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Outdoors: Pheasant, rabbit and quail season starts today

This is kind big buck — photographed near LemLake County Park by Bill Peak last week — moving around now

This is the kind of big buck — photographed near Lemon Lake County Park by Bill Peak last week — moving around now in the peak of the rut that get hunters and non-hunters alike fired up. Bill Peak/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 9, 2013 11:08AM



Budd Veverka hunts south.

But the basic advice from Indiana’s farmland game research biologist for getting permission to hunt upland game applies north as well.

“It is tough going out and talking to landowners,’’ he said. “The ones willing already have a lot of people on them. Knock on 10 doors, maybe 10 percent will let you on. That is one. Check the guy next door who is a little bit smaller. Rabbits are moving across there. Pheasants are moving.

“You are going to get shut down a lot, but you have to do. Be polite. Eventually if you work through enough people, you will get on.’’

Hunting for pheasant, rabbit and quail opens today in Indiana.

I know Veverka is right in what he says about getting on property, but I find it easier to type his advice than follow it.

Watch quail this season.

“Quail had a really good year because of the drought,’’ he said. “You may find some quail in the northwest part of the state. You may find quail in places you haven’t seen them.’’

Expectations are about usual for pheasants.

“I would expect 14,000 (pheasant) hunters, 12,000 ringnecks (harvested), just because we didn’t have a winter two years ago,’’ Veverka said.

As to rabbits, he said, “My guess is we are about square with where we have been. They don’t seem to be going up or down with them.’’

Deer: “Boys are starting to chase the girls,’’ a staffer reported at Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area. That’s true all over. The rut is on. ... LaSalle FWA has had a decent deer year so far with 20 bagged, including an 8-point on Saturday. ... Kingsbury FWA property manager Ron Lorman expects bowhunters to do well next week with the rut and the forecast for cold weather ahead of the opening of gun season on Nov. 16.

For more outdoors coverage go to post-trib.com/sports

A Facebook conversation (facebook.com/INdnr) about firearms deer season rules will be held from 2-3 p.m. Wednesday.

Fishing: There’s been spotty perch report on the Gary flats and in deeper water off the Port of Indiana. ... Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert thought rains should bring in some winter steelhead in the streams and the St. Joseph River. For the week through Wednesday morning, 584 steelhead had passed the South Bend Fish Ladder. He said there is still a few Chinook spawning and coho in. ... When weather has permitted, there’s been some good lake trout action around the reef outside the Port of Indiana. ... Breidert said some whitefish and one 4-pound walleye were in the gill nets outside of Michigan City. “Night walleye action is just around the corner and spawning whitefish is about two weeks out,’’ he emailed.

Waterfowl: It was a banner day Wednesday at Kankakee FWA when the corn opened up with 177 ducks, including 67 mallards and 60 wood ducks, and 11 Canada geese bagged. ... More water has helped at LaSalle, where property manager Ken Bisacchi said they had a good day in the west cell (which is open every third day) on Tuesday with a bag that included 15 mallards and 24 woodies. ... The first Canada goose season in the north zone ends Sunday.

Wolf walleye: Perch America, led by Bruce Caruso, had its annual stocking Wednesday at Wolf Lake of 3,700 advanced growth walleye

Hunting notes: The second doves season opens today. ... Hunting for raccoon and opossum also opens today. ... Hunting for Sora rails ends Saturday.

Cranes: The weather changes should be bringing the peak closer for cranes at Jasper-Pulaski FWA. The last count, more than a week ago, was 8,445.



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