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INDIANA'S CHOICE FOR OUTDOOR NEWS AND INFORMATION • SINCE 1994

®

Vol. 2011 • Number 4 Like ION in print? Like us on

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

EARLY SEASON TURKEYS PAGE 5

FISHING REPORT PAGE 6

April, 2011

W W W. I N D I A N A O U T D O O R N E W S . N E T

NEW LIVE BAIT LAWS TAKE EFFECT

TURKEY TIME!

DNR REPORT -Freeman; Lake Shafer; Hardy Lake; and Ohio Rule changes regarding the use of live River mainstem, excluding all embayments. gizzard shad, threadfin shad and alewives as bait, and the size of cast nets used in collect• Unused shad must be killed while at these ing such bait, took effect March 22. water bodies. The rules changes answer a request from striped bass anglers to be able to use gizzard • Live gizzard shad or threadfin shad collected shad as bait in selectat other water bodies ed waters where must be killed immestriped bass are diately upon capture prevalent and gizzard and cannot be posshad are present but sessed live. stipulate that gizzard shad cannot be moved • Live alewives may from the waters in be collected, poswhich they were sessed and used on caught. Shad collect- Live gizzard shad, like this one, may now legally Lake Michigan only, ed anywhere else must be used as bait on specified water bodies in and may not be transbe killed immediately Indiana, provided anglers follow specific rules. ported away from upon capture. The Iowa DNR photo. Lake Michigan. Any intent is to prevent unused alewives must the moving of shad to other waters. be killed. A person must immediately kill Previously, live shad could only be used alewives collected from waters other than at Brookville Lake. This dates back to when Lake Michigan. Brookville was Indiana’s only striped bass water body. With the changes, gizzard shad • The maximum cast net diameter is increased may now be collected from the designated to 20 feet for both the Ohio River and the rest waters, possessed while on that water body, of the state. Mesh size remains at 3/4 inch and used only on that water body. stretch mesh for normal minnow/crayfish collection statewide. However, cast nets used at Rule Change Summary the eight live shad water bodies listed above will be able to have a maximum mesh size of • Live gizzard shad and threadfin shad may be 2 inches stretch mesh. Stretch mesh is the collected, possessed and used on the followdistance between two opposite knots of a net ing waters only but may not be transported mesh when the net is stretched tight. This away from these waters: Brookville will allow for more practical use in collecting Reservoir; Cecil M. Harden Reservoir; live shad and alewives, as these species typiMonroe Reservoir; Patoka Reservoir; Lake cally school in open water.

Jessica Trueblood took this 22-lb. Lake County tom with a 40 yd shot during last year’s youth turkey hunting season. This year’s youth turkey hunting season is April 23 and 24. Indiana’s regular spring turkey hunting season begins April 27 and runs through March 15. For tips on early season turkey hunting, see pages 5 and 10 inside!

NSSF REPORTS SIGNIFICANT JUMP IN HUNTING LICENSE SALES LOCATING SPRING CRAPPIES PAGE 8

GONE AFIELD PAGE 9

DRIVEABLE DESTINATIONS PAGE 13

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, calls the 3.6 percent rise in paid hunting license holders for 2009 one of the most encouraging signs for hunting in recent years. "This is great news for our industry and everyone associated with hunting," said Steve Sanetti, president and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "Many efforts are at work to build hunting participation, and they are paying off. More people are enjoying the outdoors and sharing the tradition of hunting with family and friends. Also, more hunting license sales translate into more funds for wildlife conservation." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week reported a total of 14,974,534 paid license holders for 2009, the largest figure since 2002 and an increase of 526,494 over 2008. The 3.6 percent rise in paid license holders represents the largest year-overyear increase since 1974. (A "paid license holder" is one individual regardless of the number of licenses purchased.)

NSSF cites several reasons for the increase, ranging from programs launched by many state wildlife agencies over the last decade to increase hunting participation to a difficult economy that motivated hunters to fill their freezers with game rather than store-bought meat. Also, hunters who were among the unemployed or had their work hours reduced used some of their free time to go hunting. Coordinated efforts of state wildlife agencies, conservation organizations and the firearms industry appear to have halted a decades-long decline in hunting license sales, which since 2005 have held at the 14.5-million level until the jump in 2009. NSSF has played a key role promoting hunting participation with its programs and websites. Through its Hunting Heritage Partnership program, NSSF has provided state agencies with $3.8 million to fund initiatives designed to encourage hunting among all age groups. Also, through Families Afield, a partnership effort of NSSF, the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and National Wild Turkey Federation

started in 2004, thirty states have made it easier for youth to begin hunting at a younger age with licensed adults. Websites such as www.wingshootingusa.org make it easy for hunters to locate game-

Continued on Pg. 2 Apprentice hunting licenses, special youth seasons and other hunter recruitment initiatives are having an impact on the number of new hunters taking to the field. 10-year-old Maddison Shively took this great buck last season. Photo provided.

COMPLIMENTS OF:


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Governor Daniels receives national conservation award

April, 2011 Edition

Register now to “Become an Outdoors Woman”

Gov. Mitch Daniels was recognized last month by the national conservation organization Ducks Unlimited for “making land conservation a top priority and for preserving thousands of invaluable acres across the state for future generations.” The governor received the 2011 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award at the Ducks Unlimited annual breakfast during the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Kansas City, Mo. Daniels was the only state leader to receive an award this year. “The nation’s leading conservation organization has taken note that we are breaking all records for protecting our natural beauty,” said Daniels. “The satisfaction really comes from knowing that future generations of Hoosiers will be able to enjoy these outdoor spaces in a more pristine character than they are today.” Each year Ducks Unlimited recognizes the achievements of individuals from the U.S., Canada or Mexico who have made exceptional contributions to wetlands and waterfowl conservation in North America. These individuals have made long-term contributions to the conservation of these vital resources. Among conservation efforts under Daniels’ leadership: • The state has launched a major conservation initiative to acquire 43,000 acres of river corridor along 94 miles of the Wabash River and Sugar Creek in west central Indiana and another 26,000 acres along the Muscatatuck River in southern Indiana. Ducks Unlimited is a partner in the project. • Protected more than 34,000 acres of sensitive habitat through the Indiana Heritage Trust program. • Developed and opened the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area near Terre Haute. • Initiated a proposed land exchange between Camp Atterbury in Johnson County and land in Putnam County near the Putnamville Correctional Facility that will result in an additional 800 acres of recreational land for public use. • Began cleanup of the Grand Calumet River’s West Branch in northwest Indiana.

DNR REPORT -Attention women who already love outdoor sports. Attention women would like to try them. Attention women who want to improve their ability to do them under expert supervision and instruction. Your place is at the Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop, April 29-May 1, at Ross Camp in West Lafayette. The 17th annual workshop is limited to the first 100 women, 18 years old or older, who register at www.indianabow.com. The fee is $175. The program is designed for women to learn outdoor skills in a relaxed, low-pressure environment. Activities range from shooting clay targets, paddling a canoe, catching a trophy bass, becoming a campfire gourmet cook, making a fur hat, and spotting rare wild birds, to learning to call turkey. Participants design their own outdoor experience to match their interests. The workshop is for any woman who has never tried these activities but hoped for an opportunity to learn; any woman who has tried them but are beginners hoping to improve; or any woman who knows how to do some of the activities, but would like to try new ones. Women who enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded individuals and who seek time away to reconnect with nature are also prime candidates for BOW. Contact Danielle Floyd, BOW coordinator, at (317) 232-4194 for more information.

Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. More information at www.ducks.org .

DNR launches free iphone app

Hunting License Sales -- Continued From Cover

People who enjoy any of the DNR’s wide variety of properties across Indiana can download a new free iphone app at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/indiana-dnr/id395591679?mt=8.

bird preserves, where youth can easily get started in hunting and where inactive adult hunters can revive their interest. Another positive sign for hunting is that contrary to claims of a wholesale decline in hunting participation, paid license holders have increased in 24 states in the five-year period from 2005 to 2009. "Due to continued urbanization and changes in our culture, hunting will face significant challenges for the foreseeable future, but at the same time hunting remains an extremely important activity in the lives of millions of Americans, as the latest hunting licenses sales figures confirm," said Sanetti. NSSF points out that the actual number of hunters who go afield in any given year is greater than the total of paid hunting license holders in that year. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service figures do not account for certain state exemptions for purchasing a hunting license. Many states allow landowners and active military to hunt without purchasing a license; also, lifetime license holders and youth hunters who do not fall within the required license purchasing age are not included in the figures. According to an NSSF-funded study carried out by Southwick Associates, the pool of hunters in America is much larger than previously thought. The study, released last fall, estimated that 21.8 million people purchased a hunting license at least once in the last five years. Hunters are the backbone of conservation funding in America, contributing more than $1 billion each year through the purchase of licenses, tags, permits and stamps and through excise taxes paid on firearms and ammunition. For example, proceeds from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps, a required purchase for migratory waterfowl hunting, have purchased more than 5 million acres of habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. NSSF, using its new 12-state hunting license sales index, anticipated the national increase in paid hunting license holders by reporting a 3.5 percent increase in license sales last spring. "It's gratifying to see how accurate our state index was, which gives us confidence in future index-based hunting license sales figures," said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF's director of industry research and analysis. NSSF will announce its state index hunting license sales report for 2010 later this spring. About NSSF The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 6,000 manufacturers, distributors and firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. NSSF celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2011. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

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Indiana DNR iPhone application feature s : • Location mapping for state parks, where to hunt or fish, etc. • Distances to those areas in relation to the user’s current location • Fees and regs for all state properties and outdoor recreation sites • Links to camping or state park inn reservation sites • Links to fishing or hunting license purchasing sites • Reserved hunt registration • Nature brochures and Indiana fishing species guide • RSS feeds of Indiana DNR news • Links to Indiana DNR websites DNR director of communications Phil Bloom said this is one more example of the many options of staying informed about DNR activities."We live in an increasingly mobile society in which people have a variety of ways to gather the information they need,” he said. “This continues DNR's effort to stay connected with our customers and for our customers to stay connected to us.”

® Volume 2011 • Number 4 Publisher: Brian E. Smith Assistant Publisher: Mark C. Smith Editor-in-Chief: Joshua D. Lantz Sportsmen’s Rights Editor: Rick Story Field Editor: John Martino, Central Indiana Field Photographer: Bill Konway Graphic Design: graphics@ION4U.net Office Manager: Shannon E. Smith Advertising Sales: (877) 251-2112 E-Mail: contact@ION4U.net Web Site: www.IndianaOutdoorNews.net Business & Publication Office: Mailing Address: P.O. Box 69, Granger, Indiana 46530 Phone: (877) 251-2112 • Fax: (800) 496-8075 INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS® is the official publication of Raghorn Incorporated, and is published monthly at the address listed above. For home delivery and subscription rates, look for the subscription card in this publication. Editorial contributions may be submitted to the above address. No material can be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. Photographs are accepted and greatly appreciated. All materials submitted become the property of Raghorn Incorporated and are subject to editing to meet the objectives of this publication. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the individual authors, not the editors, staff or any other representative of RAGHORN’S INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS or Raghorn, Inc. “Raghorn’s Indiana Outdoor News” is a registered Trademark of Raghorn Incorporated. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be used or copied without prior written consent of Raghorn Inc. Violation of copyright laws will be prosecuted. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to RAGHORN’S INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS, P.O. Box 69, Granger, Indiana 46530.

Copyright© 2011

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April, 2011 Edition

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Northern Indiana Angling Options

JOSHLANTZ Manitou Ramps to Remain Open. . . It has been a frustrating few years for property owners and anglers at Fulton County’s 775acre Lake Manitou near Rochester. A damaging and invasive aquatic plant species known as hydrilla was found in the popular fishing lake in August of 2006, prompting a four-year eradication plan and associated boat ramp closures. The DNR has no plans to close boat ramps at Manitou this season, and says that hydrilla tuber populations have been reduced by approximately 99%. Even with the high degree of success, the DNR will continue its eradication efforts in order to eliminate the last of what remains of the plant. “We've watched the plants very closely each year following the initial treatment and we've seen young hydrilla plants are affected by the chemical very quickly, resulting in the growth of

hydrilla being stopped while the plants are still small,” says IDNR’s invasive species biologist Doug Keller. Treatment strategy for the upcoming season is similar to that of the past. The chemical Sonar will be used. Sonar, with the active ingredient Fluridone, is an aquatic herbicide produced by SePRO Corporation of Carmel. Humans, fish and other aquatic life are not harmed by Sonar, especially at the extremely low rate being used at the lake, according to Keller. Boaters should continue to remove plants, mud and other debris from their watercraft when they remove it from the water, not only at Manitou but anywhere else in the state. For more information on hydrilla and other aquatic invasive species, see www.invasivespecies.IN.gov. Fish Sandwiches Spring has arrived and a lot of us are out visiting our favorite fishing haunts and seeking out new ones. Anglers living anywhere near Noble County’s Sylvan Lake or Kosciusko County’s Winona Lake would do well to check them out this fishing season -- especially if they like to catch walleyes. According to the DNR

Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), Sylvan Lake in Rome City and Winona Lake in Warsaw contain two of the highest walleye densities in the region. During sampling last fall, DNR biologists using electrofishing boats captured more than 77 walleyes per hour of sampling at 669-acres Sylvan Lake, while capturing 47 walleyes per hour on the 562-acre Winona Lake. So, what does that mean? Well, in lakes where walleyes are abundant, walleye populations typically provide electrofishing catch rates of 20 to 30 walleyes per hour. Sylvan and Winona are literally off the charts. “We now have some of the densest walleye populations we’ve ever seen at Sylvan and Winona lakes,” said Jed Pearson, DNR biologist. “Based on our data, fishermen can expect to catch plenty of walleyes at either lake this year.” While walleye numbers are high at both lakes, larger walleyes are present in Winona than Sylvan. Walleyes captured during sampling last fall at Winona ranged from 8.5 to 26.5 inches long. Peaks in the size range occurred at 11.5, 15.0, and 18 inches. More than 60 percent were at or larger than the 14-inch minimum size limit required before they can be taken home by

anglers. At Sylvan, walleyes ranged in length from 10.5 to 19.5 inches. Most were 12.5 to 13.5 inches long and were too small to be kept by anglers; however, 32 percent were 14 inches or larger.

Walleye populations in both lakes have been developed by stocking 6- to 8-inch fingerling walleyes each year since 2001. So far the DNR has released 126,000 fingerlings in Sylvan and 106,000 fingerlings in Winona.

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April, 2011 Edition

Biologists “Eye” Over Bremen’s Lake of the Woods

LOUIESTOUT Lake of the Woods in Bremen won't become a nationally known hotspot for walleyes, but it should get better for local anglers. Not that it has been bad. A 2007 angler survey showed that 41 percent of the folks fishing the lake were targeting walleyes and some 6,000 were caught, kept or released that year. District biologist Jeremy Price says he hopes some changes made in stocking efforts will lead to even bigger, healthier walleyes in the near future. The DNR started planting walleyes there in 1990 and have done so nearly every year since. The 416-acre lake near Bremen has been a tough cookie for fish managers to dial in. It's a rather turbid lake in which someone illegally stocked shad years ago, and then white bass appeared illegally in the 1990s. Unfortunately, the white bass population exploded, and when coupled with the heavy walleye stocking, the lake

became top heavy with predators. In addition to walleyes, the lake has natural populations of bluegill, channel catfish, perch and largemouth bass. There became more mouths to feed than the forage could handle. For that reason, walleye stocking was reduced from 100 fingerlings per acre to 50 fingerlings per acre in 2008. “We needed to give the forage a chance to recover, ” explained Price. “We're going to evaluate each year, and if we see the balance shift back, we may resume the higher stocking numbers.” The theory is that, with fewer predators, the survivors of the stocking will eat more and grow faster. Price expects survivors of the 2008 stocking to contribute as legal-size (15 inches) this summer. “Our fall survey didn't turn up many from that plant, but the 2009 stocking was highly successful,” said Price. “We also turned up a lot of older, walleye in our sampling last fall.” Walleyes make up the majority of gamefish in the lake, followed by white bass, bluegill, channel cats yellow perch and largemouth bass. “The bluegill fishing is pretty decent but the bass haven't done very well there,” added

Price. White bass have created a lot of the problems, he noted, and he hopes their populations will diminish in time. While white bass are good fighters, and some people like to eat them, they are aggressive and ravenous feeders. This is why people shouldn't take stocking matters into their hands. Leave it to the professionals whose job is to manage fisheries and know what they are doing.

Derek Jensen photo

Bass groups crankin' it up. . . It must be spring because we've been flooded with bass tournament news the past month or so. Here are some opportunities that bass anglers might want to consider: River benefit tourney: The Bass Anglers of Michiana (BAM) will host its second annual “Catch a Cure for Cancer” bass tournament on the St. Joseph River at Maggie's Landing April 30. Entry fee is $100 per team with a $2,000 winner's prize if 60 teams register. A portion of proceeds go to Camp “Catch-ARainbow” for kids stricken with cancer. For more information, contact John Leader, (574) 229-2321. River circuit: The “River Wednesdays” Tournament Series will be held throughout the summer on the St. Joseph River. There will be two divisions. One will include 10 events that rotate at Memorial Park, Maggie's Landing and Merrifield Park, beginning May 4, and another that is an “All Maggies” series that kicks off April 27. For more information and complete schedule, contact Curtiss Warner, (574) 2768224. Members needed: There is no better way to learn how to catch bass or sample tournament fishing on the local level than to join a local bass club. Most clubs conduct educational monthly meetings, and during summer months, conduct small contests on local lakes and rivers. The St. Joseph Valley Bassmasters, one of the oldest clubs in Indiana, has opened up its membership to prospective members this year and will offer a free one-year membership providing the person has a valid FLW membership. According to club member DeWayne Wilda, no experience is required nor do you have to be boat owner. Visit www.stjoevalleybassmasters.com or call John Law, (574) 536-7232. Bass Anglers of Michiana (BAM) also is looking for new members of all experience levels, too. In addition to local tournaments and meetings, BAM is active in community events to promote the sport of bass fishing. For details, call John Leader (574) 229-2321 or visit their website, www.bassmichiana.com.


April, 2011 Edition

TURKEY HUNTING Knowledge of turkey behavior and familiarity with the terrain are keys to early-season turkey-hunting success, according to John LaGrand, owner, Mountain Screamer Game Calls. LaGrand, of Cadet, Mo., grew up on small farm in the Ozarks. He's 46 years old and has been hunting turkeys since he was 9. He has harvested birds in 15 states. “Of course, spring is the wild turkey's mating season”, LaGrand says. “But some people are still under the misconception that the gobbler is supposed to go to the hen. It's just the opposite. The hen is supposed to go to the gobbler. That's why the gobbler has the big tail fan and the bright red and blue head. He has that booming gobble to let the hen know where he is.” The turkey hunter is automatically at a handicap, because he's trying to reverse natural behavior, LaGrand pointed out. The hunter can help himself overcome that disadvantage by learning the daily pattern of the turkeys he's hunting, he said. “I hunt a lot of states every year, and I don't have the luxury of knowing all those areas intimately when I go there. I do have a good pair of binoculars, and there are times when I go to a new place -- especially some places in Texas, Nebraska or Oklahoma, where there's a little more open country -- that my binoculars are my best friend. I can scout those turkeys from a mile away and see how they travel.” Begin patterning birds in

INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

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LaGrand on Early Season Turkey Hunting March, LaGrand advised. Watch where the hens go before the season starts, and keep a notebook. “They're creatures of habit. They're going to follow the same travel routes. They may not make them every day, but every other day or so you'll see them on that same route.” Scout from long range to avoid alerting the turkeys, LaGrand continued. “A wild turkey's eyesight is better than a bald eagle's.” In open country and in the woods before the trees have much foliage, many hunters spook turkeys and don't even know it, according to LaGrand. When a hunter calls and a gobbler answers, the bird knows exactly where the call came from, he said. “Even if he doesn't gobble again for 15 minutes, he's probably still standing there, looking right at you. When you get tired and stand up and walk around the edge of a field, he's seen you. You're not going to kill that turkey for two or three days. You may not hear him gobble again for the rest of the season if you bump him.” Use the terrain to conceal your movements, LaGrand said. “Use the ditches. Use the high spots. Sneak around on those birds. When there's no foliage, you have to set up farther away from those turkeys. In the Ozarks the first week of turkey season, when there's no cover, I set up 300 yards away from those birds, and I always set up in a spot where he's got to come up to me. I don't set up where I can see 300

yards down a ridge, because the gobbler can see right up that same ridge. When you scratch your nose or run your glass call, he's going to pick you out. “Never set up in the open woods where you can be seen. When I'm hunting the hardwoods, I like to get up on a little rise so the turkey has to come up and commit to me. I don't want him to be able to see more than 75 or 80 yards. They'll hang up at 200 or 300 yards, but once they're within 75 to 80 yards, they'll usually come on in.” Some gobblers will be extra cautious, LaGrand said. “He''ll walk around the ridge and periscope his head up and look as he's walking by. Listen for for him walking in the leaves. The old gobblers don't gobble much sometimes. They'll just slip in on you.” Set up in the woods at least 25 yards from the edge of a field and be careful when changing positions, LaGrand recommended. “Get in some cover so that turkey can't see you. I'm infamous for crawling around on the ground so I don't raise myself up. There are very few things in a turkey's environment that are as tall as we are. They know what it is when we stand up. Nothing puts fear in them like a human being with a shotgun.” Don't walk across an open field, even after hunting hours are over, LaGrand said. “I'll walk around and find the back of a levee or something to get myself out of the hunting area. I want to make as little impact on those

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By John Meacham

Veteran turkey hunter, John LaGrand, says one of the biggest misconceptions in turkey hunting is that the tom is supposed to come to the hen. Photo provided. turkeys as I can, because if I'm going to come back and hunt them tomorrow, I don't want to scare them, even when shooting time is over.” A blind can be a good tool, LaGrand said. If possible, set it up several days in advance so turkeys get used to seeing it. “If you can, brush it in. Get it off the

field edge and break up the outline of it. If you're hunting with a bow or with kids, it's awesome, because you take the movement thing out of the equation.” For information on John Meacham's books and CDs, visit his website at www.storiesbyjohn.com.


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INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

JIMBIDDLE Grab your tackle and get ready for some great angling action this month. The birds are singing, the grass is turning green and the water levels are great. It sure feels good to get out after our long winter. As the temperature rises we all want to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors. So between getting the lawn mower ready and tilling the garden, try to squeeze in some time for fishing. As the old saying goes, “ it doesn’t get much better than this”, and that certainly holds true for Indiana’s April fishing. All of my friendly contacts have the bait or lures you’ll need and are ready to help you in any way they can. So be sure to stop by and see them before heading out. Lake Michigan Mike Starcevich at MikLurch Tackle in Hammond says, “come on up for the cohos.” Mike says you can catch them nearly anywhere nearshore in Southern Lake Michigan this month. If you’re trolling use

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Brad’s red fin fins. Just run them on flatlines. No downriggers or fancy equipment required this time of year! Casting from the piers and breakwalls works too. Use Little Cleo spoons or a jig and squid. When you get tired of pulling in the cohos, try for some perch around the Gary Light using minnows at a depth of fifty feet. All the local creeks are still producing steelhead and Wolf Lake is hot for crappies and walleye. The walleye are hitting on Rapalas.

Creek and Geist Reservoir. Catfish are hitting like crazy on chicken livers and the bluegill action is getting better everyday. Sounds like you can’t miss.

Saint Joseph River Dick Parker from Parker’s Central Tackle tells me you can take steelhead with spawn and inline spinners. Smallmouth, bluegill and crappies are starting to provide some action on the big river too. Dick says the catfish action should be picking up this month.

Northwest Indiana Penny Boisvert at Greenwood Bait Shop in English Lake says they’re catching suckers in the Kankakee using bee moths and night crawlers. A big minnow will get you a Northern and a white curly tailed jig will hook a walleye. Mike Waller at A.L. Tackle in North Judson also tells me they’re taking some nice walleye at Bass Lake near the boat ramp.

East Central Indiana Ed Gipson at Peacepipe Bait & Tackle at Andrews reports great crappie action in the area and good walleye action below the spillway on the Mississinewa. Ed suggest you use night crawlers for the best action. Catfish and bluegill action is just coming on. Central Indiana Katy McCalla reporting from the Bait Barn in Indianapolis tells me that the crappie action is great at Fall

Southwest Indiana Barbara Shedd at the Fishin Shedd in Bloomington says they’re starting to take some nice crappies in the area and expects the bass to start coming on big time this month as they move in close to prepare for spawning.

West Central Indiana Terry Raines from Twin Lakes Fish & Game at Monticello says the walleye are hitting on bucktail jigs and minnows just below the dams. If you’re going for smallmouth bass, fish the section above Lowes bridge on Shaffer and above the 24 bridge on Freeman. A jerk bait or Shadrap is what Terry suggests. The wipers are also turning on below the

Oakdale Dam. North Central Indiana Larry Stover at Ye Old Tackle Box in North Webster tells me the crappies are really hitting on little pinky jigs. If you’re going for crappie, try any channel, especially on the north side, that has at least five feet of water. Webster is producing some nice Muskie fishing with sucker minnows. The bluegill action in the area is slow but Larry expects it to pick up as the weather warms. Southeast Indiana Tag Nobbe from Brookville Lake Guide Services at Brookville says it’s spawning time. Tag says fish the north end in shallow waters for walleye and white bass. To take the bass, an inline spinner is your best choice. The walleyes like a suspending jerk bait. In those shallow waters you can also take some crappies -- especially around fallen brush. It’s also that time of year to keep your eyes open along those

Bob Corcoran with a nice Lake Monroe crappie caught while fishing with J&R Guide service.

April, 2011 Edition

river banks as the morel mushrooms will starting popping up soon! In my neck of the woods we call them sponge mushrooms. There isn’t anything as good as a fried fish and mushroom meal for lunch or anytime! Well, I guess that’s about it for this month. I think I go out to the shop and start getting my mower ready for the season. My wife also reminded me we need to rake out the flower beds and cut the ornamental grasses. I guess spring is also the official start of the “honey do” season. Remember what OL JB’ always says; “nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.” See you next month.


April, 2011 Edition

It seems bad weather can turn marginal sportsmen into poachers. Time after time this has been seen by Indiana Conservation Officers (ICO). On wet, rainy days some hunters abandon their tree stands and road hunt from the warm comfort of their vehicle. Besides being unethical, it is also illegal. When a poacher turns to road hunting, they usually head for hot spots that draw in deer on a consistent basis. Soy bean and corn fields with few homes and fewer witnesses are prime areas for poachers. Often these spots are as well known by the local ICO as they are to the poacher, and it is in these areas that the ICOs set up their deer decoy. Gary Pennington and two other ICOs set up a deer decoy in a heavily poached rural area west of Jeffersonville in Floyd County. The land is a patchwork of farms, woods, and creek bottoms, all of which spells great whitetail deer habitat. “I have numerous complaints on this area, so we routinely set up there”, says Officer Pennington. The officers set out the decoy and watched the area hidden from view in a brush-filled ditch. Soon, two juveniles drove west past their decoy, pulled into a driveway, turned around, and then headed back east towards the decoy. “The driver decided he didn’t want the passenger to shoot,” Gary explained. “He was thinking it was a real deer and he wanted to shoot it himself!” Once they stop the driver

INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

poked a shotgun out the window and started firing as the officers videotaped the crime. After the first shot, Gary and another officer got in their pursuit vehicle and headed right for the teenagers. The two poachers were so enthralled with shooting the decoy they didn’t notice the big green SUV as it pulled in front of their vehicle. “He’s continuously firing at the decoy as we stop and get out of our vehicle,” Gary said. “Finally he realizes who we are.” Gary and the other ICO secured the shotgun as the dumbstruck teen told them that it wasn’t loaded. A check of the firearm’s chamber proved him wrong. It was still loaded. “We always double check that because you never know.” The teens were cited for shooting from a public roadway, shooting from a vehicle, and shooting at a DNR decoy. After confiscating the firearm the two were released. About twenty minutes later another individual stopped at the decoy. “He gets out mumbling under his breath, and starts walking out to the decoy,” Gary explained. “He didn’t have a gun so I hollered at him, ‘Hey! What are you doing?’” The man stopped walking and started cursing at the unseen officers as he headed back to his vehicle. Since the two officers were hidden the man seemed disoriented, but he drove up a nearby driveway where a third officer was parked in a pursuit vehicle. “He

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The Teenage Poachers ALANGARBERS got out of his vehicle and we could hear him as he started ranting, raving, and swearing at our other officer,” Gary chuckled. “We ran up there, and when it went from one officer to three officers, he changed his attitude pretty quick.” As the man calmed down the reason for his anger became clear. “He was very upset because one of the two boys that had been cited thirty minutes before was his son. He wanted to have a thorough discussion with us because he thought it was wrong for us to cite his son for shooting at the deer decoy.” The officers tried to explain the situation, but the man remained resolute that his son was innocent. “He said, I guess I’ll see you in court!” Since the two were still minors, their case was heard in juvenile court. The probation officer asked Gary to attend the hearing and bring his video tape of the event. On the day of the hearing the father was still firm in his conviction that his child was innocent. The probation officer requested that the video tape be played. The images on the screen were damning. Any story that the son had told his father fell apart as they watched the event over. “The father sided with us and admitted that his son was in the wrong,” Gary com-

mented. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the boy’s last conflict with the law. Since then Gary has repeatedly issued more citations to the young man for poaching, and has seized more firearms. One case ended in jail time for the poacher. Gary’s outlook on the affair? “Some kids steer the wrong way

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because of peer pressure. Some people you can change, some people you can’t.” The author invites all Indiana Conservation Officers, both active and retired, to contact him via email at agarb84@bpl.coop with their own true stories fro m behind the badge.


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INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

PANFISH When north woods guide, Greg Bohn, fishes for crappies in the springtime, all he needs is a boat equipped with a Humminbird sonar/temperature gauge and a Thill slip bobber. “Water temperature is the key. It's the driving force of where crappies are going to be that day,” said Bohn. “They don't care about food… nothing but warm water.” That fact holds true whether it's a reservoir or a natural lake, he said. A difference in a degree or two is all it takes to hold crappies by the bushel or none at all. As for slip bobbers, Bohn has been known as Mr. Slip Bobber for perfecting one of the most used and least understood methods to catch a wide variety of fish, including crappies and walleyes. He authored (with Scott Richardson) the book “Mastering the Art of Slip Bobbering: The Deadliest Method for Walleye!” which is in its fifth printing. Bohn knows from experience there may be no crappies on a main-lake point, but motor back into an adjacent bay as far as you can into shallow water and there they'll be. You might be able to even see them with a good pair of sunglasses. The difference from one spot to the other is that shallow, protected water warms faster. Add a breeze blowing warm surface water into the bay and the effect is even more phenomenal. They might not bite when the surface is calm, but let the wind rough it up and action can become furious, he said. This pattern holds true from the time water reaches about 45 degrees until it hits the 60-degree mark, he said. Maybe instinct

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April, 2011 Edition

Dancin’ for More Crappies tells them to search out the warmth to lay their eggs. They aren't talking. But be confident, warmer water is the place to start. Standing timber in the water accelerates the process. Water may be colder than you'd expect but the sun warms this wood which warms the water surrounding it. Bohn loves to check out stump fields in the back of bays at this time of year. He also stumbled on another fact. While fishing the shallow water surrounding a stump field, he saw crappies on the screen right below him in slightly deeper water 6 to 7 feet down. Slip bobbers next to the boat started catching them, too. The lesson? Not all of the fish are at the same stage in the reproduction cycle all at one time. Some are shallow, and some are holding deeper waiting for their right time. “Crappies can show up in the most unexpected places,” he said. “It was really an awakening and I learned something that day. I was having action in the shallows and by the boat. They were more aggressive by the stumps where the water was warmer. They were defending and protecting their nests. But the really big ones were in the deeper water.” No stumps? No problem. Look for shallow, protected water with wood of any kind. Brush piles. Blow downs. Any wood above water to warm can transfer heat beneath the surface. The result will be the same -crappies for dinner. In reservoirs, the best bays will be closest to the points that reach to the main channel. They won't go from one end of the lake or reservoir to the other in

search of warm water, but they'll find the warm water in the area of the lake they're in. The heat is what they want. Bohn has devised a perfect slip bobber rig that is sensitive to the lightest of bites while allowing an angler to target exactly the depth they want without hassle. Bohn's design starts with a bobber stop made out of thread to avoid line damage. The tags of the knot are carefully tightened and trimmed to 1 inch. The bead is made of red glass so it slides easily and can be seen from a distance. The bobber can be either weighted or unweighted, which depends upon whether he's casting into wind or not. A barrel swivel is added to the line, then a monofilament leader. A rubber core sinker midway on the leader is added to balance the rig. Don't twist the rubber to secure the weight. Just slide the line behind the core. That way, it will slide and free itself if it gets hung up in the wood. Lindy Fishing Tackle has assembled Bohn's components into the Thill Pro Series Floats or Rigs that have everything you need including a tiny flicker blade. It flashes in the sun as the crappie-sized minnow hooked behind the dorsal fin swims beneath the bobber or as the wind creates wave action. Always make sure to use fresh bait. Stick with a small minnow early in the season. Try small plastic baits, like the Lindy Dancin' Crappie Tube Jig (designed by Bill Dance) as water warms into the mid to upper 50s. If state law allows, set out the slip

By Ted Takasaki & Scott Richardson

bobbers and use another rod with a Dancin' Crappie Spin Jig to cast the area and cover more water. If action stops, give the spot a rest and go find another. Return later for more fish. You may have a milk run of several spots by the end of the day. Crappies in the livewell there's no better way to warm up to spring than that.

Hall of Famer Ted Takasaki with a dandy springtime crappie caught using the system described in this article. Mr. Slip Bobber, Greg Bohn, outlines his strategies for finding and catching crappies as they seek warmer water in spring.


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INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

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Clyde Smith from Knox with the nice 10-point buck he took during the 2010 firearms season. 9-year-old Hunter Duvall from Floyds Knob caught this 36” pike in Porter County. Kathy Taylor from Wheatfield with her first archery deer -- a nice 142-lb,, 6-point buck.

Young Connor Mcneil from Floyds Knob took his first turkey last season.

Cory McClellan took this nice Porter County 8-pointer with his bow.

Mike Lake from Marshall County had a great hunt New Year's Day.

This months answers From Puzzle on Page 12

Gone Afield monthly photo contest. . . It’s EASY! It’s FUN! Fill out this form and send it in with your favorite outdoor photograph. A winner will be randomly selected each month to win a great outdoor prize!

Entry Information: Person submitting the photo: Name(s) of person(s) pictured: Other information describing the photo: If I’m selected as this month’s random winner, please send my prize to:

Send your photos to: Gone Afield P.O. Box 69 Granger, IN 46530 E-mail submissions welcome at: www.contact@ION4U.net. If mailing photos, please include a SASE if you’d like us to return them to you CONTEST RULES: Raghorn, Inc. shall retain the right to publish or not publish any images submitted in any of it’s media outlets. Winners chosen at random. Prizes are subject to change and contest may cease without notice.


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April, 2011 Edition

Opening Day Tu

Howard Communications photo.

It was three days before turkey season. The weather was unseasonably cold and an early spring snowstorm had left snow on the ground. Although the snow would make looking for turkey sign easy, I had no idea where the turkeys were. I generally try to locate the areas the turkeys are using no more than a week before my hunting dates, so I am reasonably sure they will be there when I hunt. I go out the night before the hunt and try to watch the birds fly up roost, or get the toms to "shock gobble" in response to a loud call. That way I know the general area where they are roosted. If I can't actually see the birds on the roost, I walk into the area, calling and listening as I go, until I locate the tree or trees the toms are in. Then I look for an open area (often by using a topographical map) where I think the birds will be the next morning. As the hens wake up in the morning they often use what is referred to as the "tree yelp”. The tree yelp is a quieter form of the yelp. Turkeys use it to announce that they are awake. It is also possibly used as a means of getting other birds of the flock to respond (as a security gesture). Other hens often respond to the tree yelp with their own tree yelp. Toms (that may be roosted with or nearby the hens, or somewhere farther away by themselves) often respond with loud yelps and gobbles, to let the hens know

they have heard them and that they are nearby. When the hens eventually fly down they often start off with a few loud yelps (that sound similar to alarm putts) to announce their intentions, and then perform the loud, excited fly-down cackle as they leave the roost. The loud yelps of this call occur in unison with the down stroke of the turkey's wing beats. The call starts out slow as the turkey launches itself into the air - and then speeds up as its wing beats become faster. Once the bird is on the ground it may emit one, or a series, of loud yelps or clucks. I suspect these calls help the birds locate each other after they fly down, so that they can get back together. You can use these calls to get toms to come to your location, especially if you use a few turkey decoys The toms often remain on the roost later than the hens, but generally fly down from fifteen minutes before to fifteen minutes after sunrise, depending on the amount of light in the area. If the birds are on the shaded side of a hill, or when there is cloud cover, they often wait until there is enough light to detect any danger in the area. When the toms hear the hens fly down, they often gobble in response for a few minutes. They may continue to gobble if they hear other toms gobble. Once the toms fly down they often gobble within minutes of landing, again probably to let

the other males where they are so they can get back together. The hens may or may not respond to their calls. Either way, the toms generally head off in the direction where they last heard the hens, intermittently gobbling as they go. One of the key things I’ve learned in all my years of research and observation is that a tom turkey may not be able to gobble and walk at the same time. Toms often walk in a strut or semi-strut position as they walk. But, because they have to stick their necks out to perform the gobble, they generally stop moving before they gobble. The result is that toms often gobble less frequently when they are traveling to a strutting / feeding area, than they do when they are strutting, spitting, humming and gobbling when they are in the presence of hens, which is often on the feeding / strutting areas. If a tom gobbles more than five times in one minute, for several minutes, he may be with hens or near a feeding / strutting area. If a tom gobbles less than once a minute, it may be traveling, possibly looking for hens. Gobbling is primarily used by toms as a long-range expression of dominance among males, and to let females know where they are. Once the toms find the hens they gobble less -- because the gobble is a long distance call -and strut more. While they strut the toms may use a variety of sounds. When they strut they


April, 2011 Edition

INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

urkey Tactics often perform the "spit" and "drum". They perform these calls by inhaling air into the air sack (commonly referred to as the breast sponge), and once it is full of air they expel some of the air in an explosive "spit", or they slowly release it (like prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse) which results in a booming or humming sound (commonly referred to as a drum). These calls are mainly used as a short range expression of dominance (to other males) and as a mating sound to attract females. When you are calling, to get toms to come to you, you should duplicate the calls the hens use when they are in the tree and on the ground. Try to setup between the area where the toms are roosted, and where they go to feed or find the hens. Look for game trails or other semi-open areas the big birds can travel through. Then set up in a semi-open location, where you can hear or see the birds as they approach, and where you can have a clear shot at them. You can call and use decoys to get them into shooting range, or you can ambush them when they walk by. Sooner or later the hens will leave the early morning feeding /strutting area, either to look for more food, to loaf during midday hours or go to the nest. If they have not begun nesting yet they may all leave together, in which case the toms may or may not follow them for the next few hours, or for the entire day. If the toms

stay with the hens for the day they often roost in the same trees with the hens, or in nearby trees. If breeding has begun, and the hens have begun nesting, they often leave by themselves (to go to their nests), or in small groups. If nesting has begun, the toms may not follow any of the hens, with the result that they are eventually left alone on the strutting site. If the toms are left alone, they often gobble 1-5 times a minute, every five minutes or so, for the first 10-20 minutes. After twenty minutes they may gobble less frequently, and they eventually stop gobbling. Once they stop they often move to another feeding /strutting area, probably looking for more hens. If you don't get a tom at an early morning feeding / strutting site, you may still be able to set up in a late morning site, provided you either hear the toms gobbling from a late morning site, or you know where the toms often go later in the morning. With three days to locate the areas used by the turkeys as roosting sites, travel routes and feeding / strutting areas, I had to do a lot of last minute scouting. As I’ve said, I generally scout no more than a week before the hunt, because I want to be fairly sure where the birds are during my hunting season. My research and my hunting experiences have taught me that if I scout two or more weeks before I plan to hunt, the birds might move to another

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Don’t scout too early. . . By T.R. Michels

area, and I would have to start scouting all over again. So, for the next three days, every morning from an hour before sunrise to about 10 AM, and every evening from about an hour before sunset to an hour after sunset I drove the roads around my hunting area. I'd stop the Suburban, then look and listen for the birds. I checked both the areas where I had seen the birds roosting, traveling and feeding in the past, and in other areas that looked good. If I did not see any birds, I used a barred owl call when it was dark, and a crow call, a loud flying cackle or loud yelping, to try to get the toms to shock gobble. Sure enough I found several flocks of birds in areas where I'd seen them feeding and strutting in past years. I also watched them fly up to roost in several of the same areas I'd seen them in previous years. All I had to do now was set up in the right spot, and wait for the turkeys to come to me. That’s what you need to do too. Good luck this season. T.R. Michels is a nationally recognized game researcher/wildlife behaviorist, outdoor writer and speaker. He is the author of the Whitetail, Elk, Duck & Goose, and Turkey Addict's Manuals. If you are interested in more turkey hunting tips, or more turkey biology and behavior articles, log on to Trinity Mountain Outdoor News and T.R.'s Hunting Tips at www.TRMichels.com.

The author says we should attempt to observe and pattern our birds 3-7 days prior to the hunt for the best results. Larry Price / NWTF photo.


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April, 2011 Edition

A Marketplace for the Outdoor Enthusiast!

World Class Fly Fishing with Josh Lantz

Crossword Answers on page 9!

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April, 2011 Edition

INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

DRIVEABLE DESTINATIONS

The Gaylord area is home to 5 trout streams -- most notably, the headwaters of the storied Ausable and Manistee Rivers. Pack a fly rod. Josh Lantz Photo. A well known Michigan vacation spot for decades, Gaylord is an outdoor lover's paradise. Set amidst the rolling, forested hills of Northern Michigan, Gaylord and Otsego County offer an abundance of outdoor recreation. Best of all? It’s within a day’s drive from anywhere in Indiana. Otsego County boasts over 90 small Lakes, with the 7-milelong Otsego Lake being the largest. Otsego Lake is home to a State Park featuring a large sandy beach, day use area, boat launch and 110 improved campsites. Otsego Lake also boasts the Otsego Lake County Park, a beautiful shady park which features a boat launch, two covered pavilions and 80 improved campsites. With the highest elevation of

any incorporated city in Michigan, the Gaylord area is home to 5 major rivers including the Pigeon, Sturgeon, Black, Upper Manistee and the North Branch of the Ausable. These scenic rivers provide excellent fly fishing for Brook and Brown Trout. The crown jewel of outdoor resources in the region is the Pigeon River Country State Forest. The Pigeon River Forest was established in the early 1900's and encompasses over 100,000 acres of state land managed as a wild area by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Bordering three Counties, no major roads or highways intersect the forest leaving a quiet pristine habitat for numerous wildlife species. There are 5 rustic camping areas, the shingle

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Gaylord, Michigan is an Outdoor Lover’s Paradise mill pathway and numerous scenic viewing areas. Three of the 5 major rivers in the County flow through the forest; the Black, Sturgeon and Pigeon Rivers. Of course the most unique aspect of the Pigeon River Country State Forest is also, perhaps, the most surprising. It is home to the largest free-ranging elk herd east of the Mississippi River. Transplanted in the early 1900's, the herd has prospered in this area and numbers over 1,000 animals. The Michigan DNR conducts two annual elk hunts by lottery selection in order to carefully mange the herd's growth. Some of the other excellent outdoor recreation opportunities are the City of Gaylord's Aspen Park with 1.7 miles of paved pathway, tennis courts and 6 mile mountain biking single track, the 6-mile-long Pine Baron pathway used for hiking and cross country skiing and the new Gaylord to Mackinac Rail Trail. At 62 miles the Gaylord to Mackinac rail trail is the longest improved non-motorized pathway ever funded by the Federal Transportation enhancement program. This brand new trail consists of a compacted, crushed limstone surface. The trail begins in Gaylord and travels north thru Vanderbilt, Wolverine, Indian River, and Cheboygan arriving in Mackinac City. This scenic trail has amazing countryside views, crosses the Sturgeon River 5 times and travels along Mullet Lake for nearly 9 miles. This new trail is considered Michigan's finest rail trail ever

constructed. Otsego County is home to a 300 mile snowmobile trail network, two downhill ski areas and numerous cross country ski areas. Known as “America's Summer Golf Mecca” the region boasts 21 championship caliber 18 hole golf courses. With such outstanding outdoor recreation, it’s no wonder that Gaylord was selected by the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) to host

their 2009 annual conference. For more information about the excellent outdoor activities available in Gaylord and Otsego County, look them up at www.gaylordmichigan.net or call them toll free at 800-345-8621. The Gaylord Area Convention and Tourism Bureau will be more than happy to help you plan your getaway to this super, driveable destination. Gaylord, Michigan is an Outdoor Lover’s Paradise

Clockwise from lower left. . . 1) Otsego County is home to the largest free-ranging (wild) elk herd east of the Mississippi River. There are over 1,000 animals in this nearly 100year-old herd. 2) Downtown Gaylord is a healthy commercial center with a variety of vibrant restaurants and shops, including 6 major outdoor sporting goods stores! 3) The Gaylord area is home to over 20 golf courses. Just be patient with the wildlife!


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April, 2011 Edition

Turkey Travel: Hunting the Legendary Toms of Northern Missouri

RICKSTORY A good turkey hunting guide knows how to hunt, set up and call for his clients. A great turkey guide has all those skill down pat and also has an intimate knowledge of the whereabouts and habits of the gobblers in his hunting area. He doesn't know just some of the gobblers he hunts… he knows all of them! The best turkey guide I ever met is Kevin Small of KT's Trophy Hunts near Memphis, Missouri, that gobbler Mecca of the Show-Me state. He's been in operation with his son, Tyler, for the better part of the last two decades, has thousands of acres of land in northern Missouri and southern Iowa and has a near-perfect success rate on behalf of his clients year- in and year- out. He is a turkey hunting phenomenon, a force of nature in a sport that forgives very few mistakes. His clients come back time and again to experience perhaps the finest hunting for eastern wild turkeys that America has to offer. Northern Missouri's turkey

hunting hot spots are legendary among that legion of gobbler getters who travel to five, six, seven or more states each year to pursue the greatest hunting sport in the nation. An early morning visit to a breakfast restaurant in Kirksville, Memphis, Lancaster or any number of other northern Missouri hunting communities may yield sightings of turkey gurus from Missourians Ray Eye and the Drury brothers to New York's Ernie Callandrelli or Georgia's Michael Waddell. Everybody wants to hunt northern Missouri's out-sized, loud-voiced gobblers and Kevin Small and KT's Trophy Hunts are right in the middle of the action! A Spring, 2010 hunting trip with Small and TV producers Brian and Mark Smith of Lightfield's Wild Adventures (Sportsman Channel, check local listings), yielded plenty of birds, some great hunts and, literally, a graduate course in turkey hunting. Small, as friendly and downright comedic hunting guide as you'll ever meet, hosted us at his comfortable lodge near Memphis and served as expert chef, chauffeur, hunting guide, substitute camera man and mentor for the TV shoot. Each evening found us scouting turkeys for the next morning's hunt. Small would send his other, working guides out to various properties he leases exclusively for his hunters to keep a sharp eye peeled for lonely gob-

blers likely to come to a call the next morning. “A major key to making sure our hunters have success is knowing what the various gobblers are doing every day,” he explained. “ If we have gobblers with hens, we tend to let them move through the breeding cycle a little longer before we put our hunters on them. “By putting in our time with a pair of binoculars and some shoe leather, we tend to not spend a lot of time trying to work birds that are not likely to be receptive to our calling.” It's a before- dawn- to-after sundown kind of existence for Small and his crew of local turkey guides, virtually all of whom grew up in the area and know the hunting spots as well as their own backyards. Scouting turkeys in northern Missouri is aided greatly by the birds themselves, which have a penchant for strutting and otherwise hanging out in green fields, pastures, picked crop fields and any other open spot they can find. “You get a real chance to see what the birds are doing when they're hitting the fields,” Small said. “You not only get to see if gobblers are in the area, you get to see how they're responding to the hens, to the jakes and to other mature Toms. That really helps when you're deciding on hunting tactics.” Hunting gobblers in fields can be a tremendous challenge for

many hunters, but a few sessions with a field hunting expert like Small can really help clarify the tactics that work when calling turkeys that can see your calling position from hundreds of yards away. “We don't always use decoys, but under the right conditions, they are very helpful, depending on where we are in the breeding cycle, which decoys we use and how we set them up,” he advises. “We stay away from blinds, though. I know they aren't a problem in many parts of the country, but our experience has shown that these turkeys of ours just don't respond very well when there's a hunting blind on their turf.” The Wild Adventures TV crew trip with Small in May 2010 lasted two mornings and yielded three downed gobblers, all big, mature Missouri birds. It also produced some great video shots of action-packed hunts, including one of a boss bird who trav-

The author (R) and Lightfield Wild Adventures TV host, Mark Smith (L) display the results of their hunts with KT’s trophy Hunts in northern MO.

elled the better part of 400 yards across an open field to do battle with a jake decoy that, he was convinced, challenged him and was trying to steal his hens! How did Small work that little piece of magic? Why don't you check him out for yourself? I promise that you'll learn as much about turkey hunting in his area as anyone else in the commercial guiding business can possibly teach you in just a few mornings. His prices are extremely reasonable, his food is wonderful and the sleeping arrangements at his lodge are perfectly comfortable. Contact him at KT's Trophy Hunts, RR1, Box 170, Rutledge, MO, 63563. Phone (660) 6510655. And check out his website at www.ktshunts.com.


April, 2011 Edition

INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ÂŽ

THERMACELL CELEBRATES 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH REDESIGNED APPLIANCE To celebrate 10 years in the outdoor industry, ThermaCELL is introducing a newly designed hand-held appliance with many upgrades for the outdoor enthusiast. An ergonomically designed casing and matte finish ensure outdoorsmen will be able to hold the unit in comfort and stay concealed. The smoother functioning and quieter On/Off button will also be desirable to hunters who want to remain unnoticed in the field. "We are really pleased with the improvements made to the Appliance based on our customer feedback which has improved the functionality and versatility," said Allegra Lowitt, vice president of marketing. The ThermaCELL system creates a 15 x 15 ft zone of protection that is up to 98 percent effective against mosquitoes and other biting insects. The unit operates

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on a single butane cartridge that heats a mat releasing allethrin, a synthetic copy of a naturally occurring insect repellent found in chrysanthemum flowers. Each mat contains enough repellent for four hours of protection and each butane cartridge will operate the unit for 12 hours. The new ThermaCELL Appliance will be available in Realtree (MSRP $29.99) and Olive (MSRP $23.99) in spring 2011. The new ThermaCELL unit measures 7.5" long and 1.5" thick, and is 3" wide at the top, 1.5" at the bottom. It weighs a mere 7.1 ounces with a full butane cartridge and is 15 percent narrower at the grip. ThermaCELL, a division of The Schawbel Corporation of Bedford, Massachusetts, utilizes patented technology to create cordless, portable appliances and lanterns powered by replaceable butane cartridges. For more information on ThermaCELL's complete line of products or for retail locations, please visit www.thermacell.com or call 1-8-NO-SKEETERS.


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April, 2011 Edition

Project Gunwalker Exposed

The Last Thought MIKESCHOONVELD The drug war waging just across our southern border is a true crisis for Mexico and not much less of a crisis for the United States. And as the new mayor of Chicago once postulated while he was chief of staff for President Obama, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” What he meant was when things are in turmoil, it’s time for the government to pull some fast ones which will either be ignored, because the attention of most people is diverted elsewhere; or tolerated, because of the progressive belief that it’s up to the government to handle everything. Well, the anti-gun advocates in the U.S. government are trying their best to not waste the drug war crisis in Mexico. One of the ways anti-gunners have tried to capitalize on the crisis is by spreading the notion that most of the guns used by the

drug gangs in Mexico are purchased legally (or illegally) in the United States, then smuggled across the border. USA Today printed the statistic that 90 percent of the guns confiscated in drug gang arrests were of U.S. origin. That was later proved to be erroneous and a retraction was printed. But many pundits still quote the USA Today figure, failing to mention it had been proven false. Sadly, if you say something is true often enough, people will start believing it. It’s even more incredulous when bureaucrats start believing their own lies. The bureaucrats at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, wanting to believe it, concocted a perfectly brainless scheme trying to find some measure of truth to be used against legal firearms dealers on our side of the border. It was called "Project Gunwalker". As facts emerge, it appears that ATF agents actually let firearms "walk" into Mexico as part of an operation designed to see where the guns turned up. If they couldn’t pin many of the guns confiscated in the gang wars to U.S. dealers, they’d provide guns -- supposedly from U.S. retailers -- hoping these guns would be easier to find. How many guns did our

“good-guys” provide Mexico’s bad guys? BATFE isn’t talking on the record, but sources now say over 2,500 firearms have "walked" from the U.S. into what is basically a combat zone. At least two of the walking firearms have been traced. Evidence shows the gun used to murder Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was one of those provided by the BATFE and more recently ICE agent, Jamie Zapata was killed with a Project Gunwalker weapon. The Justice Department is the agency of the U.S. Government charged with enforcing federal laws. When it comes to guns for Mexican drug-gangs, the Justice

Department continues to call for crackdowns on legal gun dealers but has completely ignored Project Gunwalker. Initially, only a few pro-gun groups and reporters followed the story and kept it alive. Recently, however, CBS News (not exactly a bastion of right-wing, proSecond Amendment journalism) winded the story and brought the news into the mainstream, calling it “a story bigger than Ruby Ridge or Waco.” NBC is comparing the boondoggle with IranContra. Now,

Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa -- who just so happens to be ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee -- is calling for a full investigation of the ATF and Justice Department actions. Will that happen? Wi l l heads roll? Or will the administration throw the old cloak of "national security" over the whole thing and we'll learn once again we've set our lowered expectations of our government exceedingly high? Hopefully, Senator Grassley will stick to his proverbial guns and get to the bottom of "Gunwalker" - no matter how distasteful the findings.

More than 2500 rifles such as these have gone to Mexican gangs courtesy of our very own U.S. government and Project Gunwalker. Photo provided.


April, 2011 Edition

INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

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