Sports and Outdoors

Friday, August 3, 2012

Free beginner waterfowl hunting workshops offered

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is offering three free waterfowl hunting workshops, two this month and one in October.

All are on Saturdays. The first will be at Farmland Conservation Club (Winchester), Aug. 18, from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. The second is at Glenns Valley Conservation Club (Martinsville), Aug. 25, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The third is at Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area (Linton), Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The same material will be covered at all events—there is no need to attend more than one.

The workshops are for novice waterfowl hunters and those who want to try waterfowl hunting for the first time. All ages are welcome.

“We have had a wide range of ages, from 8 to 73,” said DNR waterfowl biologist Adam Phelps. “All beginners are welcome.”

Parents who already hunt waterfowl are welcome to bring children, but the material is tailored for beginners; experienced waterfowl hunters are unlikely to learn much from the workshops.

“We have had well over 100 people at previous events,” Phelps said. “Feedback from participants has been excellent and helped us fine-tune the presentations for this year.”
Partly because of such feedback, this year’s workshops will include some information on duck hunting but focus on goose hunting.

“Canada geese are definitely the easiest place to start hunting waterfowl, because they are abundant, they frequently use private land, and they are easy to identify,” Phelps said.

Presentation topics will include waterfowl hunting regulations; goose and duck identification; and equipment and techniques, including a show-and-tell segment. Waterfowl hunting equipment, including blinds, waders, clothing, decoys and gadgets, will be displayed and discussed.

“Despite all the equipment you can use, we stress that you can hunt geese and ducks with a minimum outlay, so we focus on what you must have,” Phelps said.

All workshops are free, but registration is required. To register for or get more information for the Winchester site, which is at 1464 N 500 W, call Wilbur Wright FWA at (765) 529-9581. For more information on the Martinsville site, which is at 7115 Waverly Road, call Josh Griffin at (812) 526-4891. To register for Martinsville, call (765) 349-2060. For more information on the Goose Pond site, which is 1815 S.R. 59 S in Linton, call Adam Phelps at (812) 334- 1137. To register for Goose Pond, call Goose Pond FWA at (812) 659-9901.

DNR Law Enforcement and Fish & Wildlife personnel will be available to answer questions at all sites. Lunch will be provided at the morning workshops. Goose sausage will be available to sample.Workshops will vary, but all will occur at least partially outdoors. Participants should consider bringing a lawn chair and weather-appropriate clothing (a jacket or raincoat).

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