By Louie Stout

An Indiana deer hunting group is organizing a county-by-county pilot program aimed at gathering more public input for future deer management decisions.

The group – Indiana White-tailed Deer Herd Management (IWDHM) – is putting together county deer advisory councils, or CDACs, throughout Indiana.

The pilot program is modeled after one that has been highly successful in Wisconsin. In fact, the Wisconsin DNR routinely builds its deer quotas around each county council’s recommendations.

Unfortunately, there are no meetings planned for St. Joseph or nearby counties, but IWDHM President Matt Barton says they’d like to get one in every county of northern Indiana.

“We’re just getting started but it’s taking off fast,” he said. “Our ultimate goal is to give counties’ hunters and stakeholders a voice in how the deer are managed in their county.”

By Louie Stout

You’ve heard my rants about how the Indiana DNR took away our district wildlife biologist position.

Well, the good news is the state has restructured its wildlife division to provide a little more help.

But does it really fill the void and serve sportsmen’s needs in St. Joseph and surrounding counties?

Here’s the deal:

The DNR will add a district wildlife biologist to cover north central Indiana counties, but none in our immediate area. Also added to northern Indiana are an “urban” biologist, a “landscape” biologist and two “farm bill” biologists.

The new district biologist, who hasn’t been named as yet, will cover central Indiana counties south of Starke and Marshall counties. That person will be located at the Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area at North Judson, Ind.

By Louie Stout

Doug Miles is concerned about the deer population around his home.

Photo by Bob Robertson

Doug Miles is concerned about the deer population around his home in the northwest corner of St. Joseph County, Ind.

Miles is an avid deer hunter and landowner. He talks to neighbors, who are farmers and deer hunters.

They’re concerned, too.

“None of us saw bucks and very few does this past season,” said Miles.

That’s not the norm on property that includes several thousand acres covering Miles’ place and adjoining neighbors’. And while a lot of the land is agriculture, the owners are deer hunters and manage the land for quality bucks by maintaining good deer habitat.


By Louie Stout

When Michiana Boat & Sport Show visitors walk the floor of the South Bend Century Center Jan. 27-29, they will see bigger boats displays, more vendors and a full seminar agenda.

This marks the fifth year of the unique show sponsored by area boat dealers and the Michiana Walleye Association (MWA). Show hours are noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 9-9 Saturday and 9-4 Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults and free to kids under age 12. It’s $5 to park in the Century lot but free on Sunday.

As always, the walleye club will provide some of the manpower and the proceeds go to the club for fish stocking and youth programs.

The biggest growth is in the boat exhibits as Michiana marinas are expanding their show exposure and newcomers have joined the exhibitor list.

“Although I can probably squeeze in a couple more small booths, we’re pretty well maxed out,” said show promoter Dale Brindley. Last minute exhibitors can call him, 574-286-6311.