Patoka Sportsman 9-21 & 9-22-19
Indiana’s Fall Turkey Archery season runs from October 1-27 and from Dec. 7 thru Jan. 5. One bird of either sex may be taken for the fall archery season and firearm combined. The fall firearms season runs from Oct. 16-27.
Indiana’s Whitetail deer season begins Sept. 28 & 29 with the youth season. For the rest of us it starts Oct. 1. The urban Zone is already open and will continue through Jan. 31 in those select areas. This past week the DNR decreased the number of bonus antlerless permits to a maximum of 2 in every county. Some counties that had up to 4 were reduced due to the suspected EHD outbreak. By limiting the number of deer harvested it will give the herd a chance to rebound for next year.
With the extremely warm weather please keep in mind that deer meat only has about two hours from the time to harvest until you get it in a cooler or it probably will be spoiled. I try to avoid evening hunts in this warmer than normal weather because if you make a marginal shot and you have to track a deer in the dark it’s unlikely you’ll find it in time to save the meat.
EHD is suspected of killing lots of deer in southern Indiana. So far 11 deer have been reported in Dubois County. Ten of those deer were dead when found and one was reported as acting sick. Only one deer has been actually tested and that case is pending confirmation of EHD. The problem with suspected cases of EHD is that the deer need to be tested within 24 hours. If it’s longer than that the deceased deer can’t be tested accurately. We’ll have to wait and see the suspected effects of EHD on the deer population as we head to the woods to hunt this fall. The last time EHD infected our deer herd was in 2012. You might want to keep in mind that if you’re not seeing many deer you might want to lay off harvesting a lot of does this year to give deer a chance to rebound. Not every affected deer will die from EHD and the ones that do survive will develop an immune system response to the disease. EHD cannot be transmitted to humans and the meat is safe to eat.
Dr. Joe Caudil Indiana Deer State Biologist is in a video that explains EHD. If you’d like to take a look at it the link is on you tube under the OCD hunter and on our Facebook page. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RqS3nysh_SQ
Our hunters for the hungry will also begin on Oct. 1. We will have the same four processors involved. They include Sanders Processing, Ferdinand Processing, Ohio Valley Custom Deer Processing in English and Cannelburg Processing. If you legally harvest a deer and would like to donate to our Hunters for the Hungry, administered by the Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club, you can take it to any of the processors mentioned. You must donate the entire deer. If you donate more than once each time you donate your name will be put into a drawing to win a firearm donated by Dr. Greg Gordon at Jasper Optical Lab.
Bring your kayak and join the naturalist for the final kayak tour of the season on Sunday, September 29, 10:30a.m. at South Lick Fork Boat Ramp on Highway 164. Enjoy a morning on the waters of Patoka as we look for beaver, bald eagles, kingfishers and other wildlife along the way. We will check to see if the osprey migration has begun. Bring binoculars, life vests, refreshments and sunscreen for this journey. This tour will last approximately 2 hours. Non-motorized boat launch permits are required and will be sold at the event for $5. For more information regarding this program or other interpretive events, please call the Nature Center at 812.685.2447.
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.
Remember if you use mineral blocks or powdered mineral for deer you must remove it 10 days prior to hunting over it. The ground around it must also be removed. Even stumps if you put your mineral on them. My advice is to put your mineral where you want, hang a camera over it to see what deer are in the area then don’t hunt right next to it. That way you’ll be safe.
September is Tree Stand Safety Awareness Month. Here are some safety practices that you should always do. Let someone know your stand locations. In case you have problems they will know where to start looking for you if you don’t return at your designated time. It would also help to have a printed map of your hunting properties with stand locations marked on it. It’s easy to do with today’s topo map apps. You should also share your hunting plan for the day so someone should know when to expect you back. By letting them know where you are and when you are more than likely due home it will put their minds at ease and give you the security that someone knows where to look for you if you don’t return. Also always wear a safety harness. Most tree stand accidents happen as hunters are climbing up or down from their stands.