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Outdoors Southside

Fall/Winter 2015

Chips Block off the old

Franklin’s Chipmates carve their art from wood

ALSO INSIDE 8 Wild turkey hunting l Master Naturalist program l T.C. Steele Historic Site

Wild Game Processing Archer’s Meats is an Indiana DNR State Deer checking station. Call for info about after hours drop-off.

259 S. Meridian St. • Greenwood 317-881-9300

Dreyer Honda South 595 E. Tracy Rd. Whiteland, IN 317-535-3700 dba Dreyer Honda South

We also process Wild Boar


Fall/Winter 2015

Southside Outdoors is published by the DAILY JOURNAL



For editorial content, contact Paul Hoffman in the Daily Journal special publications department at 317-736-2721 or by e-mail at phoffman@

Go, Go Gobblers!

Once nearly gone from Indiana, wild turkey population thriving. Story By Greg Seiter iStock photo

For advertising content, contact the Daily Journal advertising department at 317-736-2730.


Inducing the Awe Factor

Master naturalist program aims to re-inspire people’s interest in nature. Story By Jenn Willhite iStock photos

Southside Outdoors c/o Daily Journal 30 S. Water St., Ste. A Franklin, IN 46131


ON THE COVER Edwin McClure, who founded the Franklin Chipmates wood carving club, works on a piece during a recent meeting at Franklin Parks & Recreation. Photo by Mark Freeland

Going With the Grain

Franklin Chipmates create works of art in wood. Story By Amy May Photos By Mark Freeland


8 On the Outdoors What’s going on around the state? 9 Property Profile All about T.C. Steele Historical Site. 14 Doe, a deer! Do you remember what it was like spotting your first one? 15 National Parks People’s effects on ecosystems studied. 16 Hunting trends More women are engaging in the sport.


Southside Outdoors

Fall/Winter 2015


Simply wild about turkeys

11 years after state’s last restoration effort, population is healthy


ndiana’s wild turkey population is thriving these days, thanks mostly to coordinated revitalization efforts over an extended period. But there was a point in the state’s history when turkeys were in danger of disappearing altogether. In fact, the same problem persisted throughout much of the United States. Native to North America, the wild turkey was found to be in abundant numbers, partic-

STORY BY GREG SEITER CORRESPONDENT ing human populations cleared trees for settlement. As a result, the birds became more vulnerable to unregulated hunting. By 1900, much of the country’s wild turkey population had been wiped out. Fortunately, restoration programs and protective game laws in the 1930s eventually led

“We had an initial boom but now, populations are settling to the new normal level. It’s a fairly common phenomenon.” Steven Backs Indiana DNR wildlife research biologist

ularly in the eastern half of the country, when European immigrants first settled in the United States. Primarily a ground-nesting bird, the turkey thrives in densely-forested areas. But in the early days of North American settlement, it was forced from its natural habitat as increas-

to an environment conducive to the reintroduction of the bird. Initial population enhancement efforts in the 1940s focused on “pen-raised” techniques in which eggs were hatched and the turkeys were raised under human control. However, research found that even though those efforts

were modestly successful in initially increasing numbers, the birds lacked normal social behavior and survival skills and ultimately failed to reproduce and press on once introduced into the wild. Finally, trap-and-transplant programs were introduced and regularly incorporated by state game agencies in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In Indiana during the 1980s, 1,718 turkeys were transplanted to 112 sites. By 1990, nationwide wild turkey numbers were estimated to be at 3.5 million. Last restoration effort Indiana’s last wild turkey restoration effort took place in east-central Indiana in 2004 when 156 wild, trapped birds were released at nine sites. Today, with an estimated statewide population of 120,000, the birds can be found in all 92 counties. “In general (Indiana population numbers) are considered to be healthy,” said Steven

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Backs, wildlife research biologist and wild turkey project leader for the Division of Fish and Wildlife with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “We have completed our restoration work and like many other states, are now going through the post-restoration period following a rapid increase in populations. “We went through 30 years of increasing expectations and people got used to rapid growth but we’ve gone over the hump now and some inherent population control mechanisms have come into play including predators, disease and environmental challenges. Those mechanisms have reduced annual productivity some.” According to Backs, the slight numeric falloff was expected and is nothing to be concerned with. “During the restoration years when populations were being released into new areas and were growing and expanding, it wasn’t unusual to see three to four poults (young) for every adult hen. Now, we’re seeing about two per hen. “We had an initial boom but now, populations are settling to the new normal level. It’s a fairly common phenomenon. “It takes a while for welfare factors to catch up with a new, growing population.” However, determining what “normal” levels are relative to actual population numbers and estimating what those numbers are can be challenging. “It’s not easy to count a species that tries to remain hidden and secretive,” Backs said. Part of the challenge exists in the fact that predators have a fairly significant impact on what turkey numbers may be from one year to the next.

Fall/Winter 2015


made available to them in 2005.

Indiana’s spring gobbler harvests

Year Harvest 1Yr Wt. 2Yr Wt 3+Yr Wt “There just isn’t much interest 1991 2,318 25% 15.5 53% 21.1 22% 22.2 or demand for fall turkey hunt1992 2,531 38% 15.1 43% 20.8 19% 22.2 1993 3,500 18% 15.9 60% 20.9 22% 22.4 ing,” Backs contined. “Part of the 1994 3,741 41% 15.2 37% 21.2 22% 22.4 reason for that is there are so 1995 4,706 28% 15.6 55% 20.6 18% 22.1 many other hunting seasons going 1996 4,859 24% 15.6 53% 21.6 23% 22.7 1997 5,790 21% 15.7 56% 21.5 24% 22.7 on at the same time. 1998 6,384 22% 15.5 51% 21.1 28% 22.5 “Harvest in the fall is generally 1999 6,548 25% 15.5 49% 21.1 26% 22.6 2000 7,822 27% 15.2 44% 20.7 28% 21.9 around 600 birds. During the last 2001 9,975 26% 15.7 50% 20.1 24% 22.1 few springs, we’ve seen between 2002 10,575 27% 15.7 47% 21.3 27% 22.5 2003 10,366 24% 15.3 49% 21.3 28% 22.4 11,000 and 12,000 birds.” 2004 10,765 24% 15.8 49% 21.4 27% 22.8 According to Backs, wild turkey 2005 11,159 33% 14.9 44% 20.9 23% 22.3 2006 13,193 14% 14.5 67% 20.7 19% 22.1 restoration and maintenance prac2007 11,163 22% 15.5 42% 21.5 26% 22.6 tices have gone well in Indiana, 2008 12,204 22% 16.0 52% 21.7 26% 22.9 2009 12,993 19% 16.0 51% 21.7 30% 22.9 particularly thanks to hunters. AND21.4 GET THE WORLD’S NUMBER 1 2010 13,742 18% 15.6 54% 28% 22.6 “We are a self-supporting 2011 11,669 21% 15.6 48% 21.3 TRACTOR 31% 22.4 SELLING 2012 12,655 14% 15.9 52% 21.1 34% 22.3 agency and it’s important to 2013 11,374 24.2% 16.1 37.5% 23.2 ENJOY21.8 ZERO 38.3% DOWN, ZEROunderstand INTEREST, that wild turkey res* Age based on longest spur length from check and spur length ZEROstations PAYMENTS TILL JANUARY 2016* category selected on web-based “Check-IN-Game” combined starting in toration was paid for by hunter AND 2012; weights based on check station data only. GET THE WORLD’S NUMBER 1


licensing fees, not tax1dollars. The AND GETTRACTOR THE WORLD’S NUMBER SELLING general public doesn’t realize TRACTOR beSELLING a gobbler-only hunt,” he said. 0 INTEREST FOR Shown: 1533 4WD

“Conceptually, you think of a turkey as being anything from an egg to a 24-pound gobbler,” Backs continued. “So, how do you control snakes, possums, skunks, chipmunks and blue jays? As far as eggs, it’s really difficult. “There aren’t too many gobblers in danger of predators other than through hunting so the best thing we can do is make sure there is adequate habitat across the landscape. The key thing we see affect turkeys more so than anything else is habitat.” But Backs is quick to point out that hunting also plays an important role in population control. Interestingly enough, according to Backs, more than 6,000 hunters harvested 1,359 birds during the 15-day spring hunting season in 1989. Since the early 2000s, annual spring harvests have exceeded 10,000 birds with more than 50,000 hunters participating. “We’ve had a spring hunting season since 1970 that is intended to


ENJOY ZERO DOWN, ZERO that,” INTEREST, he said. “Right now, that’s ENJOY ZERO DOWN, ZERO INTEREST, * ThoughPAYMENTS significantly less popuZERO TILL JANUARY ,2016 * really the only funding for our ZERO PAYMENTS TILL JANUARY 2016 YES! 0 INTEREST FOR UP TO 84 MONTHS agency and the work we do.” v lar with hunters, a fall season was

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Southside Outdoors

Fall/Winter 2015



Program helps Hoosiers discover the wonders of nature

By Jenn Willhite Outdoors correspondent


he American poet Gary Snyder once said, “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” And for more than a decade, the Indiana Master Naturalist program has helped many Hoosiers rediscover the wonders of nature and learn just how closely it is tied to their Indiana home. Established in 2002, the IMN program has grown tremendously over the years, said Ginger Murphy, deputy director for stewardship for Indiana state parks. “It started out with a person who worked for Purdue Extension who learned about it from another state and implemented it into his county,” she said. “In order to be consistent, the state parks were asked if they would be willing to spearhead it and work on it with other agencies.”

INDIANA MASTER NATURALIST PROGRAM What is it? The Indiana Master Naturalist program provides many hands-on opportunities to learn about Hoosier natural resources. It also provides a way for you to share that knowledge, along with your life experiences, through volunteer service. Who sponsors it? Resource Conservation & Development Councils, Indiana Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Mission To bring together natural resource specialists with adult learners to foster an understanding of Indiana’s plants, water, soils and wildlife, and promote volunteer service in local communities. State coordinator Ginger Murphy Division of State Parks and Reservoirs 402 W. Washington St., Room W298 Indianapolis, IN 46204 317-232-4143 Website

Conservation & Development councils and Indiana Soil and Water Conservation districts. The goal of the program is similar to the Master Gardener Program in that it offers a firm foundation on which to build knowledge and experience with volunteer opportunities

to take a course that gets you connected with others who are experts in the field. It also gives you a chance to learn and introduces you to others with similar interests.” Coursework Much of the coursework is as hands-on as possible. Although courses are offered yearround, to get the most benefit it is important to schedule your classes at the right time in the season. For example, if you are really interested in wildflowers it’s probably best to take the course in the spring or summer when wildflowers are blooming and at their peak, as opposed to in the fall when the chance of seeing them are slim to none. “There’s always going to be some classroom work with the courses,” Murphy said. “In most

“It helps to keep people aware of what’s going on right around them in their backyard when it comes to natural resources.” Jody Heaston, Indiana Master Naturalist state coordinator

And thus the IMN was born. Today, the program works in collaboration with several additional agencies, including the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Resource

and advanced coursework, Murphy said. “There are a lot of adult learners who want to learn about everything from wildflowers to zoology,” she said. “And this is an opportunity

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cases we encourage instructors to get people outside so they’re actually looking at things. But the level of outside time depends on when the course is happening during the year.” Indiana Master Naturalist certification requires a minimum of 24 hours class time divided among six courses, including botany, geology and soils, zoology, and people and natural resources. For each hour spent in class, students are expected to match that time volunteering in their communities in order to become certified, Murphy said. “We have people working and volunteering in places all over the state, especially where they live,” Murphy said. According to Jody Heaston, state parks volunteer coordinator and Indiana Master Naturalist state coordinator, interest in the IMN program over the years has exploded, she says. And it’s due, in part, to more people becoming aware of the program. “You have a lot more people retiring and they have time to take classes,” Heaston said.

Fall/Winter 2015


“Also the interest of going green and growing

are in college or just finished,” Heaston said.

native plants has become really popular.”

“It looks good on their résumé to have Master

Many of the participating students are of the boomer generation, but that doesn’t

Naturalist certification and shows they have dedication and are willing to learn more.”

hold true for the course’s overall demo-

So how does the coursework differ from the


Master Gardener program? The IMN program SEE NATURALIST, PAGE 8

“You see a lot of younger people, too, who




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Southside Outdoors

Fall/Winter 2015

On the Outdoors



Monroe Lake to host national archery event in 2016 Monroe Lake will host an estimated 1,200 bowhunters in a national archery competition next summer. The “second leg” of the International Bowhunting Organization’s (IBO) National Championship Triple Crown tournament will run from June 10-12 at Fairfax State Recreation Area. The Triple Crown of Bowhunting consists of three tournaments hosted in separate states. National championships are awarded for various age, sex and equipment classes. Initial planning and prep work for the tournament site at Monroe Lakes Fairfax State Recreation Area has already begun. New shooters are welcome. Those who aren’t IBO members are allowed to participate in one IBO tournament as a guest. There also will be a large vendor area open to tournament participants and the general public. DNR put-and-take pheasant hunt fee increasing The fee for put-and-take pheasant hunts at DNR Fish & Wildlife Areas will increase from $25 to $28 for the 2015-16 season. The fee increase is due to increasing costs in acquiring pheasants. Pheasants are released for put-and-take hunt-

ing on Atterbury, Glendale, J.E. Roush Lake, Pigeon River (west of S.R. 3), Tri-County, Willow Slough and Winamac FWAs. The bag limit is two birds of either sex, except at Pigeon River, Willow Slough and Winamac FWAs, where the limit is two roosters only. Hunters can reserve put-and-take pheasant hunts at until midnight on Nov. 29. Registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. No hunts can be reserved at the property. To view all DNR news releases, please see Indiana planning first new state park inn since 1939 The state is working on plans to design and build Indiana’s first new inn at a state park in more than seven decades after failing to receive any proposals from private developers, an Indiana Department of Natural Resources spokesman said. The DNR is reviewing the last drawings for building an inn at Potato Creek State Park, which are from about 15 years ago, dating back to an effort that failed to gain state funding, spokesman Phil Bloom told the South Bend Tribune . Lawmakers in April approved using $24 million to build an inn at the state

park about 10 miles south of South Bend. Bloom said the DNR hopes construction would begin next year after an architect is hired and the State Budget Committee approves a request to release the funding. Brookville, Summit lakes rank high in nationwide list Brookville Lake/Whitewater Memorial State Park Complex and Summit Lake State Park have been named in a list of “America’s Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots” for 2015. The list was compiled by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. The entire list is available at The top 25 was published in USA Today on June 9. Brookville/Whitewater ranked 20th and Summit Lake ranked 22nd. Both destinations are either owned or managed by the DNR Division of State Parks. Also on the list from Indiana were Eagle Creek Park and Riverside Park. Both are part of the Indianapolis city parks system. The list was part of RBFF’s “Take Me Fishing” campaign, which aims to introduce families and newcomers to boating and fishing. Increased participation in boating and fishing is good for the


which have yet to sign on. Most Johnson County residents interested in the program attend classes in Marion County, she said. Heaston recommends that residents in Johnson County who would like to see the IMN program offered there contact the Purdue Extension office. Residents may also contact the IMN program directly, local state parks departments or nature societies, she said. Once you become certified that’s it. There is no need for annual renewal, unless you decide to pursue more advanced courses, Heaston said. “I probably certify at least 100 to 300 people a year and it is growing greatly,” she said. “Since 2002, we have certified more than 1,100 people.” Murphy and Heaston agree the IMN program is a valuable asset to the community in

many ways. Not only does it give participants the opportunity to learn and meet others of like mind, but it also offers unique opportunities to give back to the community. In 2009, the IMN program launched its junior program for children ages 9 to 12. Soon after, a teen program was introduced and geared toward ages 13 to 17. Both programs offer an age-appropriate version of the adult program as a summer camp. They require six and 12 hours of volunteer service respectively. “It helps to keep people aware of what’s going on right around them in their backyard when it comes to natural resources,” Heaston said. “It gives them a great sense of knowledge so they can pass it on to the youth so we can keep the youth aware of natural resources, like keeping the ecosystems healthy.” v

FROM PAGE 7 isn’t strictly designed around horticultural subjects. The IMN program is all about Indiana’s natural resources, trees, birds, geology and hydrology, Heaston said. When Heaston began her work with IMN in 2010, the program averaged about nine classes each year. Today, there are at least 25 classes offered every year. There are several Indiana counties that have regularly hosted classes. “We have some counties that have been hosting it for years,” she said. “Each year we get at least four new counties or agencies who are hosting classes.” But there are also counties, such as Johnson,


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DNR Property Profile Address: 14220 T.C. Steele Road, Nashville, IN 47448 Phone: 812-988-2785 Fax: 812-988-8457 Email: Website: Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday,1-5 p.m. Closed Mondays and most holidays. Open Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day. What: T.C. Steele State Historic Site combines art, history and nature on 211 acres of ridge tops and ravines in scenic southern Indiana. It is the former home to Theodore Clement Steele (1847-1926), noted Indiana artist and member of the Hoosier Group of American regional impressionist painters History: In 1907, Steele and his second wife, Selma Neubacher Steele, purchased property in Brown County and began construction of their home, which they named “The House of the Singing Winds.” They built the Large Studio in 1916 to accommodate Steele’s work. Selma created several acres of gardens around the home and landscaped the surrounding hillsides to enhance the beauty of their property. As Steele’s popularity grew, an increasing number of visitors came to Brown County to meet the artist and to see his work and estate. House of the Singing Winds: You’ll see

Fall/Winter 2015


T.C. Steele Historic Site

impressionistic landscapes, portraits, pottery and palettes, Arts & Crafts furniture, more than 1,000 books, Selma Steele’s stencils, a Victrola, a player piano, sculptures, still lifes and paisley shawls. The gardens: You’ll see an Allée of flowering trees, shrubs and perennials; a Wisteriadraped Pergola; Heirloom Hydrangeas; borders of Peonies; Iris-covered hillsides; drifts of Daffodils; rambling rock gardens; limestone paths through the historic formal garden; a sundial and gazing globe; old fashioned roses. The grounds: Learn about Brown County settlers in the century-old Dewar Log Cabin; bring binoculars to identify birds, meditate in a shady cemetery, discover aquatic life in the lily ponds, find artistic inspiration at Steele’s remote painting studio, set up an easel and paint. Tours: Hourly guided tours of Steele’s Large

Studio and the House of the Singing Winds are available year-round. The first tour begins at 9:15 a.m. (1:15 p.m. on Sundays). The last tour begins at 4:15 p.m. Contact the site to schedule a special tour for your group. Admission: Adults $7, Seniors (60 and up) $5, Children (3-12) $2, Children under 3, free. Discounts: Group and family rates available. Special rates for organized school groups. Discounts apply for National Trust for Historic Preservation members. Facility use: The site’s flower-filled grounds offer several settings for special occasions. A 24-buy-24-foot building is available for private rental, too. Contact the historic site for information. Special events: The site hosts several special events during the year. Upcoming events include the member art show and sale on Nov. 1 and Steele’s Country Christmas on Dec 5. Other annual events are the Spring Wildflower Foray (since 1985), Festival of Flowers PaintOut (since 1999), Sunday at Home (since 1907) and The Great Outdoor Art Contest (since 1989). Workshops: The site offers a range of art-related workshops each year. Seasonal artists-in-residence share their expertise with both workshop participants and visitors to the site. Local and regional artists offer instruction at all skill levels throughout the year. v

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Marvelous Carvers Franklin club members are wizards with wood


Story By Amy May / Photos by Mark Freeland

oodcarving is the art or technique of carving objects by hand from wood or of carving decorations into wood. “Woodcarving is a very old form of art,” said Edwin McClure, director of the Franklin Chipmates woodcarving group at Franklin Parks & Recreation. “Things found in the pyramids in ancient Egypt were made of wood with very detailed decorations. “Ever since people began making something to live in besides caves, they took wood to make roofs and doors and eventually started decorating those things. It started thousands of years ago.” Carvers use tools called gouges, which resemble chisels, although many have

curved cutting edges enabling the carver to hollow out places in the wood’s surface. A full set of gouges features tools of various sizes, as well as blades to straight cut away large pieces of wood and hand

entiate woodcarving from whittling. “Whittling is generally done with a knife. It’s done to while away time,” he said. Using a knife, a whittler can cut away

“Ever since people began making something to live in besides caves, they took wood to make roofs and doors and eventually started decorating those things.” Edwin McClure

tools to drill holes and smooth surfaces. Woodcarvers may also use power tools to help finish a product. McClure uses a Dremel rotary tool, for example, for its ability to sand in tight spaces. It’s the tools, McClure said, that differ-

pieces of wood to create a design, but the surface is often rough and not as finely shaped or textured as wood carved with gouges. “You can invest quite bit in good tools. I’ve accumulated mine since the 1970s,” he said.

Members of the Franklin Chipmates wear protective gloves to guard against cuts and puncture wounds.


Southside Outdoors

Fall/Winter 2015

Left: David Hogue takes a look at his carving, which will be a chain connected to a box with balls inside. Right: Eldon Rebhorn uses a file to smooth out a part of a snail.

At a recent meeting at the Franklin Cultural Arts Building, Franklin Chipmates members were crafting a variety of items, including a wooden chain with unbroken links, a tiny snail that will be comprised of several types of wood, and a rococo cresting that will grace the top of a doorway. For the men in the Chipmates, the group is a pleasant way to express their creativity and make friends. Sometimes the men joke and tease

each other as they chip away. Other times they discuss the business at hand, talking about their projects or plans for their upcoming show. And sometimes, they sit side-by-side and work quietly. When they are done, they have a piece of art, a sculpture made of wood, that they can keep, give away or sell. “When I am finished with a piece, I can look at it and feel like time has been well-used,” McClure said.

If You Go

What: Eighth Annual Woodcarving Show and Sale When: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 7 Where: Franklin Parks & Recreation Cultural Arts Center Cost: Free Highlights: At 1 p.m., Dick Middleton will give a one-hour demonstration on painting wood carvings. Member Lloyd Brewer’s harmonograph will be on display all day. Dan Bailey, the show committee’s chairperson, will display his woodburning techniques throughout the day. Info/to enter show: Sharon Hood, 317-346-1192

Members of the Franklin Chipmates are, from left, front row: Eldon Rebhorn, Lloyd Brewer, Norman Fahl; back row: Edwin McClure, Steve McClain, David Hogue.



Southside Outdoors

Fall/Winter 2015

The carver’s imagination Woodcarvers make everything from little caricature statues of people or animals to Lloyd Brewer’s three-pendulum rotary harmonograph, a wooden tripod that swings a pen over a piece of paper, creating a design called a Lissajous curve. McClure enjoys carving head and shoulders busts of people, as well as projects he finds in woodcarving magazines. Some carvers leave their project natural, with just a clear glaze, to showcase the wood’s color and grain, while others may sand and paint it, making the piece look like it’s made of glass or stone instead of wood. “The variety is only limited by the imagination of the carver,” McClure said. Eldon Rebhorn, who has been carving since he made his first wood chain at age 7, prefers designs he comes up with on his own. “I like creating and designing things. I don’t copy someone else’s work,” he said. Wood artistry also includes woodturning, which is using a lathe to carve wood; marquetry, which is using colorful pieces of laminate to create a picture or design; and pyrographics, which is burning designs into wood. “But our major focus (in the Chipmates) is on woodcarving,” Rebhorn said. Rebhorn wrote a book on woodturning in the 1970s and is considered a leader in the art. He said he has a new book due out this year. Learning to carve McClure has been a woodcarver since he was a child, growing up in northern Indiana and making simple designs in balsa wood. He moved to Tennessee after retirement and joined a large woodcarving club. When he returned to Indiana, he moved to Franklin. “I wanted to have the company of other carvers, so I inquired around as to whether there was a club,” he said. He found one in Columbus, the Hoosier Carvers, which is one of the oldest clubs in the state, and the Circle City Carvers in SEE CARVERS, PAGE 18


Above: Eldon Rebhorn shows off the snail he’s carving. At left: Norman Fahl works on a piece during a recent meeting of the Franklin Chipmates at Franklin Parks & Recreation.




“Your Central Indiana Hunting and Fishing Headquarters”



We will be hosting another safety course Saturday, October 10th 2015. If you have a child looking to start hunting, or maybe you are looking at participating in a special hunt, this is the class for you. • WHERE: The Outdoorsman Sport Shop archery range • WHEN: Saturday, October 10th 2015 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. though extra time will be allotted for varying test times • COST: The course is free but if you would like to have lunch the cost is $6 and will be collected on the day of the course • If you would like to sign up for the course please visit our website under “events” tab. Offer expires 12-31-14.



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Fall/Winter 2015


When spotting a deer was a moment-in-time event By Michael Pearce The Wichita Eagle


don’t remember a thing about my first dance or my first hit in a ballgame. But I recall the two whitetail bucks, the first deer I’d seen, as vividly as if I’m staring at them in a photo. From the white rings on their noses all the way to their white tails as they waved good-bye, it’s all still there 50 years later. Back in 1965, we still had people who believed in Bigfoot and black panthers, yet they swore we had no deer in Kansas. Even though it was the year of Kansas’ first deer season, the creatures were rare enough in many areas that people made plaster casts of their tracks. Some sightings made the weekly newspaper. Having enough deer for that first season was a hot topic down at Thompson’s Barber Shop, Tonganoxie’s supreme court of debating the day’s topics. And if anybody actually saw a deer, that’s where it usually was announced to the world. I listened to the assorted tales for hours. Eventually I became obsessed with all things deer. The few locals who had hunted deer in Colorado or Missouri rated higher in my admiration than Mantle or Maris. For miles, I stared out the side window of dad’s ’53 Ford pickup. So many times he’d turn around at my request, and we’d find what I was sure had been a deer to be a distant brown Jersey cow or similar colored dog. I was obsessed. Twice, dad showed me tracks in the soft mud near ponds where we fished. I ran my fingers over those tracks until they were the size of an elk’s. But time dragged so slowly as I awaited my first sighting. Back then, all things deer-related were special to most Kansans. Families took evening drives out around Leavenworth County Lake, looking for where others had seen deer in nearby fields. About half of the farmers would let someone with a tag hunt “their deer” — they were so happy to have them around.

In the mid-1960s, the concept of deer someday being considered vermin, as they are now by many, would have seemed as uncommon as someone cursing a gorgeous sunset or being disgusted at the brilliant foliage of the fall. Talking about a time when Kansas hunters could shoot five or six deer per season, as we can now, would have seemed a foreign language. But my only concern was to see even one deer. Buck, doe, spotted fawn, it made no difference. That I’d see a pair of bucks together, less than 30 yards away, was far past my 7-yearold imagination. It was probably about this time of the year, in 1965. Dad and I headed west of town one Friday evening, to check the pets and place for a friend. As soon as we pulled off the road, I saw a buck. It seemed surreal, like a scene from a movie or the cover of Outdoor Life. I was so mesmerized by the first buck I didn’t see the other buck standing 10 yards away until dad brought it to my attention. The scene couldn’t have been better — the deer standing on mowed grass, dark green forest behind them. They seemed to glow in that special last hour of daylight. The next day, while standing center-stage at Thompson’s, I spread my arms above my head when asked to

show the size of the antlers. Looking back, they were probably a pair of bookend yearling 8-pointers. After a few beloved seconds, the bucks trotted towards the far end of the lawn. “Watch, watch, watch,” Dad hissed as the bucks neared the five-strand fence. I will never forget how effortlessly, and by how far, they cleared the fence that was then well above my head. As they crossed the neighboring pasture their long whitetails slowly waved good-bye. The place where I saw those bucks is between our family farm and town. A paved county road, which seemed as foreign as high deer limits in ’65, passes within 100 yards of where we saw those deer. Several times I’ve actually slowed as I passed Sam’s place over these past 50 years, and have turned down that gravel road a few times to look at the lawn. Within a post or two, I can remember exactly where those deer jumped that fence. I can never help but smile and remember those two young bucks nearly every time I pass. They weren’t Bigfoot, and they weren’t black panthers. They were honest-to-gosh deer in Kansas. That made them far more special then, and now. v

Southside Outdoors


Fall/Winter 2015


Latest species to be tracked in national parks: people By Mead Gruver The Associated Press


cientists are putting tracking devices on a new species — people — as they try to learn more about how their movements affect ecosystems in national parks. Park visitors carrying global positioning devices have provided Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado data to improve shuttle service to a popular, and often congested, lake. Another recent study at Yosemite National Park in California tracked where people stroll through two popular meadows and pause now and then to admire the view. Now, people-tracking by researchers with Penn State and Utah State is helping Grand Teton National Park make decisions about a popular southern approach to the park, including whether they should add parking areas, restrooms and a multipurpose trail along the way. “It’s going to help us better understand the

expectations, the motivations and then the ultimate experiences that people have,” park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said. Two years of research showed that between onethird and half of the visitors using an eight-mile section of Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton never left their cars or road bikes but were just passing through. The rest stopped to ride bikes, hike trails or visit an interpretive center along the route, a mile and a half of which is unpaved but could be someday. Traffic along the road has increased 25 percent in just the past eight years or so. Participation in the tracking studies is voluntary, the researchers say, and most folks are glad to help. Between 80 and 90 percent of those asked to carry a GPS receiver in Grand Teton in 2013 and 2014 agreed to participate. Hardly anybody failed to return the devices upon leaving the study area. “People love their parks. They love to answer questions and know that their voice is being heard in some way,” said Peter Newman, a professor in


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Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development who specializes in recreation, park and tourism management. As for still being able to find solitude in a national park, that’s sort of the point. The same tracking technology that informs bus schedules in megacities can help prevent big concentrations of people in national parks, said Kevin Heaslip, a former Utah State associate professor who recently joined Virginia Tech as an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. “It’s getting people to the right place at the right time, so they have a better experience while they’re at the park,” he said. Questionnaires handed out along with the barebones GPS units asked what people wanted from their visit to Grand Teton. Opportunities for solitude? Time with family? Exercise? The researchers compared the survey responses to where people went, which they could plot in the backcountry to within 10 feet or less. v


Southside Outdoors

Fall/Winter 2015


Women’s participation in hunting is increasing INDIANA DNR


hat do Eva Shockey, Melissa Bachman, Katniss Everdeen, and 1.5 million women in the United States have in common? They’re hunters. Shockey and Bachman are hosts of TV hunting shows, and Everdeen is the main character in the “Hunger Games” book and movie franchises. They represent a wave of female hunters, whose numbers increased by 85 percent from 2001 to 2013, according to the National Sporting Goods Association’s annual participation survey. In Indiana, the number of hunting licenses sold to women increased by 93 percent from 2006 to 2014, and female youth hunters – those under age 18 – skyrocketed 114 percent from 2006 to 2014. “Two major reasons come to mind,” said Mary Zeiss Stange, author of “Woman the Hunter,” a study of women’s cultural and historical relationship to hunting. “One is that women have gained sufficient ground socially and economically and have disposable income

comparable to men’s. “And very importantly, among younger women ­– the ‘millennials’ and whatever this next upcoming generation will be called – there is very little patience with the idea that an activity like hunting is ‘unfeminine.’ Indeed, they thrive on the idea of adventure.” Stange, a professor and director of religious studies at Skidmore College in Pennsylvania,

annual weekend workshop near Lafayette that offers training in a variety of outdoor activities, including game cleaning, bowhunting, and introduction to deer, turkey and small game hunting l Women’s days at DNR-managed shooting ranges l Women’s special hunts at DNR-managed fish and wildlife areas

“It’s reasonable to assume that women’s growing participation in hunting mirrors our increased participation in the entire array of social and cultural activities that were formerly masculine territory.” Mary Zeiss Stange, Author of “Woman the Hunter”

also said: “It’s reasonable to assume that women’s growing participation in hunting mirrors our increased participation in the entire array of social and cultural activities that were formerly masculine territory. That’s the ‘scholarly’ answer. The practical reason, of course, is that hunting is fun and deeply rewarding.” The Department of Natural Resources has played an active role in opening the door with events specifically geared to women: l Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, an

l The DNR’s online video series “CookIN Gone Wild: Field to Table” has a female host, which is by design. DNR Hunt, Fish, Eat workshops and National Wild Turkey Federation’s Women In The Outdoors programs are additional examples of low-pressure events that help get women into the field. Outdoor events for women appear to gain in popularity when the instructors are women, according to Responsive Management, a SEE WOMAN, PAGE 17

Southside Outdoors


Woman FROM PAGE 16 Virginia-based research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues. Responsive Management also seems to have discovered a difference between male and female hunters. In a nationwide survey, researchers asked hunters if their primary reason for hunting was for the meat, to be with friends and family, for the sport or recreation, or to be close to nature. The researchers found significant differences between men and women in every category: l Hunt for meat – females 47 percent, males 22 percent l To be with friends and family – females 27 percent, males 11 percent l For sport or recreation – females 20 percent, males 45 percent l To be close to nature – females 7 percent, males 22 percent. Female firearms ownership also is rising. From 2012 to 2014, gun permits issued to women in

Indiana increased by 42 percent. A National Shooting Sports Foundation study released earlier this year reported that more than one-third of the women participating in an NSSF-commissioned study said they purchased their first firearm within the last three years. Nearly all of them (95 percent) have tried target shooting, more than half (58 percent) have hunted and 73 percent said they have taken at least one training class. The DNR is reaching out to those wanting to learn firearms safety and shooting techniques. The shooting ranges at Atterbury, J. E. Roush, and Kingsbury fish and wildlife areas offer onsite instruction at events through the spring and summer that accommodate women and families in a safe, friendly environment. “Our motto is that if you want to hunt, we want to help,” said Amanda Wuestefeld, assistant director of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “As Hoosier hunters, if we are going to keep the tradition of hunting strong in Indiana, it looks like female hunters may very well play a key role in our success.” v

Rural Living & Local Food

Fall/Winter 2015


DNR FROM PAGE 8 economy and generates funding for conservation projects. RBFF pre-selected 276 familyfriendly fishing and boating spots, and anglers and boaters cast votes online to narrow it down to a top 100. To be designated as family-friendly, the destinations had to meet some or all of the following criteria: l Be within an hour drive of a major city or town. l Have plenty of common fish species, such as bass, crappie, bluegill and trout. l Have amenities such as playgrounds and campgrounds, picnic areas, restrooms and parking spaces. l Have plenty places to cast a line, like a fishing pier and a boat ramp. v


Southside Outdoors

Fall/Winter 2015


Carvers FROM PAGE 12 Indianapolis, but nothing local. He called Sharon Hood, the activities director at Franklin Parks & Rec, about the possibility of starting a local group about nine years ago. “She set me up at a table in the lobby with a couple of my carvings. It got a lot of attention,” McClure said. “That was the initiation of the group.” When the Chipmates was started, McClure ran it like a class. Now, he lets the long-time members work on their own projects at their own pace, but takes newcomers and inexperienced carvers under his wing. He gives them introductory carving lessons and shows them how to use the basic tool set and cuts rough shapes of a bird and a dog for them to finish. “I assign projects to get the basics, then they select their own projects and I coach as needed,” McClure said. David Hogue joined the group in March. “Basically, I was just curious,” he said. “I saw Jim Nabors make a wood chain in a movie. I tried to make one with a box knife.” That project didn’t work out very well, but the interest was still there. Hogue knew about the Chipmates from fellow member Steve McClain, so he joined. “I started working on the chain from models. He (McClure) gave me good pointers,” Hogue said. His wooden chain now has about seven links. He has also carved a deer from one of McClure’s rough patterns and is working on a second deer. To join the group, sign up through the Franklin Parks & Rec. The cost is the quarterly activity fee of $8 for residents/$9 for nonresidents. The beginner’s fee is $40/$45, which includes a basic tool set, gloves and the first two projects. After learning, members can choose their own projects from a variety of sources,

Lloyd Brewer makes the finishing cuts on a chained box with balls inside at a Franklin Chipmates meeting. This is one of the projects all members learn.

including stacks of magazines McClure has. He buys wood and will pass it on to the members at cost, but they may buy their own wood, too. Annual show After starting the Chipmates, McClure looked into finding a way for woodcarvers to show the community what they do. He contacted the clubs in Indianapolis and Columbus about doing a joint show. “Our group was not large enough to do a show on our own,” he said. The show, which now includes carvers from all over the state, has more than 40 exhibitors displaying work in more than 20 categories, such as caricature, miniatures, landscapes, people and even a category solely for wooden canes. Judges choose first, second and third place in the categories, a best of show, and visitors can vote for their favorite, too. The winners get cash prizes.

Last year’s show, which was judged by Mark Adams, owner of Mark Adams School of Woodworking in Whiteland, was featured in ChipChats magazine, a national woodcarving publication. Rebhorn took the photos and McClure wrote the article. “Our carvers came from several states,” Rebhorn said. Rebhorn enjoys entering the miniatures category. The work must fit in a 2-by-2-by-2-inch box to qualify. Last year, he entered a turtle with a butterfly perched in its shell. The piece used seven different kinds of wood to create the pattern of the turtle’s shell and the butterfly wings. He even used a very dark wood chip to create the black parts of their eyes. “Most people do caricature; I do stylistic/ abstract,” he said. v

“Basically, I was just curious (about the Chipmates). I saw Jim Nabors make a wood chain in a movie. I tried to make one with a box knife.” David Hogue




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