By Jack Spaulding
Beginning July 1, hunters could apply for a variety of reserved hunts online by visiting on.IN.gov/reservedhunt.
Starting this year, instead of one application period for all draws, they are split into a few different date windows. The reason for the change is to help hunters more easily plan for their hunts and thereby increase the number of hunters able to participate.
The online method is the only way to apply for the hunts listed below. No late entries will be accepted. Applicants must possess a hunting license valid for the hunt for which they are applying.
Hunters will be selected through a random computerized drawing. Applicants will be able to view draw results online within two weeks after the application period has closed. An email will be sent to all applicants when draws have been completed.
Applications for the following hunting opportunities opened July 1. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on August 1:
• Dove Hunts: Applicants may select the desired date and property. Due to inclement spring weather, other crops may have been planted in place of or along with sunflowers. Participating properties include the following Fish & Wildlife areas (FWAs): Atterbury, Goose Pond, Jasper-Pulaski, Kankakee, Kingsbury, Pigeon River, Willow Slough and Winamac.
• Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge Youth Deer Hunt: Muscatatuck NWR will host one reserved firearm deer hunt for youth, Sept. 24-25.
• Indiana Private Lands Access (IPLA) Hunts: IPLA will offer reserved hunts for squirrel and youth deer on private lands. Hunt dates and locations can be seen when applying.
Applications for the following hunting opportunities open Aug. 22. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sept. 23:
• FWA Waterfowl Hunts: Participating FWAs include Goose Pond, Hovey Lake, Kingsbury, Kankakee and LaSalle. Province Pond Wetland Conservation Area, managed by J.E. Roush Lake FWA, will also participate.
• FWA Deer Hunts: Deer Creek and Fairbanks Landing will host firearm season hunts.
• State Park Deer Hunts: State parks participating include Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River and Whitewater Memorial. Trine State Recreation Area and Cave River Valley Natural Area will also participate.
• Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Deer Hunts: Properties participating include Big Oaks and Muscatatuck, each of which will draw archery, firearms and muzzleloader deer hunts.
• November Gamebird Area (GBA) Hunts: Reserved hunts will be held on Game Bird Areas in northern Indiana (Benton, Jasper, Newton, Warren and White counties). Hunters may choose from a variety of hunt dates. The hunts are not put/take pheasant hunts.
• Indiana Private Lands Access (IPLA) Hunts: IPLA will offer reserved hunts for game birds and deer on private lands.
Applications for the following hunting opportunities open Oct. 3. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct. 31.
• December Gamebird Area (GBA) Hunts: Reserved hunts will be held on Game Bird Areas in northern Indiana (Benton, Jasper, Newton, Warren and White counties). Hunters may choose from a variety of hunt dates. The hunts are not put/take pheasant hunts.
• Indiana Private Lands Access (IPLA) Hunts: IPLA will offer reserved hunts for rabbit on private lands.
Additional hunting opportunities:
• Camp Atterbury (National Guard property) has decided not to allocate deer hunting opportunities through the Indiana DNR reservation system. For details on how to apply for hunting opportunities at Camp Atterbury, see atterbury.isportsman.net. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 812-5261499, ext. 61375.
Please note for all opportunities listed, only one application per hunt is allowed. No changes may be made once an application is submitted.
The application process is now consolidated into the online services website along with licenses, CheckIN Game, and HIP registration. An online account is not required to apply, but you must have a Customer ID number.
Hunts without a registration fee will follow the same process as the ones with a fee. To register for hunts with no fee required, applicants will be asked to “Add to Cart,” “Proceed to Checkout,” and “Place Order.” If the transaction total is $0, the applicant will not be asked to enter credit card information. Applicants must place an order to submit their applications.
To view draw results, applicants can log into their online services account or click “View hunt draw results” at on.IN.gov/reservedhunt. From there, applicants should select “Click here” under Reserved Hunts to see the status of registered hunts. The link will only show upcoming hunts an individual has registered for. Logging into an account online is required to see the full history of past hunt registrations.
More information is available at on.IN.gov/reservedhunt.
Indiana stocks trout and salmon in Lake Michigan and tributaries
The Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife recently completed spring trout and salmon stockings in Lake Michigan and its tributaries.
Locations stocked include East Chicago Marina, East Branch Little Calumet River, Salt Creek, Trail Creek and the St. Joseph River. A total of 40,000 brown trout fingerlings, 77,765 Coho salmon yearlings, 194,836 Skamania steelhead yearlings, 40,943 winter run steelhead yearlings, and 224,753 Chinook salmon fingerlings were among the stocked fish.
Yearlings are older and larger fish compared to fingerlings which are smaller, younger fish.
Although spring stockings are complete, more stockings are planned for fall. Coho salmon fingerlings are scheduled to be stocked during October, and winter-run steelhead fingerlings will be stocked in December.
Hatchery production has returned to normal after disruptions due to the pandemic. Additionally, 2022 marks the third straight year of increased Chinook stocking, meeting the targets made before stocking cuts in 2017.
“We hope to see an increase in the fall Chinook salmon run starting this year as the larger number of them stocked in 2020 begin to return,” said Ben Dickinson, Lake Michigan fisheries biologist for Indiana DNR.
While all the fish except the brown trout are grown in hatcheries operated by Indiana DNR, acquiring eggs to meet production goals requires cooperation with other states’ DNR agencies. Of all the trout and salmon stocked into Indiana’s waters of Lake Michigan and its tributaries, only Skamania steelhead eggs are taken from fish returning to Indiana.
“We are grateful for all our Lake Michigan state agency partners for helping to ensure we can stock a variety of species to maintain our diverse fishery,” Dickinson said.
For more information about Lake Michigan fishing, visit wildlife.IN.gov/fishing/lake-michigan-fishing.
Readers can contact the author by writing to this publication, or e-mail at email@example.com. Spaulding’s books, “The Best Of Spaulding Outdoors” and “The Coon Hunter And The Kid,” are available from Amazon.com as a paperback or Kindle download.