10/24/13 Indiana Conservation Officers across northern Indiana were kept busy this past weekend working with waterfowl hunters to manage migratory waterfowl populations which pass through Indiana during the next few months. The north zone comprises the northern third of the counties in the state. Indiana is split into three zones based on migration patterns of the waterfowl as the season progresses into winter.
Officers conducted increased patrols of the waterways on Saturday and Sunday to ensure that hunters were safely and legally pursuing their quarry which includes numerous species of ducks as well as Canada Geese. Officers were very pleased that the hunters continued the tradition Indiana hunters have of harvesting game ethically, safely, and within the law.
There were a few violations addressed however by officers that with a little pre-planning and education can be eliminated from a prospective waterfowl hunter’s “not to do” list. All firearms used in the pursuit of migratory waterfowl must have a plug which enables the firearm to hold no more than three shells in total.
Additionally all persons 16 years of age and over must purchase a federal waterfowl stamp and sign it across the face of the stamp with the hunters signature. Federal duck stamps may be ordered by calling 1.800.782.6724 or by visiting the federal duck stamps website. Federal duck stamps may also be purchased at most post offices. All waterfowl hunters must also register with the Harvest Information Program (HIP) prior to hunting migratory waterfowl. Hunter’s can register with HIP by calling 1.866.671.4499 or by visiting hunting.IN.gov.
Hunter’s must also use non-toxic shot while hunting migratory waterfowl. Other unlawful pursuits would be hunting migratory waterfowl over bait, shooting from a boat under motorized power, party hunting (filling each other’s bag limits), and hunting outside of legal hunting hours which for migratory waterfowl are ½ before sunrise to sunset.
For a more detailed and thorough explanation of the migratory waterfowl hunting rules and regulations, please visit www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3569.htm or contact Indiana Conservation Officers central dispatch center by calling 1.812.837.9536. Citizens may also call 1.800.TIP.IDNR to report violations.
Indiana Conservation Officers want to thank all migratory waterfowl hunters who lawfully pursued and helped manage the waterfowl populations over this past weekend. Officers also encourage hunters to take a kid hunting or fishing, they just may get “hooked”!