Outdoor Indiana - September/October 2015 - Featured Stories

From the Director
Fort Harrison State Park
‘Dock shooting’ for crappie
YOU CAN’T GET THIS FROM A BOOK

From the Director

DON’T PUT AWAY YOUR SLEEPING BAG
Director Cameron F. Clark

Director Cameron F. ClarkBefore stowing away your camping gear and picnic paraphernalia this fall, consider taking an autumn getaway to one of our State Parks.

You might be pleasantly surprised at the experience.

We refer to September and October as one of the two shoulder seasons. The other runs from April through May. They are the months on either side of what’s traditionally our busiest time, between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

More and more, we find park visitors taking advantage of what September and October have to offer. And it’s with good reason, which our two award-winning photographers capture in a photo essay beginning on page 28.

The fall colors are attraction enough as green leaves transform to the vivid display for which Indiana is well known. Once the leaves drop, the bare branches open the sky to stargazers wanting to see more of what goes on up there. Spotting elusive birds of prey, such as a barred owl or great horned owl, becomes a little easier.

Days—and nights—become cooler, and that accomplishes two things. One, you’re likely to find fewer insects. Two, you’re likely to find fewer people, especially during the middle of the week. A lot of autumn weekends are as busy as summer.

And who doesn’t appreciate pushing back the chill of an autumn evening by sitting around a crackling campfire and capping it off with some hot chocolate and s’mores.

So, consider making a visit to one of our 32 State Park properties this fall. Soak up the sights, sounds, and flavor. We think you’ll like it.

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Fort Harrison State Park

Destination found
By Marty Benson, OI Staff
Part of a series

Delaware Lake’s pier invites a detour from the Harrison Trace Trail and lends visual variety to one of central Indiana’s most heavily forested spots. Many creative cooks live by the mantra “take what you’ve got and make what you want.”

Meals are mouth-watering mixtures of what’s already at their fingertips.

The recipe for transforming the Army’s former Fort Benjamin Harrison into a state park was and is similar. So are the results.

The land in the Lawrence area of greater Indianapolis was acquired by the State in 1993 as part of a nationwide military downsizing. Since then, Fort Harrison State Park has blossomed into one of the top five most-visited state parks in Indiana.

Cutline: Delaware Lake’s pier invites a detour from the Harrison Trace Trail and lends visual variety to one of central Indiana’s most heavily forested spots.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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‘Dock shooting’ for crappie

To boldly fish where few have fished before
By John Maxwell

Doug Sikora demonstrates “shooting” fishing jigs under docks and beneath boat lifts emptied of boats for winter. Finding a productive place that’s rarely fished is easier than many anglers might think.

You need not travel to the headwaters of the Zambezi River, or to the Middle-of-Nowhere, Alaska.

Just hit your Hoosier home waters and learn to shoot jig baits under low-hanging docks and boat lifts that have been cleared of boats for winter. Fish have likely been growing fat there while safely hiding.

Cutline: Doug Sikora demonstrates “shooting” fishing jigs under docks and beneath boat lifts emptied of boats for winter.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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YOU CAN’T GET THIS FROM A BOOK

Re-enactors live history instead of just reading it
By Nick Werner

During what’s billed as the largest night-fire in the state, cannons shot off by re-enactors fill the sky with color and smoke during Hartford City Civil War Days. From their hilltop fort, French troops showered their adversaries with cannon and musket fire.
In the smoke-filled, wooded valley below, British Redcoats, Scottish Highlanders and their backwoods-militia allies dove behind fallen trees. Their sneak attack on the log fort bogged down as it plowed into French artillery.
Then, a dozen French and American Indian riflemen flanked the British coalition, firing on them from across a stream. The militia took the heaviest losses. Its men clutched their chests and stomachs as they fell. Casualties littered the ground.

As the battle seemed to be winding down, German mercenaries fighting for Britain emerged from the forest.

Twenty-five minutes after the battle started, the outgunned and motley British coalition won French surrender.

Hundreds of spectators in blue jeans and T-shirts watched from amphitheater-style seating near the French fort. The French and Indian War battle re-enactment was the headline event for KohKohMah, an annual three-day living-history encampment on a private farm outside Kokomo.

Cutline: During what’s billed as the largest night-fire in the state, cannons shot off by re-enactors fill the sky with color and smoke during Hartford City Civil War Days.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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