Now that winter weather is here--if not winter
proper (usually Dec.21) I have heard authoritatively that fox squirrels
bury their winter supplies in the earth and that gray squirrels cache in
I didn’t want to make an issue of such statements,
but I did not agree.
I have always seen both gray and fox squirrels
bury food supplies in the earth (one parcel of food at each place) and
red squirrels cache in hollow trees and other secluded places.
Still, the idea was so interesting--from such
an authority--that I was moved to ask around about this natural phenomenon.
Phil Hawkins, the Franklin outdoors wizard friend,
agrees with my assessment of the situation . . . saying that he has never
observed it any other way.
To make certain we were both thinking with our
heads on straight, I asked Dr. Harmon P. Weeks, the Purdue University wildlife
expert, “what was what.”
He confirmed my version of the story, saying
fox and gray squirrels are known to scientists as “scatter hoarders,” and
that red squirrels are known as “larder hoarders.” He explained that the
former place one nut or acorn at each place and that red squirrels cache,
or place many morsels in the hollow of a tree or other protected places.
DNR has passed a temporary rule establishing an experimental 2008 February
Canada goose hunting season in selected areas in an attempt to control
the population of breeding Canada geese in and around urban areas.
Counties where geese can be hunted during that
season, which runs Feb. 1-15, include Steuben, LaGrange, Elkhart, St. Joseph,
La Porte, Starke, Marshall, Kosciusko, Noble, De Kalb, Allen, Whitley,
Huntington, Wells, Adams, Boone, Hamilton, Madison, Hendricks, Marion,
Hancock, Morgan, Johnson, Shelby, Vermillion, Parke, Vigo, Clay, Sullivan,
Adam Phelps, DNR waterfowl biologist, says populations
of breeding Canada geese in Indiana appear to have leveled off during the
past few years at about 125,000. The DNR's target population for reducing
human-geese conflicts in urban areas is 80,000.
“We chose February because it's when geese are
most likely to leave cities and towns,” Phelps said. “Urban ponds are most
likely to be frozen in February, and grass is most likely to be covered
"These two conditions may force urban geese into
agricultural fields outside of town to feed, where it is usually safe and
legal--in season--to hunt them.”
Indiana has used a September season on locally
breeding geese for many years. The new "late" season gives wildlife managers
another tool to manage local goose populations, and gives waterfowl hunters
more days afield.
The bag limit for the experimental season is five
Canada geese per day, with a possession limit of 10, same as for the September
season. Shooting hours are from a half-hour before sunrise to sunset.
The same regulations and restrictions that apply
during the September season apply during the February season. In addition
to a valid hunting license, signed Indiana waterfowl stamp (unless exempt),
a federal duck stamp, and an HIP (Harvest Information Program) number,
a free permit is also required. Free permits are available at (812) 334-3795,
firstname.lastname@example.org, or any state Fish and Wildlife Area, field
office, or reservoir during regular January hours.
Hunters must check all geese harvested at a check
station. Geese must have the head, a fully feathered wing, and reproductive
parts still attached when the bird is checked. Check station staff will
age and sex each bird, and will remove and keep the head of all adult birds
checked. These heads are measured to determine whether each bird is a Canadian
migrant or a local breeder.
This process is required by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service to determine whether more locally breeding geese are being
harvested than Canadian-breeding (“migrant”) geese.
This temporary rule also establishes a one-year
Feb. 1 to March 31 season for the lesser snow goose and Ross's goose. The
HIP number and federal duck stamp are not required to take a lesser snow
goose or a Ross's goose.
15 is the deadline for submitting a maximum of three photos taken at Goose
Pond Fish and Wildlife Area over the last two years. Suggested subjects
include landscapes, seasons, activities, flora and fauna.
Photo entries must be submitted electronically
to email@example.com, with the name of photographer, mailing
address, phone number, e-mail address, and number of photos attached.
Each photo must be accompanied by a caption with
the photographer’s name and a number identification (e.g., "1.3" would
indicate that a photo would be the first of three photos submitted).
For more information, please contact Cam Trampke,
secretary of Friends of Goose Pond, (812)659-9901.