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
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.
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
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