Monday, February 25, 2013
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
As hunting seasons come to a close and a new year is underway, now is a good time to thank the landowner where you hunt, fish, or hike and enjoy the outdoors.
Nearly all of the land in Kentucky, Indiana is privately owned, so a significant amount of the state’s outdoor recreation takes place on land owned by an individual or business.
Recently, I came across a story about the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department’s Landowner Relations Program.
Lindsay Webb, who heads up the New Hampshire program said now is an important time to extend thanks to landowners who share access to their land. And, the same applies here where we are dependent on private landowners for much of our recreation.
"Access to private land is a privilege provided to us through the generosity of the landowner," says Webb. "...we need to make sure that these landowners really know how much you appreciate them allowing you access to hunt, fish or watch wildlife on their property."
Webb went on to point out a few ways sportsmen and women can show their appreciation to landowners:
* Visit the landowner to express your appreciation, and, if possible, share some of your harvest or a favorite wildlife photograph from your time on their property.
* Send a personal note or holiday card to the landowner, thanking them for sharing their land.
* Send a gift basket, or gift certificate to a local restaurant.
* Help them protect their property by documenting and reporting suspicious activities.
* Offer to help with outdoor tasks, or to clean up and properly dispose of illegally dumped materials left on their property.
Or, just offer to donate a day or two to help the landowner make wildlife improvements to the property.
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LATE GOOSE HUNTS --There are two late goose hunts available in Indiana: a late Canada goose zone season from Feb. 1 – 15, in 30 counties (primarily in the northern part of the state), and a light goose conservation order from Feb. 1 – March 31 statewide (except the late Canada goose zone, which is open for light geese Feb. 16 – March 31.
Greene and Sullivan are amongst the closest late Canada goose counties to southern Indiana
• This season is open on Canada geese only.
• You must have an Indiana hunting license, Indiana waterfowl stamp, federal waterfowl stamp, and a HIP number to participate.
• Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
• Regular waterfowl regulations apply. It is illegal to take Canada geese using electronic callers, shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, or to shoot after sunset.
• The bag limit for this season is 5 Canada geese per day, with a possession limit of 10.
• Report any banded geese taken. You may report these bands by calling toll-free 1-800-327-BAND, or online at http://www.reportband.gov/.
Something new this year, no special permit is needed for the late Canada Goose season, and birds no longer need to be checked.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
(Here is a column I wrote back in 2011 about Groundhog Day. Thought some of the lore behind he day might be of interest.)
Well, the groundhog didn’t see his shadow, or at least most of them didn’t. Hopefully, the folklore is true and we’ll have an early spring. We need it.
Groundhog day is an important day in my household. I’m truly happy for the hoopla associated with the day. It also is my wife’s birthday, and the attention given the groundhog serves as a reminder that I had better be looking for a card and gift.
Groundhog day comes at a dismal time of the year when most of us also need a reminder that spring will come. However, the groundhog doesn’t have a good record of predicting the arrival of spring.
The world's most famous groundhog predicted an early spring.
Punxsutawney Phil emerged around dawn on Groundhog Day on Wednesday to make his 125th annual weather forecast in front of thousands who braved muddy, icy conditions to hear his handlers reveal that Pennsylvania's prophetic rodent had not seen his shadow.
Phil's support team, the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle, concoct the forecasts. Several thousand revelers gathered before dawn on a small hill called Gobbler's Knob to hear the prediction.
Before this year’s Groundhog Day, Phil had seen his shadow 98 times and hadn't seen it 15 times since 1887. There are no records for the remaining years, though the group has never failed to issue a forecast.
According to the Stormfax Almanac, Phil is only correct 39 percent of the time. But in Phil’s defense, professional weather forecasters have difficulty predicting three days in advance, let along six weeks.
Seems to me, no matter what Phil’s prediction, weather generally starts to improve in mid-March, and not much before.
The groundhog also is known as a woodchuck, and in some areas is called a land beaver. It is a member of the rodent family, belonging to a group of large ground squirrels, known as marmots. They are found from Canada to Alabama.
Phil is the best-known of the weather predicting groundhogs. He makes his predictions from Punxsutawney, Pa. In Canada, his counterpart is Wiarton Willie from Wiarton, Ontario. A famous southern groundhog, based at a game ranch outside of Atlanta, Ga., is General Beauregard Lee. As far as I know, there are no famous groundhog forecasters in southern Indiana. I don’t know of a Marian Hill Mike or Poseyville Pete.