By Jack Spaulding
Are you ready for the first reserved hunt opportunity of the year? Hunters may apply for only one listed reserved-hunting opportunity for the spring turkey season until March 19. All applications must be filled out online, and no late entries will be accepted. If you are applying for a hunt, you must possess a hunting license valid for the specific hunt for which you are applying.
Interested in participating in the special reserved hunt draws on Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge and Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge? You can apply through Indiana’s reserved hunt system. Visit our website to find an informational packet for each specific hunt.
Managing Canada geese
Have you seen a Canada goose displaying aggressive behavior? Most Canada goose conflicts occur during the nesting season from March to June when they defend their nests. If you see a goose head pumping, hissing, honking, or flapping its wings, calmly leave the area while giving the bird and its nest space.
Managing Canada goose eggs and nests can limit the number of Canada geese produced after nesting. If a Canada goose nest does not have eggs or birds in it, it may be destroyed at any time without a federal permit. Keep in mind… once eggs have been laid, you must first register with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before taking action.
Remember, do not offer supplemental foods such as bread or birdseed to Canada geese. It’s best to use preventive techniques before a Canada goose problem starts in your area. See our website for common goose conflicts and permit information.
Barn owl nesting season
Despite the bitterly cold days at the end of the winter, barn owls are nesting. Barn owls are a state-endangered species in Indiana and need large grassland areas to thrive. Examples include large, open expanses with 100 acres or more of hay fields, fallow fields, prairies, marshes or rough pasture. Secure nest sites are important for barn owls to thrive, and the Division of Fish & Wildlife currently maintains more than 300 nest boxes throughout the state.
If you want to support the barn owl nest box program, donate to Indiana’s Nongame Wildlife Fund. Interested in building your own nest box? Download step-by-step instructions and learn more about the owls on our website at: https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wildlife/files/fw-barn_owl_nest_box_building_guide.pdf.
Bats emerging from hibernation
The Indiana bat, gray bat, Northern long-eared bat, big brown bat, little brown bat, tricolored bat, and Eastern small-footed bat are the usual cave hibernators in Indiana and will be emerging around the first week of April. As they come out, the bats will be hungry and looking for roosts to rebuild their strength before they move to their summer grounds.
Bats recovering from white-nose syndrome will be particularly sensitive after their emergence, as they must recover from hibernation and the disease. Luckily, a few weeks spent feeding near their cave will repair their skin damage and fatten them to their typical body weights.
Now is the time to check your home for bats. Look out for guano, or bat poop, with glittery insect exoskeletons throughout it. To prevent bats from getting into your home, repair gaps and cracks – especially areas damaged by squirrels, raccoons or the various bird species capable of creating such damage.
Forestry education available for teachers
Indiana educators are encouraged to apply for the 2023 Natural Resources Teacher Institute (NRTI), which will be held June 19-23 at the Forestry Training Center at Morgan-Monroe State Forest.
Hosted by the Indiana DNR Division of Forestry and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, the week-long immersive professional development program will provide educators with the knowledge, skills and tools to effectively teach their students about forest ecology, research and management in Indiana. There is no cost to participants, and meals and housing are also provided.
Daily activities include visiting public and private forest sites, touring forest industry facilities, and exploring forestry research through the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment.
Up to 18 educators will be accepted to participate. Participants must be available to attend all days of the program and fully participate in activities.
Participants will earn 30+ Professional Growth Points, as well as receive Project Learning Tree and Leopold Education Project curriculum materials, a forestry tool kit, Indiana-specific field guides, and a stipend for developing and implementing a lesson plan.
To apply or receive more information, contact Donna Rogler, NRTI coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-402-2624.
Body of Bryant man recovered from flood waters
The body of a Bryant man was recovered in flood waters late the morning of March 6 in rural Adams County. Approximately 5:44 a.m., responders were dispatched to the area of County Road 300 West just north of 850 South.
Upon arrival, responders located an unoccupied Chevy Express van in the flood water just north of the Wabash River. The van had driven around a swing gate with signs stating the road was closed due to high water.
At 11:05 a.m., the body of Anthony Gors, 55, of Bryant, was recovered from the water a short distance from the van. The incident was still under investigation.
In addition to DNR law enforcement, agencies assisting on scene were the Adams County Sheriff’s Department, Jay County Sheriff’s Department, Decatur Police Department, Geneva Fire Department, Berne Fire Department, Decatur Fire Department, Adams County Technical Rescue Team, Adams County EMS, Lutheran Air and the Adams County Coroner’s Office.
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Spaulding’s books, “The Best of Spaulding Outdoors,” and his latest, “The Coon Hunter And The Kid,” are available from Amazon.com in paperback or as a Kindle download.