August marks the start of the 2002 Hunting Season. Squirrel season starts August 15. From the 2002/2003 Indiana Hunting and Trapping Guide – “Gray and fox squirrels may be taken with any equipment and ammunition during squirrel hunting season. You must meet fluorescent orange clothing requirements while hunting squirrels from November 8, 2002 through the end of the season. It is illegal to hunt squirrels from a boat that is not under power derived from a motor. Fluorescent orange clothing is not required while hunting squirrels from a boat. Shooting in to or disturbing leaf nests or squirrel dens is illegal at all times. It is illegal to hunt or possess flying squirrels. Flying squirrels are a protected species in Indiana.”
Now, I must ask, “Does “. . . any equipment and ammunition . . .” mean I can use dynamite, a high-powered deer rifle, an AK-47, hand grenades, or a helicopter to hunt squirrels? Does someone actually think that I would hunt squirrels from a speedboat under power and they have to make a law against it? Why must there be two squirrel seasons – from August 15, 2002 to December 31, 2002 North of U.S. 40 and from August 15, 2002 to January 31, 2003 South of U.S. 40? Do squirrels really read road maps?
Another question or two about that stupid opening day time, “Why does squirrel season open in the middle of one of the hottest months of the year? West Virginia opens their season in the middle of October. Usually the Mosquito’s are gone by that time. Native West Virginians know that squirrels are also still breastfeeding their young in August and September. I personally have killed squirrels that are still ‘wet’ in these two months and I just knew there would be a litter of “youngin’s” that would starve to death in a tree somewhere. I have made a point not to hunt squirrels until I think the season should come in, around October 15. And why doesn’t a squirrel hunter have to wear blaze orange all the time and not just after November 8? Aren’t there other squirrel hunters in the woods? Are the bow hunters (whose deer season opens October 1, 2002) not wanting to wear blaze orange and therefore have cause the people at the state house to pass this law? I think the people who wear camouflage are really just military wannabe’s and are playing soldier, not thinking about safety.
If I’m in the woods and I know someone else may be in the woods with a gun or a bow, I want them to see me. I would think the other person would want me to see them also. I can only conclude that camouflaged hunters are really hiding from other hunters not from the game they’re after. Several times I have had deer walk up to me and feed just a few feet away. I was dressed head to toe in blaze orange each time. I don’t think deer spook when they see colors, just movement. Does anyone have any comments on this?
VOLUNTEER POSITIONS AVAILABLE AT FOX ISLAND DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST
Immediate openings are available in several different areas of opportunity at Fox Island County Park, 7324 Yohne Road. This is a chance to experience and learn about nature while directly helping to protect a local natural treasure. Volunteer positions are open in the areas of animal and plant care, office assistant, carpentry, seasonal displays, trail scouts, bird building attendant, and event promotion. If you have interest or experience in any of these areas, please contact Jodi Leamon, Volunteer Coordinator, at 260-449-3184.
“RAPTORS” BREAKFAST WITH THE BIRDS AT FOX ISLAND
Come join guest speaker Laura Edmonds from SOARIN’ HAWK and her fine-feathered friends to learn about birds of prey. Learn from an expert on the exciting world of raptors. The live birds make for an exciting early morning start. The program will start out in a classroom and then we will go on a short bird watching hike (weather permitting). The cost for the program is $3.00 per person. You must call ahead for reservations, and hurry because classes fill up quickly. The program runs from 7am to 9am, August 21, 2002. A continental breakfast will be provided. For more information call the park at 449-3180.
“SURVIVOR” – OUTDOOR SURVIVAL SKILLS
Attention Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Scout leaders, this would be a good start on earning your Wilderness Survival Merit Badge. I talked to Chris Schult and he agreed to gear his presentation to anyone working on that badge. He said, “Here’s a good chance to learn the 10 essentials to outdoor survival. Join me, Naturalist Christian Schult at the Fox Island Nature Center on how to survive in the wild. You will learn skills such as making emergency shelters, starting fires from flint, finding food with snares and other outdoor skills needed to survive in the wild. We will start in the nature center to discuss the essentials and then make our way outside with some hands-on-activities. If you have any questions, contact me at 449-3246 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. OUTDOOR SURVIVAL SKILLS will be held Saturday, September 7, 2002 from 10am to 12noon. The cost for the two-hour course is $3 per person and reservations are required. The gate fee will be waived if you take this course. For more information or to make reservations call the park at 449-3180.