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Outdoor Indiana - November/December 2021

About Outdoor Indiana

Outdoor Indiana, the state's premier magazine, delivers the wonders of the Hoosier outdoors to subscribers' homes and offices six times a year in 48 pages of vibrant color. For the best of state parks, lakes, wildlife, forests, trails, hunting, fishing, wildflowers and outdoorsy people, plus inside information from DNR experts, subscribe for $15 per year or $28 for two years. Follow the magazine staff on Facebook.

The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (aka the Christmas star) shines over Atterbury Fish & Wildlife Area’s Stone Arch Lake. Photo by John Maxwell.

The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (aka the Christmas star) shines over Atterbury Fish & Wildlife Area’s Stone Arch Lake.
Photo by John Maxwell.

Featured Stories

  • From the director

    ALL THE BEST FROM YOUR DNR

    DNR Director Dan Bortner

    DNR Director Dan Bortner

    We at the Department of Natural Resources take our mission to protect, enhance, and preserve our state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources seriously all year-round. As we often say, we are in the memory-making business. While many associate us with beaches, camping, and warmer weather, few places are better for making holiday memories with your family than state parks, forests, nature preserves, and fish & wildlife properties.

    Some of the best bonding time you could hope for can also be found in a hunting blind, tree stand, or while walking a field. November kicks off many hunting seasons, including upland game, waterfowl in select regions, firearms deer season, and several trapping seasons. And at the end of a successful deer harvest, you can get into the spirit of giving by donating meat to the feed the hungry through the Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund. See sbf.IN.gov for more information.

    Hoosiers have gathered at State Park Inns to enjoy holiday dinners for more than 60 years. We look forward to restarting that tradition in earnest this Thanksgiving. Learn more about dinners and discounted stays at indianainns.com.  

    And remember to get your family’s new year off on the right foot with a First Day Hike at one of our properties. This nationwide initiative gives you a chance to get outside, exercise, and enjoy nature. More information will be posted at calendar.dnr.IN.gov and through our social media channels.

    Happy Holidays from all of us at your Indiana DNR!

  • HARD TO DEFINE, EASY TO SEE

    Hoosier hunting culture is full of stories and relationships
    By Scott Roberts, OI staff

    Don Brannon (right front) and pheasant-hunting camp friends gather at Glendale Fish & Wildlife Area.

    Don Brannon (right front) and pheasant-hunting camp friends gather at Glendale Fish & Wildlife Area.

    Because many hunters are storytellers, beliefs and traits within hunting culture have been passed on through tales told around campfires, in a hunting blind, or any other place hunters gather—including on social media.

    Some stories live on for generations, and some are forgotten in a couple of days, but their impact often continues.

    “Most times whether you come home with game in hand isn’t what’s important,” said Luke Louden, hunting outreach specialist for the Division of Fish & Wildlife. “What’s important is the story that gets told afterward—what challenges did you overcome? What lessons did you learn? Who was with you? What kind of meals did a successful harvest provide?

    “Authentic answers to these questions are the building blocks of a good hunting story.”

    Jarrett Manek, interpretive naturalist for O’Bannon Woods State Park, who has guided a number of turkey hunts in the Blue River area, says his experience is that those stories, “usually have a little embellishment thrown in.”

    Storytelling has been part of hunting culture ever since humans have hunted wildlife. Scenes depicting hunting appear on many early cave paintings.

  • DESTINATIONS

    Wellfield Botanic Gardens
    Brighter winter holidays, naturally
    Story & Photos by John Maxwell, OI staff

    Wellfield, shown decorated with holiday lights last December, plans to hang a million lights for this season’s Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show.

    Wellfield, shown decorated with holiday lights last December, plans to hang a million lights for this season’s Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show.

    In the heart of the city of Elkhart, Wellfield Botanic Gardens has steadily expanded its holiday lights display. After adding 200,000 more lights this year, the 36-acre natural enclave will be making spirits even brighter with a “Million Lights Year” Winter Wonderland Holiday Lights Show.

    Much of the lighting is designed to artfully highlight the natural beauty of the gardens. Other sections include colorful and festive sensory treats for children.

    “It’s made for both kids and adults,” said executive director Eric Garton, “warming fires, holiday music, hot drinks ... we made a lot of front covers on folks’ Christmas cards.”

    Decorative image

Subscribe to Outdoor Indiana magazine

Visit the Indiana State Parks online store to subscribe. Cost is $15 for a one year subscription (6 issues) or $28 for two years (12 issues).

Donate

Printing and distribution costs for Outdoor Indiana magazine have increased. One way we’re offsetting these costs is through the Friends of Outdoor Indiana Group administered through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. Donations to our friends group helps keep our subscription price low and ensures we’ll be around to bring you the best of Indiana’s outdoors for years to come. Donate at the INRF website and include “Friends of Outdoor Indiana” in the “In Honor Of/In Memory Of” line.

Outdoor Indiana
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