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By Louie Stout

2019 Deer Season Improved – Will This Year Deliver the Same?

If this year’s deer season compares to last year, Michiana hunters should be pleased.

Deer harvest was up last year throughout Indiana counties surrounding St. Joseph and in the southwest corner of Michigan.

Biologists anticipate a similar season if not a little better. Michigan biologists say last year’s mild winter was easy on deer and note that hunters should expect a good season.

The 2019 Indiana harvest increase wasn’t substantial, and likely due to better weather hunting conditions than the previous two years. Weather often dictates how many hunters get out and stay in the field long enough to see and shoot a deer.

By Louie Stout

If anecdotal observations are a true indication, waterfowl hunters should see a good number of ducks and geese this fall.

We say anecdotal because the annual waterfowl surveys conducted nationally since 1955 were cancelled this year due to the corona virus. States conduct some of their own surveys, but the ones done in northern regions offer the best account for ducks moving southward in the fall.

Indiana waterfowl biologist Adam Phelps believes waterfowl habitat was pretty good last spring up north for birds that filter through Michiana.

By Louie Stout

If you’ve been to a tackle retailer and found it difficult to find what you need, you’re not alone.

Fishing tackle shortages are commonplace, whether it’s at your national discount store or the smaller local retailer.

It’s another aftereffect of the coronavirus. While tackle factory employees were quarantined at home, the public – furloughed from their jobs – took to fishing.

“When the quarantine went into place and you could go fishing, there were hundreds of people in our community – people who hadn’t fished before – took up fishing and liked it,” said Brendon Sutter of the Tackle Shack in Middlebury. “Meanwhile, the factories and supply chains were shut down.”

By Louie Stout

More Good News for Lake Michigan Perch Anglers

Last week we told you about the great yellow perch fishing that Lake Michigan anglers have been experiencing during this summer’s hot weather.

It’s been one of the best years as far as quantity and quality. Lake and wind conditions have been ideal for holding fish close to the southern shore, creating one of the longest stretches of good perch fishing the big lake has produced in years.

Preliminary results of an ongoing Indiana DNR research project hints that we could anticipate stable perch fishing in the years to come.

That study, which continues into September and formerly was conducted by Ball State, has been turning up some impressive numbers.

Back in May, the DNR set large gill nets near shore to assess numbers of adult perch utilizing spawning grounds. And, during June and July, DNR officials have been running a wider range of net mess sizes to further assess the population of all perch.