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Deer-hunting season right around the corner

Updated: September 26, 2013 10:56PM



Sometimes the anticipation and preparation means as much as the outdoor experience itself.

When I messaged David Martin Repya for a report on fishing for salmon and trout on the lakefront around Michigan City and New Buffalo, Mich., he signed off, “Soon it will be DUCK Season.’’

Sooner than duck season it will be deer-hunting seasons. The youth deer hunt is this weekend. Bowhunting for deer opens Tuesday.

Considering the bundle of changes in deer-hunting regulations last year, this season is quieter on the regulation side.

“The only (change) of note was a correction to the deer license bundle,’’ Indiana’s deer research biologist Chad Stewart emailed. “Whereas hunters last year were locked in to having available to them two antlerless licenses and one antlered license, now they can substitute their antlered deer for an antlerless, if they wish.’’

As for predictions?

“I would expect another banner year for bowhunters and archers,’’ he emailed. “Last year was a record kill by bowhunters, in large part due to the inclusion of the crossbow. Whether they set another record this year or not I don’t know, but they should be near those same levels.

“In regards to total harvest, I wouldn’t be surprised if the final number came in below last year’s record, but I don’t expect it to be significantly lower.’’

Stewart said there are only isolated reports of Epizootic hemorrhagic disease, in contrast to widespread EHD reports last fall. Small reports have come from 18 counties with only a couple confirmations.

Driving around I have seen many out scouting and putting up stands.

It’s time.

If hunting the youth hunt at LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area, the office will not be open; use the self sign-in.

Fishing: For fishermen, the forecast looks like one to end September in style.

“It looks like a good weekend for everything, we will see what can happen,’’ said Capt. Rich Sleziak of Slez’s Bait in Lake Station. “Definitely people are happy and people are catching some fish.’’

That catching especially applies to trout and salmon in the streams.

Repya said it was slow on the lakefront at New Buffalo and Michigan City; however, he noted, “Lots in Trail Creek and lots of of fishermen, too.’’

Sleziak said a big push came in late last week with the big north blow. He echoed Repya, saying coho, kings and steelhead were in all the streams (Little Cal, Salt, Burns Ditch, Trail) and so were lots of fishermen. He said best have been No. 3 and No. 4 Mepps-style spinners or spawn.

But he noted it was slow for trollers and casters at the mouth of the Ditch, though better at the Hole-in-the-Wall.

Fishing reopened this week at Willow Slough and will be through Oct. 9. Locals are back to doing well on bluegill, site staff said.

Sleziak said bluegill are good and coming back from the deep water into 10-12 feet on Pine Lake.

Hunter ed: Spots remain for the hunter’s education course Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at Red Mill Park in La Porte; on Saturday at Bass Pro in Portage; Oct. 5 at G & D Hunting Adventures in Lake Village; and Oct. 5 and 6 at Kankakee FWA in North Judson. All registration now is online at indianahuntereducation.com/.

Slubbing: The drawing for members-only waterfowl hunts will be held during the Lake County Fish and Game (lakecountyfishandgame.org) meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the clubhouse in Griffith.

Ducks Unlimited: The DeMotte banquet is Oct. 5 at DeMotte American Legion. Contact Carl Meyer, (219) 741-7018; Tim Schultz, (219) 987-5616; or Dave Glissman, (219) 956-4615.

For the birds: The Indiana Audubon Society hosts its Fall Birding Festival at Indiana Dunes on Oct. 4-6. Register at indianaaudubon.org.



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