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Monday, November 5, 2012

As fall arrives, so do changes, including deer regs, boat storage

        It’s fall and change is in the air. There are new rules for deer hunting,. It’s time for changing your boat motor from summer fun usage condition to winter storage. And, there is a change to full-time radio contact for conservation officers across the state.
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DEER CHANGES -- There are a number of changes in Indiana deer hunting regulations this season. Among the most significant are”
• A special antlerless deer firearms season will be offered beginning in late December in designated counties. 
• Hunters can use a crossbow during archery season.
• Early archery season and late archery season have been merged into a continuous archery season.
• Youth hunters can now harvest more than one deer during youth season.
• An “earn-a-buck” requirement for hunters working toward urban deer zone bag limits has been made.
• A new deer license bundle is offered. 
More information about these changes and more hunting information is available at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website: 
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BOAT STORAGE --  Nearly full tank or nearly empty tank? That is the big question facing boaters now in the midst of preparing their boats for the long winter hibernation. The concern is ethanol - an octane enhancing gasoline additive that has some unfortunate, harmful side effects on marine engines. 
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has some tips learned from fuel industry insiders on how to store a boat with E-10 gasoline (containing 10% ethanol) over the winter.
The octane issue: Some boaters choose to leave their boat's gas tank mostly empty over the winter, and then refill in the spring in the hopes of "refreshing" the fuel to regain any octane loss. However, a nearly empty gas tank introduces a bigger problem: the strong possibility of phase separation with the E-10 gas. Incidentally, over long winter storage periods, E-10 gasoline loses octane at about the same rate as non-ethanol gasoline.
More water, less absorption: The problem with leaving a tank mostly empty is that it increases the tank's "lung capacity" to breath in moist air (water) through the tank's vent. If the tank is mostly empty over the winter, there will also be less E-10 gas in the tank to absorb the moisture. Adding fresh gasoline in the spring would not remedy the problem - the phase-separated ethanol remains separated at the bottom of the tank.
The Fuel Additive issue: Fuel additives are good for many reasons and should be used when laying up a boat for winter, but no additive will stand up to a good-sized slug of water. And once too much water has entered the tank and the gas has begun to phase separate, no additive will return the fuel to its original state. The only solution to phase-separated gas is to have a professional drain the tank and start anew.
The best advice for storing E-10 in your boat's gas tank over winter:
Keep the tank nearly full. This greatly reduces the volume of moist air that can enter the tank via the fuel tank vent when temperatures fluctuate in the fall and spring. With any fuel, an antioxidant (found in many additives) will help keep it fresh during lay-up. 
Finally, never plug up a fuel tank vent - it creates pressure that could cause dangerous leaks in the fuel system.
For more information go to A free, downloadable winterizing checklist is available at
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FULL-TIME DISPATCH -- Indiana Conservation Officers  are extending their Central Dispatch Center  to a 24-hour operation in order to maintain radio contact with Conservation Officers across the state.
  The Central Dispatch Center has operated daily from 7 a.m. to midnight. The 24-hour operation was scheduled to begin at midnight Oct. 29. Central Dispatch is located at Paynetown State Recreation Area on Monroe Lake near Bloomington.
  Maj. Michael Portteus said, “For the first time in the history of the DNR Law Enforcement Division, Indiana Conservation Officers may be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-812-837-9536.”
  Central Dispatch provides a way for the public, other law enforcement agencies, and DNR properties to gain immediate assistance and response from DNR Law Enforcement.  The TIP (Turn in a Poacher) reports also can be made to this number.

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