By Dave Hoffman
It’s arrived! You may not have noticed it, so you may want to watch for wildlife the next time that you are downtown.
Watching for wildlife, for me, goes back a long way. Poised on the edge of the front seat, a decade before seat belts, I loved to peer into the darkness as we journeyed on bumpy, gravel roads from my aunt’s rural farm toward our home in the city. Intent on spotting a pair of green or yellow eyes, those wondrous, magical eyes illuminated in the headlights that stimulated my youthful imagination, and filled me with mixed emotions of wonder, excitement, awe, and sometimes fear.
The other “wildlife journey” was a recent move from the outskirts of town to a new location at 708 East Michigan Street, where the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) brings a rich tradition of “common sense conservation” to downtown. Established back in 1938, IWF promotes science-based, wildlife management and sustainable use of our wildlife and wildlife habitats.
Diverse membership in IWF includes conservation clubs, wildlife watchers, hikers, hunters, fisherman, photographers, bird watchers, and those who want to ensure that our wildlife and wildlife habitat are maintained for future generations.
United, we speak out against shooting deer in fenced enclosures, fight invasive species like Asian Carp, actively participate in the legislative process, and work to guarantee access for all Hoosiers to enjoy outdoor recreation. We hope to teach tomorrow’s youth to enjoy Indiana’s natural resources, and how to manage them wisely.
Join IWF and many other outdoor organizations at the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience, September 20-21 at Fort Harrison State Park. The event is billed as “Indiana’s largest, hands-on outdoor recreation event.” Details are available at Outdoorexperience@dnr.in.gov. Get the whole family involved in wildlife watching by stopping by our booth and helping your children build a bird feeder.
In the meantime, we’d love to hear about your own early outdoor experiences with wildlife. If you would like to share them with IWF, please send them to Hoffman@Indianawildlife.org.
Dr. Dave Hoffman is an IWF Board Member. A native Hoosier, and retired Duke Energy, Indiana executive. Dave enjoys numerous outdoor activities, writing about the outdoors, and wildlife art.