Glancing out the window last week, I saw what I thought at first were two very young Fox squirrels under the bird feeder. Continuing to watch, I could see they weren’t Fox squirrels, they were mature red squirrels. I was surprised to see them as I have only seen a red squirrel in this part of Rush County once before. I always assumed the competition with the larger fox squirrels in the area kept them from establishing a colony.

My good friend and retired conservation officer, Dean Shadley was surprised to hear me mention the rarity of red squirrels in the Moscow area. He lived for many years just north of Rushville on the Fort Wayne Road and said, “We had them everywhere! They chewed up everything in sight, and even ate a hole in my kayak.”

The red squirrel is very small in comparison to a Fox squirrel… actually tiny. To sum up the size of a mature red squirrel… think of a critter 1 ½ times the size of a chipmunk with a bushy tail. Red squirrels only weigh 6 to 8 ounces. In other comparisons, gray squirrels are about ½ the size of Fox squirrels and gray squirrels are twice as big as red squirrels.

For the novice… Fox squirrel – big; gray squirrel – medium size; and red squirrel – tiny.

As I watched the red squirrels scamper around looking for sunflower seeds, two Fox squirrels showed up and quickly ran the new guests off.

I guess they weren’t on the dinner invitation list.

License & Stamp Purchases Through Access Indiana

It is getting more complicated for the non-technology oriented outdoorsman. Indiana is now going to a new system using an online portal for the purchase of licenses and stamps and for doing other business with the State.

Any individual signing in to buy hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses will see a different look because of a new state online portal called Access Indiana.

The new portal is a safe, secure and easy to use way for citizens to interact with all facets of state government through a single login instead of many. Presently, there are 18 services users can enter from Access Indiana – a full list is available at https://www.in.gov/access/available-services.html.

Individuals who already have an Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) account to purchase licenses should watch for an email from the DNR providing helpful login information. New DNR customers will be directed to create an Access Indiana account first, before supplying additional DNR-specific account information.

To prepare for the transition, customers may create an Access Indiana account today at https://access.IN.gov. For help getting started with Access Indiana, go to: https://www.in.gov/access/getting-started.html. If a user needs additional assistance with their username or password, call 800-457-8283, for Access Indiana customer support. The DNR is unable to assist with usernames and passwords.

More information about the Access Indiana portal, answers to FAQs and other helpful information is at https://www.in.gov/access/faqs-help.html.

Thief Steals State Owned ORV & Trailer

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the theft of a DNR-owned off-road vehicle and trailer occurring between 4:00pm on Friday, July 10, and 9:00am, July 13.

The equipment was being stored in a fenced, secure area behind the property office at J.E. Roush Fish & Wildlife Area at 517 N. Warren Road in Huntington, where employees discovered an open gate, cut lock and the absence of the equipment the morning of July 13.

The missing ORV is a green 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 with Indiana ORV registration OR9994RE and the number 14T9966 displayed on the ORV. The VIN is 4XACH50A5YD424491. The ORV also has a metal DNR tag attached, displaying the number 95608.

The missing trailer is a 2000 Schwartz aluminum ORV trailer with license plate 21036. The VIN is 1S9U4701XYN383121. The trailer also has a metal DNR tag attached with the number 95698.

Anyone with information on the person or persons responsible for the theft or the location of the equipment should contact ICO Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536 or ICO District 2 Headquarters at 260-244-3720. Information can also be emailed to ICODist2@dnr.IN.gov

2020 Spring Turkey Season

During the 2020 spring season, hunters harvested 14,492 wild turkeys in 90 of 92 Indiana counties. The spring’s harvest is a 21% increase compared to the 2019 spring season. The 2020 spring season also broke the 2010 record high harvest of 13,742 birds.

Spring harvests increased in 76 counties with 12 counties exceeding 300 birds, compared to three in 2019. A total of 1,635 birds (11% of total harvest) were taken during the youth-only weekend prior to the regular season.

The estimated number of hunters afield in the spring season was 74,500 in 2020 (25% increase compared to 2019) with an estimated hunter success rate of 19%.

A detailed breakdown of spring harvest data, including previous seasons, is available on the wild turkey spring harvest data website.

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

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