"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Special Canada Goose Season Costly For Hunters
Copyright © 2008 by Bill Scifres

A reader of this of this column has pointed out some fallacies on what he believes is drastically wrong with the special Canada goose season that is now open in 31 counties statewide. It remains open through Feb. 15.

Incidentally, I am told that this special season on Canada geese, our most prolific goose, will be limited to 31 counties and some state fish and wildlife areas on some days.

First, the reader tells me, even if you already hold the many licenses and stamps required for this season, it is difficult to say what the price of gasoline would be if one had to drive to meet the requirement of getting the free permit that the Division of Fish and Wildlife offers.

That is not the only gasoline (driving) expense required, he says. Then one must drive to the place he expects to hunt, and if his bird (or birds) must be taken to some location to check in his bird (or birds).

Birds taken must be checked in at Kankakee State Fish and Wildlife Area (SFWA), Kingsbury, Pigeon River, Tri-County, Atterburry, Minnehaha, or Goose Pond SFYA.

Officials of the DFW point out that this “checking in” process is necessary because a lot of data is sought by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which ramrods the hunt. 

 [Note: With more than 100 conservation officers on the DNR payroll, it would seem to me that they could be trained to perform such duties and that the driving to have birds checked could be confined for everyone to one county.]

Not possible, the DFW tells me. The informant says the data must be recorded by the people now trained.

Thus, my informant says, if one already held all of the state and federal stamps required (cost about $40), the expenditure of driving to the various places listed could be even more, especially if one bags a bird or birds.

Our source points out another facet that is not good for the potential hunter is that the whole season seems intended for the public sector (hunters) to do the state and federal agencies’ business at its expense. The attitude of state and federal biologists seems to be: Bring the facts to me.

Still another facet of importance from my informant, is his concern for introducing his youthful grandson to hunting (a most desirable wish of both agencies). Such a scenario would double the license/stamps expenditure. However, if the youth carried no gun and strictly observed, that expense would not be added.

WINTER FISHING--I have been asked to comment in this space on spring crappie fishing, and I fear the time is far from right for a crappie run. To be sure, I often find the crappie wishing with live minnow bobbed three to four feet deep long before spring arrives.

To find the loose schools, I use two poles. And even this is slow at this time of year. It also can be very cold. In a deep hole--say a gravel pit or quarry--I like fishing from the bank to move and stay warm. I rig one outfit with hook, light sinker, and bobber and just post it and leave it. The other outfit is rigged with a casting bobber, and a small jig on one end of a 4-5 foot dropper line of light poundage. I ply the hole on all sides of my bobber outfit with my jig.

A good size for crappie minnows is about an inch and a quarter. They should be hooked in the tail, well behind the vent to help them live longer. Minnows that die this time of year usually are hooked too deep or with a damaging hook.

Actually, I prefer sucker fishing at this time of year.

GOLDEN EYES--I could not be sure in the smoggy fog this morning, but the quick beat of wings over the White River and the hint of a low white dot on the head below the eye suggested golden eye headed for the deep hole for rafting and riffling.

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

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