Select Indiana State Park properties will close temporarily in the coming weeks for controlled deer management hunts. Each hunt runs for two days.

The first hunt is on Monday, Nov. 18 and Tuesday, Nov. 19. The second is on Monday, Dec. 2 and Tuesday, Dec. 3. The participating state park properties will close to the general public on the evening before each of the two hunts.

Participating state park properties are Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Prophetstown, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, and Whitewater Memorial state parks, as well as Cave River Valley Natural Area and Trine State Recreation Area.

The state park properties will re-open the morning after each two-day hunt. All Indiana state park properties not mentioned will be operating under normal hours.

Indiana DNR biologists evaluate which state park properties require a deer management hunt each year based on habitat recovery and previous harvest rates at each park. The state parks are home to numerous natural communities serving as significant habitat. The deer management hunts help control browsing by deer to a level to ensure healthy habitat for native plants and animals.

Only individuals selected from the draw may participate at any site.

Conservation Officer Rescues Woman

At 8 p.m. on Oct. 31, a Winchester woman was rescued by an Indiana Conservation Officer after driving her vehicle into a pond.

Joyce Phipps, age 73, was rescued from a pond in the area of county roads 400 S and 700 E in Delaware County by Indiana Conservation Officer Jordan Brand.

Phipps was driving northbound on 700 E, approaching a small bend at 400 S. Phipps missed the curve, drove straight through the bend, and landed in a pond on the northeast corner of the intersection. Her vehicle was partially submerged in 55 degree water, and she was unable to exit the vehicle.

Brand responded to a call, and upon arriving, observed the water up to the driver’s window. He entered the water to rescue Phipps. She was unable to climb out through the window, but Brand was eventually able to open her door, pull her out, and get her back to shore.

Phipps received treatment on the scene by Delaware County EMS.

Vigo County Man Arrested For Poaching

Indiana Conservation Officers arrested Clint D. Lawson, age 30, of Terre Haute, the evening of Nov. 3 on a warrant stemming from charges related to multiple counts of illegal taking of white-tailed deer. Lawson was taken to the Vigo County Jail and held on a $10,000 bond.

An investigation into Lawson’s alleged illegal hunting activities began in January 2018. Indiana Conservation Officers seized three sets of white-tailed deer antlers from Lawson in June 2018.

The three sets of antlers were, according to Lawson, scored 171”, 181 3/8”, and 185 7/8”. The size and quality of the antlers were used by officers to assess respective fair market values at $1,700, $2,300, and $2,300, estimated conservatively, at the low end of the pricing spectrum. As a result of the estimated combined value of the deer, three additional charges of theft were filed.

Charges filed:

• Three counts: Theft – Level 6 Felony

• Two counts: Unlawful Taking of White-tailed Deer – Class B Misdemeanor

• One count: Assisting a Criminal – Class A Misdemeanor

The charges are merely allegations and all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Prophetstown SP Gets Grant From Duke Energy Foundation

Oak savanna will be restored on 25 acres of Prophetstown State Park, thanks to a $20,000 grant presented by the Duke Energy Foundation to the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF) on site today.

“We appreciate the generosity of the Duke Energy Foundation,” Jody Kress, executive director of the INRF, said. “It’s great working with partners who are committed to conservation efforts throughout Indiana.”

The grant, which will be executed by the DNR, will be used to purchase an estimated 225 trees, plant and maintain them. While the INRF accepted the grant, the DNR will do the work it funds, with help from volunteers from Duke Energy.

“This grant will help us continue to restore the oak savanna habitat, just as we have been restoring the prairie and wetland habitats found at the park,” Jason Getz, Prophetstown property manager, said. “With a grant like this, we are now able to put a large amount of native oak-hickory trees in the ground to enhance wildlife habitat, replace non-native species, and create shady, open woodlands.”

Savannas, also called open oak woodlands, occur along the contact point between forest and prairie. Savannas combine parts of both forest and prairie ecosystems, including scattered oak trees and a ground cover of grasses and flowers. Historically, oak savannas and tallgrass prairies extended into northwestern Indiana. The Native American people who lived along the Tippecanoe and Wabash rivers relied upon the habitats for their daily lives.

A volunteer day during which Duke Energy employees will join Prophetstown staff to help with the restoration is in the works.

Prophetstown State Park (on.IN.gov/prophetstownsp) is at 5545 Swisher Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906.

‘till next time,

Jack

Readers can contact the author by writing to this publication, or e-mail at jackspaulding@hughes.net.

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