Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Monday, October 5, 2015

Numbers of women hunters increasing

Several years ago, Connie Bender of Spencer County, IN, was one the first women
 to shoot a NWTF world slam. This tome was taken in Mexico.

What do Eva Shockey, Melissa Bachman, Katniss Everdeen, and 1.5 million women in the United States have in common? 
A news release from Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources says the difference is, “They’re hunters.”
Shockey and Bachman are hosts of TV hunting shows, and Everdeen is the main character in the “Hunger Games” movie franchise.
They represent a wave of female hunters, whose numbers increased by 85 percent from 2001 to 2013, according to the National Sporting Goods Association’s annual participation survey.
In Indiana, the number of hunting licenses sold to women increased by 93 percent from 2006 to 2014, and female youth hunters – those under age 18 – skyrocketed 114 percent from 2006 to 2014. 
As an outdoor writer, I’ve been fortunate to write about a number of excellent and enthusiastic female hunters. Many come to mind, but in particular I recall Connie Bender of Spencer County who was one of only a handful of women to shoot a wild turkey world slam, (I’ve long sensed the numbers of women hunters and shooter has been increasing, but now research data confirms it.)
“Two major reasons come to mind,” said Mary Zeiss Stange, author of “Woman the Hunter,” a study of women’s cultural and historical relationship to hunting. “One is that women have gained sufficient ground socially and economically and have disposable income comparable to men's. 
And very importantly, among younger women ¬– the ‘millennials’ and whatever  this next upcoming generation will be called – there is very little patience with the idea that an activity like hunting is ‘unfeminine.’ Indeed, they thrive on the idea of adventure.” 
Stange, a professor and director of religious studies at Skidmore College in Pennsylvania, also said: “It's reasonable to assume that women’s growing participation in hunting mirrors our increased participation in the entire array of social and cultural activities that were formerly masculine territory. That's the ‘scholarly’ answer. The practical reason, of course, is that hunting is fun and deeply rewarding.”
Indiana’s DNR has played an active role in opening the door with events specifically geared to women: 
--    Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, an annual weekend workshop near Lafayette that offers training in a variety of outdoor activities, including game cleaning, bowhunting, and introduction to deer, turkey and small game hunting 
-- Women’s days at DNR-managed shooting ranges
-- Women’s special hunts at DNR-managed fish and wildlife areas
The DNR’s online video series “CookIN Gone Wild: Field to Table” has a female host, which is by design. DNR Hunt, Fish, Eat workshops and National Wild Turkey Federation’s Women In The Outdoors (WITO) programs are additional examples of low-pressure events that help get women into the field.
Outdoor events for women appear to gain in popularity when the instructors are women, according to Responsive Management, a Virginia-based research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues.
Responsive Management also seems to have discovered a difference between male and female hunters. In a nationwide survey, researchers asked hunters if their primary reason for hunting was for the meat, to be with friends and family, for the sport or recreation, or to be close to nature. The researchers found significant differences between men and women in every category:
--  Hunt for meat – females 47 percent, males 22 percent
--  To be with friends and family – females 27 percent, males 11 percent
--  For sport or recreation – females 20 percent, males 45 percent
--  To be close to nature – females 7 percent, males 22 percent.  
Female firearms ownership also is rising. From 2012 to 2014, gun permits issued to women in Indiana increased by 42 percent. 
The DNR is reaching out to those wanting to learn firearms safety and shooting techniques. The shooting ranges at Atterbury, J. E. Roush, and Kingsbury fish and wildlife areas offer onsite instruction at events through the spring and summer that accommodate women and families in a safe, friendly environment. 
“Our motto is that if you want to hunt, we want to help,” said Amanda Wuestefeld, assistant director of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “As Hoosier hunters, if we are going to keep the tradition of hunting strong in Indiana, it looks like female hunters may very well play a key role in our success.”

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ed course required for young hunters

Deer season is here in Kentucky. Archery season opened Sept. 5 and continues through Jan. 28 of next year. Many other fall hunting seasons also are already underway, or will be starting soon.
Deer crossbow season for deer opens Oct. 1, muzzleloader Oct. 17, a modern gun starts Nov. 14 across the state.
For Kentucky hunting, completion of a hunter education course is required for all hunters with the exceptions of some older folks. 
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources' Hunter Education regulation requires anyone born on or after Jan, 1, 1975, and age 12 or older, to have a hunter education course completion card in their possession while hunting, as well as the appropriate Kentucky hunting license. 
Courses are offered in many locations and some of the course can be completed online via the internet
The student training course includes study in hunter ethics, wildlife conservation and identification, field care of game, first aid, firearm safety, archery and muzzleloading. 
The last session of the course will include a written test and a live fire exercise. All materials including firearms and ammunition are provided at no charge to the student. 
Information on dates and locations of courses is available on the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources web site, and also is available from local fish and wildlife officers, or by calling800-858-1549.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

New regs to protect catffish

Indiana’s Natural Resources Commission has given  final approval to rule changes that govern commercial fishing and sport fishing for catfish.
The new rules raise the minimum size from 10 to 13 inches for catfish caught in rivers and streams, including the Ohio River, and limit the number of large catfish caught in lakes, reservoirs, streams and rivers (including the Ohio River) to no more than one each per day of channel catfish at least 28 inches long, blue catfish at least 35 inches long, and flathead catfish at least 35 inches long.
The changes apply to both commercial fishing and sport fishing.
Local anglers along the Ohio for several years have voiced concern for the numbers of large catfish being taken by commercial anglers from the river. Out-of-state commercial fishermen at times have operated from boat ramps in Perry County. Many of the large fish reportedly were taken for private pay-lake fishing operations.
The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife proposed the changes in order to increase survival of younger catfish and ensure continued large or “trophy” catfish opportunities for both sport and commercial fishing. 
         Larger catfish also have higher reproductive potential and can help control populations of forage species such as gizzard shad and Asian carp.
The Commission granted preliminary approval to the rule changes in November, after which a public comment period including one public hearing. The rule changes will not be in effect until approved by the Attorney General’s Office and Governor’s Office and published in the Indiana Register. Just when that will happen is not known at this time.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Saturday celebration at Salato Center

       The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources invites people of all ages to participate in a celebration of hunting, fishing and the great outdoors at the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort on Saturday, Sept. 26. 
Activities and demonstrations will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern time). Admission into the center is free during this event, according to a news release from the department.
Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed Sept. 26 as National Hunting and Fishing Day in Kentucky. Congress first designated the fourth Saturday in September as National Hunting and Fishing Day in 1972.
The activities being held at the Salato Center recognize the contributions to conservation made by 713,000 Kentucky hunters and anglers, and the 35,000 jobs that hunting, fishing and outdoor activities support.
Activities at the Salato Center for this special event will include 3-D archery, archery trap shooting, air rifles, laser shot, and fishing and casting. Poles and bait will be provided to participants.  A falconry presentation will also be featured, as well as a hunting retriever dog demonstration.
Groups including the Kentucky Hunter Education Association, Kentucky Outdoor Sportsmen Alliance, Quail Forever and The Central Kentucky Hunting Retriever Association will be present for this event.  Concessions provided by the Western Hills High School FFA will be available during the event.
For a detailed list of activities and times, contact the center at (502) 564-7863.
The Salato Center is operated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The center features animals in naturalized enclosures, conservation displays and hiking trails through a variety of habitats. A five-month-old bobcat kitten is regularly on display between 2-3 p.m. 
The center is located off U.S. 60, approximately 1? miles west of the U.S. 127 intersection. Look for the bronze deer statue at the entrance of the main Kentucky Fish and Wildlife campus.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Salato is closed on Sunday, Monday and state holidays.
Except for select events, admission is $4 for adults and $2 for youth 5 to 18. Children under 5 are admitted free. The center also offers annual memberships for individuals and families.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Tulip Trestle, Yoho General Store among those hidden travel secrets

Greene County Tourism has constructed an ov\bservation deck for visitors to view the Tulip Trestle and enjoy the beautiful valley view. There also are picnic tables
 and portable restrooms.

Fishing, hunting, camping and hiking usually are the primary focus of the Outdoor Tales column. Sometimes it is something like a flower or tree, maybe even a bug. And, sometimes it is a road trip.
Often I enjoy just taking a drive and a nice day. There are times there is no destination in mind when the drive begins. 
Many times I end up in a park like Rough River, a Memonite grocery and bakery and the Yellow Bank Wildlife Management Area. Hovey Lake, or a public access site on the Licking River or who knows where. 
Sometimes the Junkers and their dog, just like to explore. You can see and learn interesting things, and meet neat people.
For years, I have heard about a huge railroad trestle in Southwestern Indiana. Numerous people have told me about taking a jaunt to see the huge bridge, which seems a bit out of place in Greene County, Indiana. It looks more like something one might see across a large gorge somewhere in the mountains.
When a beautiful day arrived and nothing significant on my schedule, I decided it was time to hunt for the Tulip Trestle. I had done a Google search on the internet and found considerable information, including directions to its remote location. It is located east of Bloomfield and west of Solsberry near the community of Tulip,
One set of directions suggested visiting the Yoho General Store in Solsberry, and ask for directions. That sounded best.
I couldn’t recall ever being in Solsberry, but I did remember the small community once turned out several outstanding basketball teams before school consolidation eliminated the local school and students were then sent to Eastern Greene. Solsberry is on Indiana State Road 43.
My first stop was at the General store, which has been remodeled and is quite attractive. I quickly learned good food is served throughout the day. A friendly waitress provided simple directions to the trestle, and I assured her I would be back for a late lunch.
From the General Store, simply drive west about five miles. There are signs leading visitors to a newly built observation deck. (bring your own chairs if you want to sit and wait for a train to cross. There are about four per day.)
The observation deck  also is a good place to watch for wildlife and enjoy the scenery. There are two picnic tables, a sculpture, and rest rooms.
The bridge’s size is somewhat surprising. The 2,307 feet long and 157 feet tall steel-girded railroad trestle is one the longest of this type of bridge in the world still in use today. It is operated by the Indiana Railroad Company.  
The Tulip Trestle, locally known as the Viaduct, but officially identified as “Bridge X75-6”, was built in 1906 stretching from hill to hill across the beautiful Richland Creek Valley making it the most memorable structure in one of the most scenic areas of the county.    
  Construction was directed by Archibald Stuart Baldwin and completed primarily by immigrant Italian laborers hired by the Strobel Construction Company.  The total cost of the project was $246,504, which today would equal over $20 million.  
While not necessarily appealing to the eyes, graffiti has littered the structure helping to preserve it with the most well-known being “MICHELLE WILL YOU MARRY ME?” in the middle of trestle under the tracks, which no one knows for sure whether or not she said yes. Hopefully, she did, and lived happily everafter.
After a visit to the trestle for photos and exercise for our dog, Missy, we headed back to the Yoho for lunch. It was good home cookin’. Phyllis tried the breaded tenderloin, and I went to the meatloaf plate special. 
Even if you aren’t ready for lunch, the breakfasts or ice cream cones are inviting. An old stove if worth a look.
For additional information, Google, Tulip Trestle. Yoho General Store is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., during week, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 on Sunday., Phone: 812-825-7834. Yoho also has a Facebook page.
Solsberry, the Tulip Trestle, and the Yoho General Store are worth a day trip.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thoughts of 9-11 still fresh in my mind

(The following was a piece I wrote about 9-11 not too long after it happened. I recall and reprint them. I will always remember...)

My head is filled with thoughts related to 9/11. They are numerous and difficult to organize. That may be the case for many Americans.
I know exactly what I was doing when the first twin tower was hit. My wife Phyllis and I had made plans to attend an outdoor writer’s conference. We planned to take our motorhome, so I had scheduled some minor maintenance at a Tell City automotive garage.
When I arrived at the garage with the motorhome on the morning of 9/11, a radio was playing in the back of the shop. A newsman was talking about a plane crashing into a World Trade Center tower.  A short time later, the second plane hit. Being an old news guy and retired Air Force officer, it didn’t make sense. 
The rest of the day, and for several days, I was glued to the television and radio. It was hard to believe. I couldn’t get enough information.
The thoughts and mind-pictures from the scene poured into my head, and my heart. I felt for the victims, their families and their friends. And to me, the physical loss of the buildings also was like losing a friend.
For four years, I rode the train from Mt. Lakes, NJ, to Hoboken, then boarded the PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson). Rode under the river to the train station in the basement of one the Twin Towers. Each evening, I made the reverse trip.
I can still see the escalators which carried me daily up from the lower level station. There were sandwich shops and restaurants. I often visited them for lunch.
There also were other restaurants higher in the building.. And if I remember right, in the early days of CNN, the network had an office there that covered Wall Street. I sometimes worked with its reporters.
Windows on the World was a wonderful restaurant atop one of the towers. The food was good, but the view was even more spectacular. I remember attending a Christmas party there. The view at night was breathtaking.
I worked about a block and a half away in media relations for AT&T. It still is hard for me to imagine or believe the towers are gone.
One day a wacky guy using suction cups on his hands and feet decided to climb one of the towers. Fred Heckman, the former news director of WIBC in Indianapolis, was a good friend. He called me and asked it I could see the climbing guy, who I think called himself,”The Human Fly.”
“Sure,” I said. The next thing I knew I was live on WIBC providing an account of the nutty guy’s climb. In fact, I did several reports for Fred.
I have many memories of the now missing beautiful buildings. I still see them in my mind.
Had the timing been a bit different, I could have been in one of the towers.
My fear is that something similar will happen again. It is hard to protect against people who have no respect for human dignity, for life, and freedom.
We do the best we can.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Doves make a good meal-starter

       Dove season opened Tuesday, Sept. 1, in both Indiana and Kentucky, and it appears there should be a plenty of birds for hunters.
        If you are lucky or a good enough shot to bag some doves, they can provide good eating.
        Doves are a dark meat with a flavor somewhat like liver. Some people say they don’t like the meat, but properly prepared, doves are great eating.
My favorite way to prepare them is to marinate the breasts overnight. You can make your own or buy a commercial marinade.
The next day, wrap them in in bacon to make them like rumaki, and cook them on a charcoal grill. They make a great meal-starter, or if you have enough, a main course themselves.