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



Where Drought Conditions Prevail, Mosquitoes Don't
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Scifres

If you think the weather has been strange this year, consider nothing more than the crop of insects . . . especially mosquitoes. I have noted a dearth of all insects this year, and so it has been with many of my friends.

That the weather has been strange since last spring when the meteorologist threw us a curve ball on the mushroom season was reason enough to look with jaundiced eye on the weather of late. But the drought this summer has thrown another log on the fire, and now the monsoon season has deluged us but too late for many farm crops.

There will be some field corn and soybeans this year--the latter will undoubtedly do better. But while the Agricultural statistics folks tell me the corn in states on both our flanks appears to be having a bumper production year, the crop in central counties of Indiana were more adversely affected by the drought. Consequently, wildlife could be more adversely affected than we realize. Fall and winter food supplies for many birds and animals generally are thought to hinge on the nuts, acorns and seeds produced by Mother Nature, but when you get to the crux of the food situation field corn and soybean spills offer vast food supplies, especially in the early going.

For example, one time a few years back while talking about wildlife conservation with a Scott County farmer, I casually asked what my farm friend was doing along those lines. He didn’t bat an eye, but regaled me with the fact that his combine was the best friend of wildlife.

 “Spillage is tremendous,” he told me, pointing out that the machine left a lot of grain on turns (at both ends of the field), but in following the rows, too.

Next time out I checked his combine theory and found it to be very true. But then he tacked on some gems about spillage in transportation from field to crib and the farm took on a completely new view. Of course, much of the spillage grain does not carry over well into winter, but it keeps birds and animals well fed into the fall.

Getting back to those skeeters, my wanderings have never encountered fewer of them. Take, for example, my own house on White River’s West Fork in Hamilton County. The river, incidentally, is moving water and does not offer a breeding range for mosquitoes. I do, however, have a front yard jungle of more than an acre and it usually spawns enough of the bloodsuckers to make us miserable outside during most of the warmer months. Not so this year.

But the good word, thanks to the drought, is that I have heard two or three mosquitoes all summer. I can be out in short sleeves--or bare to the waist--even now.

The scarcity of mosquitoes is just about as pronounced in the other woodlands of the state. Boil it down to its simplest terms, and you will find that the parts of the state that have good crop production also have good (?) hordes of mosquitoes.

GOOSE POND--The Department of Natiural Resources sends word that Goose Pond FWA Manager Brad Feaster will hold an informative meeting August 30 at 7 p.m. at the Triple H Gun Club south of Linton on hunting procedures this year.

Feaster will explain 2007-08 hunting season procedures at the 8,000-acre DNR property. He will also update the public on Goose Pond's wetland restoration, as well as answer general questions and listen to suggestions.

"We are trying an adaptive management approach to allocating hunting opportunities at Goose Pond FWA," said Feaster. "We hope to develop better hunting experiences."

Goose Pond FWA is between the towns of Linton and Sandborn. The Triple H Gun Club is several miles south of Linton on State Route 59.

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