The elements have been throwing roundhouse curve balls at Hoosiers who
till the soil since last spring, and now it may translate into a break
of some sort for hunters.
Unfortunate as it is (Hoosier farmers need all the help they can get
in scraping a living from the land), the US Department of Agriculture Crop
Reporting Service at Purdue University, indicates that total corn acreage
in Indiana is down roughly 400,000 acres this year, from 5.8 million acres
Moreover, the ensuing summer drought most likely will cut the yield
of yellow gold that farmers sell to the granaries each fall., says Ralph
Gann, supervisory of the Purdue statistical operation.
It would seem that if any conclusion can be drawn from the elements
(as they apply to agriculture in Indiana this year) it would be that when
it rains it pours, and when it doesn't (rain), corn does not soar.
As a result, Gann says the possibilities are present for the conversion
of more acres of field corn to silage this year, although he does not think
it will be a big swing from the norm.
In a normal year, Gann say, roughly 100,000 acres of field corn
are cut for silage. He thinks there could be as much as 120,000 acres silaged
In view of the indisputable fact that doves, Canada geese and ducks
look upon silage making as setting the smorgasbord, it would seem that
the Sept.1 opening of the first segment of the statewide seasons on doves
and geese is going to be most opportune.
Ordinarily, silage-making starts in the last 10 days of August (when
corn still is pretty green), and that timetable will coincide nicely with
the opening of hunting for the aforementioned species.
It may not be patently obvious, but it is possible that those who hunt
the early-migrants will find more places to hunt this year.
HIP! HIP! GET HIP!
This, it would seem, would be a good place for your reporter to point
out that a mere Indiana hunting license and necessary stamps are not enough
to keep you legal in hunting doves and other migratory birds.
You also need a HIP (Harvest Information Program) number, which is free,
but very necessary. Without it, you will be in violation of both federal
and state law, even if you have the license and appropriate stamps.
To get your HIP number, which should be recorded and kept with you all
the time you are hunting migratory birds, you will first need the number
(upper right hand corner) of your Indiana hunting license.
With that number at tongue-tip, call 1-800-WETLAND (938-5263) and fill
out the blanks by phone. Then listen--and record--your HIP number. It is
suggested by the DNR that you jot it down on your license.
Incidentally, this is not just more governmental red tape.You may be
asked later for information on your hunting activities. The data collected
by the HIP is used to ride herd on the many species of migratory birds
we hunt which helps biologists in setting seasons, bag limits and regulations
It is necessary to get your HIP number every year. Holders of
lifetime licenses also need HIP numbers to be legal.