Jack Spaulding

I could detect a slight forlorn sound in my wife’s voice when she said, “There is something in the garage I want to show you.”

There, lying on one of my work tables was a wide light maple branch with a small woven nest containing three tiny ivory colored eggs. The nest was larger than a hummingbird’s and was about 2 ½ inches across. The eggs were a little larger than the size of a cooked Northern bean.

“I was trimming the low branches in the side yard, and I didn’t see the nest until it floated to the ground.”

The broad light branch cloaked with leaves made for a natural parachute and the nest came to rest on the ground with no damage to it or to the eggs inside.

“What are we going to do?”

I said, “We’re going to put it back.”

I got some lengths of stout twine, and we headed back to the side yard where Chris remembered lopping off the limb.

Pulling the severed limb down, we tightly lashed the limb containing the nest and eggs to the top of it and eased it back into position. We put the nest on the same level and only about two feet back from its original location.

The next day, I carefully walked into the side yard, and I saw two very small sparrow-like birds leaving the canopy in the vicinity of the nest.

Backing off, I have curtailed my curiosity to give the birds a chance to get used to their newly relocated housing.

Annual License Extension

Indiana’s 2019-2020 annual licenses have been extended until end of June. All 2019-20 basic hunting, basic fishing, hunt/fish combo, youth licenses, and stamps set to expire March 31, 2020 are now valid until the end of June. After June 30, you will need a 2020-21 license and/or stamp to hunt, fish, or trap.

Keep a printed or electronic copy with you while hunting or fishing. If you do not have a 2019-20 annual license or stamp, a 2020-21 annual license is required. One hundred percent of your purchase goes directly toward the conservation of Indiana’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Licenses can be purchased online at on.IN.gov/INhuntfish.

Biologists Surveys Make Fishing Better

Division of Fish & Wildlife fisheries biologists conduct surveys to monitor fish populations and inform management recommendations. To collect fish, biologists use a variety of methods, depending on survey objectives. Fish surveys are conducted from when ice is gone in March, through late fall in November.

By using multiple methods to catch fish, biologists can obtain a snapshot of the entire fish community. The most common survey type in May and June uses three methods. The first collects the majority of near-shore fish with electrofishing during which fish are temporarily stunned and netted by using a measured electrical current in the water. For the second, biologists use trap nets extending from the shore to a basket. Nets are set perpendicular to the shore, collecting fish moving overnight nearby. Trap nets often collect more and larger panfish than electrofishing does. The third method uses gill nets, which are set off shore, often near drop-offs. The nets entangle fish not found typically close to shore such as shad, suckers, and bullheads. All fish are placed in a livewell, where they are sorted, counted and measured before being released back into the water.

Survey reports are available for different lakes on the Where to Fish map or you may contact your district fisheries biologist for more information.

Landowners Paid For Public Hunting Access

Indiana’s DNR is seeking private landowners to allow limited turkey, Northern bobwhite, ring-necked pheasant, and American woodcock public hunting opportunities on their properties. Landowners receive financial incentives and habitat management assistance through the Indiana Private Lands Access Program (IPLA). Participating landowners are eligible for incentives up to $25 an acre for fall Northern bobwhite, pheasant, and woodcock hunting opportunities, and up to $16 an acre for spring turkey hunting opportunities.

DNR biologists work closely with each landowner to develop a wildlife habitat management plan and to schedule hunting opportunities on their land. Additional financial incentives and habitat management assistance are available for improving habitat on land enrolled in the program. Habitat teams are also available to assist landowners with implementation of habitat work on enrolled properties.

Landowners located within the program’s five focal regions across the state are strongly encouraged to apply.

Region 1 (West Central Indiana): Sullivan and Daviess counties, Greene County west of U.S. 231, Clay County south of U.S. 40

Region 2 (Southwest Indiana): Gibson, Pike, Warrick, and Spencer counties.

Region 3 (Southeast Indiana): Ripley and Scott counties, Jackson and Jennings counties south of US 50.

Region 4 (Northwest Indiana): Benton and White counties, Jasper and Newton counties south of State Road 10, Warren County north of State Road 28

Region 5 (Northeast Indiana): All of LaGrange, Steuben, Noble and Dekalb counties.

‘till next time,

Jack

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

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