Patoka Sportsman 9-19-20

Patoka Sportsman 9-19 & 9-20-20

Indiana’s youth whitetail deer season is September 26 & 27. It’s an opportunity for young hunters under the age of 17 to have first chance at deer hunting before the archery season begins on October 1.

The resident youth hunt/trap license is only $7 for any Indiana resident age 17 or younger.  It includes all hunting and trapping licenses and stamp privileges, including small game, deer, wild turkey and waterfowl.  No additional licenses are needed unless a federal duck stamp is required for ages 16 and older.

There also are special hunt dates for youth age 17 and younger and many DNR managed properties offer youth hunting events.  For more details check

Youth free hunting days are November 28-29.  Any resident age 17 or younger on the date of the hunt can take any legal game in season during these youth free hunting days.  To participate, the youth must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years of age.  The youth hunter does not have to possess a hunting license but must comply with all other hunting regulations.

The youth’s adult partner must be in close enough proximity to monitor and be able to communicate with the youth hunter at all times.  The adult may help the youth hunger with calling game but may not carry a firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow except for a handgun carried lawfully.

The youth hunter may harvest both antlered and antlerless deer.  The antlered deer counts toward the statewide bag limit of one antlered deer.  The number of antlerless deer harvested is determined by the bonus antlerless quota for the county hunted.

The youth hunter must possess a valid license for hunting deer 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.  The youth hunter and adult partner must wear hunter orange.

The youth hunter may use a legal firearm, bow and arrow or crossbow to take a deer.  The adult partner cannot take a deer and may not possess a firear4m, muzzleloader, bow and arrow or crossbow while in the field with the youth hunter, except for a handgun carried lawfully.  Only one antlerless deer may be taken on DNR-managed Fish & Wildlife Areas and some other DNR properties.  The youth hunter must comply with all other deer hunting regulations.

Chances are the early October weather will be warm to downright hot. Whether you shoot a doe or a 150-inch buck, it is both your ethical and legal obligation to properly care for the meat. Allowing an animal to spoil is not only the biggest sin in the hunter’s code of conduct, but in an extreme case a conservation officer could cite you for wanton waste. You want to do right and you want good, clean venison. Here are some things to keep in mind when the temperature is 50 to 60 degrees and beyond. On a warm day, climb out of your stand and go look for a deer as soon as you can. The less time between shot and recovery, the less the meat will degrade in heat.

A deer hit solidly in the heart and/or lungs will die fast and almost always within 100 yards. You should be able to find your deer within 15 minutes or so, helping to ensure quality meat from the animal. If it is 50 degrees or warmer (bacterial growth increases at 40 degrees and up), you need to push it. Dark-red blood at the site of impact and on an arrow indicates a liver hit, which is lethal. Wait 30 minutes maybe, then go find that animal. We never want to hit a deer in the guts, but it happens. In warm weather, this presents your second-biggest dilemma.

When a broadhead and arrow pierce a deer’s paunch, blood fills the body cavity, with much of it staying in the blood vessels. The animal does not “bleed out” quickly, and hence the quality of the venison suffers. If you wait too long to recover the deer, the blood will spoil and ruin the meat. The old bowhunters’ rule is to wait eight to 12 hours before following a gut-shot deer. If you wait that long when it’s 50 degrees or above, your intentions may be good, but there’s a good chance you will lose that meat.

Next, get the meat cool as soon as you can. Field-dress the deer as soon as you find it, turn it over, and drain as much blood out of the body cavity as you can. Haul it to the cooler, and hang it at a chilly 34 to 38 degrees. In early October, it never hurts to skin a deer as quickly as possible so the meat will begin to cool down. This is a must if you don’t have access to cold storage and intend to hang your deer in the shade of a tree. To do this, the air temperature needs to be 40 degrees or cooler at night. If you have a long drive home with a field-dressed deer carcass, buy a few 10-pound bags of ice and stuff them tight inside the body cavity to help the cool-down process. Should you ever leave a deer overnight? Short answer, no. If the temperature is 40 or above I believe you need the night air to dip down into the low 30’s or cooler to have any hope of salvaging good, tasty meat from a deer that has lain on the ground for 12 hours or more. You might want to keep these thoughts in mind when deer hunting in early October or the youth deer season.

The Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club will be having their next meeting on Monday, September 21 at The Rock in Ireland.  Doors open at 6:45.  The meeting will begin at 7 PM. The club is asking everyone to observe the state guidelines and wear a mask and keep 6 feet apart.  New Board members will be introduced and tickets will be given out to any member who hasn’t received them yet for the January gun raffle.

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.
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 and 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.

Southern Indiana Leathernecks, Marine Corps League Detachment #931 is coordinating a firearm awareness class.  It’s based on the self defense use, aspects and legal questions of carrying a firearm inside and outside of the home.  The instructor is Jonathan Wallace II of Native Executive Security.  This class is 4 and a-half hours and will be offered in two separate class periods.  You can choose which day you would like to attend.  If either session does not reach the minimum enrollment of ten that session will be cancelled and you will have the opportunity to attend the other session instead.  First class is Saturday, October 17 at 8 AM  The second class is Sunday, October 18 at 1 PM.  Classes will be held at the Jasper American Legion Post 147.  Cost is $75. There is NO live fire or testing.  For more information go to or email [email protected].  You can also call 812-631-3671.

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.