ALLEN COUNTRY 4-H SHOOTING SPORTS CLUB PROGRAMS
These programs are sponsored by the Allen County 4-H Shooting Sports Club. The programs teach safe handling of firearms, proper use of equipment, shooting techniques and ethics of good shooters.
MUZZLELOADING – This program will begin Thursday, April 25 at 7pm at the Allen County Extension Office, located at 4001 Crescent Avenue. Then the program will continue at the Izaak Walton League, Huntertown on May 2,9,16,23 and 30 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Registration is limited. Advanced registration is required.
These programs are open to all youth grades 3-12. The cost is: $20. Equipment will be provided. Please call the Allen County Extension Office at 481-6826 to request additional information. Instructors are certified through the Indiana 4-H Shooting Sports Program of Purdue University and the Department of Natural Resources.
HUNTING, TRAPPING, AND FISHING LICENSES NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE
State fishing and hunting licenses expired February 28, 2002. State trapping licenses will expire March 31, 2002.
Now the first step in getting ready for a hunting, fishing or trapping excursion is going online to get your license. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources and access Indiana, the state's official Web site, have teamed up to offer annual Indiana resident and non-resident hunting, trapping and fishing licenses online. Indiana trout/salmon, waterfowl and game bird stamps are also available from the web site.
In less time than it takes to drive to the store, the license can be printed off your personal computer — ready to use. The steps are simple. Users need only provide some basic personal information, such as name, address and date-of-birth, and then select which licenses to purchase. In addition to the standard license fee, there is a convenience charge of $1 for each license plus a small processing fee. You will need a Visa, Discover, American Express or Master Card. To learn more about the hunting, trapping and fishing licenses available online, go to the Indiana DNR web site at: http://www.wildlife.IN.gov
The Indiana disabled American veteran fishing and hunting license requires submission of an application form certified by the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. Certified disabled veterans can purchase DAV licenses by mail, or in person at most DNR properties and many sport license vendors.
More information and an application form at: http://www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/licenses/dav.htm
DNR HONORS NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION PARTNERS
The Department of Natural Resources recently honored two individuals and one organization for natural resource conservation work. "The Department of Natural Resources appreciates the contributions of determined partner organizations and heroic individuals who share in the responsibility of protecting Indiana's great natural treasures," said DNR Director John Goss.
Conservation Organization of the Year
ACRES Land Trust claimed the DNR's Conservation Organization of the Year Award for prudent management of 44 nature preserves in 12 northeast counties. "These natural areas provide vital habitat for river otters, badgers, rattlesnakes, huge tulip poplars and rare orchids," said Goss. "For more than 40 years, ACRES has been using good common sense in protecting some of Indiana's best natural areas."
Conservation Communicator of the Year
Don Mulligan of Hamilton County was awarded 2002 Conservation Communicator of the Year honors for improving press coverage of natural resource conservation issues in Indiana. "In just one year, Don has become one of the most widely read outdoor writers in the state. Using spare time leftover from his regular job, he has written knowledgeable, insightful articles about walleye fishing, duck hunting, ice fishing, coyote problems and trapping," said Goss. Mulligan writes a bimonthly feature column for the Indianapolis Star's Sunday edition sports section and a monthly column for the Raghorn News.
Conservationist of the Year
Dick Mercier of Indianapolis received the DNR's 2002 Conservationist of the Year Award in recognition of his tireless volunteer work for Indiana's sportsmen and women. Mercier is a founding father of the Indiana Sportsmen's Roundtable and a seasoned natural resource conservation lobbyist in the state legislature. Under Mercier's leadership, the ISR has grown from a handful of conservation-minded groups in 1993, to more than 50,000 members. "Dick and the ISR have built a strong and effective working-relationship with the department," said Goss. The ISR has helped with the Indiana Heritage Trust, the Governor's Environmental Council, the Wetlands Advisory Committee, the CARA Coalition, hunter education, conservation legislation, and many natural resource advisory boards.
Honorable Mention Conservation Awards
Brian Smith from the Raghorn News, Indiana Karst Conservancy, Coal Creek Chapter of Pheasants Forever, The Woodland Steward Institute, Sycamore Trails RC&D Council, the Central Indiana Chapter of Safari Club International, Bruce Caruso from Munster, Jack Nelson from Schneider and Charles Park from LaGrange.
Indiana Otter Restoration Ahead Of Schedule
Indiana's river otter restoration is doing better than Department of Natural Resources biologists had hoped. Otters are successfully reproducing in the Muscatatuck, Tippecanoe, Patoka, St. Joseph, Upper Wabash, and Blue/south-central Ohio river watersheds.
"Young otters are already colonizing watersheds outside targeted restoration areas," said project biologist Scott Johnson. Between 1995 and 1999, DNR biologists released 303 North American river otters at 12 release sites in an effort to restore otters to Indiana. The project was made possible by donations Hoosiers made to the Non-game and Endangered Wildlife Fund on the Indiana state tax form and through assistance from the Indiana State Trappers Association. River otters had been absent from the state since the 1940s. Otters once inhabited streams and wetlands throughout Indiana. Unregulated taking of otters and loss of habitat resulted in widespread population declines. In 1942, the last sighting of a river otter was recorded in Posey County.
The Non-game and Endangered Wildlife Fund receives no tax dollars - only voluntary donations. Hoosiers may donate either all or part of their state income tax return. Look for the eagle on this year's state income tax form and help support Indiana's rare wildlife. More information on Indiana's river otter restoration program is available at: http://www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/nongame/otter.htm