Dove hunting starts strong, drops off
By Dale Bowman Post-Tribune correspondent September 6, 2012 11:26PM
Updated: October 9, 2012 2:46PM
The first hunting program at the new Reynolds Creek Game Bird Habitat Area went well in the last week. The 1,250-acre former prison site in northeast Porter County was open the first five days of September for 10 hunters daily to hunt doves.
Only a couple fields were available for the first program, but it went well.
Site staff at Kingsbury Fish and Wildlife Area, which administers the new site, said 91 doves were shot opening day on Saturday and another 25 the second day.
Remember all hunting at Reynolds Creek is by permit only.
Saturday was the effective opening of hunting in Indiana with the opening day for doves, early Canada geese, teal, snipe and rail.
At Kingsbury, 240 hunters on opening weekend shot 760 doves. Things slowed since.
At LaSalle FWA, property manager Ken Bisacchi said 741 doves were shot on opening weekend, then it “dropped drastically.’’ There were only four teal and two geese shot.
He said the rain helped some. “Some of the areas that were dry have some sheet water, which teal like,’’ he said.
It is self serve for teal, doves and geese. On Tuesday, the site goes to all day legal hours for dove hunting.
At Willow Slough FWA, the story was teal hunting. Waterfowlers killed about 150 teal (which actually is not a lot for the site) the opening few days. Another 40 were shot Wednesday, so maybe another flight came through. Dove hunting was tough because of poor field conditions.
Fishing: It’s just been tough. Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert summed up local fishing, “Things have stalled all the way around. Nothing moving, temperatures are still on the warm side. ... Hope to see things change next week.’’ That is the great hope that both steelhead will come into the streams and Chinook will start arriving on shore as the weather changes.
Capt. Rich Sleziak from Slez’s Bait Shop in Lake Station said, “The best runs aren’t until the second or third week of September. We just got spoiled the last few years (with a run around Labor Day).’’ He is concerned with the warm water still piled up in southern Lake Michigan that the fish will immediately run up the cooler streams rather than staging in front. ... There are still some fish in Trail, but they have been in there for a couple weeks. Other streams are tough. ... The most consistent fishing comes for those who simply fish local ponds and lakes with basics like red worms, wax worms and crawler pieces for whatever. ... Or catfishing on rivers like the Kankakee.
Clubbing: Rich Hedgepeth will discuss shore tactics and Jerry Ross will talk about trolling for the big salmon at the Hoosier Coho Club (hoosiercohoclub.org) meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Skwiat American Legion in Michigan City.
Public hearing: On Oct. 4, the Natural Resources Commission will conduct a public hearing in Plainfield on whether to permanently approve a rule package that includes allowing hunters to check-in deer and wild turkeys electronically. Other considerations include removing the handgun license requirement while hunting lawfully; a provision to allow a person who buys a deer license bundle to also have the option of using it to take three antlerless deer; and allowing an individual to call wild turkeys for another individual as long as the person calling for turkeys is properly licensed. Proposed language is at IN.gov/legislative/iac/20120822-IR-312120115PRA.xml.pdf. Comment may also be made at nrc.IN.gov/2377.htm (click on “Comment on Proposed Rule’’).