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Friday, May 6, 2016

Hunting time in Indiana is here!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

For the last few weekends, I have awaken by the sound of the familiar bang of a gun.

It was that familiar sound that reminded me that I live near a woods, and it is hunting time in Indiana.

In Indiana, there are several different hunting and trapping seasons declared by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Some of the current hunting seasons include: Red and gray Fox (Oct. 15-Feb. 28), Coyote (Oct. 15-March 15), Raccoon (Nov. 8-Jan. 31), gray and Fox Squirrel (Aug. 15-Jan. 31), and Rabbit (Nov. 4-Feb. 15). In the case of trapping, you can trap Coyote (Oct. 15-March 15), red and gray Fox (Oct. 15-Jan. 31) and Raccoon (Nov. 8-Jan. 31).

All of the specifications about trapping, hunting and running hours along with bag limits can be found by looking at the current Hunting and Trapping Guide found at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2711.htm.

Please remember that deer season is broken down into different categories with early archery season running from Oct. 1-Nov. 27. Firearms for deer is from Nov. 12-Nov. 27, muzzleloader from Dec. 3-Dec. 18, and later archery is from Dec. 3-Jan. 1. For safety and by regulations, you should only hunt deer a half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset. Remember that all deer must go through a check station within 48 hours of harvest.

Hunting allows you to bond with your family and friends. However, it is very dangerous. No matter what you are hunting, you should always remember to wear something orange to help make you visible to other hunters. If you are using an elevated deer stand, make sure to use only a solid ladder, sturdy platforms, or safety harness to climb in and out of the stand. It is also a good idea to use pull ropes to raise and lower firearms to and from these locations. When raising and lowering the firearm, make sure it is not loaded.

If you are hunting with others, it is a good idea to establish "zones of fire."

This will help pre-determine the shooter based on where the animal is located at and prevent an accident from occurring.

Here are a few common sense items to remember. Never point a firearm at any object you don't intend to shoot. Don't use rifles with scopes as binoculars to casually view where someone else is hunting. Never run with a loaded gun. Never climb or cross an obstacle with a loaded gun (including a fence). Never shoot a gun you believe has an obstruction in the barrel. Do not trespass when hunting; always get permission before stepping foot on someone else's land.

Lastly, always treat the firearm as if it were loaded because you never know when you might drop it.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Nov. 15 -- Clay County Extension Board meeting,

* Nov. 17 -- PARP Program, Sullivan County 4-H Building. Cost is $10 for PARP credit. Call 812-268-4332 for more information,

* Nov. 18 -- Clay County 4-H Achievement Night,

* Nov. 29 -- Owen County Extension Board meeting,

* Nov. 30 -- Goat and Sheep Webinar, Owen County Extension Office. Call 812-829-5020 by Nov. 23 to register. No cost to attend, and

* Dec. 7 -- Goat and Sheep Webinar, Owen County Extension Office. Call 812-829-5020 by Nov. 23 to register. No cost to attend.