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Valley Hunter

January 3, 2006

Valley Outdoors: Looking back on outdoor events in the Wabash Valley

As another year comes to a close, it is time to look back and ruminate on the big events in the outdoor world in 2005: More land was acquired by the state Department of Natural Resources; the state of Indiana initiated a fall turkey season; Gander Mountain sporting goods opened in Terre Haute; and a potential state record buck was harvested in Morgan County.

-- Goose Pond — The IDNR purchased Goose Pond for $8 million last spring. It is one of the newest and largest state recreation areas in the Midwest, and it’s well within driving distance of Terre Haute.

Located 2 miles south of Linton on State Road 59, Goose Pond is an 8,000-acre ecosystem that adds to the already outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities found in Greene and Sullivan Counties. The new fish and wildlife area is now open to the public.

It is composed mostly of marsh and swamp ground, but there are also open fields, woods, and open water. The hunting on this property is outstanding for waterfowl, deer, and upland game.

For more information on the property, go to the Indiana DNR Web site.

-- Fall turkey hunting — This year marked the first fall turkey-hunting season in the state of Indiana.

Although a majority of counties in the Wabash Valley were restricted to bow (Owen and Greene Counties allowed shotgun) and I didn’t hear of any hunters harvesting toms, there is significance in the designation of this season. It shows that the turkey population across the state is thriving.

I am reminded of this success nearly every day on my drive to and from work as I see birds in the fields, particularly on those rainy days. I can’t wait until spring.

-- New outfitter opens — Terre Haute has always had several excellent sporting goods stores and still does. There was McMillans as well as The Wilderness Shop and Poff’s still remains a local institution.

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