The Herald Bulletin

September 18, 2013

Rick Bramwell: Finding new hunting grounds difficult

By Rick Bramwell
For The Herald Bulletin

---- — Through the years I've had some good places to hunt. Things happen, and now I find myself down to almost nothing, but I believe when one door closes another will open.

Readers of this column know I like to hunt and fish. There are others who associate me with coaching softball and know little of my love for the outdoors. I never thought that one could influence the other until late this summer.Hunting in a place where the all-time record Madison County deer was taken seems like all one would need, but the area is small and has few deer. Plus, it is never a good idea to over-hunt a stand.

I once hunted on relatives' land in Jefferson County and still could, but I don't like spending money on motel rooms with a daughter in college. I now hunt private property in Owen County that is within 20 miles of IU and Jourdan, but it is virgin timber with no nearby crop fields.

One evening last summer, I was preparing for a softball practice when my phone rang. It was a baseball friend from Knightstown. He had a niece moving from northern Indiana into our area. She pitched and played travel ball. Her and her mother wanted softball contacts near their new home.This eventually led me to the girl's grandfather who owns a large farm about 12 miles from my house. This past Tuesday he pinpointed five woods I could hunt. I felt like a kid in a candy shop.I was able to scout one wood. A ditch ran across the north end and the rest was bordered by soybeans. It was too dry to find many tracks, but I did find some.Another timbered area features Indian mounds. I can't wait to see those.There are big bucks in the area, the farmer's son has already seen a wall hanger. I may not be able to pattern this herd until the crops are harvested. It is a good area to drive and glass so as not to disturb the deer too much.

One day cook books may become a thing of the past. To be found on the internet are recipes for almost anything. My neighbor and I planted sunflower seeds. I found one recipe that calls for boiling the seeds in salt water before baking them. Most of the recipes are rated by people who have tried them.Those plantings and residue from sweet corn has really attracted the doves. Lucky for these birds that I can't put a shotgun to my shoulder.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been found in Missouri. Eleven cases in fenced deer and 10 in the wild. CWD was first discovered in Missouri in 1910. A few years ago it began in Wisconsin and dropped down to northern Illinois.CWD has yet to be found in Indiana. Last year's record Hoosier deer harvest happened even as epizootic hemorrhagic disease (caused by a mite) was reported in 67 of 92 Indiana counties. The outbreak killed many deer before hunting season began, especially in northern Indiana. This year 15 counties have reported EHD.