Aside from the fact that the statewide season
on squirrels opened last month, the arrival of September spells out two
important issues for Hoosier nimrods.
First of all it brings Labor Day, and consequently
the beginning of hunting seasons, however earnest that may be. There is
a passle of other season openings to come in the next month or so and some
of them may be considered more important than doves, teal, geese and those
for some minor early-migrating birds. Suffice it to say that hunting doves,
teal, wood ducks, and geese constitute a pretty decent bag.
For example, I will take a brace of wood ducks
on the din-din table to all other huntable species. But I still like them
all. Be that as it is, here’s a thumbnail sketch on the various species
of early migrating game birds that opened last Monday: However, whoever
invented leg quarters of blacks and mallards knew of which he invented.
The closing dates, and daily bag limits are, by
species, as follows: sora rail, Nov. 9, 25; mourning dove, Oct. 16, 15;
snipe, Dec. 16, 8, and Canada geese, Sept. 15, 5. The early season for
these seasons opened Sept. 1.
The season for woodcock opens Oct. 15 and closes
Nov. 28 with a daily bag of 5.
The teal season opens Sept. 6 and closes Sept.
21 with a daily bag of four birds. The Sept. 6 opener was delayed
from the traditional
Sept 1 date because we have more teal in the southern
part of the state a bit later. This delay also offers three weekends of
The first part of the split regular season opens
in October for other species of waterfowl, but the big news there is the
daily bag on wood ducks. It will be three instead of the customary two.
Wood ducks will not be allowed in the early teal season.
of the big concerns for both early teal and the later waterfowl seasons
has always been a shortage of surface water when these seasons roll around.
We kind of dry up when late summer rolls around.
This may seem a remote possibility this year with
our rainy spring and summer, but we are nearing these conditions now and
they seem to be worsening, Smaller and mid-sized streams are getting lower
by the day, and this could put us in the customary low-water boat when
waterfowl seasons arrive.
of the conditions that will be a great aid to dove and Canada goose hunters
in the early seasons is the cutting of silage last week by some farmers.
Farm machines--a great variety of them--can be
the best friends many species of birds and animals have. Spilled grains--no
matter where they are spilled--provide excellent food for wildlife and
the machines often cooperate. This provides food for wildlife. A
few years back we got a ruling from the US. Fish and Wildlife Service,
administrator of migratory birds, on what constitutes a farm operation
spill and a definition of baiting which is illegal.
The feds said grain spilled by normal farm operations
is not considered baiting. Scattering grains, and other foods for the express
purpose of drawing birds or animals is baiting and illegal.
need a HIP number (Harvest Information Program) to hunt doves, waterfowl,
and other migratory birds. Prospective hunters may get their HIP number
on line at www.wildlife.IN.gov or by telephone, 866-671-4499.