By MIKE MYCROFT
Chief of Natural Resources, DNR Division of State Parks
Volunteer hunters took 1,004 deer during controlled hunts at 18 state parks and one state natural area in November and December of 2014, according to Mike Mycroft, chief of natural resources for the DNR Division of State Parks.
A full report is available at dnr.IN.gov/parklake/files/sp-DeerRMRR.pdf
The controlled hunts were Nov. 17, Nov. 18, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 at Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River and Whitewater Memorial state parks, and at Cave River Valley State Natural Area.
Indiana state parks cover more than 65,000 acres of land and are home to unique plants and valuable wildlife habitat. Controlled hunts help protect these areas by reducing browsing by deer and allowing vegetation to recover.
“The overall quality of habitat has been greatly improved for several plants and animals, including the deer,” Mycroft said. “But the program also ensures healthier forests, wetlands, savannas and prairies moving into the future.”
Each park is evaluated annually to determine which require a controlled hunt the next year. Decisions are based largely on previous harvest information. About one-third of the parks have achieved a maintenance status and regularly take a year off from controlled hunts.
Hunters interested in participating in 2015 can find details starting in July at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/5834.htm.