Sports and Outdoors

Monday, October 31, 2011

Parks closed for hunting

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Select Indiana state parks will close temporarily for two rounds of controlled deer reduction hunts in the coming weeks.

The first reduction is Nov. 14-15. The second round is Nov. 28-29. The participating parks will close to the general public the evening before each of the two efforts and will re-open the morning after each two-day reduction.

The state parks closing temporarily this year for deer reductions are Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Turkey Run, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial.

Each year, DNR biologists evaluate which parks require a reduction based on habitat recovery and previous hunter success at each park. The state parks are home to more than 32 state-endangered plants and numerous significant natural communities. The reductions help control browsing by deer to a level that helps maintain habitat throughout the state parks.

Though the parks have had much success since the first reduction in 1993, a high no-show rate of those drawn and over-selective hunting remain a challenge for the program.

Only individuals and those listed on their applications drawn last September may participate at any park, besides Indiana Dunes, Turkey Run, Fort Harrison, and Spring Mill state parks. A public standby drawing to fill spots left vacant after 7:30 a.m. local time will take place at Indiana Dunes (firearms hunt), Turkey Run (firearms hunt), Spring Mill (firearms hunt), and Fort Harrison (archery hunt) state parks each morning.

To be eligible for the standby drawings, the candidate must be an Indiana resident (or possess an Indiana lifetime license to take deer), be 18 years old by Nov. 14, 2011, and possess any valid deer license for Indiana. You must present a photo ID and any valid filled or unfilled license to take deer. Standby drawings will take place at 8:30 a.m. local time. Potential standby participants can apply onsite between 7:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. local time but cannot enter the park before 7:30 a.m. Applications can include up to three individuals. This is a drawing based on how many unclaimed spots there are for each day. It is not first-come, first-served. Spots will be limited as they are based on the number of no-shows each day. The need for stand-in hunters increases with each hunt day. If you have questions, please call the property of interest.

Information regarding 2012 state park deer reductions, including applications, will be available next summer at

The DNR will conduct controlled Canada goose reduction hunts at Ouabache, Shakamak, and Whitewater Memorial state parks in November.

Similar reductions have occurred since 2007 and are part of a management plan that includes non-lethal methods also.

Goose reductions will take place Nov. 28-29. These dates coincide with goose hunting season and annual deer reduction efforts at Ouabache, Shakamak, Whitewater Memorial and several other state parks. The parks will close to the general public the evening of Nov. 27 and will re-open the morning of Nov. 30.

Large amounts of goose waste at park beaches, picnic areas and in bank-fishing locations have raised health concerns, adversely affected visitor enjoyment, increased erosion, and resulted in increased operating costs.

Reduction hunts are only one aspect of DNR’s approach to managing Canada geese, according to Mike Mycroft, chief of natural resources for DNR State Parks & Reservoirs.

“The high recreational demand on the parks during periods of more optimum goose hunting has caused us to combine the reduction effort with other techniques, including ongoing harassment and nest management,” Mycroft said. “Combining these techniques is beginning to show favorable results and fewer parks needing reductions this year.”

Participation will be allowed on a daily first-come, first-served basis until available spots are taken. Spots will become available again throughout each day as hunters leave. Potential participants can arrive starting 90 minutes before sunrise local time. Shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to 4 p.m. local time. Though hunting parties of two to four are desired, individuals are allowed. Questions should be directed to the park of interest.

Participants must be Indiana residents and 18 years old by Nov. 28, 2011. Hunters must present a valid hunting license, state waterfowl stamp, HIP number, and federal duck stamp on site on the day of the reduction. Apprentice licenses are not applicable. Dogs, boats and temporary blinds are allowed. Though Canada geese are the only harvest permitted, all state and federal laws pertaining to waterfowl hunting apply.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo Halloween events start tonight

From the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo:

The zoo’s Halloween event has a new twist – it’s now the WILD Zoo Halloween.

Kids will get candy, participate in a daily costume parade, visit the Mummy’s Kitchen and the Beauty Shop of Horrors, meet Broomhilda the witch, navigate a corn maze, pick a pumpkin, dance the Monster Mash, and more.

Wild Zoo Halloween activities are located in the Central Zoo and portions of the Australian Adventure. The African Journey and Indonesian Rain Forest will not be open during the Wild Zoo Halloween.

Daily Activity Schedule

12:30 Meet K’Zoo
1:00 Costume Parade
1:30 Creatures of the Night Live Animal Show
2:00 Meet K’Zoo
2:30 Monster Mash Dance Party
3:00 Sea Lion Feeding
3:30 Creatures of the Night Live Animal Show

All activities (except Sea Lion Show) are held on the Australian Adventure Plaza

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Athletic awards tonight

Bluffton High School will hold an athletics award ceremony at 7 p.m. tonight at the high school.

Friday, October 21, 2011

November extension calendar

  • October 29 — Wells County Health Fair, 7:00 – 11:00 AM, Lancaster Elementary School
  • October 30 — Wells County 4-H Achievement Program, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 4:30 – 6:30 PM. Carry-in meal at 4:30 PM
  • November 3 — Council on Agriculture, Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET), Beck Center,
  • West Lafayette
  • November 3 — Wells County 4-H Council, Wells County Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 7:00 PM
  • November 5 — Indiana 4-H Congress, State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis, 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
  • November 6 — 4-H Association Budget Committee meeting, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 6:00 PM
  • November 8 — Election Day – County Offices Closed
  • November 11 — Veterans Day – County Offices Closed
  • November 14 — Northeast Indiana 4-H & FFA Career Development Event (Forestry, Crops & Entomology), Whitley County Fairgrounds, Columbia City, Registration 5 PM, Judging 5:30 PM
  • November 15 — Holiday Happenings entitled A Safe & Happy Holiday, program sponsored by Wells County Extension Homemakers, Community Center, 4-H Park, 6:30 PM. Pre-registration appreciated. Cost is $5.00. Local Artist Nancy Wagner will be painting an autumn scene on slate which will be auctioned off at the end of the evening. Holiday candy making by Kay Prosser and holiday safety tips from Bluffton Police Dept. and Bluffton Fire Dept. Call Wells County Extension Office 260-824-6412 for registration form.
  • November 17 — Wells County Career Expo, Wells County Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Thursday, October 20, 2011

ESPN 3D’s college basketball schedule announced

ESPN 3D will present 43 college basketball games this year, increasing the network’s coverage in its second year. The schedule includes ESPN 3D’s first-ever women’s basketball game – Kentucky at Tennessee on February 13 -- as well as the first 3D editions of College GameDay Driven by State Farm, televising four editions of the Saturday morning show during the season.

College basketball fans will see some of the best teams compete again this year when ESPN 3D televises several top matchups. The action tips off Friday, Nov. 11, with the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic featuring Michigan State vs. North Carolina at 7 p.m. ET. The game is the first men's college basketball game to be played on the deck of a United States military aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson. This unique Veterans’ Day event will honor the men and women in the armed forces and will take place in the San Diego harbor.

From Nov. 24 – 27, ESPN 3D will once again televise all 12 games from the Old Spice Classic at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. Other upcoming basketball highlights include the return of the men’s Jimmy V Classic Presented by Corona Extra on Tuesday, Dec. 6 and the BIG EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters in March.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fan Jam set for October 27 at Worthen Arena

From Ball State University:

MUNCIE, Ind. – Ball State basketball fans will get a chance to kick off the 2011-12 seasons at the school’s annual Fan Jam with the men’s and women’s teams at Worthen Arena Thursday, October 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission is free and basketball sling bags will be given out to the first 250 kids in attendance. The Fan Jam gives all fans the chance to meet the coaches and players, plus receive your 2011-12 autographed basketball posters.

There will be plenty of games, contests and prizes including chances to play with players at interactive basketball stations and inflatables on the arena floor. A special appearance will be made by Charlie Cardinal, the Ball State Cheerleaders and the Code Red Dance Team.

Free food and drink will be provided courtesy of Ball State athletics and participating sponsors, including Marsh Supermarkets, Papa John’s Pizza, Sports Clips and Texas Roadhouse.

Additionally, fans attending Fan Jam will be eligible for a special season ticket offer that night only. If you buy one season ticket, you will get a second season ticket free (offer not valid for ticket renewals).

The Ball State men’s basketball team opens the season November 7 as it hosts Taylor in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. while the women’s basketball team will host St. Joseph’s November 3 in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. Admission is free for both games.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Burning yard debris is harmful to health and the environment

From the Indiana Department of Environmental Management:

Leaves, branches, twigs and other yard debris have started to accumulate in Hoosier yards, and there are ways to get rid of these unwanted wastes without burning them. Mulching, composting and chipping dispose of yard waste without creating harmful smoke.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) reminds Hoosiers that all smoke is harmful to human health and the environment. Smoke from wood contains carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, fine particles and ozone-forming chemicals. Burning leaves, grass clippings, weeds, wet wood and other high-moisture wood products will increase the volume of these chemicals in the smoke and the harm to human health.

IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly recommends safer, healthier ways to get rid of yard waste this fall. “There are so many good, environmentally-friendly alternatives to burning, it just makes sense for Hoosiers to put away their matches,” said Commissioner Easterly. “Alternative debris disposal creates mulch and wood chips that can be used on your lawn and in your garden.”

Alternatives to open burning include:

  • Mulching – Mulch leaves and twigs by chopping them up with a lawnmower. This returns nutrients to the grass.
  • Composting – Pile grass clippings, leaves, branches and weeds in a container or on the ground. They will break down naturally into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Cities, townships and counties have leaf collection programs if you don't have the yard space for composting.
  • Chipping – Borrow or rent a chipper to chip up large branches and small trees. The wood chips can be spread around trees and flower beds to retain soil moisture and control weeds.

More information about yard debris disposal can be found on IDEM's website at

About Open Burning

It is always illegal to open burn trash. Clean wood products, such as leaves and twigs, may be burned under conditions allowed by state rules and local ordinances. This includes burning clean wood products in an elevated, well-ventilated container with a mesh cover and with adequate fire extinguishing equipment nearby. Burning of any kind is prohibited in Lake, Porter, Clark and Floyd counties. Visit to see Indiana’s open burning requirements and to view IDEM's open burning brochure.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Youth rabbit hunt at Salamonie Lake, Oct. 29

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

DNR staff from Salamonie Lake and the Indiana Beaglers Alliance invite youth between ages 11 and 17 to participate in a special rabbit hunt Oct. 29 at Salamonie Lake.

The event begins at 7 a.m. at the property’s visitors center and ends at noon. A free lunch will be provided after the event.

Advance registration is required by Oct. 27. Call Jack Hyden at (574) 551-4067.

Participants must have either a valid Indiana Youth Hunting License or Apprentice License. Youth Hunting Licenses are $7 and will be available at the visitor center the morning of the hunt. Licenses are also available at

Participants are encouraged to have attended and passed a Hunter Safety Education Course. Find hunter education information at

Each youth hunter will be supervised and assisted by an adult mentor during the hunt. Adults wishing to volunteer as dog handlers or mentors also must register in advance by calling (574) 551-4067. Shotguns will be provided for youth who do not have their own. Parents are encouraged to accompany the youth.

Salamonie Lake is at 9214 West Lost Bridge West, Andrews, 46702

For more information: Justin Harrington, DNR State Parks & Reservoirs, (260) 468-2125,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hunters and landowners can work together

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Landowners experiencing deer damage to crops, forest regeneration or landscaping can get help from hunters in protecting their property through the DNR’s Hunters Helping Farmers program.

In order to minimize such damage, the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife recommends that such landowners start a hunting program during the regular deer hunting seasons, which are quickly approaching. Archery season has already begun, and firearms season begins Nov. 12.

Each district DNR wildlife biologist maintains a list, by county, of deer hunters who want to participate in the program. Landowners having difficulty finding hunters may contact their district’s biologist for a copy. Contact information for district biologists is at

A helpful Hunting Permission Form for landowners to use is available at by scrolling to General Hunting Regulations and clicking on “Trespassing” at the bottom of the page.

More information on managing deer is available at

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

N-B Video: IHSAA girls' cross country sectional

Learn more in the Wednesday, Oct. 12, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall events at Ouabache State Park

From the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services:

Friday, October 28, 2011

  • Evening Roving Interpreter — Be on the lookout for your Interpretive Naturalist, Jennifer. Find out what she’s carrying and get event fliers.
  • 8:30 pm “Creepy” Creature Campfire — “Fall” in love with some otherwise misunderstood night time creatures. Join us around the campfire as we discuss bats and owls. There will even be a “creepy” creature guest appearance. Bring a lawn chair and/or blanket. Meet outside the Campview Shelter in the middle of Campground A.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
  • 9:00 am Bison Breakfast Buffet —Get an up-close look at our resident bison while they eat. Meet at the Bison Pen Shelter.
  • 1:00 pm Fall Color Hike — Why do leaves turn different colors? Which leaves change to yellow, orange, red, and brown? Join us on a short hike to marvel at the autumn colors. Meet at the Campview Shelter in the middle of Campground A.
  • 1:00 pm Leaf Man — Inspired by the book Leaf Man written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert, kids will search for nature findings to create their own Leaf Man or critter to take home. Meet at the Campview Shelter in the middle of Campground A.
  • 2:00 – 4:00 pm Fabulous Fall Festivities — Come and go as you please to the Campview Shelter in the middle of Campground A to decorate a Picture-Perfect Pumpkin for the Pumpkin Decorating Contest or to enjoy an assortment of nature-related fall activities.
  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm Trick-or-Treating — Put on your silliest, most original, or classic costume and trick-or-treat around the campgrounds. Campers – be on the lookout for some trick-or-treaters in search of tasty treats. Please be cautious as you enter and exit the campground area during this time. The safety of our children is top priority!
  • 7:00 pm Straw Rides — Take a short straw ride around the campground to see all the decorations. Meet at the lawn outside the South Comfort Station between Campgrounds A and B.
  • 7:00 pm Campsite Decorating & Picture Perfect Pumpkin Judging — Put on those finishing touches! Campsite judging begins in Campground A then moves to Campground B. Pumpkin judging will be held in the Campview Shelter.
  • 8:00 pm Cider & S’mores Award Ceremony — Cuddle up around the campfire with a delicious treat. Campsite and Pumpkin Decorating winners will be announced! Picture Perfect Pumpkin participants may pick up their pumpkins after the ceremony. Meet at the Campview Shelter in the middle of Campground A.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Waterfowl hunting season opens in the North Zone Oct. 15

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Dust off the calls and decoys, Indiana’s waterfowl hunting season begins Saturday, Oct. 15 in the North Zone; Oct. 22 in the South Zone; and Oct. 29 in the Ohio River Zone.

Waterfowl hunting season in Indiana is divided into three zones: North, South and Ohio River. Each zone has different a season for ducks and Canada geese. Light (snow/Ross) geese, brant and white-fronted geese are regulated statewide.

The North zone is defined as that part of Indiana north of a line extending east from the Illinois border along Indiana 18 to U.S. 31; north along U.S. 31 to U.S. 24; east on U.S. 24 to Huntington; and southeast on U.S. 224 to the Ohio border.

The South Zone is that portion of the state south of the North zone boundary and north of the Ohio River zone.

The Ohio River zone is that portion of the state south of a line extending east from the Illinois border along Interstate 64 to New Albany; east on Indiana 62 to Indiana 56; east on Indiana 56 to Vevay; along Indiana 156 along the Ohio River to North Landing; north on Indiana 56 to U.S. 50; and northeast on U.S. 50 to the Ohio border.

View the hunting dates for each zone at

The daily bag limit for ducks is six. This includes any combination of goldeneyes, ruddy ducks, ring-necked ducks, buffleheads, gadwalls, long-tailed ducks, scoters, teal, wigeon and shovelers. There are additional bag limit restrictions on numerous duck species. Review these restrictions online at The possession limit for Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant is two times the daily limit. There is no possession limit for light geese.

The youth waterfowl seasons are also zone specific. The North zone youth waterfowl season is Oct. 8-9, South zone youth waterfowl season is Oct. 15-16, and Ohio River zone youth waterfowl season is Oct. 22-23. The youth seasons are open to hunters 15 years of age or younger. To participate, youths must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. An adult may accompany more than one youth. The licensed accompanying adult may hunt only snow geese, brants, and whitefronted geese (if those species are in season). If the accompanying adult does not intend to hunt and does not possess a firearm, the adult does not need to be licensed. Bag and species limits are the same as those allowed in the regular season.

A hunter must possess a hunting license, resident youth consolidated hunting license, or disabled American veteran’s hunting license, in addition to a state waterfowl stamp privilege and HIP registration number. Any hunter 16 years or older must have a signed federal duck stamp when hunting ducks and geese. Those that possess valid lifetime hunting or lifetime comprehensive hunting licenses do not need the Indiana waterfowl stamp; however, they still need to have a HIP registration number and a federal duck stamp if 16 years old or older. Resident landowners or lessees, hunting on farmland they own or lease, are exempt from the state license requirement except that a federal duck stamp and HIP registration are still required.

See for additional waterfowl hunting regulations.

Friday, October 7, 2011

4-H Extension calendar for October

  • October 8: Northeast Indiana 4-H & FFA Soils Judging Contest, Adams County
  • October 14: Girls' Night Out, 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m., 4-H Park
  • October 17: Wells County 4-H Association, 7:30 p.m., Community Center, 4-H Park
  • October 29: Wells County Health Fair, 7-11 a.m., Lancaster Elementary School
  • October 30: Wells County 4-H Achievement Program, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 4:30-6:30 PM, Carry In Meal at 4:30 PM

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More photos from the Norwell boys' sectional soccer match

Learn more in the Thursday, Oct. 6, News-Banner.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Squeeze in one more weekend of camping

Though the temperatures are rapidly dropping, the campgrounds are still open, and the Mississinewa Lake area is holding aweekend's worth of fall activities for those looking for one more weekend escape before hibernating.

6 p.m. — Sign-up for campsite decorating and trick-or-treating and pick up shirts. If you've ordered and paid for a shirt, it will be available at the program shelter. Sign your campsite up for trick-or-treating and the decorating contest by noon on Saturday. Pick up your program passes at this time.
7:30 p.m. — Welcome and kettle corn distribution. We'll have announcements and popcorn. Bring your own drink and bowl.

9:30 a.m. — Sign-up for campsite decorating and trick-or-treating and pick up shirts. If you've ordered and paid for a shirt, it will be available at the program shelter. Sign your campsite up for trick-or-treating and the decorating contest by noon on Saturday. Pick up your program passes at this time.
10 a.m. — Pumpkin carving contest. We'll provide one pumpkin per registered family. Additional pumpkins may be purchased while supplies last.
11:30 a.m. — Pumpkin judging. Award certificates given out after judging.
1:30 p.m. — Lawn game tournament. Bring your team of two to play bean bag horseshoes or compete in the ladder game using tethered tennis balls.
4:30 p.m. — Trick-or-Treat time for children. Roads will be closed to vehicle traffic through 5:30 p.m. for trick-or-treat time. If you choose to participate, hang up a sign and the kids can visit your site during this hour to collect candy.
7p.m. — An Evening of music at the amphitheater.
8 p.m. — Campsite judging. Decorated campsites that registered for the contest will be judged at this time and awards will be distributed Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m.

8 a.m. — Nondenominational worship.
9:30 a.m. — Awards program. Meet at the Interpretive Shelterhouse for the campsite decorating awards. The campsite in first place wins three free nights of camping; second place wins two free nights, and third place wins one free night of camping at Mississinewa Reservoir in the future. Holiday weekends, autumn camping weekends, cabins and AA sites are excluded.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Photos from the Norwell boys' tennis sectional win