Hunting is an outdoor sport many enjoy while learning new skills, receiving fitness benefits and bringing healthy food options to their table. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program, reported 36,825 licences for 2017 as hunting continues to be a recognized and respected sport.
Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources has recently increased their resources for handling harvested game. This new video series shares step by step instructions starting with field dressing and continuing all the way through to packaging.
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 1, Field Dressing
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 2, Hanging & Skinning
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 3, Deboning
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 4, Cutting, Grinding & Packaging
Free handling harvested game workshops are held every year in September by Purdue Extension. If you would like to attend any of the available workshops please contact Jonathan Ferris, Wayne County Extension Director, or Dave Osborne, Ripley County Extension Director. Feel free to view the Purdue Extension Calendar or the Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources’ Calendar for future scheduled workshops.
How to Score Your White-tailed Deer, video, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
White-Tailed Deer Post Harvest Collection, video, The Education Store
Age Determination in White-tailed Deer, video, The Education Store,
How to Build a Plastic Mesh Deer Exclusion Fence, The Education Store,
Bovine Tuberculosis in Wild White-tailed Deer, The Education Store,
Maine Hunting License and Rules, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
Bob Cordes, Wildlife Biologist
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Brandon Fields, Meat Science Manager
Pig Improvement Company (PIC)
Rod N Williams, Engagement Faculty Fellow & Associate Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
The DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology has discovered that a shipment of boxwood plants infected with boxwood blight was shipped to Indiana in May.
This is important because boxwood blight (Calonectria pseudonaviculata) is a fungal disease that infests members of the popular Buxaceae family, and is often transported through the nursery trade. Hosts include Buxus (boxwood), Pachysandra (Japanese spurge) and Sarcococca (sweetbox).
In total, 23 stores in Indiana received infected material in early spring (particularly “Graham Blandy” cultivar), and it’s possible that members of the public inadvertently purchased some plants.
The fungus, which can lay dormant in drier conditions, can be found on all above-ground portions of the plant and presents itself as dark leaf spots. It causes rapid defoliation, which typically starts on the bottom of the plant and moves toward the top. This fungal pathogen can move through sporulation in water and from dropped leaves. As a result, infection can spread to surrounding plants from a single infected plant.
If you suspect one of your plants shows signs and symptoms of boxwood blight, please call (866) NO EXOTIC (866-663-9684) use the information at dnr.IN.gov/entomolo.
For more information on this pathogen see the following link extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/BP/BP-203-W.pdf
A DNR inspector found the plants at a national chain home and garden store in early October. The shipment originated at a nursery in Oregon. It was also sent to stores in 11 other states.
Upon confirmation of boxwood blight on these plants by the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab, the DNR required that the chain remove all boxwood from their shelves for disposal and that the stores mitigate the area through disinfection to ensure that the pathogen is no longer present and able to infect further shipments of plants.
The DNR is currently surveying for boxwood blight in Indiana. To date, the DNR has not found the pathogen, except for a few interceptions like this one.
To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.
Tom Creswell, Clinical Engagement Associate Professor
Purdue Botany and Plant Pathology
Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources
It all starts with providing some supplemental nutrition for small to medium-aged trees in the late fall when trees go into a state of dormancy. This is when trees stop active growth and begin to form terminal buds, drop leaves and develop cold resistance. Adding fertilizer to trees too early in the season can push new growth which will be prone to winter damage.
A fertilization program is used to maintain trees in a vigorous condition and to improve their immune system against pests. Fertilizing trees refers to the practice of adding supplemental nutrients (chemical elements) required for normal growth and development. However, you really can’t “feed” a tree, since trees are autotrophs. They use nutrients to feed themselves by making sugar in the leaves through photosynthesis.
Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are plant nutrients needed in the largest quantity and these are most commonly applied as a complete fertilizer. However, the addition of any soil nutrient is recommended only if soil or plant foliage tests indicate a deficiency. For trees and shrubs in most of Indiana, the two most common causes of nutrient problems are high pH (alkaline) soils, which can lead to chronic deficiencies of nutrients in some tree species, such as red maple and pin oak, and nitrogen-deficient soils. Typical symptoms include yellowing chlorotic leaves and reduced growth and smaller leaf size.
Trees in natural settings get nutrients from the air, organic matter, nutrient cycling, and microbial activity. In many cases, supplemental nutrition is not necessary in fertile soils which have enough nutrients in the proper amounts to support healthy growth, especially on established trees, but in the urban and suburban environment, often a little assistance is needed. The more challenging urban environment provides less opportunity for healthy growth due to poor, fragmented soils, reduced microbial activity and compaction. Trees needing fertilization to stimulate growth include those exhibiting the symptoms of pale green, undersized leaves, chlorosis, reduced growth rates and those in decline resulting from insect attacks or disease problems. Also, turf can be a serious contender for nutrients and trees surround by turf benefit from additional nitrogen applications every couple of years.
Trees which should not be fertilized include newly planted trees in the current year and those with root damage from recent trenching, construction or other disturbance. The root systems of these plants will need to re-establish before fertilizers are applied with cultural practices such as supplemental moisture and mulch. Older, established trees do not need to be fertilized every year and may never need supplemental feeding. In fact, serious pest problems can result on over-fertilized trees. Research indicates that young deciduous trees benefit from additional nitrogen in low-analysis, slow release forms. Conifers require less fertilization and are genetically adapted to low-nutrient soils.
For more information on how and when to fertilize trees, refer to HO-140-W, Fertilizing Woody Plants from the Purdue Extension Education Store.
Article shared by: The Landscape Report, Start Preparing Trees for Winter and Next Year.
Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources
We are excited to invite you to a one-day Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience training! Training staff from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management will introduce participants to the fundamental green infrastructure concepts and practices that can play a critical role in making coastal communities more resilient to natural hazards. Through presentations featuring green infrastructure projects from Indiana, group discussions, and activities, participants will learn what they can do to support green infrastructure implementation in their communities. See the attached agenda for more information.
This event is being hosted by Purdue University, Illinois/Indiana Sea Grant, and the Lake Michigan Coastal Program (IDNR/NOAA).
Six hours of certification maintenance credits for this course have been approved by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Five core continuing education credits have been approved for certified floodplain managers.
WHAT: Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience training
WHEN: Friday, November 2, 2018
Sign-in at 8:30 AM (coffee and snacks)
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Lunch provided (fee of $27 to cover venue and food)
WHERE: Festival Park Community Center
111 E Old Ridge Rd
Hobart, IN 46342
WHO: Local officials, land use planners, floodplain managers, permitting officers, emergency managers, hazard mitigation planners, public works staff, and others who want to learn more about using green infrastructure to reduce hazard impacts
Register here by October 25.
Please contact Prof. Cary Troy at email@example.com or 765-494-3844 with any questions.
The Economic Contribution of the Indiana Green Industry, The Education Store, Purdue Resources
Crop Protection Network: An Infrastructure for Multi-state Extension Efforts, The Education Store
Focus on the Infrastructure: Indiana’s Local Bridges, The Education Store
Cary Troy, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering
Purdue University School of Civil Engineering
October is a great month to spend some time outdoors. The crisp fall air and brilliant foliage make this one of the best times to enjoy Indiana Woodlands. Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources Extension invites you to enjoy those outdoor benefits and learn more about woodland management at two forest field days located in Tippecanoe and Carroll County.
Your first opportunity is on Saturday, October 20th at the Purdue Cunningham Forest Property. We will tour the plantations and native woodlands of this 80 acre property to discuss woodland stewardship and answer your questions. This property offers many examples of long-term management including some tree plantings over 50 years old and some old-growth oak trees mixed with younger native woodlands. This program is provided in partnership with Tippecanoe County Extension, Tippecanoe County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Tippecanoe County Parks. For details and directions view: Cunningham Forest Field Day Program (519 kb pdf). For registration: Cunningham Forest Field Day Registration.
October 27th takes us to a private woodland in Carroll County to explore woodland and wildlife management practices for woodland owners. We will see native forest and wildlife habitat areas on a beautiful property near Rattlesnake Creek. This program is provided in cooperation with Carroll County Soil and Water Conservation District. For details and location view: Woodland Owners Workshop (768 kb pdf). To register contact the Carroll County Soil and Water Conservation Office at firstname.lastname@example.org, 765.564.4480.
Both programs are free, but please register: Cunningham Forest Field Day Registration and for the Carroll County Woodland Owners Workshop Oct. 27th, contact the Carroll County Soil and Water Conservation Office at the email and phone number listed above..
See you in the woods in October!
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Costs and Returns of Producing Hops in Established Tree Plantations, The Education Store
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment – Wildlife Responses to Timber Harvesting, The Education Store
Resources and Assistance Available for Planting Hardwood Seedlings, The Education Store
For many people, the autumn season welcomes a pleasurable change in the weather. We notice, even during a warm fall day, the air gets cooler and the brisk breeze forces out the fleece. There are a couple of questions to be asked every year at about this time. Why do leaves change color and drop their leaves when fall weather appears? Much of it has to do with day-length and temperature. The important thing is not that the amount of sunlight has decreased but rather the amount of dark has increased. The plants we’re talking about in this case are the deciduous trees, which are the trees producing the vibrant colors and those that lose their leaves annually. These woody plants “sense” the days are getting shorter during late September as winter slowly creeps in on us. Things like pigment, light, weather conditions; plant species, soil type and location all play important roles in the fall party and colorful confetti trees create for us to enjoy.
When daylight hours are less and temperatures are cooler, photosynthesis slows down and there is less chlorophyll production. This reduction reveals yellow or orange pigment called carotenoids and are usually hidden by the abundance of chlorophyll present in leaves during the growing season.
Unlike chlorophyll and carotenoids, which are present in leaf cells throughout the growing season, anthocyanins are produced mainly in the fall. These natural chemicals give color to familiar fruits such as cranberries, red apples, cherries, and plums. These complex compounds in leaf cells react with excess stored plant sugars and exposure to sunlight creating vivid pink, red, and purple leaves. A mixture of red anthocyanin pigment and beta carotene often results in the bright orange color seen in some leaves.
The cool fall temperatures cause the closing of leaf veins and prevent sugars from moving out which prolongs fall color. Thus a succession of warm sunny days and cool crisp nights can create quite a display.
Soil moisture levels have an impact on the ability to produce good fall color. A prolonged drought can delay color change for a few weeks. The ideal conditions for producing the best colors are good summer weather, with timely rainfall, and sunny fall days with the cool night temperatures.
Tree species vary in their ability to provide fall color, as some trees just don’t produce anything noteworthy. Color depends on the nutrient levels of iron, magnesium, phosphorous, or sodium in the tree. Some tree species displaying yellow foliage are ash, birch, beech, elm, hickory, poplar, and aspen. Red leaves are seen most often in dogwood, sweet gum, sumac, and tupelo trees. Some oaks and maples present orange leaves while others range in color from red to yellow, depending on the species.
Even with these facts the timing, location, and intensity of autumn color are not completely predictable. To truly experience the colorful display you must be tuned in to your trees and your weather. Get outside and enjoy the party our woodlands are providing and enjoy nature’s beautiful confetti.
It’s Fall, but why are the leaves still green? article and video, WLFI.com
Why Leaves Change Color, The Education Store, Purdue Extension
Why Leaves Change Color, USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area
Fifty Trees of the Midwest App for the iPhone, The Education Store
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Trees and Storms, The Education Store
Tree Installation: Process and Practices, The Education Store
Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources
Six pieces of data to collect from deer you harvest this year
Deer season is upon us in Indiana! If you are a serious hunter and deer manager, here are some things you should consider collecting from deer you harvest. This data provides valuable insights to the deer herd condition, and when combined with hunter observation data and habitat data, like browse transects, you can get a clear picture of the deer herd and habitat quality on your property. However, one year of harvest data is unlikely to be much of value, but collecting data over multiple years can help you track trends in the herd and habitat quality.
What to collect
When you harvest a deer on your property you should consider collecting the following pieces of biological information:
*Each deer you harvest should be assigned a unique ID number to be sure all the following data is assigned to the right deer.
Sex and Age
Collecting deer sex and age (based on tooth replacement and wear) can help you divide the rest of the data you collect into sex and age classes. Find out how to determine age by viewing Age Determination in White-Tailed Deer video. You do not necessarily have to age a deer to the exact year, but you should separate ages into at least 3 age classes; fawns, yearlings, and >= 2.5 years old. This can be important for tracking changes to the average weight per age class or average antler measurements per age class over time.
You can collect either live weights or dressed weights, but you should pick one or the other and collect all weights consistently. Be sure to test your scales for accuracy before weighing deer. Tracking changes to the average weight per age class can provide information about the nutritional status of the herd.
Lactation status of does is often used as an index of fawn recruitment and can help determine if a doe had a fawn the summer preceding the hunting season. Lactation status for does harvested early in the season can be checked by squeezing the teats to produce milk you may need to cut into the mammary gland on does harvested later in the season to check lactation status.
Antler measurements should be collected from bucks harvested on your property, including yearlings. Find out how to measure the antlers by viewing How to Score Your White-Tailed Deer video. At a minimum, you should collect the number of points on each antler and the basal circumference of the main beams. You may also consider collecting the inside spread of the antlers and the main beam lengths. Additionally, you can collect the gross Boone & Crockett Score.
This piece of data can be helpful from a scouting and hunting aspect. Looking into the rumen of a deer can help you determine what deer may be eating during the portion of the year the deer was harvested. You may find green material (which can be hard to identify), corn, acorns, or whatever else deer may be consuming.
Things you need to collect harvest data
Here is a list of items you might need to collect data from harvested deer.
Putting all of this data together can give you a picture into the condition of the deer herd on your property. Collecting this data only takes a small amount of time and effort and the information you gather is well worth it! For more information of how to collect biological data from harvested deer, check out this video from Purdue Extension.
Help the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) collect biological data from harvested deer
Most of the data we discussed in this blog post and that is covered in the White-Tailed Deer Post Harvest Collection video, are data the Indiana DNR is collecting through an online post-harvest survey. This is a great opportunity for hunters to help the DNR collect data that will be used to manage the deer herd throughout the state. More information about the survey can be found in the 2018 Hunting and Trapping Guide. If you are successful in harvesting a deer in Indiana this year, be sure to check your email for a link to the survey.
Age Determination in White-Tailed Deer video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Playlist
How to Score Your White-Tailed Deer video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Playlist
White-Tailed Deer Post Harvest Collection video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Playlist
White-Tailed Deer Harvest Log (pdf), Purdue Extension-FNR
Indiana Deer Hunting, Biology and Management, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
2018 Indiana Hunting and Trapping Guide, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Managing White-Tailed Deer: Collecting Data from Harvested Deer, Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Prepare Now to Collect Deer Harvest Data, Quality Deer Management Association
Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Department of Forestry & Natural Resource, Purdue University
Do you have Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) fields or other native warm-season grass stands on your property? Interested in learning about prescribed fire and other grassland management tools? This workshop will cover CRP and Mid-Contract Management options, including herbicide, interseeding, and disking, as well as prescribed fire planning, safety, equipment and a demonstration burn at Ernie Pyle Elementary School Tallgrass Prairie (weather permitting).
Sponsors included: Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) – Vermillion County, Purdue Extension, Quail Forever, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
Effective Firebreaks for Safe Use of Prescribed Fire, Got Nature?, Purdue Extension-FNR
Prescribed fire: 6 things to consider before you ignite, Got Nature?
Renovating native warm-season grass stands for wildlife: A Land Manager’s Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
On-line Basic Prescribed Fire Training, Extension, USDA and NIFA
Publications Focus on Plan, Safety of Prescribed Burns, Iowa State Extension
eFIRE, North Carolina State Extension
Firebreaks for Prescribed Burning, Oklahoma State University Extension
Phil Cox, Extension Educator-Agriculture & Natural Resources
Jarred Brooke, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
As a child growing up in rural St. Joe County, I can vividly recall the feeling of excitement when the occasional deer visited our backyard. It’s hard to believe now, but we actually placed salt licks out to attract deer for viewing. I still enjoy the sight of a white-tailed deer, but things are a lot different today – the Internet, iPods, and yes, more deer. Estimating the size of wildlife populations is a difficult task in most cases. Currently, experts estimate about 30 million white-tailed deer throughout its range. There are probably more white-tailed deer in North America today than at the time of European settlement. In Indiana, the total deer harvested today exceeds by many times the numbers harvested during my days of youth in the 1970s.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are approximately one and a half million deer-vehicle collisions in the United States each year, resulting in about 150 deaths and over $1 billion in vehicle damage. The average claim of these deer-collisions is $3,995.
While deer-vehicle collisions can happen any time of year, October to December is the peak. Most collisions occur from dusk to dawn on high speed rural roads. In Indiana, if a deer dies following a collision with a motor vehicle, a conservation officer, DNR property manager or other law enforcement officer may issue a permit to an individual to possess the deer.
Don’t Waste Your Money
Many tactics have been tried over the years to reduce collisions. Most of these have proved ineffective or at least need more investigation. One common approach that does not work is the deer whistle. Deer whistles are attached to vehicles and emit noises at moderate to fast speeds. The noise presumably warns deer of approaching vehicles, thereby reducing collisions. While manufacturers contend that deer can hear the whistles up to a quarter mile away, published studies have not verified their effectiveness or whether or not deer can even hear them. The lack of deer response to deer whistles may be because deer don’t recognize the sounds as threatening or they have too little time to react.
What can I do?
There is no foolproof way to prevent deer-vehicle collisions. Hunting is the most biologically and economically effective method of maintaining Indiana’s deer herd at an optimal level – all else being equal, less deer translates to reduced probability of hitting a deer. Fencing deer from roadways has been proven most effective at reducing accidents at specific locations, but it is very costly to construct and maintain.
So what do you do? There are some common-sense precautions all drivers can take to reduce the risk of deer-vehicle collisions. The Insurance Information Institute recommends the following driving tips.
Got Nature? Blog post was also published in the IndyStar, How to avoid hitting a deer with your car, and what to do when you can’t.
Brian MacGowan, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University
SFD is not considered a risk to people.
Some infected snakes show no symptoms. Others develop facial swelling and disfigurement, skin and scale lesions and internal lesions. For some snakes, the disease is fatal.
The fungus can persist in the soil. The route of transmission is unknown, but may occur through contact with soil, other infected snakes, or from mother to offspring.
SFD in Indiana
Researchers from the University of Illinois first identified SFD in Indiana in late 2017 during a surveillance project for the disease.
The researchers swabbed the skin of 53 snakes from 10 Indiana counties. Of those, 13 tested positive for the fungus. Two of those 13 snakes had visible lesions. Species that tested positive included the northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon), racer (Coluber constrictor), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) and queen snake (Regina septemvittata).
The surveillance project was funded by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources State Wildlife Grant T7R22.
Why monitoring SFD is important
Snakes are important predators and play a critical role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. Having healthy snake populations in Indiana is necessary to keep rodent populations in check.
Documenting the distribution of this disease will help us develop conservation and management plans.
Snake fungal disease may cause high mortality rates in eastern massasauga rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus), a federally threatened and state-endangered species in parts of northern Indiana. The potential long-term effect on populations of massasaugas and other snakes remains uncertain.
Contact an Indiana DNR wildlife biologist if you have any information you would like to share.
For full article view Snake Fungal Disease, Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Snakes and Lizards of Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Snakes of the Central and Northeastern United States, The Education Store