"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
About Bayou Bill
Recent Rambles
DNR Doings
Wild Recipes



Waterfowling, Deer Reduction, & Frozen Black Widows
Copyright © 2006 by Bill Scifres

The waterfowl migration is not yet in full swing now in the North Zone, but it is picking up which means all waterfowl hunting zones of Indiana will be getting more ducks and  geese for the collective pot.

At Willow Sough Fish and Wildlife are there have been something like 1,000 ducks, and 40 Canada taken, mostly residents on the geese. There is said to be roughly 5,000 ducks there and more coming with cold weather. The lion’s share of the ducks are believed to be flight birds and the 

Canada geese are residents.

Hunters at nearby Kankakee State Fish and Wildlife Area (on the Illinois line in Newton-Lake counties) had harvested 1,365 ducks (mostly mallards) as of last Monday and only four Canada geese. There are believed to be something like 3,000 or 4,000 ducks there now and more coming.

The waterfowling, while considerably less exciting in South and Ohio River zones, is improving.

At Atterbury SFWA there have been something like 50 ducks and 85 Canadas taken, with better hunting expected at Monroe Reservoir now that Stillwater Marsh is being flooded. Flooding of Stillwater Marsh was delayed some because corn in the marsh was not quite ripe. That harks back to last spring when the corn, because of high water, required here plantings.

These, of course, are only spot checks of the waterfowl situation. I would suspect, for example, that streams and other small, wooded waters are clogged with wood ducks now.


Eighteen DNR properties will be closed to the general public on Nov. 13-14, and Dec. 4-5, for special deer reduction hunts.

They are Brown County, Chain O'Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Shades, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Turkey Run, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial state parks, plus Twin Swamps Nature Preserve.

During the special hunts, volunteers assist the DNR in reducing the size of the deer herds, which have grown too large to be supported by the vegetation at these properties. The goal of the deer herd reduction is to help restore and maintain the ecological balance in the parks and preserve.

All hunting slots for the special DNR deer reduction hunts have been filled since early October.

Any hunt opportunities that become vacant will be filled by hunters who indicated on their application they would fill vacant spots if not chosen for their primary location.

If a drawn hunter calls the property for which he or she was chosen in advance of the hunt day and advises the property that he or she is unable to participate, the property will refer to its list of alternates, select a replacement, and notify the new hunter.

The applications for this year's special deer hunts drawings were placed online at www.indianaoutdoor.IN.gov in early July. The applications were also available at state parks, reservoirs, and fish and wildlife areas. The deadline for applying was Aug. 18 for mail-in applications and Aug. 25 for online registration.


How would you like to have your own container of black widow spider babies (dozens or hundreds of them) quite dead? 


I will give them to the first person who contacts me.

They are in an otherwise clean salsa jar, along with some web (to give them plenty of room) and two “commie” size egg cases (like little, round cocoons). 

I marvel at their ability to make web for themselves, and to live in those cramped quarters. 

They emerged from one pinpoint hole in each of the two egg cases. They would have grown had I not frozen them for fear that they might gain freedom and infest this house. They would make a great piece of educational matter--could even be a traveling exhibit for school classes of any age along with pictures of the adults (also frozen).


The Natural Resources Commission is expected to put it's stamp of approval on extending the one-buck rule (for deer) rule for another five years and other changes at a meeting Nov. 14 at 10 a.m.at Fort Harrison State Park's the Garrison.

All columns, essays, and photos 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