The Great Outdoors




Allen County 4-H Shooting Sports Club will be hosting a 10-week .22 Rifle class open to all youth in grades 5 – 12. The program will meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the Concordia Lutheran High School Shooting Range, starting October 9, 2002. The cost of the program is $20 per child. All equipment is provided. This series will teach safe handling of .22 Rifles, proper care of equipment, shooting techniques, and ethics of good shooters. Instructors are certified through the Indiana 4-H Shooting Sports Program of Purdue University and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The class is limited to the first 30 participants who have registered and paid. For registration information or any additional information please contact Barb Thuma, Extension Educator 4-H/Youth, Allen County Extension Office at 481-6826. It is the policy of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, David C. Petritz, Director, that all persons shall have equal opportunity and access to the programs and facilities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, or disability. Purdue University is an Affirmative Action employer.



Recently the Department of Natural Resources officials asked Indiana lawmakers to support development of an automated, electronic hunting and fishing licensing system. The system would replace the state’s current manual, hand-written licensing process. DNR director John Goss presented information to members of the Indiana General Assembly’s Natural Resources Summer Study Committee at a meeting yesterday in Indianapolis. “Since 1901, license agents have written out licenses by hand, stored carbon copies and collected fees,” Goss said. “It’s time that we streamlined this process to make things easier for hunters, anglers and license agents.” Indiana has more than 800 license agents statewide. Most agents are sporting goods stores, bait shops or hardware stores.

According to Goss, an automated system will increase the availability of licenses and make the license purchase process faster, in addition to reducing agents’ bookkeeping requirements. The DNR asked legislators to support devoting $5 million from the lifetime license fund to develop the automated system and operate it for the next four years. The General Assembly would need to amend state law to allow for this one-time use of the license fund. The lifetime fund has grown to $19.5 million. State law currently allows only 2 percent of the fund to be incorporated into the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s budget each year to provide program services, leaving a very large balance in the bank to draw interest. The one-time use of the lifetime fund will still leave a large balance to help fund fish, wildlife and law enforcement programs in the future.

Under the proposed system, license agents will have a small computer terminal connected to a central database. Agents will enter information about the license buyer and immediately print the requested licenses.

Agents will no longer need to stock pre-printed license books. All licenses will be available from every agent. “We’ve heard of people driving for hours looking for licenses the day before deer season because many agents have run out of licenses,” said Goss. “The way we are doing business was OK a hundred years ago, but not today.” “Earlier this year, I purchased my 2002 fishing license on the Internet. It was easy and very quick. We want it to be just as convenient to purchase a license from any of Indiana’s 800 agents. Now that is customer service,” Goss said. Many other midwestern states have developed centralized, electronic licensing systems, including Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.



Plan a hayride for your organization or family at Fox Island. The event is specialized for your group and is a perfect way to spend a fall evening. Not only do you get a hayride but you get a bonfire by the lake. The cost is $5 per person with a minimum of 20 people. Call Angie at Fox Island at 449-3184. Call soon, because dates fill up quickly.



Do you want a night of lunacy? Join moonstruck naturalist Bob Dispenza at Fox Island County Park on Friday, September 20, 2002 as we discover the secrets of the moon – history, facts, myth, and effects. Included will be telescopic moon observation (weather permitting), a short night hike, moon music, a real space suit like those that went to the moon, demonstrations of cratering and moon phases, and moon-related treats. It’s all you ever wanted to know about the moon. Meet at 8pm at the Fox Island County Park Nature Center. Call 449-3180 to register. Program fee is $3 per person. Don’t forget your insect repellent and moon glasses.



Dates to remember of local festivals:

September 13 & 14 (Ossian Days)
September 17 & 18 (Bluffton Free Street Fair)
September 21 & 22 (Johnny Appleseed Festival)
September 28 & 29 (Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival, Huntington)


Fox Island is putting on a pre-school (3-5 years) program on bats, our only flying animal with fur on Thursday, September 19, 2002. There will be a short hike, weather permitting, and there will be a craft project and then a snack will be served. The cost is $3 per child. Reservations are required. There will be a morning class 10am to 11am and 2Pm to 3pm. Call 449-3180. Fox Island is located at 7324 Yohne Road.


Oh, plant a butterfly garden! Learn to attract butterflies and moths by creating a habitat for them in your own back yard. Experts will show you how to lay out, build, and care for your garden on Saturday, September 21, 2002 from 10am to 11:30am. The cost is $5 per person. Reservations are required (see phone number above).
Till next time, I’ll see you in the woods or on the water.

The Waynedale News Staff
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Ray McCune

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