More than a quarter of a million dollars in new grants have been awarded through the Lake and River Enhancement program as part of the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife. The LARE program looks to fund biological, engineering, construction and watershed land treatment projects throughout the state, and to that end, they have awarded $768,500 in grants for the care of Indiana’s water bodies.
Neither drugs nor alcohol were factors in the July 14 drowning death of a 22-year-old Plymouth man, according to toxicology results released by the Marshall County Coroner’s office. Valentin Sirghi, 22, was swimming with a friend near the public beach at Lake Maxinkuckee when he went under water. Rescue teams searched the area for about an hour before they found his body. Sirghi was pronounced dead at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Plymouth. Final autopsy results are pending, but preliminary indications are that Sirghi died as a result of asphyxiation due to drowning.
A boater education course will soon be held at the Koontz Lake Homeowners Association clubhouse, offered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and sponsored by the Koontz Lake Homeowners Association. The course is free of charge and lunch is provided as attendees will learn general information concerning boats and maintenance, information on making boating experiences safe and more comfortable, tips on how to be a more courteous vessel operator, and laws and regulations you must follow.
Hoosiers are invited to participate in National Volunteer Week by helping Indiana’s State Parks & Reservoirs. Jody Heaston, volunteer coordinator for the DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs, says there are many opportunities from maintaining trails to entering computer data. Heaston hopes many volunteers from National Volunteer Week will “catch the giving-back spirit” and continue to volunteer throughout the year. The Tippecanoe River State Park north of Winamac is always in need of volunteers. Park management and the nonprofit Friends of Tippecanoe River State Park are teaming up on Saturday, May 4 to host a volunteer day and spring clean the nature center, work on the new scenic overlooks and get the horse campground ready for the park’s busy season. Give the park office a call at 574-946-3213 if you would like to help out or like the Friends of Tippecanoe River State Park page on Facebook for more information
Applications are being accepted now for the Indiana Conservation Officers Organization’s Karl E. Kelley Memorial Youth Camp.
Conservation Officer Keith Wildeman explained that this camp is held once a year in West Lafayette at Ross Camp.
“Camp is open to boys and girls both who have completed the fifth and sixth grades,” said Wildeman. “This camp is going to be held from June 16 to June 22.”
The Turkey Tracks event begins next week, which Indiana Conservation Officer Keith Wildeman says is two days after the start of the spring turkey hunting season.
“The regular season will start Wednesday, April 24 and run two-and-a-half weeks to May 12,” said Wildeman. “The bag limit for the spring season is one bearded or male turkey. Hens can sometimes have beards too which makes them legal.”
The DNR has awarded a total of $156,620 in grants to address invasive aquatic vegetation. In Starke County, Bass Lake got $5,000 for aquatic vegetation treatment, and Koontz Lake got $13,000 to conduct an aquatic vegetation management survey, plan and treatment. Lake Bruce, which straddles the Pulaski–Fulton county line also got $5,000 for aquatic vegetation management.
Hoosier women ranging in age from 18 to 80 are invited to take a walk on the wild side the first weekend in May. Registration is now open for the annual Indiana’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop. It gives women a chance to learn outdoor skills in a relaxed, low-pressure environment. Participants can design their own weekend experience based on their interests. Activities include learning to shoot clay targets, canoeing, fishing for trophy bass, campfire gourmet cooking, turkey calling and more. This year’s workshop takes place May 3-5 at Ross Camp in West Lafayette. Find more information and an online registration form at http://www.indianabow.com/.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is hosting a seminar and workshop on turkey hunting tips for Hoosier youths. The event, which will take place at the Kingsbury Fish and Wildlife Area, will focus on biology, calling, and hunting, with a field demonstration of calling and decoy set up.
A Demotte man faces multiple drug charges after the property manager at the Winamac Fish and Wildlife Area reportedly spotted him tossing beer cans out of his vehicle Monday afternoon. Tom Despot notified conservation officer Jeff Richwine, who caught up with the suspect and initiated a traffic stop. That’s when he found out that Michael Baggerly, 37, was wanted in Jasper County. Richwine says Baggerly dropped methamphetamine in the seat of his vehicle after he was arrested. Additionally, Pulaski County Jail officers reportedly found a bag of marijuana in his pocket during the booking process. Baggerly faces charges of possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine and trafficking with an inmate.
We’ve received several reports of hunters being involved in tree stand injuries in the last couple of weeks, including a hunter in the Grovertown area. Conservation Officer Keith Wildeman reminds hunters to be safe while in a tree stand.
“Always wear a full-body safety harness or vest when climbing into the stand, while you’re in the stand and when you’re climbing down from your tree stand,” said Wildeman. “Always make sure, prior to hunting, you check your tree stands to make sure they’re secure. When you’re going into a tree stand, use a pull line. Pull up your unloaded firearm and any gear you may need with you so you can keep three points of contact.”
The Department of Natural Resources has changed some regulations in this year’s hunting season. Conservation Officer, Keith Wildeman, said this year will be the first year for a late firearms anterless deer season.
“There used to be a split between early archery and late archery,” said Wildeman. “Now, our archery season is continuous all the way through. It starts statewide Oct. 1 and runs to Jan. 6. There used to be a five-day split and now that’s continuous so archery hunters have that option.”
Several changes have been made in this year’s deer hunting season. Conservation Officer Keith Wildeman said one of the changes is a bundling licensing package to give hunters more options.
“This deer license bundle allows a hunter to take one antlered deer and two antlerless, or does, at a discounted price in this one license. This is available to residents for $65 and non-residents for $295,” explained Wildeman.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is offering a Hunter Education Class to assist participants in receiving their Indiana Hunter Education Certification.
Indiana Conservation Officers will be holding the class on Saturday, Sept. 22 and 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT at Kankakee FWA Headquarters, located at 4320 W. Toto Rd, North Judson. There is no fee for this course.
Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive their certification, which is required for any hunters born after Dec. 31, 1986.
Students are asked to preregister for the course by calling District 10 Law Enforcement Headquarters at (219) 879-5710. Attendance both days is mandatory for the certification, and children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch.
The Department of Natural Resources is offering a new deer license bundle so hunters can have the right license for the right deer season.
This bundling option includes one license that can be used in multiple seasons. It can be used in youth, archery, firearms, muzzle-loader, and special antlerless seasons and for the harvest of one antlered and two antlerless deer total.
With a statewide water shortage warning in place, the Bass Lake Conservancy District warns that if the shortage hits the emergency level, the pumps which pour millions of gallons of water into Bass Lake will be shut off.
The DNR notified the Bass Lake Conservancy District of this situation last week. If the pumps are shut off, all boats in the lake will need to be taken ashore as soon as the emergency is declared or the boat may not be able to be transported out of the lake. The lake levels will deplete quickly.
A drowning incident is being investigated by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.
Officers were called to 4242 W. 400 N. in Winamac about a possible drowning. Andrew Jackson informed officers that his mother, Cynthia Jackson, had gone swimming in a pond located on the property and had drowned. She reportedly had permission to be on the property.
A seven-year-old Plymouth boy was airlifted to South Bend Memorial Hospital after receiving injuries in an ATV accident on Saturday.
The preliminary investigation by the DNR indicates that the ATV was being operated by Brent Hoover near the intersection of 9th Road and Sycamore Road in Plymouth. His sons were passengers on the three seat side-by-side ATV. He drove over a drainage ditch and lost control of the ATV. It rolled end over end several times before coming to rest right side up. One of his sons, Brady Hoover, was taken to the Plymouth Hospital by ambulance and then airlifted to South Bend Memorial Hospital for observation. Brent Hoover and his other son, Bryce Hoover, were treated and released at the Plymouth Hospital.
The House Natural Resources Committee this week passed a bill 8-4 that would allow people to pay thousands of dollars to shoot deer behind high fences.
Many outdoor groups opposed the bill. Supporters included those who grow deer to sell to shooting preserves.
Indiana Conservation Officers have had their work cut out for them this year, with an increase of over 60% in hunting violations this year. To date, 489 separate hunting violations were reported within District One, which covers the seven north-central counties of St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall, Kosciusko, Fulton, Miami, and Wabash. Last year, only 304 violations were reported.