It's not over 'till the little bird leaves

Mar. 30—There is a feel of spring in the air; the buzzards are soaring overhead and robins have returned; but March Madness and winter can still take a punch at Indiana. About 10 days ago, we dodged a major winter storm passing about 100 or 120 miles north of Indianapolis. The snow fall for our northern friends was measured in feet in many places.

I thought spring was sprung until I looked out at the birdfeeder and saw the Dark-eyed Juncos are still here!

The Arctic migrant brings the ravages of winter when it travels south to Indiana and the Midwest in early November, and winter weather can stick around until it departs in late March.

I remain optimistic... but guardedly so, and I will breathe a sigh of relief when the elegant little birds pack their feathered selves back to the Arctic.

It's License Renewal Time

Don't get caught up as an "April Fool" because at the end of March your 2023 sport licenses expire.

Are you licensed for another year of outdoor adventures? All annual licenses and stamp privileges from last season expire March 31. Licenses can be renewed online, in person, or by mail.

Check out the DNR Licenses & Permits webpage for more information on licenses at

Participate In Research For CWD Management

Researchers at Purdue University are studying the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer. CWD is a fatal neurological disease affecting deer and is caused by an infective protein (prion) that damages the animal's nervous system. CWD can spread through deer-to-deer contact or through contaminated environments. To date, CWD has not been detected in Indiana. No cases of CWD have been recorded in humans.

Information collected may help inform Indiana DNR's response to CWD. Participants will answer online survey questions and use a web app which shows how CWD may spread. The activity and survey questions take about 30 minutes to complete. The study is open to everyone 18 years or older. All required to participate is a computer or tablet, and you can participate in the study online.

For questions about the study, please email the research team at Please reference the following in the email: Study title — Web App Use and Intention to Reduce Chronic Wasting Disease Spread; Principal Investigator — Dr. Patrick Zollner; IRB Number — IRB-2023-1039.

'till next time,


Readers can contact Jack Spaulding by writing to this publication, or e-mail at