Public hearings set for proposed fish, wildlife rule changes

Event Description

The Natural Resources Commission has scheduled three hearings to accept public comment on a package of proposed rule changes governing deer hunting, wild animals found dead, nuisance wild animals, cottontail rabbits, wild pigs, quail and pheasant hunting on DNR-managed properties, ruffed grouse, wild turkey hunting, reptiles, amphibians, exotic fish, sport fishing, and commercial fishing on Wabash River boundary waters and other inland water.

Among the proposed changes are rules that would allow the use of high-powered rifles for deer hunting, a 25-fish daily bag limit on sunfish (that includes bluegill), and suspension of the ruffed grouse hunting season. For a complete list of proposed amendments with additional information about each proposal, see Read more

Mounds SP to offer winter break programs

Mounds State Park will offer daily educational programs when many area schools are on winter break.

The programs run Saturday, Dec. 27 to Saturday, Jan. 3. The programs are designed for children of all ages and adults. Park entrance is free during winter, and the programs are free too.

Programs are:

—Dec. 27, at 1 p.m.: Cocoa and a Movie.

—Dec. 28, at 9 a.m.: Audubon Bird Walk (binoculars and cookies provided).

—Dec. 29, at 1 p.m.: Nature Story Time.

—Dec. 30, at 1 p.m.: Toad-ally Tadpoles.

—Dec. 31, at 1 p.m.: Hoosier Quest Pin Program (pins cost $2).

—Jan. 1, at 7 p.m., 7:15 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.: Luminary First Day Hikes.

—Jan. 2, at 1 p.m.: Critter Feeding Time.

—Jan. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Baby Snapper Meet ‘n’ Greet.

Mounds State Park ( is at 4306 Mounds Road, Anderson, 46017.

To view all DNR news releases, please see

Contact Information:

Name: Jessica Rosier

Phone: (765) 649-8128


Entering the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience, Sept. 20-21

For safety reasons, all parking for the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience will be provided outside the Fort Harrison State Park gates.


The most convenient way to enter and exit the event is using the free shuttle service. Parking for shuttle riders, which is free, is in the south lot of the Maj. Gen. E.J. Bean Finance Center, which participants will enter off Post Road. See a map at No event parking will be available at Ivy Tech or at the Lawrence Government Center.


If using an online mapping site, enter your destination as the intersection of East 56th Street and Post Road.


Participants may choose to walk in to the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience only from Glenn Road, and not through the main entrance to the park. Those narrow roads are reserved exclusively for the free shuttle buses.


Those who choose to walk in should park in the Maj. Gen. E.J. Bean Finance Center’s west parking lot, which is on Herbert Lord Road. From there, participants should follow the signs for 0.7 miles to the Glenn Road foot entrance. No shuttle service back to the west lot will be provided, and participants will not be permitted to walk out of the park’s main gate.


Information for those needing accessible vans is at


During the event, all participants will be transported to the roughly 50 free activities by the trolleys that are used at the State Fair.


Shuttle riders will be transported back to the south lot of the Bean Finance Center throughout the event.

Parking, entry and all activities at the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience are free. Participants can bring their own food or purchase food at reasonable prices from on-site vendors. All food vendors will offer credit card payment options.


The Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience is presented by the DNR and the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation.

Online advance registration at is requested to assist the presenters and activity providers with staffing and planning. Watch for event updates there or at


Fort Harrison State Park ( is at 5753 Glenn Road, Indianapolis, 46216.

Photos available at:

via [DNR] Entering the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience, Sept. 20-21 – 9/19/2014 – State of Indiana.

Trail Running joins Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience, Sept. 20-21

Trail running will debut at the sixth annual Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience, Sept. 20-21.

The activity is one of about 50 to be offered free to all participants at Indianapolis’ Fort Harrison State Park that weekend.

Indiana Trail Running will lead the new activity. The organization plans to offer two or three guided half-mile trail runs each day at scheduled times to be announced later. Indiana Trail Running’s booth will feature other hands-on activities such as stretching for trail runners and will distribute informational handouts about the growing sport.


Activities scheduled for the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience include almost every outdoorsy pursuit, from archery and target shooting to mountain biking, fishing, paddling, and much more. Participants can bring their own food or purchase food at reasonable prices from on-site vendors.


An estimated 32,000 men, women or children participated in last year’s Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience. There’s plenty of room for more participants in the state park’s spacious 1,700 acres.

The Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The event is presented by the DNR and the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. The goal is to introduce people to outdoor activities they may have never tried.

Online advance registration at is requested to assist the presenters and activity providers with staffing and planning. Watch for event updates there or at


If you already enjoy outdoor recreation and want to help others learn to enjoy it, sign up to volunteer at For questions about volunteering, contact volunteer coordinator Cheryl Hampton, (317) 233-1002,

via [DNR] Trail Running joins Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience, Sept. 20-21 – 8/28/2014 – State of Indiana.

Free beginner waterfowl hunting workshops in August, September

Two free waterfowl hunting workshops for beginners will be offered in August and September by the Department of Natural Resources.


The focus of the workshops is on hunting Canada geese, although there also will be some information presented on duck hunting, according to DNR waterfowl biologist Adam Phelps.

“We have found that lots of participants are most interested in goose hunting,” Phelps said. “Canada geese are definitely the easiest place to start hunting waterfowl, because they are abundant, they frequently use private land, and they are easy to identify.”


The workshops are:

— Aug. 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Pigeon River Fish & Wildlife Area, 8310 E. County Road 300 N., Mongo.

— Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the DNR Fish & Wildlife Field Office, 5596 E. State Road 46, Bloomington.


Similar material will be covered at each workshop, so there is no need to attend both. All ages are welcome.


Topics will include waterfowl hunting regulations, waterfowl identification, equipment and techniques, including a show-and-tell segment, and how to dress a harvested goose. Instructors also will focus on how to pursue geese and ducks with a minimum investment in gear.


Shotgun instruction and a clay shoot will be available at the Mongo event.

“We are happy to be able to offer shotgun instruction at the Pigeon River event for the first time at one of our waterfowl workshops,” Phelps said. “Instruction in shotgunning can reduce frustration for beginning bird hunters.”


Parents who already hunt waterfowl are welcome to bring children, but the material is tailored for beginners. Experienced waterfowl hunters are unlikely to learn much from the workshops.

DNR Law Enforcement and DNR Fish & Wildlife personnel will be in attendance to answer questions.

Lunch will be provided.


Workshops will occur at least partially outdoors and will take place rain or shine. Participants should bring a lawn chair and weather-appropriate clothing (a jacket or raincoat).


The workshops are free, but registration is required.


To register for the Mongo workshop, call (260) 367-2164.


To register for the Bloomington workshop, call (812) 334-1137 or email


For more information on either workshop, call Phelps at (812) 334-1137.

Register now for Indiana Dunes kids summer camps

Registration is now open for three summer camps at Indiana Dunes State Park for students aged 9 to 14.

The three-day camps offer an opportunity for students to explore the Dunes, its plants and animals, and humans’ connection to the land. Each camp will have its own theme, and each offers an overnight camping experience.

Registration is required and space is limited for each camp.

The Dunes Explorer Camp is July 15-18. The Wild Girls Camp is July 29-31. The Night at the Nature Center Camp is Aug. 12-14. Each camp takes place Tuesday through Thursday. Camp starts at 9 a.m. each day, and runs until 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. For all three camps, Wednesday will involve overnight camping.

Each camp costs $99, which includes food, activities, supplies, and a tee-shirt.

“The summer camp experience has become such an expensive activity,” interpreter Brad Bumgardner said. “The costs can be prohibitive for many families. We want to see these kids get outdoors and really explore and enjoy this great area that is so close to home.”

Prospective campers can pick up a camp flyer and registration form at the park office or Nature Center or e-mail for an electronic copy.

Funding for the summer camps comes from the Friends of Indiana Dunes State Park group. For more information, call (219) 926-1390.

Welcome Back Weekend at state parks and reservoirs, May 2-4

Celebrate spring at Indiana’s 24 state parks and eight reservoirs during Welcome Back Weekend, May 2-4.

The weekend features outdoor programs, free admission for veterans and active duty military personnel on Saturday, May 3, free admission for everyone on Sunday, May 4, and an invitation to share pictures and tweet about your state park visit.

The free admission also applies to state forest recreation areas.

“Our properties are inexpensive places to relax, play, exercise and enjoy the outdoors,” said Dan Bortner, DNR State Parks & Reservoirs director. “This weekend is an invitation to shake out the tent or set up the camper and enjoy all that our state parks have to offer.”

Welcome Back Weekend events include:

— Morel Mushroom Festival at Brown County State Park
— A “Hound Hike” at Shakamak State Park
— World War I Weekend at Fort Harrison State Park
— Geocaching at Harmonie State Park
— Wildflower/fern program with DNR botanist Mike Homoya at Ouabache State Park
— Walking-stick workshop at Patoka Lake.

For a complete list and details, see
Visitors are encouraged to share their Welcome Back Weekend experiences via social media. They can:
— Use the hashtag #welcomebackIN and give us a shout-out on Twitter (@INdnrstateparks), Facebook (INdnrstateparksandreservoirs) and Instagram (@indianadnr).
— Take a selfie at their favorite state park and share it on social media with hashtag #welcomebackIN.
— Submit photos to the DNR Flickr page and photo contest. More information is

Visitors will notice changes and improvements around the state. Caves at Spring Mill State Park are reopening to groups with permits this summer, and Wolf Cave at McCormick’s Creek State Park is reopening to everyone. See a list of updates for all properties

Sunday, May 4, also kicks off Travel Indiana Week, sponsored by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development.

Most entrance gates will still be staffed Sunday, so visitors can purchase their annual pass, lake permit or horse tags for the season. An Annual Entrance Pass costs $40 for a state resident and $20 for state residents ages 65 and older. An out-of-state pass costs $60. Special SPR Go! Value Packages that include Annual Entrance Passes can be purchased at

Admission at most properties for non-veterans or non-military personnel on Saturday will be $5 per in-state vehicle and $7 per out-of-state vehicle.

On Saturday, veterans should show military ID, a V.A. card or Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate, an Indiana veteran’s driver’s license or discharge papers with accompanying state photo ID. Free admission extends to anyone in the same vehicle.

DNR to offer family trout fishing opportunities, April 19

Hoosier families can experience trout fishing at two locations in northeast Indiana on Saturday, April 19, in conjunction with a Free Fishing Day.

The locations are a pond at Morsches Park in Columbia City in Whitley County and 6-acre Wyland Lake in Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area in Kosciusko County.

The events are free and open to the public. No fishing license or trout stamp is required.

About 400 rainbow trout averaging 12 inches long will be stocked in Morsches Pond on Friday, April 18. No fishing will be allowed until Saturday morning, April 19.

A youth fishing derby will run from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday with DNR personnel providing assistance, bait and fishing equipment. Bait will be provided with financial help from the Columbia City Walmart.

Anglers age 17 and younger who register with DNR officials on-site during the two-hour period will be entered in the fishing derby.

Fishing gear donated by the Northeast Indiana Trout Association will be awarded to young anglers who catch the largest fish and the largest trout. A drawing for other prizes will also be held.

Morsches Pond is at the north end of Morsches Park. A fishing pier is available. A restroom will be open, and parking is available.

Four-hundred rainbow trout also will be stocked on April 18 into Wyland Lake, off Kosciusko County Road 875 East, about one-quarter mile north of Epworth Forest Road.

Unlike at Morsches Pond, however, only anglers ages 17 and younger and any adults who accompany them will be permitted to fish at Wyland Lake on Saturday, April 19. The starting time on April 19 will be 6 a.m. Trout fishing will open to the general public on Sunday, April 20.

A fishing pier and portable restroom facility will be available at Wyland Lake.

Because Wyland Lake is deep and vegetation grows along much of the edge, shore fishing is limited. Trout anglers are encouraged to bring a small boat.

Anglers can launch boats on the east shore at the parking lot.

For information on the fishing events, call the district fisheries office in Columbia City at (260) 244-6805 and Tri-County FWA at (574) 834-4461.

Contact Information:
Name: Jed Pearson
Phone: (260) 244-6805

Mounds SP to host photo and poetry contest 4/12/14

Show your talent and love of Mounds State Park by participating in a photo and poetry contest this spring.

Entries will be accepted until April 1.

Entries will be judged by Anderson artists. The park will showcase entries at a gallery-style event on April 12. Winning contestants will receive prizes.

Participants must be 16 or older for both contests.

Photos must have been taken in Mounds State Park. Submissions must be 5- by 7-inch prints. Categories include plants, animals and park scenery.

Poem entries must be about the natural world. A 32-line limit applies.  Read more

Helping Families Conserve Nature on their Land Workshop, Tippecanoe County, April 3rd

Do you enjoy nature? Do you want to learn more about managing the trees or enhancing wildlife habitat on your property? Do you own 10 or fewer acres? If the answer to one or more of these questions is “yes” then Purdue University Extension has a workshop for you. Helping Families Conserve Nature on Their Land is an 8-week workshop designed to provide landowners with small acreage and rural estates information on the techniques, practices, and assistance programs for developing and enhancing forests, landscapes, ponds, and other natural resources. Topics will include an introduction to natural resources management, assessing a properties natural resources potential, forest and wildlife management, and pond construction and management. Other topics will include wildlife damage management, invasive species identification and control, lawn and landscaping conservation practices, and small farm sustainability planning. Topics will be presented by natural resources professionals from the Cooperative Extension Service of Purdue University. Read more