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Outdoor Indiana - September/October 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.

A male wood duck shows off his intricate plumage at Shakamak State Park near Jasonville. Photo by Frank Oliver.

A male wood duck shows off his intricate plumage at
Shakamak State Park near Jasonville.
Photo by Frank Oliver

Featured Stories



    DNR Director Dan Bortner

    DNR Director Dan Bortner

    There never seems to be enough weekends in autumn to see all Indiana has to offer.

    Whether you are traveling to Marshall County for the blueberries, Valparaiso for popcorn, Mitchell for persimmons, Fort Wayne for Johnny Appleseed, or any of the other fall festivals, you will never be far from fun events or a place to camp at a DNR property. Here are a few suggestions to consider as you set your calendar.

    Raptor Days at Hardy Lake, Sept. 25, is a once-a-year opportunity to tour the raptor center. The day of celebrating our native birds of prey begins at 7 a.m. with an all-you-can-eat breakfast fundraiser!

    The Mansfield Roller Mill will once again be open during the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival, starting Oct. 8. Soak in the colors of fall along Big Raccoon Creek and take the time to tour and see this historic mill in action.

    Prophetstown State Park will be hosting its 12th annual Trail of Scarecrows throughout October. The park also hosts a trick-or-treating event with animals on The Farm. Halloween-themed events throughout the month also include Goblins Weekend at Lieber State Recreation Area (SRA), the Haunted Village (Spring Mill State Park), the Ghostly Gathering (Paynetown SRA at Monroe Lake), Hoots and Howls (Mounds State Park), Spooktacular (Whitewater Memorial State Park) and Fall-O-Ween Weekend (McCormick’s Creek State Park).

    For more information about these events and many more, please visit calendar.dnr.IN.gov. For overnight accommodations visit camp.IN.gov.

  • Indiana’s dabbling & diving infrequent quackers

    By Scott Roberts, OI staff

    A bufflehead skips across the water at Willow Slough FWA as it scurries to liftoff.

    A bufflehead skips across the water at Willow Slough FWA as it scurries to liftoff.

    From rubber ducks floating in bathtubs to the children’s game “Duck, Duck, Goose” to cartoon feathered characters named Donald, Scrooge, and Daffy, cultural references to ducks are abundant. Even in the National Hockey League, a Disney movie spawned the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, now known as just the Anaheim Ducks.

    The reason, at least partially, for such prominence is that ducks can be found almost anywhere in nature—at least where there’s water. Ducks appear on every continent except Antarctica, are usually easy to spot, and their telltale beaks, feathers, webbed feet, and quacks make them memorable.

    Their body shape and ubiquity may be why ducks have fascinated humans for centuries. Native American tribes have many myths about ducks. Usually, the stories are about ducks getting tricked by a supposedly cleverer species like a fox, but some Native Americans embraced the duck and named bands of their tribes after the birds. Ducks were also a food source for some Native Americans. They may have used many of the same tactics today’s duck hunters use to lure them, according to Sporting News, which reported on the discovery of 2,000-year-old duck decoys.

    The duck population in Indiana has stayed relatively stable according to recent DNR counts, but more and more ducks are making their homes in urban settings, according to Franklin College professor Benjamin O’Neal, so they are seen by more people.

  • NEON
    Stout’s Shoes started in 1886 in Indianapolis and is one of the country’s oldest shoe stores. Neon signs, which originated in France in 1912, were first used in the United States in the 1920s.

    Stout’s Shoes started in 1886 in Indianapolis.

    ‘On broadway’ ... and in Indiana
    By Marty Benson, OI staff

    “They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway” is the opening line of an old hit song. The neon still shines bright at a few places around Indiana, too.

    Decorative image

    Home designer’s star continues to sparkle
    By Scott Roberts, OI Staff

    The midcentury modern home owned by Bob and Melissa Shelton on Thornhurst Drive in Carmel has been restored and maintained to honor its designer, Avriel Shull.

    Beyonce, Cher, Madonna.

    The level of fame needed for a woman to be identifiable by her first name often comes through show business. But a Hoosier woman achieved that status in the 1960s and '70s through an entirely different field.

    Avriel Shull’s distinctive home designs and branding flair made her surname virtually disappear during that period, and Avriel was what she called her architecture business, too. Her brash, midcentury modern style could be seen in both her work and her life, and she lives on in two communities in central Indiana that are on the National Register of Historic Places—Christie’s Thornhurst addition in Carmel, which is named after the surname of her parents, who owned the property; and Ladywood Estates, a condominium community on Indianapolis’ near northside. DNR’s Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA) oversees nominations to the National Register and presents them to the Indiana Historic Preservation Review Board. If nominations are accepted by the board, they go to the National Park Service for final review. “She was quite a force,” DHPA architectural historian Amy Borland said. “Her personality comes through in all of her designs. I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall when she was building Thornhurst and seen her at work.”

    Cutline: The midcentury modern home owned by Bob and Melissa Shelton on Thornhurst Drive in Carmel has been restored and maintained to honor its designer, Avriel Shull.

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).


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.

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