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Another buzzard aficionado

By Jack Spaulding

I got a tip the other day that a friend of mine had a buzzard encounter of “The Third Kind.”

A few years back, Kay Hineman was raising cattle and in the early months of the year, noticed a buzzard walking around the property. She was curious as to why a buzzard would still be around during the winter months. January and February were definitely not typical weather conditions for a buzzard.

When Kay approached the bird, it simply walked away and make no attempt at flying. Upon closer examination, Kay could see the buzzard had baler twine wrapped around its feet, apparently compromising the bird’s ability to take flight.

One day she was able to sneak up on the bird and grab it. Bear in mind, Kay was wearing a heavy coat and heavy gloves. The bird made no resistance and held still while Kay went about trying to get the baler twine off of the bird’s feet.

“I was able to finally get one foot free, but the heavy gloves made it difficult to loosen the twine,” Hineman said. “I tried and tried again, but was making no headway whatsoever freeing the second foot.

“I couldn’t believe how lightweight the bird was. It was docile and made no attempt to wrestle itself free from me, and it patiently held still while I fumbled at the twine on its feet.”

A believer, Kay summoned the Almighty for some assistance, and apparently, the Good Lord came through.

“After saying a short prayer over the buzzard, I was amazed as the hopelessly tangled twine came free of the bird’s other leg,” she said. “I guess God knew I needed help freeing one of His creatures!”

The story has a happy ending for the buzzard as it was able to regain its ability to fly. No doubt it chartered a flight plan due South for warmer weather. Hinckley, Ohio, brags a lot about their buzzards, but I doubt if they have the dedicated “buzzard keepers” we have here in Rush County.


Brown trout stocked

In late May, biologists with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife stocked two bodies of water in northeast Indiana with roughly 3,000 brown trout averaging 8 inches in length.

The trout, obtained from Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery in Kentucky, were stocked into the Oliver Lake chain in LaGrange County (Oliver, Olin and Martin lakes) and the Pigeon River at County Roads 327 and 175 in Steuben County.

The bag limit for trout in inland waters, not including Lake Michigan or its tributaries, is five trout per day with a minimum size of 7 inches. No more than one may be a brown trout. If taken from the Oliver Lake chain, brown trout must be at least 18 inches long.

Anglers 18 years and older need an Indiana fishing license and a trout/salmon stamp to fish for trout. Both the license and stamp can be bought at online at:  


Two boaters rescued from Shock Lake

Conservation Officers are investigating an incident where two boats operators had to be rescued from Shock Lake. Around 2:10 p.m. June 7, Kosciusko County Dispatch received a call reporting two sinking boats on Shock Lake.

Dalton Stiver, 25, of Cromwell, and Charles Stiver, 47, of Syracuse, were water testing a boat when it began taking on water. While attempting to keep the vessel afloat, their second boat also began taking on water.

Both boats quickly sank leaving both operators in the water without personal flotation devices. They were able to hold on to the submerged vessels until rescue personnel arrived.

Turkey Creek Fire rescue personnel were able to launch an air boat and safely retrieve both men from the water. Both operators were cited for not having wearable PFDs on the watercraft as required by law.

Conservation Officers remind all boaters wearable personnel floatation devices are required for every person on a boat.

Conservation Officers were assisted by Turkey Creek Fire, Turkey Creek EMS, North Webster Police, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police and DNR Public Access North.


Shoals man dies in ORV accident

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a fatal off-road vehicle (ORV) accident occurring the afternoon of June 7 in southeastern Martin County near Powell Valley Road. Martin County dispatch notified DNR.

Upon arrival, 40-year-old Billy Joe Craft, of Shoals, Ind., was found unresponsive at the scene. The initial investigation revealed for unknown reasons, Craft’s ORV left the roadway and struck a utility pole before coming to rest upside down. The investigation into the accident was ongoing.

Responding agencies included Indiana State Police, Martin County Sheriff’s Department, Martin County EMS, Orange County EMS, Lost River Fire Department, Martin County Coroner’s Office, and Indiana Conservation Officers.

Readers can contact the author by writing to this publication, or e-mail at Spaulding’s books, “The Best Of Spaulding Outdoors” and “The Coon Hunter And The Kid,” are available from as a paperback or Kindle download.