By Jack Spaulding
Registrations for Put and Take pheasant hunts have opened and will continue to the end of the hunt period or until hunts are sold out. The hunts will take place November 18-26. Hunters can register for the hunts at on.IN.gov/reservedhunt.
Participating Fish & Wildlife areas include Atterbury, Glendale, J.E. Roush Lake, Pigeon River, Tri-County, Willow Slough and Winamac. Hunters seeking information on the property on which they are interested in hunting should contact the respective property to learn more about the specific hunts. Contact information is at the website on.IN.gov/reservedhunt.
Registration is first-come, first-served and costs $30 per registered hunter. Once the daily hunter quota is reached for each site, the location will be listed as unavailable. Hunters must possess valid hunting licenses and game bird habitat stamps to hunt pheasant. The bag limit is two pheasants per person, per day. Hunters should print their registration confirmation sheet and bring it with them on the day of their hunts.
More information about Put and Take pheasant hunts and other reserved hunts is on the website on.IN.gov/reservedhunt.
Have you seen a big tree?
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) needs the public’s help to update The Big Tree Registry, a list of the largest known specimen of each native tree species in Indiana.
“Indiana’s currently tallest recorded tree is a 152-foot-tall bitternut hickory, and our widest tree circumference is a silver maple at more than 361 inches,” said Jacob Roos, DNR urban forestry director. “We need help getting out across the state to find our new record-setting trees.”
It means it’s time to review the recently updated champions list and start looking for new candidates to nominate for the list, which is maintained by DNR’s Division of Forestry.
Three measurements are required:
• trunk circumference, in inches, at 4 1/2 feet above the ground;
• total height, in feet;
• and average crown spread, in feet.
The total size of each tree nominated is calculated by adding the circumference and height to a quarter of the average crown spread.
The individual tree of each Indiana native tree species with the highest total points will be the species’ Big Tree champion. All nominations are reviewed, but only the ones with the highest scores will be verified.
To review the updated Big Tree Registry, view detailed measurement instructions and nominate, see on.IN.gov/big-tree.
Celebrate National Public Lands Days
The Indiana DNR invites you to celebrate Indiana’s public lands the weekend of September 23-24. The celebration coincides with National Public Lands Day on September 23, the nation’s largest single day of volunteering on public lands. To help commemorate it, all DNR properties will offer free admission the day after on September 24. It’s a chance to explore a property you haven’t visited before. Ideas for places for boating, hiking, biking, viewing wildlife and more are at on.IN.gov/recfinder.
You can help DNR properties on this weekend – or anytime – at volunteer events or by visiting and collecting trash. Go to on.IN.gov/dnrvolunteer to find opportunities and sign up to volunteer with the DNR.
September 23 is also National Hunting and Fishing Day and the last Free Fishing Day of the year. Free Fishing Day means Indiana residents may fish the state’s waters without a fishing license that day. Check the resources in the Fishing Guide at on.IN.gov/fishingguide and the interactive map at on.IN.gov/where2fish to locate fishing sites.
For the hunting aspect of the special day, note squirrel, dove, and youth deer hunting seasons are also open. For more information, visit on.IN.gov/huntingguide.
The entire weekend serves as a reminder our public lands are places for outdoor recreation, conservation, and making memories with families and friends.
Volunteer to prep waterfowl blinds
Volunteers are needed to help clean, repair and cut brush to camouflage hunting blinds in Monroe Lake’s Stillwater-Northfork Wildlife Area in preparation for the upcoming waterfowl hunting season during a workday on October 7 at 9:00 a.m.
Advance registration is greatly appreciated at bit.ly/camouduckblinds-2023 by noon October 6, but last-minute volunteers are also welcome to come without registering.
Volunteers will meet at the Northfork check station, which is east of Bloomington off State Road 46, 1/3 mile south of the intersection of Kent and McGowan roads. For directions, call 812-837-9546.
Lunch will be provided for participants. Volunteers should dress for the weather and bring work gloves, hand tools useful for cutting brush, and a water bottle. Volunteer youth workers younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers may leave anytime.
If you have questions, contact Emmett Holsapple, Monroe Lake wildlife biologist, at 812-837-9546.
Readers can contact the author by writing to this publication, or e-mail to email@example.com.
Spaulding’s books, “The Best of Spaulding Outdoors,” and his latest, “The Coon Hunter And The Kid,” are available from Amazon.com