kinda new to the area

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kinda new to the area

Postby hunter385 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:07 pm

Hey guys, I stumbled on this forum last night and was looking around and decided to go ahead and jump in. I moved to the Elkhart area a couple years ago from NORTHERN california. After having our first child last fall, i am now ready again to get after the ducks. I went goose hunting up in Angola last year with my father in law, i have tried to pick his brain several times about duck hunting around here, but he is mainly into deer and turkey. I found a good bit of info on here last night, thanks to all of you that contribute. Back in california i was a rabid duck hunter, any free time i had was spent in the marsh. I have to say when I got back here i was a little sad, say what you want about california, but that place kicked tall *** when it came to producing big numbers of waterfowl. however after looking at the pictures on here, it looks like you boys do alright around this neck of the woods. In the area I am in, here in Elkhart, would those of you that hunt around here agree that it is pretty important to have a boat? It sure looks like to me, the place that holds the ducks is the st joe river. My dad just bought some property that has a couple ponds on it, and i am crossing my fingers that it will hold some ducks, havent seen any yet however. So if that doesnt pan out to the river i must go i imagine. Anyway i am sure i will be lingering around here grabbing little bits of info where i can, just wanted to say hi to you all.
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Postby hoosier dhr » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:54 pm

The river is usually better later in the season, especially when every thing else freezes up. Although there are a few spots that work well all year.
I travel around to the bordering counties as they have more lakes, and i also have a couple of private spots.


What part of Elkhart are u in ?
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Postby hunter385 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:16 pm

I am in the jimtown area kind of close to the high school. That is one reason I was thinking the river would be the way to go, being as it is pretty close by. I was up there the other night looking around and saw a ton of damn swans and a couple woodies, but nothing else. I see alot of ducks and geese coming over my house in the evenings and the morning, I imagine they are heading towards the river,
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Postby hoosier dhr » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:26 pm

Baugo creeck holds alot of geese if u go S on CR3 then it curves around
and turns into CR24 (i think) go west to a dairy farm. I asked one year
and he said he would like to get rid of them but was afraid someone would shoot his cows.
I told him that i hunt in 2 other places w/cows (they make great decoys)
but he was still not convinced.

If u can get into the creeck anywhere and float it, it used to hold ducks, lots of woodies early.

I live in town and hunt mostly Goshen/Middlebury areas and i like kosciusco County alot.
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Postby hunter385 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:20 am

I wondered about Baugo creek, it looks pretty good in some places. My dad had a house down on Kuhn lake that he just sold, that looked pretty good out there if you could hunt that. That is one thing that i am unaware of is what you can and cant hunt around here. Back in CA there were alot of reservoirs that you couldnt hunt, so I am a little leary in getting out on some of the lakes and pounding away. I need to find some place to ease the pain this year when duck season comes around, i need my fix. One of my problems is I dont have anyone to hunt with around here, I am not opposed to going out by myself, but I dont think it would be wise to head out in the dark on the river by my lonesome.
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Postby j6mccauslin » Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:35 am

might want to check up the road a little bit into edwardsburg or cass, in michigan, juno lake and painter marsh are usually pretty good, and if you can find a little private honey hole and get permission youve got it made, and thier are tons of them in that area.
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Postby dec » Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:52 am

Born, raised, and lived in the Angola area my entire life. I waterfowl hunt all over the area over here. Who's your father-in-law? I probably know him.

There is this one guy that hunts the St. Joe a lot. You'll find him easily. He's the one hunting with no shirt on. :rofl: I'd pick his brain on hunting in the Elkhart area.
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Postby hunter385 » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:18 am

Dave Griffin is my father in law, well I guess step father in law. My father in law is Mike Nufer, but I went hunting with Dave my wifes step dad. I saw a ton of ducks when I was up there flying here and there. It was the biggest number of waterfowl i have seen since I have been back here.
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Postby mmalino » Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:13 am

hunter385 wrote:Dave Griffin is my father in law, well I guess step father in law. My father in law is Mike Nufer, but I went hunting with Dave my wifes step dad. I saw a ton of ducks when I was up there flying here and there. It was the biggest number of waterfowl i have seen since I have been back here.


i'd probably sell all ur gear and pick up another hobby ... theres no waterfowl in Indiana :tongue: :kiss:
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the mighty Joe

Postby pigeonflier » Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:28 am

November 16, 2003


CO saves day for hunters
OUTDOORS: COMMENTARY

By LOUIE STOUT


For conservation officers working duck hunters on the St. Joseph River, timing is everything.

But during Indiana's waterfowl season opener, it wasn't the hunters who paid the price for an ill-timed error in judgement.

Shortly after 6 a.m., Indiana officer John Mortimore walked through an Osceola boat access site lot to survey the number of hunters headed out that day.

"I do that to get an idea of how many hunters are in the parties," he explained. "Duck hunters are usually squared away, but we still have to keep an eye out for those who aren't."

He and other officers work the river hard. A few years ago, residents tried to shut down waterfowling on the river. The DNR defended it, and promised legislators that they would invest more time there and come down hard on those who disobey legal shooting hours, bag limits and other waterfowl regulations.

It was about 6:15 when Mortimore crossed paths with South Bend hunter Chris McDonald.

"My buddy and I had set up our decoys when I realized I had forgotten my goose call," recalled McDonald. "We had a few minutes before legal shooting time, so I paddled the canoe back to the access site to get the call."

When Mortimore saw McDonald beach the canoe and walk toward his truck, he knew why. He had shined his flashlight inside the red pickup truck only minutes earlier and saw the hunter's goose call lying on the console.

"I bet you forgot something, didn't you," Mortimore grinned.

McDonald nodded, retrieved the call and hurried back to his decoy spread just as the clock ticked into legal shooting. The officer drove away shortly after the shooting began.

But Mortimore didn't leave the area. He parked his vehicle down the road and slipped into the bushes close to the access site.

"This job requires we spend a lot of time hiding in the bushes," he joked. "The plan was to observe the hunting parties in that area and count the birds they killed to make sure they stayed within the limit."

That's when the swearing began.

A man who had walked into the access site began yelling vehemently across the water at the hunters. The man was agitated that the shooting awoke him and that they were killing "his ducks." It caught Mortimore's attention.

"I saw the guy walk to the red truck and stoop down by the tire," said Mortimore. "I had a hunch he was up to something, so I decided to investigate. He'd already broken the law by harassing the waterfowlers."

Mortimore returned to his vehicle, called the county sheriff's department for backup, and drove back into the parking area.

"When I pulled in, the guy closed the red truck's door and began to act like he was picking up trash," said Mortimore. "I began asking questions and was getting pretty vague answers."

Because he had seen McDonald retrieve his goose call earlier, he knew the truck didn't belong to the man pacing the lot. He also noticed one of the tires on the red truck was low and that a considerable amount of change was missing from where he saw it when he inspected the vehicle earlier.

The officer walked to the shoreline and called McDonald and hunting partner Leon Patton of Galien, Mich. off the water. Mortimore asked McDonald to examine his truck for missing items.

A large quantity of change was gone.

"That conservation officer saved the day for us," said McDonald. "It's sort of strange. He was there trying to catch us doing something wrong and wound up protecting us and our property. I had a flat tire, but overall, it turned out to be a pretty good day."

Mortimore said he was just doing his job.

"Sure, it's our job to keep an eye on hunters," he said. "But we're out there to protect them, too. We'll back them up when something like this happens."

The man, whose name is being withheld pending further investigation, was arrested for hunter harassment, vandalism (letting air out of the tire) and theft. He faces up to a $500 fine and jail time.

Mortimore said harassment issues are common and that hunters should keep their heads and contact authorities.

"We don't want them confronting the harassers," he said. "That's what some 'antis' want hunters to do -- lose their cool. It's best to call the sheriff department and let us handle it."

Unless, of course, an officer is hiding in the bushes.
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Postby pigeonflier » Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:34 am

November 05. 2006 6:59AM

No ducking law in hunting case
Osceola residents charged with harassment of waterfowl hunters.

OUTDOORS: COMMENTARY

LOUIE STOUT

Waterfowler Chris McDonald grew tired of being harassed.

The South Bend resident and his hunting companions have been badgered by a handful of St. Joseph River residents for two years.

"Every time the ducks would fly in or we'd shoot, they'd begin blowing air horns, play loud music, or come out to confront us," said McDonald, a construction worker and avid duck hunter.


"I couldn't deal with it anymore."

McDonald contacted DNR conservation officers by cell phone when a similar incident occurred during the two-day mini-season Oct. 14-15. Before officers arrived, harassing residents went into hiding. When the officers left, a resident boated into McDonald's decoys and began harassing him again.

"He told me he didn't care if he got fined cause he'd pay any fine they threw at him," McDonald said.

Well, he's gonna get a chance to put his money where his mouth is, because McDonald reported the incident again and DNR officials stepped in and caught two residents red-handed.

"I got a call from an officer Friday night suggesting I not hunt the same place on the river," McDonald said. "I knew something was up."

When duck season resumed Saturday morning, two "hunters" took McDonald's spot on the river not far from Baugo Bay. Once the clock ticked to legal shooting hours, they opened up on passing ducks.

It wasn't long before loud music blared from speakers positioned along the shore.

And an air horn blared. Repeatedly.

Meanwhile a tape machine in the duck hunters' boat recorded it all. Unbeknownst to the residents, the hunters were conservation officers Mark Hines and Mike Fox.

On the opposite river bank, officer John Mortimore watched it all from a spotting scope.

"They continued to harass my guys until we called off the operation and went to shore to confront the people," said Mortimore.

Two Osceola residents were cited for violations of Indiana's Hunter Harassment Law. Mortimore wouldn't release their names pending further investigation, but said he believes he has more than enough evidence to get convictions. If so, the harassing residents face fines up to $1,000 and a year in jail.

Mortimore said both parties admitted they were trying to keep the ducks away so they couldn't be hunted.

"I explained to them that was against the law, that McDonald has every right to hunt that section of the river and he was not endangering their life or property," he offered. "Just because you live on a river doesn't mean you own the water or mustn't share the resource."

Mortimore said there are areas of the river where waterfowl hunting would be dangerous and not permitted, but this wasn't one of them.

"People need to educate themselves in regards to hunting activities," Mortimore continued. "Also, if they'd read the history of this country, they'd realize that hunting and trapping is what made this country."

McDonald hopes the ordeal is over and plans to hunt the spot again.

"I didn't want to get anyone in trouble, but they were pushing me to the point I didn't have a choice," he said. "It was either that or I had to hunt someplace else, and this spot is a good one for duck hunting. I wasn't doing anything wrong and am never careless with my gun. I don't take chances."

Mortimore pointed out that the conservation officer's role is to look out for hunters' welfare as well as to check them for hunting violations. Two weeks ago, he took part in a major waterfowl operation in Michiana that targeted waterfowl hunting violators.

"If you live by the edge of the sword, expect to get arrested by the sword," he noted. "That goes for the people who want to interfere with legal sportsmen as well as those who violate our fish and game regulations."
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Postby pigeonflier » Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:40 am

I might hunt the Joe without a shirt a few times each year :yes: :thumbsup: :help:
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Postby hunter385 » Sat Aug 18, 2007 9:18 am

Hell no I am not selling any of my gear, I dont really look at hunting as a hobby. I have been hunting since I was a wee scrote and if I gave it up I would wither away to nothing in short order. This past year has been the best of my life, but the fact that I havent been able to get out to pursue waterfowl has really been a drag. This responsiblity thing kind of sucks sometimes. I told my wife last night, she is going to be tested this fall, I will be out somewhere every chance i get. I dont care if I get into a bunch of ducks or geese, i am at least going to be somewhere that I can put my decoys out and sit and watch the world wake up around me. That is what hooked me on duck hunting, hunting in general. Back in the late great golden state on the refuge we used to hunt, the morning was awesome. You had a good two hours after getting set up of waiting, listening to pintails flying above, mallards off in the distance. At the same time every morning the snows and specks would come off the rice fields and the sound was defeaning. I am not giving that up, absolutely not. Even if all I could do was bust ass to get to the best spot, set up my decoys, and freeze my ass off waiting for shoot time in the predawn chill, and not shoot anything. I would still be out everytime I could, it speaks to my soul, but as much as it does, shooting a big fat mallard drake in the face speaks a whole lot louder then just sitting there.
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Postby pigeonflier » Sat Aug 18, 2007 9:45 am

A boat is a must have for hunting the Joe.. Mobility is KEY.. They are never in the same place,, especially after you bust'em real good :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
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Postby mmalino » Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:38 am

hunter385 wrote:Hell no I am not selling any of my gear, I dont really look at hunting as a hobby. I have been hunting since I was a wee scrote and if I gave it up I would wither away to nothing in short order. This past year has been the best of my life, but the fact that I havent been able to get out to pursue waterfowl has really been a drag. This responsiblity thing kind of sucks sometimes. I told my wife last night, she is going to be tested this fall, I will be out somewhere every chance i get. I dont care if I get into a bunch of ducks or geese, i am at least going to be somewhere that I can put my decoys out and sit and watch the world wake up around me. That is what hooked me on duck hunting, hunting in general. Back in the late great golden state on the refuge we used to hunt, the morning was awesome. You had a good two hours after getting set up of waiting, listening to pintails flying above, mallards off in the distance. At the same time every morning the snows and specks would come off the rice fields and the sound was defeaning. I am not giving that up, absolutely not. Even if all I could do was bust ass to get to the best spot, set up my decoys, and freeze my ass off waiting for shoot time in the predawn chill, and not shoot anything. I would still be out everytime I could, it speaks to my soul, but as much as it does, shooting a big fat mallard drake in the face speaks a whole lot louder then just sitting there.



haha, i was kidding anyways bud... once its in ur blood theres no getting rid of it :thumbsup:
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