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Indiana’s Choice for Outdoor News & Information • Since 1994

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VOL. 2013 • NO. 3





MARCH, 2013



NWTF Photo

Trusted outdoor news source, reported late last month that the Boone and Crockett Club (B&C) had received a score sheet for a massive buck taken in Indiana last November. Speculation at the time of the report was that the hunter-taken buck would score nearly 310 on the B&C scale and displace the current official record -- a massive buck scoring 307-5/8, taken by Tony Lovstuen in Iowa back in 2003. Boone and Crockett also accepts records that are “found,” animals that have died naturally and then submitted for review by the club. The largest non-typical whitetail buck is a 333-7/8-scoring animal found in Missouri over 30 years ago. While not yet authorized to release details, Boone and Crockett officials confirmed to Indiana Outdoor News staff on February 20 that the so-called Beck Buck will not top the Lovstuen Buck, but will come in, instead, as the new number two hunter-taken non-typical whitetail of all time. Sources at B&C told Indiana Outdoor News that initial B&C

Indiana’s spring turkey season is right around the corner and runs April 24 through May 12. The bag limit is one bearded or male turkey. Indiana residents need a resident turkey hunting license and a valid game bird habitat stamp privilege. Those that have a lifetime comprehensive hunting, lifetime comprehensive hunting and fishing, or youth hunt/trap license can hunt turkey and do not need to purchase the game bird habitat stamp because it is included with those license types.

Photo courtesy of the Boone & Crockett Club. scoring put the deer at 308-5/8, but the final official scoring came in at 305-7/8. “Three tines originally scored as normal were deemed abnormal. On this particular head it took away 2/8 in deductions but when the H4 circumference measurements were taken with the correct classification the circumferences dropped a few inches resulting in a lower net score than the original posted 308-5/8. The final tally on this deer is 222-4/8 gross typical frame, 93-7/8 in abnormals, and the reason that this buck’s final score ranks it as the largest non

typical whitetail taken in the last decade and the second largest in hunter taken in history is that it only has 10 4/8 of deductions left to right,” said the B&C official. The Boone and Crockett club was founded in 1887 by America’s great outdoorsman, Theodore Roosevelt. The organization works to preserve the nation’s outdoors and wildlife to ensure a future for hunters, and is known as the North American authority on game records. For more information, go to or find them on Facebook.

YOUTH SEASON This year’s special youth season is April 20 and 21. Licensed hunters 17 and younger may use any legal shotgun, bow and arrow, or crossbow to take one bearded or male turkey during the special season. The accompanying adult must be at least 18 years of age, must not possess a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow, and must possess a turkey hunting license and game bird habitat stamp if participating in the hunt (i.e. calling turkeys.





Hunters took advantage of new equipment regulations and extra hunting dates to harvest a record 136,248 deer during the 2012 season, according to data the DNR gathered from designated check stations and from a recently implemented online and phone reporting system. The total harvest represented a 6 percent increase over the 2011 season’s harvest and topped the previous record of 134,004 deer set in 2010. “We started down the path to strategically reduce the deer herd in order to balance the ecological, recreational, and economic needs of all Indiana citizens,” said Mitch Marcus, wildlife chief for the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “To meet that strategy, we initiated several regulation changes to make it easier to take antlerless deer. It appears the regulations may be working.” Key regulation changes implemented in 2012 included making crossbows legal equipment for all licensed hunters during archery season; adding a special late antlerless season in designated counties from Dec. 26 to Jan. 6; extending the urban zone season to run continuously from Sept. 15 to the end of January; and allowing youth

hunters in the two-day youth season to take whatever the bonus antlerless quota was in the county where they hunted. Archery season also increased by seven days with elimination of the traditional oneweek break between early and late segments. Crossbow hunters took 8,452 deer, or 6 percent of the overall total. That was an increase from 1,091 deer, or 1 percent, reported in 2011 when crossbows could be used in early archery season only by persons with a disabilities permit or by any licensed hunter in late archery season. Hunters using archery equipment tagged more deer in 2012 (27,580) than they did in 2011 (26,715) or 2010 (27,186). Youth hunters bagged 3,587 deer, up 55 percent from 2011, and the new special late antlerless season accounted for 10,091 deer. It also was the first year of a license bundle, which allowed the buyer to hunt in all segments of deer season—except in urban zones—for a total of one antlered and two antlerless deer. More than 56,600 license bundles were purchased in 2012, second only to the resident firearm license. “In previous years, five or six at the most, resident license holders

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Joyce Johnson of Middletown bought her Mossberg 500 Super Bantam 20 gauge in March, practiced, then took her first deer in northern Indiana at Midwest Woodlots in November. Photo provided.


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March, 2013

Understand the spring spawn for better fishing

JOSHLANTZ Springtime offers some of the best fishing of the year. Why? Because metabolism increases as water temperatures rise. Put simply, this means everything in the food chain is becoming more active, and gamefish are willing to expend more energy to chase down a meal - good things for anglers. Most fish also move out of relatively deep wintering areas and into shallow areas to spawn making them more concentrated and more accessible. Finally, these warm, shallow spawning areas literally fill up with forage as more fish spawn and fry begin to hatch. Most of the gamefish I chase are more susceptible to angling in and around the spawning period. Whether you choose to fish for actively spawning fish or not, understanding how, when and where your target species spawn will help you to catch more during the pre-spawn, spawn and postspawn periods. Northern Pike Northern pike are among the first to spawn in the spring - occasionally laying their eggs beneath the ice. Pike prefer to spawn in shallow backwaters, flooded marshes, bays and river mouths when water temperatures are between 38 and 52 degrees. Pike are broadcast spawners, and a mature, ripe female may deposit up to a half-million eggs at random over the course of a few days. An accompanying male fertilizes the eggs as they are laid. The fertilized eggs stick to vegetation and hatch 5-16 days later, depending on water temperatures. Pike are perhaps the most aggressive fish we find in the Midwest and are no different while spawning. They can be sight fished throughout the spawn and will eagerly hit most spinners, spoons, jigs and streamers.

Steelhead Great Lakes steelhead enter their natal streams throughout the year. Summer-run steelhead like Indiana's Skamania strain may return as early as June, while winter-run fish like Ganaraska (WI) and Little Manistee (MI) strains may not return until February or March. All steelhead strains attempt to spawn when stream temperatures reach about 41 degrees. Hens will construct a nest, or redd, over shallow gravel by turning on their sides and digging out a shallow depression in which to lay their eggs. Several males may accompany a gravid female and aggressively chase and fight with one another for the right to spawn with her. This is a sight fishing proposition. Aggressive males will typically chase down and strike spinners, jerkbaits and streamer flies. Muskie Muskies usually begin spawning when water temperatures reach about 50 degrees, although I have witnessed spawning activity in water as cold as 46 degrees and as warm as 60 degrees. Most of the spawning activity where I fish in Northern Indiana takes place during mid-to-late April. Like Northern pike, muskies don't spawn in a nest. They get the job done by swimming side-by-side and can often be coaxed into striking a well-placed jig or fly. Biologists claim that the big, female muskies usually spawn twice. Most mature muskies remain on the shallow spawning flats until water temperatures hit 58-60 degrees, at which time they may move onto adjacent primary weed edges, breaks and points. Smallmouth Bass Smallmouth bass usually spawn over sun-bathed gravel areas in 3 to 8 feet of water, although I have seen bigger fish spawning in as much as 25 feet of water in Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. 55 degrees seems to be the magic temperature when smallies begin to move up from adjacent, deeper flats and start to build nests. Prespawn fishing for smallmouth bass can be dynamite, because smallies tend to concentrate in predictable

areas prior to moving up to the spawning flats. Look for schools of bass down the break from known spawning areas. Just keep moving deeper until you find them. Smallmouth bass prefer spawning flats that have direct access to the sun's warming rays. They also have an uncanny affinity for nearby solid objects such as stumps, boulders, seawalls and cut banks. In my observation, smallies like to spawn with something up against their backs. Most active spawning takes place when water temperatures are between the upper 50's and 70 degrees. In my experience, most active spawning activity takes place during the first full moon after water temperatures stabilize above 60 degrees. On our Great Lakes fisheries, the smallmouth spawning cycle might last as long as three full months. Smallmouth are reluctant to bite while actively bedding, but will pick up a jig or soft plastic to remove it from the bed. Studies on the Great Lakes have shown that smallmouth nests are subject to significant predation from the invasive round goby while spawning fish are being caught and being released. Largemouth Bass Male largemouth bass begin to bed once water temperatures stabilize above 60 degrees, and most of the active spawning takes place between 65 and 75 degrees. Depending on latitude, this happens anytime from March through May here in the Midwest. A largemouth's spawning bed is typically around 6-inches deep and 2-feet in diameter on a hard-packed sand, gravel or clay bottom. Bass will spawn over marl if it is the only thing available. Primary bedding sites may be in as little as a foot to as much as ten feet of water in areas where springtime sun angles heat up the waters first. Unlike many other sunfish that construct their beds in interlocking complexes, largemouth prefer isolated bedding locations where feasible, and will also tend to bed in areas that are protected from excessive wave action and the prevailing winds. The male or buck largemouth is the most-active spawning participant. He selects the nest site, builds it,


P.O. Box 40, Knox, Indiana 46534

attracts the ripe female, fertilizes eggs as she drops them, protects the spawning nest from predators and protects the brood of fry after they hatch - usually 2-5 days after the eggs are fertilized. He may stay to guard the developing brood for 7 to 10 days before his hunger gets the better of him and he abandons the youngsters to feed. Ironically, he may eat several of his own brood while “guarding” them from predators. Buck bass guarding their broods are typically easy to catch and are often suckers for soft plastic jerkbaits.

Understanding when, where and how your target species spawns will provide you with better, more effective options for catching fish throughout the pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn periods. When searching for spawning areas, remember that different parts of the lake heat up earlier than others, so spawning can take place at varying times on different parts of the same body of water. Generally, the shallow portions of the north end of any lake will be the first to heat up in the spring - often before the ice even goes out.

Smallmouth bass tend to spawn once water temperatures stabilize above 60 degrees or so. This fat, pre-spawn female was caught on the Saint Joseph River in Mishawaka on April 1 last year. Photo by author.

® Volume 2013 • Number 3 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: Advertising Sales: (877) 251-2112 Distribution Manager: D.Lori Smith Editorial Submissions: Subscription Info: Web Site: Business & Publication Office: Mailing Address: P.O. Box 40, Knox, Indiana 46534 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 40, Knox, Indiana 46534.

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March, 2013


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DNR Report -If Canada geese have become a problem on your property, information is available through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website. Most goose problems occur from March through June, during the nesting season, when geese are especially aggressive, sometimes attacking and nipping at people. Geese can also cause a great deal of localized damage if many young are hatched in one area. After hatching, goslings are incapable of flight for about 70 days, so the young birds and their parents will graze near the hatching area for that time. Damage to landscaping can be significant and expensive to repair or replace, while large amounts of excrement can render areas unfit for human use. Information on actions property owners can take to manage Canada geese is available at Solutions range from habitat modification, to daily goose harassment through noisemaking devices, to supporting goose hunting or obtaining a DNR trapping permit. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service also allows landowners who are properly registered to destroy resident Canada goose eggs and nests on their property. More information on registering for federal permission to destroy eggs and nests is at It’s against federal law for anyone to destroy a Canada goose nest that contains one or more eggs without first securing permission through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Microscopic tags are helping Indiana biologists learn more about Chinook salmon movement and life history patterns in Lake Michigan and its tributaries. Under direction of the federally funded Great Lakes Mass Marking Program started in 2011, every Chinook salmon stocked in the Great Lakes over a five-year period will have a coded, stainless steel wire tag (CWT) identifying the stocking agency, date and location. The tags are placed in the snouts of the fish. Fish with a CWT can be recognized by their clipped missing adipose fin. The project will help biologists evaluate survival and growth rates of stocked fish, track movement patterns, and provide a better estimate of natural reproduction of Lake Michigan’s top predator. Indiana DNR biologists collected 105 CWT fish caught by anglers during April and May of 2012. Only 4 percent of those fish were stocked by Indiana; most fish were stocked by Wisconsin

FIREARMS OWNERS, INDUSTRY NOT THE “BAD GUYS” SANETTI TELLS PBS NEWTOWN, CT -In an extended interview with the PBS Frontline program, Steve Sanetti, president and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), emphatically says that the nation's firearms owners and firearms industry are not responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms and, consequently, should not be subjected to the severe restrictions being considered by Congress and many state legislatures. "[Firearms owners] are not the bad guys. The industry isn't the bad guys," said Sanetti in the interview. "Insofar as we can help the situation we want to be able to help. But that doesn't mean piling meaningless restrictions and onerous conditions upon people who want to exercise their rights and just enjoy what they do peacefully." PBS has devoted unprecedented airtime this week across all of its news programming platforms to coverage of violence in American society. NSSF agreed to do the interview in order to provide the firearms industry's perspective on contentious gun and legislative issues. NSSF is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry and has more than 8,000 members. NSSF is headquartered in Newtown, CT. The following quotes by Sanetti are taken from the wideranging interview: On restricting magazine capacity: "Millions and millions of lawabiding Americans use semiautomatic firearms with detachable magazines of varying capacities, and millions and millions of them every day don't do a thing wrong. And so we feel that it's not the correct approach and do not support magazine limitation." On selling guns and providing safety literature:

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". . . people look at a trade association like ours and assume that the only thing we're interested in is selling guns. Not true. We want our products to be used safely and responsibly. Because let's face it, we're the ones who get blamed if products are used unsafely or irresponsibly." On Senator Chris Murphy (DConn.) saying AR-style rifles are designed to kill people: "With all due respect he could not be more wrong . . . . You have millions and millions . . . of Americans who pass a background check, who buy these guns and have millions and millions of magazines . . . . [Yet] the crime rate has been going down. If you tell these people . . . who use these guns for legitimate purposes . . . 'You're nothing but a murderer, because that's the only reason why anyone would own guns is to kill people.' How are you going to get these people to cooperate [on solutions to violence]?" On violence and guns: "Let's take Connecticut. In Connecticut there are exactly two homicides committed with a rifle of any kind in the last seven years. There were 40 deaths annually from knives, 320 deaths annually from clubs and 20 deaths annually from hands and feet. So it's not just firearms.Yes, firearms can be misused, but other things can be misused too. So the focus I think should be on violence." Who or what is to blame for what happened in Newtown? "I think primarily the firearms owner in this instance was not exercising that degree of personal responsibility . . . she should have done. She knew she had an at-risk individual in her home . . . . She knew he needed help. She knew he was mentally troubled. She had firearms in the house that she purchased legally. She had gone through all the background check

required in Connecticut, the guns were registered to her, nothing was done improperly or illegally. But where I think she really caused this incident was by not adequately storing these guns securely away from her son who she knew to have these problems. Had she done that this incident would not have occurred and you wouldn't see this big cry over, let's have more gun control." On hasty lawmaking: ". . . people react emotionally. And I think people make bad decisions when they are angry, when they are fearful and when they act in haste. And I think that this situation had the making of all three." On restrictions on, and increased sales of, firearms: "We want people to own firearms for the right reasons because they understand, respect them, enjoy them, and will use them safely, properly, and responsibly. So the idea of a mad rush for everybody to buy a firearm I don't think is necessarily the best trend in the world but it's a fact of life because, as I say, we're Americans, and if you say we can't have something, people want it." Frontline has posted its complete interview with Steve Sanetti in written Q&A format. The broadcast segments are now online as well. `To stay abreast of federal and state legislation that could potentially restrict ownership and use of semiautomatic firearms and ammunition and also to write your legislators, visit the NSSF Legislative Action Center at ghts/. The NSSF is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. For more information, log on to

Every Chinook salmon stocked in Lake Michigan from 2011 - 2015 will contain a coded wire tag (CWT) containing information on the fish’s origin and stocking date. These fish can be identified by their missing adipose fin. (53 percent) and Michigan (30 percent), with the remaining 12 percent of fish coming from Illinois. Surprisingly, five of the tagged Chinook came from Lake Huron. Fish stocked in May 2010 and caught in spring 2012 averaged 27 inches and 7 pounds. Fish stocked in May 2011 averaged 16 inches and 1.5 pounds. Indiana biologists also collected 61 tagged Chinooks during sampling of Trail Creek in October

2012. The 2011-stocked fish averaged 22 inches and 3.7 pounds. “We expected that every Chinook returning to Trail Creek would be a fish stocked by Indiana DNR,” said Brian Breidert, Indiana’s Lake Michigan fisheries biologist. “Surprisingly, that was not the case.” Preliminary analysis shows 71 percent of the tagged fish were stocked by Indiana, 16 percent by Michigan, 8 percent by Illinois, and 5 percent by Wisconsin. As the Mass Marking Program continues, DNR biologists should learn a great deal more about where Indiana’s fish are caught, which tributaries they return to, and how well fish from different age classes and stocking sites survive. Eventually, all trout and salmon stocked in Lake Michigan will be tagged under the guidance of the Mass Marking Program, to further enhance restoration and management efforts in Lake Michigan.

HSUS SUES OVER WOLF DELISTING USSA Report -On Tuesday, February 12th, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other animal rights organizations filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to overturn the removal of the Western Great Lakes region wolves from listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. Wolves in the Western Great Lakes region, which consists of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and parts of bordering states, were removed from ESA protection in January of 2012 after exceeding population recovery goals. This allowed state wildlife professionals to manage exploding wolf populations that have become a danger to livestock, pets, and wildlife populations. If successful, the lawsuit would unnecessarily return wolves in the region to federal protection under the ESA, a move that would again prohibit state wildlife agencies from managing them. “This lawsuit undermines both the ESA and the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation,” said Jeremy Rine, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance In-House Counsel. “Wolves in this region have far exceeded the population recovery goals established and should be managed by the individual state wildlife agencies to ensure sustainable populations and public safety. This is just another example of the animal rights lobby trying to abuse the ESA which was never intended to permanently protect species that have recovered.” Joining HSUS in filing the lawsuit are Born Free USA, Help Our Wolves Live, and Friends of Animals and Their Environment.

AFRICAN LION CONSERVATION THREATENED USSA Report -Last fall, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it is considering a petition to list the African lion as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) after a petition was filed by animal rights and anti-hunting organizations. If listed under the ESA, African lions would be significantly and negatively impacted by the loss of revenue generated by Americans. “American hunters play the key role in the conservation of African lions, said Evan Heusinkveld, USSAF Director of Government Affairs. “A sustainable use strategy is a model that has worked well for many species across Africa – and continues to work well today.” Many African countries and local communities do not have the financial resources for lion conservation efforts. American hunters,

through sustainable use hunting programs, provide much needed conservation dollars for lion populations. These dollars are vital to preserve lion habits from agricultural expansion and other development and vital to prevent illegal poaching, which are both major threats to African lion populations. “This is nothing more than your typical anti-hunting organizations pushing to have the African lion granted unwarranted protections,” said Heusinkveld. “Hunting provides the economic incentive for local communities to protect lion habitats, to refrain from retaliatory killings to protect livestock, and to enforce laws against illegal poaching. This petition is simply a blanket approach that would only serve to hurt thriving lion populations.” For updates on this matter and a list of the anti-hunting groups pushing the lion listing, go to

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Bans, Boycotts and MORE B.S.

still doesn't get it. Following is the statement they have posted on their website regarding the event:

Politics in the Field MARK C. SMITH So, if you read my column last month, you learned that the promoters of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show (Reed Exhibitions) placed a ban on “certain products” at the Harrisburg, PA show. The “certain products” were, of course, scary looking firearms and the clips and magazines for those guns, among others. The ban subsequently caused a boycott of the show by outdoor celeb's scheduled to appear there, as well as sponsors, vendors and would-be attendees. It worked. Reed Exhibitions cancelled the show. The real victory here is that there was an awesome display of solidarity among outdoor enthusiasts, from top to bottom. The fact that everyone, from outdoor retail powerhouses like Cabela's down to the blue collar ticket holder, stood together and sent a message to the show promoter that they would not stand for anyone (especially a British-owned company) to infringe our Second Amendment rights. The sad reality is that Reed

It has become very clear to us after speaking with our customers that the event could not be held because the atmosphere of this year's show would not be conducive to an event that is designed to provide family enjoyment. It is unfortunate that in the current emotionally charged atmosphere this celebratory event has become overshadowed by a decision that directly affected a small percentage of more than 1,000 exhibits showcasing products and services for those interested in hunting and fishing. My initial reaction to this statement is; hey, the Harrisburg Show isn't a kindergarten field trip to Chuckie Cheese... and, by the way, millions of American families find enjoyment daily by participating in the shooting sports, some of which involve the “banned” products. Besides, prior to the looming “executive orders” put forth by our President, the only two things that Reed was interested in was collecting rental fees from booth vendors and gate fees from attendees. The point that Reed is missing is glaring and obvious in their own statement -- the fact that hundreds of vendors and celebrities that had absolutely nothing to do with the banned products were willing to take a stand. Like myself, many of those who boycotted the show,

don't own, operate, sell, or have the even the faintest interest in this style of firearm, however, we are not uncomfortable around, intimidated by, nor in any way offended by those who do. And, oh, by the way, all of these items are still perfectly legal to have, to hold, to own and to sell here in the United States of America. What Reed and our own Congress are really trying to do here is stomp all over our rights as U.S. citizens. Also missing is any mention of this happening in any of the national media. The only media mention I could find regarding the boycott and subsequent cancellation of the show was in a couple of newspapers and television affiliates in the Harrisburg area. While the events surrounding the cancellation of the show are not as earth shattering as the meteor strike in Russia, neither are the hundreds of off-handed references to guns put forth by the media on a daily basis. I would hope that most Americans have learned not to believe everything they see on TV, however, when consistently bombarded with biased, one-sided reporting, it can be difficult to stay focused on the real issues. Politicians, on the other hand, feel inclined to constantly react to the national news media and whatever the crisis du jour happens to be, whether any basis in fact exists or not. They are like all good story-tellers, if they tell the story enough times, they even start to

believe it themselves. Politicians are faced with a somewhat perplexing gut-check when it comes to topics like the current gun control issue. You see, they are like little kids. They feel the need to react in a manner that won't make the teacher mad, without looking like a wussy in front of their friends, all the while hoping their parents don't find out. Having been in this situation myself growing up, I can tell you it never ends well. The resulting spew of rhetoric usually results in one of two things. Either the politician releases some carefully crafted press offering that places them firmly on the fence (that way no matter which way they get “caught” voting, they can act like that is what they said they were going to do all along), or they err on the side of toeing the line with the media and hope it gives them some favorable airtime that may be helpful in their next re-election bid. Lord knows, if a politician grows a pair and stands against the views of one of the major networks, they are quickly painted as a lunatic not worthy of re-election. Last month I challenged you to contact every politician that represents you where you live, and let them know how you feel about these issues. I am still urging you to do so. I am also urging you to check up on them from time to time and see where they stand on the issues that will affect you. Where I live, I am represented in the U.S. Senate by Joe Donnelly.

Just before writing this article, I went to his website and searched for information on his stance on the latest gun control issues and found this press release from Jan. 30, 2013: I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and my voting record shows that I have stood time and again to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Like all Americans, I was shaken to my core by the senseless murders of 20 children last month in Connecticut. It is only reasonable for all of us to ask, 'What can we do to make sure this never happens again?' In 2007, just weeks after 32 people at Virginia Tech were murdered by a single gunman, Democrats and Republicans came together to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is used to check the backgrounds of most prospective gun buyers. That system still does not work as well as it should and should be examined again in the coming weeks. Whether a gun owner or not, a citydweller or not, a Democrat or a Republican, everyone would agree that we can take steps to reduce violent crime without sacrificing the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. My concern is not those who follow the law, but,

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JIMBIDDLE March I recently read an article in an outdoor magazine about a fellow whose dog sniffed out antler sheds. I started thinking about the boundless possibilities of man’s best friend. Just think about it. We have coon dogs, rabbit dogs, bird dogs, hog dogs, bear dogs, narcotic sniffing dogs, seeing eye dogs and mountain lion dogs. The list could be endless. Off the top of my head, I can think of two types of dogs I would like to have. First, I would love to have a dog that could sniff out morel mushrooms. Wouldn’t that change the whole pattern of mushroom hunting? Then, just to top things off, I would like to have a dog that could sniff out various species of fish. Can’t you just imagine having a walleye sniffer at the bow of the boat on point showing you where to cast? Speaking of where to cast, let’s check out what the folks who know have to say about fishing prospects for the next few weeks.

Lake Michigan Ed Afentatti at Mik-Lurch Tackle in Hammond tells me they are taking perch out of the Calumet River in the Calumet Park area on the state line with minnows. At the Pastrick and Hammond marinas, you can take a coho with a spoon or try skein on the bottom. Coho action should pick up later in the month. Floating spawn sacs or spinners could get a steelhead out of Trail or Salt Creeks. You can get some bluegill action at Willow Slough. Saint Joseph River Dick Parker from Parker’s Central Bait & Tackle in Mishawaka says steelhead action has started and suggests you use in-line-spinners or drift a spawn sac behind the spawning beds. East Central Indiana Ed Gipson at Peacepipe Bait & Tackle in Andrews says once the ice is off Salamonie and Mississinewa Lakes, catfish action should really pick up. Ed expects walleye action to kick in big time around mid month as well. If you go for walleye, try a rooster tail or a night crawler.. When the water starts warming up, crappie and bluegill will provide some great action. Central Indiana Dave McCalla at the Bait Barn in Indianapolis expects crappie

and perch action to come on strong around mid month. Dave says the walleye bite should be kicking in as well. He says a spinner is your best bet for the walleyes. Southwest Indiana Barbara Shedd from the Fishin Shedd in Bloomington expects Lake Monroe’s crappie, bluegill, catfish and walleye action to come on strong mid-month. Northwest Indiana Penny Boisvert at Greenwood Bait Shop in English Lake would like to remind everyone the shop will open for the season on March 1st. Penny said there has been a lot of night fishing going on at the point in English Lake. The fellows are most likely trying for crappie or walleye. Doris Salada at Country Bait in Valparaiso tells me crappie and bluegill action is really picking up on Roger’s Lake. If we have an early spring like last year, look for an early largemouth spawn later this month on the shallower, peat and marl-bottomed lakes. West Central Indiana Terry Raines at Twin Lakes Fish & Game in Monticello reports that the walleye action by the Oakdale Dam is picking up everyday. Terri suggest using a deer hair jig with a minnow and bouncing it off the bottom. As the ice leaves, the catfish action will come

on strong too, so get ready. Later in the month Terry expects the crappie and silvers (white bass) to start hitting. Sounds like the theme for this month is “waiting for the walleye”. Don’t ask me why, but waiting for the walleye sounds like a good title for a country song. Most of my contacts have had a pretty slow winter with ice fishing opportunities at the bare minimum, so stop in and cheer them up rather than picking up your bait at the gas

March, 2013

station. As I end this report I’m remembering an incident last fall. I was casting along the bank as two fisherman in a boat came drifting by casting toward the bank. I asked them, “Don’t you guys have anything better to do?” They replied, “ There ain’t nothing better to do.” I guess that says it all. So get that walleye sniffing dog on the bow of you boat and head out. Good luck and I’ll see you next month.

Indiana’s Lake Michigan coastline is the first Great Lakes fishery to heat up each March. Here’s a happy angler who fished with Capt. Mike Schoonveld and Brother Nature Charters last spring. Catch up with Capt. Mike at

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2 Photo Information, Clockwise from left. . . 1) Brian Lambert took this super 10-pointer with his bow on November 1 near Mill Creek. The big buck field dressed at 208 lbs. 2) 15-year-old Liam McLaughlin from Crete, IL took his very first deer last season with a Lightfield Hybred EXP slug. 3) 9-year-old Owen Duax, nephew of Top Shot star, Joe Serafini, made a 44-yard shot to anchor his very first deer. Photo submitted by proud grandpa, Rory Serafini! 4) Joyce Johnson of Middletown took her first buck on November 17 last season. Way to go, Joyce! 5) Shawn Schuppert (Left) of Sellersburg and guide Trip Diagle with Shawn’s 8-1/2’ alligator taken in Pierre Part, LA. 6) Matthew Duhamell of Indianapolis caught & released this giant 54-1/2 inch, 41-lb. muskie last September at Leech Lake, MN.


This months answers From Puzzle on Page 17


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March, 2013

The latest, greatest and most expensive…

The Straight Shooter BRENTWHEAT Taking a break from the gun control histrionics for a moment, we’re going to share a few thoughts from our recent trip to Las Vegas for the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades (SHOT) Show. The SHOT Show is a huge 4day trade show attended by over 60,000 folks associated with the outdoor and shooting business. For those who are maniacal about firearms, a step inside the doors of the Sands Convention Center during SHOT can cause a fatal conniption fit. SHOT is where most new things in the shooting and hunting business are unveiled. Walking among the dozen miles of aisles between booths you will find everything under the sun that relates to the field of pushing a projectile out of a barrel using gunpowder. This year’s show had a weird vibe to the whole thing. Right on the heels of the Newtown murders and the pandering, emotional response by certain politicians, most attendees were concerned that

their entire industry could conceivably fall prey to unconstitutional and unconscionable gun grabs by the government. In fact, despite unbelievable sales across the entire industry, the mood could be described as downright gloomy. Only time will tell if our fretting is justifiable. Throughout the show, one word was on everyone’s lips: backorder. With unprecedented demand for guns, ammunition and accessories, it wasn’t uncommon to hear manufacturers talking of sixto-twelve month backorders on many products. In fact, some manufactures wouldn’t even take new orders due to the inability to meet current demand. The bottom line: until the current craziness subsides, don’t wait to buy something you really want. The prices aren’t coming down anytime soon and the object of your desire probably won’t be there tomorrow. The one trend that is certainly in evidence is the shift towards “tactical-cool” guns and the “inyour-face” style of marketing. As someone who owns lots of gear dedicated to the pursuit of bad guys, I still find this edgy, aggressive tone towards the contemplative sport of hunting to be unsettling. It seems that, especially in the duck and predator hunting fields, everything is being tagged with titles like “Killer,” “Massacre,” “Death-dealer” and other such

pleasant imagery. Maybe I’m just getting old. The whole zombie craze of last year was still in evidence but seems to have hit the high-water mark sometime in 2012. As one person quipped, “I guess we have real things to worry about now.” All those lime-green products unveiled last year were still on display but seemed to draw decidedly less attention. On a positive note, there was a noticeable increase in both firearms and accessories for women. As the ladies comprise the fastest growing segment of the shooting world, it is good to see more things geared toward them. With everyone cautious over both the legal and economic concerns, there were relatively few new firearms. Most were simply adaptations on existing platforms, such as the new Glock 30S, a firearm that marries the model 30 frame with the model 36’s slimmer slide, creating a 10+1 capacity .45 pistol with a smaller slide. We were mostly successful in hiding our extreme enthusiasm under a thin veneer of yawns. There was also the Springfield XDs in 9mm. For the same-sized package as the .45 ACP, you get the smaller 9mm cartridge. Perhaps it will become popular among Springfield XD fans that are recoilsensitive. For true firearms geeks, such as my travel companion and partner in crime Ken, Walther unveiled a

PPK/S in .22 rimfire. Now you can act out your James Bond fantasies with cheaper ammo. The AR-15 platform appeared in some form in every odd-numbered booth. We dearly love “assault rifles,” oops, “Modern Sporting Rifles” but it seems like everyone from Turkmenistan to the Acme Sewing Machine Company is making one and/or a line of accessories for them. Apparently the demand is in place, especially now, but I’m beginning to develop an unrequited love for classic walnut and blued steel. Those guns are still being made but less and less with each passing day. The hunting rifle that drew the most attention was the Remington 783. Basically, the gun seems to fill the gap between the Model 700 and Model 700SPS, offering good accuracy on a bolt gun that will probably have a street price around $400 minus optics. From those who shot the rifle, accuracy is considered quite good for gun in that neck of the pricepoint woods. The wildest thing we found was the TrackingPoint Precision Guided Firearm (PGF) Rifle. Basically, the gun is

a Surgeon .338 Lapua rifle with a large black box mounted on top. Inside the box are a rifle scope, laser rangefinder, a computer and perhaps magic fairies. What the PDF does is shoot game for you automatically at long distances. Actually, the system works like a fighter aircraft missile targeting system. You place the red-dot target indicator on your quarry and then let the scope do all that crazy math stuff. When the firing solution is composed within milliseconds, the gun will fire if you are holding down the trigger. It’s really slick and really, really expensive. If you want to shoot large game at 1000+ yards and don’t mind staggering around the mountains with a $16,000 firearm/computer, then the TrackingPoint PGF is for you. I plan on ordering one, as soon the editors of Indiana Outdoor News advance me for my next 8,000 columns.

Writer Brent T. Wheat firing the Springfield XDs in 9mm at 2013 SHOT Show media day. The desert near Hoover Dam was cold but the shooting was hot!

March , 2013

LAKE MICHIGAN As the ice breaks and the temperatures warm, the big waters of Lake Michigan beckon. Heading north into the expanses of Wisconsin, it's a short trip to the harbor at Sheboygan, which was rated the #1 port in Wisconsin in 2010. This is where Wolf Pack Adventures docks its fleet of two lake going boats -- the Wolf Pack I, a 38-foot charter fishing boat originally designed for luxury ocean cruising, and the Wolf Pack II, a 28-foot Baha Cruiser that is 10.5feet wide and powered by powerful twin Ford V8 engines. The Wolf Pack II is rigged for tournament style fishing. making it a hardcore


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Howling with the Wolf Pack By D.L. Smith fishing machine while still having enough space for comfortable lake cruising. All of the Wolf Pack boats are captained by U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains and are manned by professional first mates and crew. There are no worries about packing bulky gear since all of the fishing equipment is provided. We showed up on the docks with just sunscreen, licenses with salmon/trout stamps, and a small cooler for beverages. This was all we needed for a day aboard the Wolf Pack I. Having a charter service that is familiar with the varying fishing conditions and locations on the

The author takes a break from the action aboard Wolf Pack I to pose for a shot with a nice Chinook salmon. Mark Smith photo.

seemingly endless expanses of Lake Michigan is priceless. Wolf Pack asked the important questions and then fine-tuned our trip to focus on exactly what we wanted to experience. This is the difference between just limiting out and having a one of a kind Lake Michigan fishing experience. Good fishing is often found right outside the Sheboygan Harbor -- a nice consideration when you realize that fuel is part of what you pay for in your charter boat fee. It is also nice because you spend more of your time fishing and less time running. We plied the waters outside the harbor first, dropping the lines to depths up to 50 feet. One of the rods soon dipped, signaling the exciting moment each in our party was waiting for. Fish on! Muscling the rod, the fish made a run as I played it up through the cool depths. The large salmon broke the surface of Lake Michigan, flashing silver against the deep blue waters. Captain Pat Kalmerton leaned over the side to scoop the salmon into his large Frabill net. Boating an impressive salmon was a great mood setter on board. It signaled how the rest of the day would play out. Line after line dipped, bringing the exciting variety of trout and salmon that Lake Michigan fishing has to offer into the boat. Coho and Chinook salmon both were boated along with a lake trout and an impressive steelhead. Adjusting our fishing depth as the temperatures rose, Captain Pat kept us firmly on the bite until we limited out. These later bites included a couple of nice brown

Captain Pat Kalmerton and his crew stay on the fish and hone their skills all season long by competing in tournaments all over Lake Michigan aboard the Wolf Pack II. Photo by author. trout, which rounded out our Lake Michigan Grand Slam of Chinook, coho, steelhead, lake trout, and brown trout. Its all in a day’s work for this hard-working, experienced and entertaining captain. Cruising back to the docks, Captain Pat's knowledge of the Sheboygan area was priceless. He directed us to some very unique dining experiences, including a sandwich we would get to know later that night at Frankie's Place that included a BLT with a pound of bacon! Ready to leave the expansive waters of Lake Michigan, our catch

was cleaned, bagged and made ready to be brought home. Experiencing a day of fishing that was not just the same old cookie cutter charter made us want to book again immediately. Whether it's for family vacations, large groups or a special corporate package, Wolf Pack Adventures are the go to charter in Sheboygan that can accommodate all types of groups on Lake Michigan. Looking for a different outdoor experience in the beautiful Sheboygan area? Ask about Wolf Pack’s river fishing, ice fishing, waterfowl hunting and turkey hunting adventures too!

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March, 2013

Through the D.L.SMITH Curves in Camo TM Ice fishing is like a religion in Wisconsin, and the annual sturgeon spearing opener is it's highest holiday. Shanties litter the ice on the 137,000-acre Lake Winnebago making a small village. Everything

from simple shacks with just enough room for one fisherman to large minilodges are represented on the ice. Artwork adorned several -- some, no doubt, meant to inspire the sturgeon spearer during those long hours waiting for the prehistoric

Not your average ice holes. Sturgeon spearers prepare their “Winnebago windows”. D. L. Smith photo.

More than Just Turkeys STACYYOUNG Curves in Camo TM What do you think when you hear of the National Wild Turkey Federation? Is it turkeys? Well, I want to squash some of the misconceptions and provide some insight on all the NWTF does. The NWTF is a nonprofit organization and the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. It is dedicated to preserving our hunting heritage and conserving the wild turkey. The NWTF and its volunteers work closely with state, federal, and provincial wildlife agencies and other partners. The partners and members of the NWTF have restored wild turkey populations by spending more than $372 million to conserve 17 million acres of habitat, while also educating new hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts. Programs such as Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin' Sportsmen, and JAKES (Juniors Acquiring

Knowledge Ethics, and Skills) have reached thousands of people. Here in Indiana, some of the areas the NWTF has influenced this year alone include a $15,000 grant for the National Archery Schools Program, a $5,000 grant to Future Farmers of America, and $8,000 approved for a college internship with the US Forestry Service. Since its founding in 1973, the NWTF has spent $504,021 on habitat enhancements throughout Indiana, $457,194 on educational programs, scholarships, 4-H teacher workshops and literature. In addition, it has spent $116,419 to introduce youth to outdoor activities, conservation and hunting; $130,800 to purchase land for conservation to enhance hunting opportunities; and many more thousands of dollars to get women into the outdoors and hunting, in addition to support for hunter safety programs. If this doesn't show you that the NWTF is not just for the turkeys, I don't know what will. I am the President of the TriState Thundering Toms Chapter of the NWTF in Evansville. My chapter put on our first JAKES event last year and it was just awesome. We had a great turnout. Our committee put together a day filled with a lot of fun for the kids including archery, BB gun shooting, fishing, and a free lunch. The kids all received a free JAKES membership from the NWTF for attending. It was so cool getting to teach the kids how to shoot a bow and how to use a spin cast fishing reel. We had enough stations set up that the kids didn't even have to wait in line for what they wanted to do. They could stand there and shoot a bow all afternoon if they wanted , and some did. We got feedback from

fish. Others and I had come at the invitation of the Fond du Lac Convention and Visitors’ Bureau -- a progressive tourism organization that recognizes and places a high value on it’s unique and significant outdoor resources and recreational opportunities. The high, winter sun was bright and the skies blue, as the group of women gathered for the first WOW (Women on Winnebago) media weekend watched Shawn Wendt of Wendt's on the Lake cut holes through the thick ice for sturgeon spearing. It seemed surreal. Unlike normal ice fishing holes, these impressive cuts needed to accommodate hauling a giant, prehistoric fish through the ice. Shawn's chainsaw -- an impressive model complete with four-foot blade -- bit into the frozen lake, throwing water and ice. Zipping around the marked location where the shanty would sit, He broke the ice free of its solid hold. Long poles pushed the freed slab of ice beneath the solid lake, TM

Photo by D.L. Smith. opening the hole I would stare down for the next two days. The shanty was towed back in place over the fresh holes, and all was ready for the opening day of spearing. Sturgeon spearing on Winnebago is a lifelong endeavor for many in Wisconsin. Bill Casper, like many other Lake Winnebago residents, has spent almost every sturgeon-spearing season on the frozen lake since he was a small boy. His passion for the sturgeon of Winnebago has helped to preserve the lake sturgeon not only in the waters of Winnebago, but throughout the United States. The lake sturgeon population was not always as healthy as it is now. Damming and development had hampered the natural spawning

some parents saying since that day, their child now wants a bow and to learn to hunt. This is really cool to hear, because those kids are going to be the ones who carry on our hunting heritage. They are our future. It feels good to know that you are making a difference in a child's life and helping in conservation. We are planning a bigger and better JAKES event for this summer at Izaac Walton Gun Club in Boonville, Indiana. We learned a lot on The author encourages a next generation conservaour first event and tionist at last year’s Tri-State Thundering Toms now we have some great new NWTF Chapter JAKES event. Photo provided. ideas. We are going to try to at least double our hunt. These are in addition to the great core package the NWTF has attendance this time around. In order to fund our JAKES for us like guns, housewares, and event, we need to have a successful gear. If you have never been to an banquet. Most chapters rely on their banquets every year to pay for NWTF banquet, you need to go their JAKES day and WITO event. check one out. It is for a great We have a banquet on March 22nd cause, and goes for more than just at 5pm at The Pub on 1348 Division turkeys. If you care about your Street in Evansville. My committee hunting heritage, preservation of is made up of a bunch of great vol- land, and providing an education unteers and a wonderful Regional to our youth and new hunters, then Director. We have all collected please plan to attend one of these donations from duck calls, DJ serv- events. Go to and look ices, original art, and computer repairs, to a Wisconsin Turkey hunt to see what banquets are coming and South Carolina European Boar up in your area.

areas of the native lake sturgeon, while poaching for the fish’s coveted roe also brought sturgeon numbers down in the past. Bill wanted to keep the population healthy and the spearing season going. Along with a group of other spearers and conservationists, Bill founded Sturgeon for Tomorrow in hopes of preserving the fish and the tradition. Mr. Casper knew the future of sturgeon in Winnebago was dependent on developing a hatchery program. Attempts had been made to hatch lake sturgeon in other areas of the United States, but with each attempt something went horribly wrong. Sturgeon eggs would develop a fungus and die, or would hatch but the fry wouldn't eat and then died. Shortly after it's founding in 1977, Sturgeon for Tomorrow gathered a petition of four thousand names and began negotiations with the Wisconsin DNR to develop a hatchery program. The DNR made it clear to the spearers that they would need to provide a scientificallybased research proposal in order for any serious attempts at sturgeon propagation to take place. Most people would have been frustrated and at a loss for where to go next. Bill Casper, however, was not deterred. In a pre-Internet age, Bill began searching for the answers to the sturgeon propagation problems. He found an article in National Geographic Magazine mentioning a researcher who had studied sturgeon on the Caspian Sea in what was then the Soviet Union. Mr. Casper was immediately on the phone to Dartmouth College, where this researcher had been based. As luck would have it he connected with Bill Ballard, an embryologist, who was astonished to learn that Wisconsin had sturgeon. After all, he had been flying to the other side of the world to study these ancient creatures. Ballard agreed to meet with Sturgeon for Tomorrow if they would provide for his travel expenses. Bob Blanck, the vice president of Sturgeon for Tomorrow personally paid for Ballard and his wife, Elizabeth to travel to Wisconsin in 1978. From that meeting between Sturgeon for Tomorrow and the DNR, a research proposal was drafted. For the first time in nearly forty years, hatching of sturgeon would be attempted. Success was not immediate. The first attempt was a failure - again losing the eggs to a fungus. But the DNR was more optimistic

March , 2013

e Ice:

than in the past. The second attempt was a resounding success. The hatch rate reached an impressive 80%. Propagating the sturgeon was only part of the solution to a healthy sturgeon population. Eliminating the poaching of sturgeon was another huge hurdle to overcome. The Sturgeon Watch was formed to provide volunteer observers on the waters in known sturgeon spawning areas. Poachers have always been lured to various sturgeon species by the money that the coveted roe can bring on the caviar black market. These patrols worked and became essential in maintaining healthy populations of spawning sturgeon in the Lake Winnebago system. Strict harvest quotas are established and enforced by the Wisconsin DNR, and harvest rates during recent spearing seasons only amount to about 13% of all tag holders on Lake Winnebago. If the water is cloudy, the success rate falls even further. Unlike other forms of ice fishing, sturgeon spearing is not about the finesse or lures. Instead, a decoy to suspend in the water beneath the shanty to tempt the curious sturgeon and a spear are the only gear needed. Light seeped around the edges of my shanty making the green murk of the water luminesce. The ice popped and moaned, settling as the other fisherman made their way across the ice to shanties adorned with mermaids and fish. Outside, it was bitter cold and damp -- a contrast to the bright sun and mild temperatures that had prevailed the previous day when my group observed the placing of the shanties. Small gizzard shad swam in the murk. Winnebago’s shad die off each winter, making them a perfect food source along with red worm beds for sturgeon. Seeing the gizzard shad seemed promising. The lake was giant, but I only needed one sturgeon to swim beneath the holes in our shanty. Not impossible. Unlikely but not impossible. I watched the water intently. It felt more like hunting than fishing, only with fewer squirrels. A blue gill swam sluggishly past. More shad swam sideways, glinting silver in the green of the water. The ice popped and groaned as the LP heater blasted us with warmth. Pretty soon I was shedding my Frabill IceSuit. The shanty door was flung open, blasting cooling air into our shanty. We had visitors. “Have you seen any?” our two visitors inquired. “No, but I saw a


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Winnebago’s Sturgeon Story

mermaid,” said Mark Smith, my cameraman, as he looked intently into the water. Sitting in a dark shanty staring down a hole makes some spearers delusional. “You mean that one two shanties over?” A big grin spread over Mark's face. He was thinking of the unique artwork featuring some ogling fish and a very voluptuous mermaid. Our visitors stayed, chatting for quite a while sharing their stories of fishing on Winnebago. Others came and went from our shanty too, passing the news of the sturgeon making their way to the checking station just outside of Wendt's on the Lake, where we would soon meet for lunch while exchanging stories of what we saw through our small windows into Winnebago.

The likelihood of harvesting a sturgeon is slim, but experiencing the thrill and possibility is a must for any angler, fisherman, or lover of the winter season. Winnebago and Fond du Lac bring all the best of Wisconsin’s natural resources in one location. There is something both ancient and primordial about participating in the sturgeon season. The shanties are modern and warm, but the act of spearing and camaraderie are ancient, and a welcomed treat for any outdoors enthusiast. For more information about WOW or sturgeon spearing on Lake Winnebago, contact the Fond du Lac CVB via email at, by phone at 800937-9123, or visit their website at

Seven year old Kayla Bell of Peru, IN with her first deer! Kayla's mom, Robyn Bell, sent the photos and says the buck was shot last November in Miami County with her trusty .44 at 98 yards. The buck dropped in his tracks and Kayla had this to say about it: "I am better than the hunters on television because most of their deer run after they are shot, mine DROPPED!" Her mom also says she is an accomplished hunter and loves to squirrel hunt with her Cricket .22, having taken 6 squirrels this past season. She has also accompanied her dad, Lance Bell, on a Tennesee wild boar hunt and a Wyoming antelope hunt. Robyn says not to worry, Kayla has a "girly" side too. She is level 4 gymnastics at the local YMCA and likes to wear pink under her hunting clothes! A big congratulations to Kayla from all of the staff here at Indiana Outdoor News and Curves in Camo! - D.L. Smith

The author stands outside Wendt’s on the Lake next to an average sturgeon speared during opening weekend. Mark Smith photo.

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DESTINATIONS Nestled amongst the hills and craggy bluffs of the Cumberland Mountains of eastern Tennessee lies the oldest commercial hunting lodge in that state, a place commonly referred to as Clarkrange Hunting Lodge... a place I call Hog Heaven. Having hunted hogs in several different parts of the country, it was only natural that I was put in charge of securing a place for our group of eight hunters to pursue wild boar. Having just booked a hunting safari in South Africa with Ken Moody, I thought we should give him a try at his Tennessee hunting lodge as well. Southern wild boar hunts are steeped in tradition and the stories of wild boar hunts there are the stuff legend is made of. I think Ken says it best in his brochure when he describes the Tennessee Wild Boar: Once roaming only the continents of Europe and Asia, the Wild Boar made its way to America in several ways. Descendants of swine brought over by the Spanish Explorers still run wild in Florida and other southern states. European strain boar were introduced to the area in the early 1900s by George Moore who attempted to establish an old world hunting preserve in the Smoky Mountains. These boar escaped, however, and began to populate the lofty southern highlands of Tennessee and North Carolina. Over the years, they mated with the existing descendants of the aforementioned explorers’ swine to produce the famed southern razorback


Clarkrange Hunting Lodge is Hog Heaven known today. Part European Boar, part feral hog and altogether mean, the Tennessee Wild Boar of today has carved out a reputation for himself here in the Cumberland Mountains. His unpredictable temperament, and razor sharp tusks make him a trophy worthy of any hunter's steel. My group of hunters ranged from sage, old, experienced hunters, to teenage girls and everything in between. We had rifle hunters, shotgun hunters and bowhunters in the group. One of the aspects of Clarkrange that made the place so appealing was that it could accommodate everyone, regardless of experience level or choice of weapon. The area we hunted was in the neighborhood of 1,000-acres, and could have easily accommodated three times the number of hunters in our group. The typical wild boar hunt at Clarkrange is two days of hunting and a three nights’ stay, usually arriving the evening before the first day of hunting. Everyone in our group opted to hunt from treestands and ground blinds the first day and let the hogs come to us. My 16-year-old niece was the first to connect, knocking down a 400 plus-pound tusker with her 20 gauge shotgun from a ground blind. The two bowhunters were next. They each shot beautiful hogs from a treestand. Equally impressive was the fact that it was each of their first bow kills ever. Two more treestand hunters, both equipped with shotguns and slugs, connected that evening. Stand hunting is not the only

method of hunting hogs in Tennessee though. The more traditional method of hunting hogs in the south is with the use of dogs. I will be the first to admit that this did not sound very appealing to me…until I tried it, and now I am hooked. Clarkrange is blessed to have great guides and an awesome kennel of boar hounds. The dogs are cut out and it is all you can do to keep up through the rugged terrain. When the dog finally bays the hog and you close the distance for the shot, you don't have a heart if it isn't up in your throat. It is perhaps the most exciting and exhilarating thing I have ever experienced in the woods. Don't knock it until you've tried it. This method of hunting is considered traditional and has stood the test of time for good reason. After the hunt, it's back to the lodge to unwind and relax. There are two lodge buildings. One will accommodate 10 hunters. The other will handle 20. They each have bedrooms, bathrooms and fully equipped kitchens and are very hunter friendly and comfortable. While you are back at the lodge making supper and re-living the hunt, your day’s harvest is being processed in the on-site processing plant. Comfortable accommodations, lots of hogs, great dogs, great guides, beautiful and challenging surroundings, and a cooler full of cut and wrapped pork, ready for the freezer: these are all the reasons I need to make eastern Tennesee’s Clarkrange Hunting Lodge an annual trip.

March, 2013

By Mark C. Smith

Clockwise from left: Megan Smith; Josh McLaughlin & D.L. Smith; Brian Smith; D.L. Smith; and the author, Mark Smith all took quality hogs at Clarkrange Hunting Lodge.

March, 2013


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We all know of sweet spots where game seems to be more prevalent. Fields and clearings where turkey and deer frequent can be a hunting nirvana. Those same areas also draw poachers looking for an easy kill, from causal road hunters to antler addicts whose sense of fair play has been overcome by greed. However, Indiana’s Conservation Officers (ICO) also know of these same poaching hot spots and set up one of their most effective tools, the deer decoy. The deer decoy has come a long way since the days of when it was an old deer hide tacked to a chicken wire body mounted on tobacco stakes. Modern deer decoys are battery operated and remote controlled. The operator can hide in a safe place and work the deer’s head, tail and ears to mimic the real thing. Wary poachers pull tricks like honking their car horns to see if the deer moves, then circling back to see if the deer is still in the same spot. Veteran Conservation Officers have their own tricks, like sneaking over after the car honks its horn and laying the decoy down to hide it. On many occasions, the wary poachers become emboldened because they think the decoy was real since it “ran off”.

While working in Lawrence County, ICO Ryan Jahn became friends with a local farmer and his family. The farmer had a large tract of land and was tired of poachers and road hunters taking deer off his land. “He told me about the deer poaching that went on day and night around his house,” Ryan said. “I was very interested.” The farmer eagerly showed Ryan a great place he could sit and watch the area. The conversation then turned to how effective Ryan’s deer decoy would be if properly placed. “The farmer showed me a location that the decoy would likely be shot at if I were to use it,” Ryan said. “He told me I was sure to catch somebody here. I left that day feeling confident that I had made a new ally and would eventually catch a road hunter.” Hunting season came quickly and despite several requests by the

The Sure Thing ALANGARBERS farmer, Ryan was just too busy to perform a decoy sting operation. Finally, during muzzleloading season Ryan went back to the day shift. With nothing going on he

headed out to the farmer’s house to get permission to set up the decoy. Ryan’s knock was answered by the farmer’s wife and young son. “My new friend’s wife told me that her husband was checking cattle and he would be back soon.” He

March, 2013

told the woman about his plans of setting up the decoy where her husband had suggested. Equally excited, the farmer’s young son helped carry the deer decoy out to the setup. “He was about eight-years old and thought the decoy was just the neatest thing!” Once everything was complete, Ryan hid his vehicle behind the farmer’s barn where he could watch for poachers and be ready to give chase. In minutes Ryan was settled in for the sting operation. It wasn’t too long before Ryan saw the farmer coming down the road in his Kubota RTV. Ryan got out of his vehicle anticipating the farmer’s return, but as he watched, the farmer stopped about 150yards down the road and appeared to be looking at the deer decoy. Ryan watched in disbelief as the farmer pulled out a .22 magnum rifle, leveled it at the decoy and

fired. Ryan started yelling “STOP! STOP! as the man reloaded. Now seeing the ICO, the farmer put his rifle back on its rack and drove into the farm yard. In frustration, Ryan sized the rifle and asked the farmer what he was thinking. “He said he had not killed a deer yet that season and couldn’t pass it up,” Ryan explained. “The farmer could tell I was upset with him and the circumstance he put me in. He knew he was in the wrong and told me to do what I had to do and not treat him any different than anyone else.” To make matters worse, the farmer’s young son ran out of the house and exclaimed, “Daddy you didn’t shoot that deer did you?” “This was one of the only times I wished my decoy hadn’t been shot,” Ryan sighed. “Nonetheless my friend received two misdemeanor tickets. One for shooting from a roadway and one for shooting an IDNR decoy. He took it like a champ.” “He later told me if he had known it was a decoy he would not have shot it. I told him I had heard that before,” Ryan said. “We are still friends, but things are a little different now. And I’m not sure there is an open invitation to park on his property anymore.”

iOutdoors Solutions

Record -- From Cover

by Brian Smith

accounted for 42 percent of the harvest,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer management biologist. “This year, resident license holders accounted for 47 percent of the total harvest. That’s only a couple percentage points, but to move it even that much is pretty significant. That’s probably attributed to the bundle license. We don’t know that for sure, but that’s where we’re leaning because it’s the one thing in the rules that only affected resident hunters.” The total harvest was made up of 45,936 antlered deer and 90,312 antlerless deer. The proportion of reported antlered deer in the harvest (34 percent) is the lowest in Indiana’s history while the antlerless total was the highest. “Despite the record harvest, trends within the harvest data showed that deer numbers were down this year,” Marcus said. “The number of antlered deer in the harvest was at its lowest point since 2000, an indicator of a reduced deer herd.” Stewart said the antlered deer harvest tracks the total population about as well as anything because there are fewer variables to consider. “Year-to-year hunter efforts don’t change much, so people aren’t all of a sudden taking three bucks or eight bucks; they’re locked into one buck,” he said, noting the one-buck limit in Indiana. “If there are fewer bucks to kill with the same amount of hunter effort, not as many bucks get killed, which tells us the overall population is down.” Additionally, an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease affected deer in nearly 60 counties. EHD is a viral disease transmitted by biting flies that is often fatal to deer, though some deer will survive the illness. “Whether this (population) decline is due to this year’s outbreak of EHD, recent efforts to strategically reduce the deer herd, or a combination of both factors remains to be seen, but probably varies from county to county,” Marcus said. “As we continue on the path to strategically reduce the deer herd, we will monitor the herd and harvest each year and make adjustments to ensure that hunters will have the opportunity to be successful.” Switzerland County had the highest reported harvest at 3,506 deer, leading the state for the first time since 2004 and ending a seven-year run by Steuben as the top county. Steuben dropped to fifth with a reported harvest of 3,076 deer, the fewest for that county since 2003. Of the total harvest, 82,151 deer were recorded at check stations, 53,389 online, and 708 by phone. To read the DNR’s complete report, go to and click on the Deer Harvest Summary link at the bottom of the page.

Outdoorsmen and women across the globe are becoming more reliant upon modern technology. Safety and knowledge lead the reasons. Knowing the weather and being able to check things like barometric pressure come in handy when predicting how the day will turn out. Sometimes, the only way some of us can get out to the field is to be tethered to the office. While the smart phone may be the most popular piece of equipment in every outdoors gear bag, the list of new electronics we take with us is surely growing on a daily basis. No matter the quarry, no matter afield or adrift; as we become gadgeteers for better or for worse, the chances of needing electronic repair is eminent. Introducing “iOutdoor Solutions” by Eric Vos. Brought to you and sponsored by Easy Apple Repair of Elkhart, IN, “iOutdoor Solutions” will be a monthly installment of what to do when the inevitable electronic breakdown happens. Broken smartphone screen, tangled fish finder cord, boat lights, electronic scope issues; it’s all here. The point? Don’t fret, it all can be fixed! Most the time by yourself and at less cost than you probably think. Case in point: my cell phone was dropped while on a recent outing. Result was a shattered phone and as Murphy’s law dictates, my Apple protection plan was no longer valid. I drove over to Easy Apple Repair and Aaron Vos fixed it the same day and at a cost that didn’t break my bank. WHEW! You can imagine my relief.


BRINGS REVERSE WATERFOWL MIGRATION The month of March is a great time for birdwatching, as all manner of species work their way back from the southern wintering grounds to the breeding grounds of the north.

Due to their size, ducks like the drake bluewing teal shown above, geese, and sandhill cranes like the one shown at left are among the most visible birds passing back through Indiana this month. Some will stay and nest in the Hoosier state, while others will simply visit as they continue north. If you plan to put up waterfowl nesting platforms or boxes, do it soon. Watch the potholes, ponds, rivers, lakes and marshes for returning waterfowl in their prime, breeding plumage.

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Creature Feature: Red-backed Salamanders

Evelyn Kirkwood is Director of St. Joseph County Parks in Indiana and host of Outdoor Elements which is broadcast Sundays at 9:00 am on WNIT Public Television.

Hands On Nature: Salamander safari

Late winter and early spring nights are a good time to search for salamanders. On a damp evening, when temperatures are around 45 degrees, head to a woodland pool with a good flashlight. If salamanders are emerging from hibernation, your flashlight might glisten off their eyes or skin. Look in the shallow areas of the water for swimming salamanders or for golf-ball sized masses of eggs. Later in the season, after a rain, gently roll over logs or rocks in the woods. If the weather has been dry, salamanders will be deeper underground and harder to find. Always remember to

On late winter and early spring evenings, usually during a soft rain, tiger and spotted salamanders emerge from hibernation and scramble to a woodland pond to lay eggs. Their parental duties are short lived. Within a few days of laying eggs, they leave the pool for higher ground to spend the rest of the warm weather months. One woodland salamander, however, uses a different strategy. The small and slender red-backed salamander lays her eggs in protected spaces, such as inside logs, or under rocks, boards or leaves, instead of in the water. The cream-colored eggs are clustered on a stalk. Unlike her larger tiger and spotted salamander relatives, the female red-backed stays near her eggs until they hatch, often defending them from other salamanders, or other animals, that may try to eat them. The eggs hatch in two months. When the young emerge, they stay close to their mother for a few days, sometimes crawling onto her head and back. They get their name from the broad red stripe down their back. Some, however, lack the red, and are nick-named “lead-backs.” According to herpetologists (scientists who study reptiles and amphibians) red-backed salamanders spend the winter up to three feet underground, moving upwards as the temperatures warm. Later in spring, red-backed salamanders can be found under logs or rocks in the woods. They hunt for food on damp nights, searching through the leaf litter and occasionally climbing a foot or so off the ground on shrubs or trees to search for insects.

Did you know?

check a log before you roll it over. Sometimes it may have yellow jackets underneath! If you roll over a log, you may not find a salamander, but you may see centipedes, millipedes or earthworms. Return the log gently when you are done exploring. Try not to touch or handle salamanders if you find them.

Handling salamanders can cause them harm if you have any lotion, soap, bug spray, perfume, sunscreen or contaminants on your hands. Their skin is very absorbent. Even the natural salts in your skin can cause them harm. Some salamanders, such as the Red-backed salamanders do not have gills or lungs.

Red-backed salamanders can break off their tails when alarmed. The broken tail wiggles, distracting predators, giving the salamander time to escape. The salamander will grow a new tail.

Nature’s Almanac


It's here! Spring arrives on March 20. Try to determine the LAST day you see a dark-eyed junco at your feeder. These “snowbirds” visit our feeders only in winter, then head farther north to nest. Eastern chipmunks emerge from hibernation. Although some Great Blue Herons spend the winter in the Great Lakes region, many are returning to our area after wintering farther south. As sap begins to flow from tree roots to tree buds, it can be collected and boiled into a sweet treat. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers hammer small holes in tree bark to drink the sweet sap.

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March, 2013

Trust your hunting instincts

BABEWINKELMAN I remember a successful bowhunt many years ago that went nothing like I had planned. The November wind was coming out of the northwest that afternoon, which made it perfect for a particular stand site that I had set up about a week in advance. As I drove toward my hunting land, I completely intended to hunt that spot. I parked, got in my gear, sprayed down with Scent Killer, grabbed my bow and snuck off in the direction of the tree - which was a solid 1/2 mile away. My enthusiasm soared. After covering about 200 yards in the woods, well short of my destination, I stopped. I routinely stop, look and listen when I'm on my way to a stand - always trying to emulate the sound of something that "belongs" in the woods (like a deer or squirrel). I think of it as still-hunting my way to a stand site. But on this particular stop, I didn't pause on purpose. Nope, I stopped on instinct. It was as if a little voice went off inside my head saying "whoa fella, hang on right here for a second." I've come to obey that little voice when I'm hunting, so I froze. While standing there, looking around and listening to my surroundings, something suddenly caught my eye. A tree. It was a stout, old white oak with massive horizontal branches that shot in three directions from its huge trunk about 10 feet above the ground. It was a magnificent tree with big, knurled knobs that protruded from the bark like baseball-sized handles. Although they had grown randomly and for whatever reason, the knobs were spaced and placed in the perfect positions for climbing. It was like the way they place the plastic hand and foot holds on those simulated, cliff-style climbing walls. Instinct immediately told me that I wouldn't be hunting from my intended stand location that evening. Nope, I'd hunt from this inviting oak tree. Instinct demand-

MORE BS - From Page 5 those who do not. I will give serious consideration to proposals that would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill without infringing on the rights of lawabiding gun owners. So, what do you think this press release means? Does it sound like a firm stance in defense of your Second Amendment rights or the crafty words of a fence-rider? I would like to hear you thoughts about it. Email me at and let me know what you think. If you have questions about the press release go to or call his office at 202-224-4814 and ask him. Contact him anyway and let him know your position on these issues.

ed it. Climbing up those knotty knobs was a piece of cake. Once up, I affixed my safety harness and hoisted my bow and gear up on my lift rope. I was set, and that wide horizontal limb proved to be a very comfortable platform when I leaned against the trunk of the tree. Here's what I did next (again, by instinct) and something that I recommend everyone does at the beginning of a hunt. I surveyed my surroundings; envisioned where anticipated deer movement might occur; identified potential shooting lanes; then used my rangefinder to pre-determine yardages to those locations for fast pin selection if and when a buck stepped into a lane. Next I drew back my bow in all potential shot directions to make sure there were no obstructions that could botch a shot (like an overhead branch getting in my way). With all systems go, I settled in for the afternoon hunt. It would

prove to be a short one. After only five minutes or so, I heard a deer approaching from behind me, basically coming from the same direction I had come in from. It was the exact opposite travel direction that deer typically follow on my property in the afternoon. Oh well, I wasn't complaining. I got a little tense when the buck crossed directly downwind of me at about 40 yards. He never missed a step, thanks to Scent Killer and good odor-control preparation. He was a mature 9pointer with a lot of unique character in his rack, so when he veered toward me after crossing downwind, I made a decision to take him if given a chance. When he stopped to browse on some acorns that had fallen from the same white oak tree that I stood in, the buck presented a pictureperfect broadside shot only 12 yards away. I took it, and after a 50-yard sprint I watched the white-

tail pile up in the dry autumn leaves doublelunged and out of gas. I often wonder how my hunt would have gone that afternoon if I'd stuck to the original game plan and hunted the other spot. I'll never know, because instinct got in the way and made all the difference. So when you hear that little voice, I strongly encourage you to listen and always trust your hunting instincts. Good hunting. Babe Winkelman is a nationallyknown outdoorsman who has

taught people to fish and hunt for more than 25 years. Watch his award-winning "Good Fishing" and "Outdoor Secrets" television shows on many national and local networks. Visit for air times where you live, and be sure to check us out on Facebook.

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Indiana Outdoor Calendar 2013 March 01 Fri 02 Sat 03 Sun 04 Mon 05 Tue 06 Wed 07 Thu 08 Fri 09 Sat 10 Sun 11 Mon 12 Tue 13 Wed 14 Thu 15 Fri 16 Sat 17 Sun 18 Mon 19 Tue 20 Wed 21 Thu 22 Fri 23 Sat 24 Sun 25 Mon 26 Tue 27 Wed 28 Thu 29 Fri 30 Sat 31 Sun

A.M. Minor 8:05 8:45 9:30 10:22 11:20 2:18 3:07 3:50 4:29 5:03 6:36 7:08 7:39 8:12 8:47 9:24 10:06 10:51 11:40 2:27 3:07 3:44 4:19 4:51 5:22 5:54 6:27 7:03 7:42 8:28 9:18

A.M Major 2:33 3:52 4:23 5:21 6:21 7:21 8:18 9:14 10:08 10:58 ----1:03 1:51 2:39 3:26 4:14 5:03 5:52 6:41 7:30 8:17 9:05 9:53 10:40 11:27 ----12:33 1:24 2:18 3:44 4:15

P. M. Minor 10:09 ----------------12:42 1:30 2:39 3:47 4:54 6:59 8:03 9:06 10:06 --------------------12:33 1:28 2:27 3:27 4:29 5:32 6:39 7:46 8:55 10:05 ---------

P.M. Major 3:07 4:00 4:55 5:52 6:49 7:45 8:40 9:34 10:25 ----12:47 1:35 2:22 3:09 3:56 4:42 5:29 6:16 7:03 7:50 8:36 9:23 10:09 10:55 ----12:16 1:06 1:59 2:53 3:50 4:47

Sunrise 7:18 7:16 7:15 7:13 7:12 7:10 7:08 7:07 7:05 7:04 8:02 8:00 7:59 7:57 7:56 7:54 7:53 7:51 7:49 7:48 7:46 7:45 7:43 7:41 7:40 7:38 7:37 7:35 7:33 7:32 7:30

Sunset 6:37 6:38 6:39 6:40 6:41 6:42 6:43 6:44 6:45 6:47 7:48 7:49 7:50 7:51 7:52 7:53 7:54 7:55 7:56 7:57 7:58 7:59 8:00 8:01 8:02 8:03 8:04 8:05 8:06 8:07 8:08

Fishing Quality / Notes Fair Fair Poor Poor Fair / Waning Half Moon Fair Fair Fair Fair Good Good / Time Change Good / New Moon Good Good Fair Fair Fair Poor Poor / Waxing Half Moon Fair Fair Poor Poor Poor Fair Fair Fair / Full Moon Fair Fair Fair Fair

- March Dog Running (Raccoon, Opossum) Open All Month. Light Goose Conservation Hunting Season Open All Month. Mar 1: Last day of Late Crow Hunting Season. Mar 1-2: Bassmaster University at the Clarksville Bass Pro Shops Store, featuring Kevin VanDam, Mark Zona, Timmy Horton and more. Call 812-218-5500 for info. Mar 2-3: Captain’s Weekend at the Hammond Cabelas Store. Call 219-845-9040 for info. Mar 9: Roush FWA Youth Pheasant Hunt. Call 260-494-6831 to pre-register. Mar 9: River Ridge Longbeards Chapter NWTF Hunting Heritage Banquet. 4:30pm at St. Joe Hill Catholic Church, 2605 St. Joe Road West, Sellersburg, IN. Call Jim at (812) 256-6881 for tickets or more info. Mar 9, 23 & 30: Concealed Firearms Training Classes at the Hammond Cabelas Store. Call 219-845-9040 for info. Mar 10: Wild Game Feast at don Quijote Restaurante in Valparaiso (see page 6). Mar 15: Last day of Coyote Hunting and Trapping Seasons. Mar 16: Go FishIN Family Learn To Fish Workshop at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. Call 317-234-8440 or email for more info. Mar 16-17: Hunter Education Class at the Hammond Cabelas Store. Call 219-845-9040. • A variety of Hunter Education courses are offered around the state this month. For details, visit • For a listing of Ducks Unlimited events throughout Indiana this month, go to

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ACROSS 1 Indian name for elk 6 Main fin on a fish 9 The arrow receptacle 10 Sounds made by the wild turkey 11 A hunting quarry in Africa 12 Type fishline with many hooks 14 Install a drag on this to tire fish 15 Venison 20 A fish guiding organ 21 The bowmaker 22 A good bait for bear traps 25 A wildfowl at bed having young 27 A fishing lure 29 A good trap bait 31 A young quail 33 The dall is one 34 A clay pigeon ejector station 36 Usual routine of game or fowl 37 The tip of a bullet 39 The sunfish family 41 Hunter's quarry in Florida 44 Act of stringing a bow 45 They are found above tree line in the Rockies 46 A type of camp fireplace

DOWN 1 Name for a certain bass 2 The spread of a shot shell 3 Of the strength of a fishline 4 The rifle stock 5 Lab name for fish eggs 6 Arrow does this cause of wind 7 Term for a crack in a bow stave 8 Prepares for another shot 13 Maybe an eagle's prey 16 Female bighorns 17 A graceful wildfowl 18 Handy item to have in strange areas 19 A wildfowl night time perch 20 Valued part of some game 23 A good walleye bait 24 Act of fish hitting a hook 26 A breed of setter 28 This controls a shot spread 29 A type of sight 30 A grouse species 32 Name for salmon species in Wyoming 33 Name for a certain fishing lure 35 Large on a muley 38 A deer species. _____horn 39 Buck domain marks on tree trunks 40 Device on a reel to tire a fish 42 The point of an arrow 43 Best lure color to attract fish

Answers on page 7!

My wife bought me one of those funny hats shaped like a fish! isn’t it great?

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March, 2013

Eddie Eagle still working

The Last Thought MIKESCHOONVELD In 1989 I had children aged 5 and 7 years old. That’s the year the National Rifle Association, in consultation with elementary school teachers, law enforcement officers, and child psychologists created the Eddie Eagle GunSafer Program to teach youngsters precisely the age of mine effective rules to follow should they encounter a firearm in an unsupervised setting: "If you see a gun: STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.” I showed the kids the video then on VHS tape. They loved it! More importantly, they remembered it. I called my daughter and asked if she still remembers it and she instantly repeated the mantra: “STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult," even though she’s now in her late 20s and owns her own guns. Across the country, in cities and rural areas, men, women, young adults and grandparents are

once again showing support and voting with their dollars for America’s Second Amendment freedom. When Barrack Obama was first elected, millions of people stormed gun shops across the country to purchase guns and ammo. Their fear was the liberal agenda of the new administration would include drastic curbs on firearm ownership. Fortunately for gun-owners new and old, other issues floated to the surface. The gun and ammunition manufacturing industry was all that kept some regions of the country afloat economically. When the administration’s planned “big bang” -- Operation Fast and Furious where the government supplied illegal guns to Mexican drug gangs -- blew up in their face the election was eminent. Gun control went on the back burner. Once Obama was reelected, another bump in gun sales was noted, but not at a record breaking pace. That has changed and what changed it was the Connecticut school shooting. Instantly, anti-gun politicians rallied to the cause with pent up furor. Gun stores are again selling out of guns and ammunition. Walmart now only allows a purchaser to buy 3 boxes of ammo per

visit. A friend of mine who happens to be a police officer went to a “cop-only” shop to purchase a new handgun a week ago. They had none in stock and so many people on the waiting list, they were no longer adding names to the list. The point to all this is there are now more guns than ever in the hands of private citizens. Many of these gun owners are new or relatively new. I don’t question their motive for choosing to own guns. We are a free country and an armed citizenry will help keep us free. Despite the massive increase in gun ownership, both gun crimes and gun accidents have dropped. We need to keep it that way and the NRA’s Eddie Eagle project now has a long standing track record. In fact, it recently achieved another milestone by reaching its 26 millionth child. "The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program has received thousands of stories from parents and teachers demonstrating how tragedies were avoided thanks to our program," said Kyle Weaver, NRA Executive of General Operations. "Firearmrelated accidents among young children have been on a steady decline since NRA launched the Eddie Eagle program. It's a testament to NRA's commitment to

child safety and Eddie's life saving these free materials, or to purchase message." an Eddie Eagle costume, please Volunteers for the Eddie Eagle contact the Eddie Eagle program might come from diverse Department at (800) 231-0752. backgrounds, but they share a com- More information about the Eddie mitment to protecting children Eagle program is also available from gun accidents. Those online at involved include teachers, NRA members, law enforcement officers The message is simple, easy to and community activists who teach remember and fun for kids to learn. the program, as well as private STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the donors and Friends of NRA volun- Area. Tell an Adult. teers who raise funds to pay for the program's educational materials. More than 26,000 educators, law enforcement agencies, and civic organizations have taught the program since 1988. More than 350 Eddie Eagle mascot costumes are in use by law enforcement officers across the county. NRA also offers free Eddie Eagle materials to any law enforcement agency, hospital, or educational Eddie Eagle has taught gun safety to millions of facility across the American kids. Photo provided. nation. To receive

ing superior patterning performance at longer range, delivering 25% more pellets on target than standard lead loads. 10 rounds per box. For use only with barrels approved for steel shot. Retail is around $40-$45 for a box of ten shells.

Tracer Tri-Star Pro Gun Light The New Speed Camo Stick From Hunter’s Specialties Gives Hunters Three Colors In One No-Mess Package Hunter’s Specialties new Speed Camo Stick gives hunters quick access to three camo colors in a convenient pocket sized applicator. The Speed Camo Stick allows hunters to use the individual camo sticks to create custom patterns or by using two or three sticks in the Speed Camo applicator, up to two inches of coverage can be applied with one swipe. Speed Camo makeup can be easily removed with soap and water or Hunter’s Specialties handy Camo Off makeup remover pads. The Speed Camo applicator keeps the mess off of your hands. The Speed Camo Makeup Stick sells for a suggested retail of $5.99. For more information about other Hunter’s Specialties products, log onto the Hunter’s Specialties website at

The hog hunter or varmint hunter’s dream. The Tri-Star Pro Gun Light by Tracer is an onboard firearms light kit providing 3 x High Power LEDs producing an exceptionally brilliant spot beam out to 300 meters. LED's do not burn out or fail like conventional torch bulbs and are far less vulnerable to impact damage. Key features include: 3x high power LED array 300m Beam / 1600 Lumens High Performance Driver Circuit Mounting hardware to a 1” or 30mm scope 6 hours run time on full power Stock Mounted Variable Power Dimmer Switch Li-Ion battery weighs just 360 grams

Winchester Supreme Elite Xtended Range Turkey Ammunition 12 Gauge 3-1/2" 2 oz #4 Hi-Density Shot Box of 10

The Tri-Star Pro Gun Light by Tracer retails for around $380. For more information go to

Winchester Supreme Elite Xtended Range Turkey loads are specifically designed to deliver extreme terminal performance out to longer ranges. Specially formulated shot is 10% denser than lead, which translates to harder hits and deeper penetration. The shot is uniform in roundness and size yet soft enough to use your favorite turkey choke, giv-

Cabela's Comfort Max 360-Degree Blind Chair Set up this chair in your blind and you'll sit comfortably while waiting and instantly be in position when it's time to take a shot. Because it silently swivels a full 360°, you can effortlessly turn to shoot out any side of your blind. Strong Dura Mesh fabric provides

day-long back support and cool breathability. Swiveling, large "duck" feet on each leg provide added stability and keep the chair from sinking into soft ground. Heavy-duty 22mm and 16 mm steel tubing keeps it stable and ensures season after season of use. Easily folds down for convenient transport or storage. Weight: 17 lbs. Seat height: 15.4". Seat width: 16.5". Back height: 35.8". Weight capacity: 300 lbs. Color: Black. The Cabela’s Comfort Max 360-Degree Blind Chair retails for about $100.

Pentax WG-III Ruggedized Camera P e n t a x intensified 'tough' with the 15th generation of their ruggedized compact camera to bring you the best adventure proof camera yet. Capture outstanding images in any element with its brighter 4X optical zoom and new Shake Reduction system. Enjoy built-in digital pressure, altitude and depth gauges, a compass and wireless charging in the upgraded GPS model. Dive deeper, climb higher, explore longer, and capture even more of your journey with the PENTAX WG-3 GPS. Your adventure is now. 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor Waterproof to 45 feet Crushproof, Dustproof, Shockproof, Coldproof Advanced GPS functions & Wireless Recharging Full 1080p30 HD video recording Sensor–Shift Shake Reduction system Faster F 2.0 aperture with a 4X Optical Zoom Six LED Macro Lights 3 inch High resolution LCD Screen The Pentax WG-III retails for around $350. Learn more at

March, 2013


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ION March '13  

Indiana Outdoor News March Issue 2013

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