INDIANA TURKEY HUNTING
Indiana DNR wildlife research biologist Steve Backs expects more than 50,000 hunters for this spring’s Indiana turkey hunting season. The season runs from April 27 to May 15. Backs also expects about one-in-four hunters will bring a bearded bird home, resulting in a record harvest of roughly 11,500 turkeys. Data collected by Backs also points to a bigger Indiana turkey flock this spring. Hens observed last summer had significantly more poults than in an average year. Backs says, “last spring’s warm weather and lots of insects for food helped baby turkeys grow and survive.” Backs also noted that more and larger turkey broods were seen in areas with substantial cicada hatches. “The profuse amount of insect biomass provided by the hatching of the Brood X 17-year cicadas provided an easy food source. Wild turkeys, their poults, and other wildlife were seen aggressively feeding on newly hatched cicadas,” said Backs.
Last summer, some areas of Indiana bore an estimated 1.5 million cicadas per acre. For more Indiana wild turkey information go to: www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/hunt/turkey/turkeydata.htm
2005 turkey season
April 27 – May 15 (Bearded or male turkey only)
Protect new turkeys
A new emergency turkey-hunting rule will be in effect for the Indiana spring wild turkey hunting season. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is closing sections of east-central Indiana to spring turkey hunters in order to protect the area’s growing wild turkey flocks.
Last winter, the DNR trapped 156 wild turkeys at the Crane Naval Center in Martin County. The turkeys were released into natural areas in east-central Indiana in an attempt to establish self-sustaining wild turkey flocks. Previous turkey transplants have established viable flocks over much of the state. Last winter’s restoration effort brings the total number of wild turkeys restocked in Indiana since 1956 to 2,895 birds at 185 sites.
Wild turkeys were extirpated from Indiana at the turn of the last century. Annual Indiana spring turkey harvests now exceed 10,000 gobblers. The following areas of Indiana cannot be hunted during the 2005 spring wild turkey season: Adams Co., south of state Route 124, Blackford Co, Delaware Co., Grant Co., east of Interstate 69, Hancock Co., east of state Route 9, Henry Co., Huntington Co., south of state Route 124 and east of Interstate 69., Jasper Co., south of state Route 114, and west of Interstate 65., Jay Co., Newton Co, south of state Route 114.,Randolph Co., north of state Route 32., Rush Co., north of state Route 44., Shelby Co., east of state Route 9 and north of state Route 44., Wells Co., south of state Route 124., Whitley Co., south of U.S. 30.
New turkey tag requirements
Because the new DNR Web-generated turkey licenses do not include a turkey tag. The DNR has adopted an emergency rule allowing turkey hunters to tag wild turkeys with a piece of paper indicating the month and day of the kill and the name and address of the hunter taking the turkey.
Tagging requirements remain the same for lifetime license holders, youth license holders, landowners and lessees of land on which a turkey was taken. A sample turkey leg tag is available at: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/licenses/pdf/turkeytag.pdf.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources now sells sport licenses as well as gamebird habitat, trout salmon, and migratory waterfowl stamp privileges through an electronic licensing system called Indiana Outdoor. The system is faster, more accurate, and provides the DNR better fish and wildlife management data than the old carbon copy license book system.
Traditional lick-and-stick sport stamps are no longer available through Indiana Outdoor vendors. Instead, hunters and anglers can purchase stamp privileges. Stamp privileges listed on a license are valid in the field. Hunters, anglers and stamp collectors wanting a traditional stamp can have the stamp mailed to them after purchasing stamp privileges from the DNR Website or at an Indiana Outdoor vendor. To obtain a stamp, mail a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a note with your hunting or fishing license number to: Stamps, DNR Customer Service, Center, 402 W. Washington St., Rm. W160, Indianapolis, IN 26204. The 2005 Gamebird Habitat stamp features an autumn painting of eastern wild turkeys by artist Karen Scheberle of Michigan City.
Almost 600 bait shops, sporting goods stores, DNR offices and even grocery stores across the state offer Indiana resident and non-resident hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses, as well as sport stamp privileges from Indiana Outdoor. Here in The Waynedale News area the Bait & Hook Store at 7536 Winchester Road can answer any questions you may have regarding hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. The new system allows people to purchase licenses more quickly, as information for multiple license types can be entered electronically and printed on one easy-to-carry sheet of paper. Turkey licenses may also be purchased online at: www.IN.gov/dnr/
Turkey hunting rules: www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/huntguide1/hunting1.htm
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