A new half-mile ADA-accessible trail will help introduce visitors to Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA) thanks to a partnership between DNR and the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF), and a $10,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation, which provides more than $2 million annually in charitable gifts in Indiana.

The new trail will be in approximately the same location as the current mowed trail around Goose Pond FWA’s Visitor Center. It will have five stops educating visitors about the property and its history, pollinators and native plants, and habitats. Construction of the trail will complement the recently developed interpretive exhibit inside the Visitor Center.

Meghann Waddle, staff specialist for DNR Fish & Wildlife, says the trail will provide recreational opportunities for all visitors of Goose Pond FWA. “We look forward to working with the Indiana Wildlife Federation and the Duke Energy Foundation to create this inclusive trail,” Waddle said. “Fish & wildlife areas can be intimidating for first-time visitors. We hope this trail helps connect people to nature.”

Goose Pond FWA is a unique natural area with two of the most imperiled habitats in the state, grasslands and wetlands. Thousands of visitors come to the property each year.

Because of successful partnerships between wildlife agencies, beneficial projects can move forward. Construction for the trail is planned to start by early spring 2021. To learn more about Goose Pond FWA, visit on.IN.gov/goosepondfwa.

Deer Firearms Season

Hunters are getting ready for deer firearms season which runs from November 14th to the 29th. All visitors to DNR properties should be aware of their surroundings – hunters are required to wear hunter orange during deer firearms season and should be easy to spot. Non-hunters should consider wearing hunter orange if they plan to venture off-trail.

Questions about deer seasons and regulations can be directed to the Deer Hotline at INDeerHotline@dnr.IN.gov or call 812-334-3795, 8:30am to 4:00pm ET, Monday through Friday.

Legal Firearms for the deer season include: shotguns, handguns, rifles with legal cartridges, muzzleloading long guns, and muzzleloading handguns are legal during the firearms and special antlerless seasons. Only muzzleloading firearms are legal during the muzzleloader season.

Hunters may carry more than one type of legal firearm when hunting during the firearms, youth, reduction zone (in the zones where local ordinances allow the use of a firearm), and in the special antlerless seasons only.

Legal shotguns must be 10-, 12-, 16-, 20- or 28-gauge or .410 bore loaded with slugs or saboted bullets. Rifled slug barrels are permitted. Combination rifle-shotguns are allowed.

Rifles must be chambered for cartridges firing a bullet of .357-inch diameter or larger, have a minimum case length of 1.16 inches, and have a maximum case length of 1.8 inches, and are legal to use only during the deer firearms, youth, reduction zones from November 14-January 31 (in zones where local ordinances allow the use of a firearm), and special antlerless seasons.

The following rifle cartridges may be used both on public and private land. They include the .357 Magnum, .350 Legend, .358 Hoosier, .38-.40 Winchester, .41 Magnum,.41 Special, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .44-.40 Winchester, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .458 SOCOM, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, .50 Action Express, .500 S&W, .460 Smith & Wesson, .450 Bushmaster, and .50 Beowulf.

Full metal jacketed bullets are illegal.

Additional rifle cartridges may be used for deer hunting on private land only. During the firearms, reduction zone from November 14, 2020 - January 31, 2021 (in zones where local ordinances allow the use of firearms), youth season, and special antlerless season (where open), rifles firing cartridges meeting the following requirements may be used to hunt deer on private land only. The cartridge must have a minimum case length of 1.16 inches and a maximum case length of 3 inches.

The cartridge must fire a bullet with a minimum diameter of .243 inches (same as 6 mm).

A hunter must not possess more than 10 of the cartridges while hunting deer.

Full metal jacketed bullets are illegal.

DNR Stocks Coho Salmon

More than 36,000 Coho salmon were recently stocked in multiple rivers and streams in northern Indiana in the middle of October.

Bodine State Fish Hatchery released Coho salmon into the Little Calumet River and Trail Creek. A total of 14,000 fish were stocked into the East Branch of the Little Calumet. About 22,000 fish were planted into Trail Creek. The fish were approximately 7.2 inches long.

Mixsawbah State Fish Hatchery plans to stock approximately 16,500 Coho salmon into the Little Calumet and 8,500 into Trail Creek on Oct. 29. Fish stocked will be approximately 6.5 inches long. When finished, each Lake Michigan tributary will have received nearly the same number of fish or about 30,500.

Coho salmon stocked this fall will stay in the streams until next spring, when they will migrate to Lake Michigan. They will spend one to two years there until they return to the streams where they were stocked for spawning.

Anglers should take care when fishing the areas. The fish are currently under the legal size limit and are sensitive to being caught. If you are catching undersize Coho, consider moving to a different area of the stream or try switching your method of fishing. The new fish are crucial to the continued existence of the northwest Indiana trout and salmon fishery.

‘till next time,

Jack

Readers can contact the author by writing to this publication, or e-mail at jackspaulding@hughes.net

“The Best of Spaulding Outdoors,” a compilation of 74 of Spaulding’s best articles written over the past 30 years, is available from Amazon.com.

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