The Herald Bulletin

May 22, 2013

Rick Bramwell: Hunter in for big changes

For The Herald Bulletin

— Big changes are likely in store for Hoosier hunters this coming season.

I’m especially excited about the change in rabbit hunting. Slight adjustments will also be seen in deer hunting. It all adds up to more opportunities afield.

After extensive research by Ball State University, biologists determined that there were still some young rabbits in the nest as late as mid-October. They used eyeballs collected from hunters to gain needed data. Many state properties were open to rabbit hunting October 1.

The Indiana DNR decided to make rabbit season the same statewide. If considered proposals are adopted, Daisy, my beagle, will be hunting under the gun, Nov. 1 thru Feb. 28.

An early archery season, without crossbows, is almost certain as is a January primitive muzzleloader opportunity.

The early archery season will run from Sept. 15 thru 30 and a draw-loc will likely be approved for bows. A primitive muzzleloader season will begin the first Monday in January and run for six more days.

I-74 will be the new dividing line for quail. North bag limit will four birds.

There has undergone a changing of the guard at the DNR. Rob Carter, DNR Director, took a job in the private sector. Stepping up to the plate is Cameron Clark former legal counsel to the DNR.

Coaching softball has limited my opportunities to fish, but others are taking up the slack. The Crappie USA Event at Patoka Reservoir last Saturday yielded a 2.59 lb. crappie. Best weight was seven crappies weighing 7.4 lbs. Light blue jigs, at the main lake area, worked best.

Alen Muey, Moe Manghelli, and Lonnie Gregory made hay in Northern Michigan catching mostly big smallmouth bass. The trio had 50 bass over three pounds, 20 over four, and four over five lbs. “The fish were in five feet of water or less with daily rising water temperatures,” said Muey.

Clifford McCord made the most of a recent trip to Lake Erie. He landed a 31 inch, 12 lb. walleye.

Todd Staley and I fished a local pit Friday morning. The first round, using worm and craw imitations, we caught one bass. A switch to a top water jerkbait really turned them on. The largest was 4.5 lbs.

Some bass were on the nest while others seemed to be chasing schools of fry. Hopefully, a break from the girls will get me on the water this weekend.

Rick Bramwell’s outdoors column appears on Thursdays.