I'll be deer hunting during the time you're reading this. I assume that you readers are also interested in hunting. I'm not sure of your reasons for hunting but it's part of my heritage. I come from a long line of outdoor people. Some of my ancestors hunted and fished in order to put meat on the table. On TV this morning, I heard that there are 30,000 fewer hunters in Indiana than there were 10 years ago. Why is this?
WE'RE NOT PASSING ON OUR KNOWLEDGE
I think part of the reason is we're not teaching our children about the outdoors, about hunting, or about handling guns/firearms. We're losing them to Nintendo, Pac Man, the malls, and other non-outside interests. We're not passing on our knowledge or our love of the out-of-doors to our offspring. I think that since a lot of marriages end in divorce, this may be one place where we're losing them. If you're a single parent and want your children to continue in the outdoor tradition, then enroll them in Scouting and check out the programs below. Hey, you'll a least know where they're at and that they will be learning to handle firearms safely.
NO PLACE TO HUNT
I've also heard a lot of people say, "I used to hunt but there's no place to hunt anymore, farmers won't let you hunt on their land, and I don't know any farmers to ask permission." My answer? "Do you know about Huntington Reservoir, Salamonie Reservoir (my favorite), and Mississinewa Reservoir." My guess is that there are better than 30,000 acres of land to hunt and that's just the three reservoirs within driving distance to the southwest of Fort Wayne. Going up north you have Pigeon River Fish and Wildlife area; go to the west, south, southeast or northwest and there are more areas. There are thousands of acres scattered all over Indiana to hunt, or fish, so don't give me any excuse like, "There's no place to go."
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Get up off your can, grab an Indiana map and go scouting the area for places to go hunting next year. Now if you just don't want to go hunting (or fishing), then sell your equipment in the classified section of THE WAYNEDALE NEWS. I know a lot of guys (and gals) that would be interested in buying it and putting it to good use so why not call me first. In fact I have several grandchildren that will be needing some good used equipment. If you decide not to sell it and start putting it to good use, then maybe I'll see you out there in the woods or on the waters.
HUNTER SAFETY EDUCATION CLASS
Allen County 4-H will be hosting a Hunter Safety Education Class on two Saturdays – February 15 and 22, 2003. Participants must attend both days. This class is limited to 40 participants. This FREE class is co-sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources. The class will be from 8am to 3:30pm both days. It is open to adults and youth. Persons age 12 or younger must be accompanied by their parent or guardian. Participants must pre-register, call 481-6826. This class usually fills up very fast.
4-H SHOOTING SPORTS
Air Rifle Program
Beginning Tuesday, January 14, at the Hoagland Pavilion, Hoagland from 6:30pm to 8pm for 9 weeks. Dates for the program are: January 14,21,28, February 11,18,25 March 11,18,25. Program is limited to 12 participants and will be on a first paid basis. It is open to all youth in Grades 3-12. Cost for the program is $20. All equipment is provided. If you want to enroll in this program, please call the Extension Office to request the necessary paper work. This class will fill up fast.
.22 Rifle Program
.22 Rifle begins Wednesday, January 8 at Concordia Lutheran High School Shooting Range. It will meet for 10 consecutive Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. This program is limited to 30 participants and will be on a first paid basis. It is open to all youth in Grades 5-12. Cost for the program is $20. All equipment is provided. If you want to enroll in this program, please call the Extension Office to request the necessary paperwork.
WILDLIFE AND HUNTING
NEW in 2003, the Allen County 4-H will be working with Fox Island Nature Center to offer a Wildlife and Hunting Series. This eight-week series is for youth in Grades 3-12. Parents are welcome and invited to attend with their child. The series will meet at the Fox Island Nature Center beginning on January 11 - March 1, 2003. They will meet from 3-5pm on Saturday afternoons. Cost for this program will be $20, which will cover entrance to Fox Island Nature Center and all supplies for the participants.
Topics to be covered will include: Introductions and Habitats; What do animals eat?; Adaptations and Observations; Animal ID, Tracks, and Observations; Wildlife Populations and Controls; Field Trip; Management and Careers; Wild Foods, Rap-Up. Flyers will be available late November- call the Extension Office to receive one – 260-481-6826. Registration will be on a first come first paid basis. There is a minimum number of 5, maximum number of 25 for their series.