hunters must wear hunter orange.

The Washington Conservation Club is hosting an Indiana Hunter Education course on Monday, Sept. 16 through Thursday, Sept. 19 from 5:30-8:30 PM each evening.  Hunter Education is required by the state for anyone born after Dec. 31, 1986 in order to purchase a hunting license.  Attendance at all sessions is mandatory.

The Bedford Boat and Sportsman Club is sponsoring a course on Friday, Sept. 20 from 6-9 PM and Saturday, Sept. 21 from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.  Snacks and meals are provided.  They will be outdoors on Saturday. This class as are all the other Hunter Ed. Classes are free. 

The Clarksville Bass pro Shop is sponsoring a Hunter Ed. Course on Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22 from 1-6 PM each day.  You must attend both days to complete the class.  Please bring pencil or pen and highlighter.  To sign up for this or any Indiana Hunter Education Course go to pass it on Indiana dot com.

An Indiana Hunter Ed course is coming up on Thursday, Sept. 19 and Friday, Sept. 20 from 6-9:30 PM each evening and on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 8 Am – 4 PM at the Doverhill Christian Union Church located 4 miles north of Shoals on Hwy. 450.  All instruction will be by Indiana Conservation Officers and certified Indiana Volunteer Hunter Ed. Instructors.  There is no charge for attending the class.  To register go to The course is sponsored by Doverhill Christian Union Church and West Boggs park.

Pine Ridge Elementary School will host an Indiana Hunter Ed.Course on Friday,
Sept. 20 from 6-9:30 PM and Sat. Sept. 21 from 8 AM – 4 PM.There is no charge for attending the class.  A Hunter Ed. Certificate is required for all persons born after De. 31, 1986 who wish to purchase an Indiana hunting license. To register go to

Patoka Lake is looking for volunteers with diverse backgrounds to help with various opportunities around the property. Some annuals needs are photographers, special event assistants, carpenters, painters, and campground hosts, just to name a few.  Come to the Nature Center on Saturday, September 28 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. to learn more about their volunteer program and what opportunities they might have for you.                    

The entrance fee for Newton Stewart State Recreation Area will be waived for all who plan to apply as volunteers. For more information regarding this program or other interpretive events, please call the Nature

Center at 812.685.2447.