Who Wants to Hunt Deer in a State Park?

Applications are available online for Hoosiers wanting to participate in special deer reduction hunts at designated Indiana state parks this fall.

The first round of state park deer reduction hunting will be Nov. 18 and 19. The second round will be Dec. 2 and 3.

State park deer reductions help maintain and restore unique and valuable ecosystems damaged by white-tailed deer. The designated parks are closed to the general public on hunting days.

Applications are available at IndianaOutdoor.IN.gov. The application deadline is Aug. 25.

Applicants should see details at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/5834.htm before applying.

Applicants must be Indiana residents and be 18 years old by Nov. 18, 2013, and possess at least one valid Indiana deer license. Apprentice and private preserve licenses are not applicable. Each person may apply only once for each state park deer reduction effort, regardless of primary or buddy status. All applications sharing duplicate names will be disqualified.

Biologists determine which parks require a reduction based on habitat recovery and previous harvest data.

Parks participating this year are Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial, which will hold reduction hunts using firearms, and Fort Harrison and Clifty Falls, which will hold reduction hunts using archery.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first state park deer reduction hunt in Indiana.

“Though browse lines and skinny deer remain in the past, less obvious damage persists and requires our close attention and management,” said Mike Mycroft, chief of natural resources for DNR State Parks & Reservoirs.