18 state parks to close for deer reduction hunts

(WANE) Eighteen Indiana state parks will close temporarily on November 14-15 and again on November 28-29 to allow for controlled hunts to reduce the deer population.

The state parks affected are Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Indiana Dunes, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Prophetstown, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial. Cave River Valley Natural Area, which is managed by Spring Mill State Park, will also close for deer reductions.

These properties will close to the general public the evening before each of the two efforts and reopen the morning after each two-day reduction.

Only individual hunters drawn in September and those hunters they listed on their applications may participate in the hunts.

DNR biologists evaluate which parks require a reduction each year based on habitat recovery and previous harvest rates at each park. The state parks are home to more than 32 state-endangered plants and numerous significant natural communities. The reductions help control browsing by deer to a level that helps maintain habitat throughout the state parks for all plants and animals.

Information on 2017 state park deer reductions, including online applications, will be available next summer at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild. The application deadline is usually the end of August.
A report on the 2015 reductions is at stateparks.IN.gov/files/sp-DeerRMRR.pdf.