"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
About Bayou Bill
Recent Rambles
DNR Doings
Wild Recipes
Silage-making May Improve Early Migratory Bird Hunting
Copyright © 2002 by Bill Scifres

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 last year. 

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 this year. 

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. 


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 in general. 

It is necessary to get your HIP number every year.  Holders of lifetime licenses also need HIP numbers to be legal. 


All columns are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

 Return to beginning of document
Return to Bayou Bill's Home Page