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CheckIN game for deer and fall turkey seasons
Spaulding Outdoors
Deer and turkey hunters will have the option this fall to use the new online system, CheckIN Game, which was developed for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to help streamline the harvest reporting process.

Hunters may report their deer and turkey harvest using the convenience of a computer, smart phone or tablet with Internet access, without having to take the animal to a check station for physical inspection.

“The CheckIN Game system allows hunters to quickly report their game from the convenience of their home or directly in the field using their mobile device,” said Mark Reiter, DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife director. “This free online system is a big step forward in giving hunters more options to check in their game.”

More than 2,100 turkey hunters took advantage of CheckIN Game when it was launched during the spring turkey season. To access the CheckIN Game suite of services online, visit www.in.gov/dnr /fishwild/7365.htm

Hunters using CheckIN Game need to write the confirmation numbers they are provided on the temporary tags placed on harvested deer or turkey. An enhancement to the system has been created, allowing Indiana Conservation Officers to enter a confirmation number to check the validity of harvested game, and eliminates the need for hunters to have a printed receipt of confirmation.

CheckIN Game became available with the urban zone deer season opening Sept. 15 in designated areas of Indiana and for all other deer and turkey seasons. For a list of hunting season dates, see Page 16 of the DNR’s 2012 Indiana Hunting & Trapping Guide at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/ 2343.htm

CheckIN Game was developed for the DNR by IN.gov, the official website of the state of Indiana, and a service of the Indiana Office of Technology.

For hunters preferring the traditional check stations, more than 450 sites across the state will provide the service for reporting either deer or turkey. A complete county list of check stations can be found on pages 38-43 in the DNR’s 2012 Indiana Hunting & Trapping Guide at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/ 2343.htm

EHD kills deer in four Indiana counties

Amid widespread reports of dead deer being found around the state, DNR deer management biologist Chad Stewart said last week laboratory tests have identified a deadly virus as the culprit in four counties.

EHD, or epizootic hemorrhagic disease, was confirmed in samples collected from dead deer in LaGrange, Miami, Morgan and Sullivan counties. In addition, the State Board of Animal Health has identified EHD at captive cervid facilities in Adams, Marshall, Putnam and Vanderburgh counties and in cattle in Ripley County.
“Our list is over 40 counties now, where it has been reported or suspected in deer,” Stewart said.

Although citizen reports to the DNR of dead deer were consistent with EHD episodes of past years, he was cautious until lab tests were complete, in order to rule out the possibility of bluetongue, a disease similar to EHD affecting mainly sheep but also cattle, goats, deer and other ruminants.

The final lab report was received this week from the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia. Other samples were tested at Purdue University. The tests confirmed two strains of the virus – EHD V-2 and EHD V-6.
“Basically, 10 years ago we didn’t have the EHD V-6 strain in Indiana,” Stewart said. “It’s just recently been documented, so it’s still relatively new on the landscape. It may be an explanation for some of these harder-hit pockets.”

In addition to the counties where EHD is confirmed, Stewart said the virus is suspected in reports of dead deer in Adams, Bartholomew, Brown, Cass, Carroll, Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Fayette, Franklin, Gibson, Hendricks, Henry, Jay, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Marion, Monroe, Ohio, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Porter, Posey, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Shelby, Spencer, Steuben, Switzerland, Tippecanoe, Union, Vermillion and Warrick counties.

“If it’s not as bad this year as it was in 2007, it’s getting close,” Stewart said, referring to an outbreak in which EHD was reported in 59 Indiana counties and confirmed by lab tests in 17. “We did a lot more testing and confirming in 2007. This year we’re lying back because the tests are so expensive and we know what it is.”
EHD is a non-contagious virus that may affect some whitetail deer every year. Severity and distribution of the disease is highly variable and unpredictable. It typically occurs during late summer and early fall; however, there is evidence outbreaks may be worse during drought years.

EHD is not transmitted from deer to deer but instead by flies commonly known as biting midges. Deer infected with EHD may appear depressed or feverish. They often seek comfort in or around water. Other signs may include blue-tinted tongue or eyes, ulcers on the tongue, sloughed hooves or an eroded dental pad.
Hemorrhagic disease is often fatal to deer, but some will survive the illness. Not every deer will contract hemorrhagic disease, which can be present or absent in any area.

Death losses during an outbreak can range from negligible to greater than 50 percent. Severe outbreaks rarely occur in subsequent years due to immunity gathered from previous infections. The onset of freezing temperatures often brings a sudden halt to EHD outbreaks. 

EHD is confirmed or suspected this year in at least 10 other states: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Humans are not at risk for contracting hemorrhagic disease.

Shad control at Lake Waveland

The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife plans to selectively eradicate gizzard shad at Lake Waveland in Montgomery County. The goal is to keep gizzard shad from becoming too abundant, while maintaining the quality of bass and bluegill existing at the 358-acre lake.

On Oct. 1, the DNR began lowering the lake level 1-2 feet below its current level. Once the lake volume has been reduced, biologists will apply a low dose of rotenone.

Rotenone is sometimes used as an insecticide and is highly toxic to fish. Rotenone has been used in fisheries management for decades. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the use of rotenone formulations to control and sample fish populations. It affects shad at doses too low to drastically impact other species.

Boat owners may want to remove watercraft from the lake. It is anticipated the lake level will be low enough to conduct the selective eradication within a week of the drain being opened.
DNR crews will do the rotenone application on Oct. 10, weather permitting. The park will be open the day of the rotenone application, but the lake will be closed to fishing and boating until Oct. 11.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments for Jack Spaulding may contact him by email at jackspaulding@hughes.net or by writing to him in care of this publication.
10/3/2012