Indiana Deer News


Indiana 2015 Deer Season Summary April 29, 2016 Indiana DNR
     A total of 123,664 harvested deer were reported in Indiana during the 2015 season.  This harvest was 3% greater than the 120,073 deer taken during the 2014 season.  The antlered deer harvest of 50,379 was 10% higher than the 45,686 reported in 2014.  The anterless harvest of 73,285 was 1% less than the 74,387 harvested in 2014.  In 2015, the reported harvest for total deer ranks 10th  all-time, while the total anterless deer harvest ranks 100th highest in Indiana history.  Approximately 3.5 million deer have been reported harvested during the past 64 deer hunting seasons in Indiana. Read the full report.

Kane County bow hunting to continue, possibly expand April 29, 2016 Indiana, Chicago Daily Herald
...  Kane County Forest Preserve District ...  52, participated in the bow hunting program this past season than ever before. The program also netted revenues of $3,338 -- also a new high. Hunters harvested 44 deer in the program... Of the harvested deer, one from Big Rock tested positive for chronic wasting disease...

At least 26 Indiana counties had prairie lands April 12, 2016 Indiana, Washington Times Herald
... The Native Americans knew that open areas near the edge of the forests were of great value in providing sites where the deer, bison, elk and other animals that provided them with much of their food lived... our Native Americans ... soon found out that using fire could help keep these open areas free of most trees and shrubs and allow the plants the animals utilized for food to propagate and flourish...

Indiana's deer season sees significant changes April 10, 2016 Indiana, Kokomo Tribune
... Out of 43 states with reportable whitetail deer harvests, Indiana is one of nine that that until this year didn’t allow high-powered rifles... Even Michigan outlaws their use in the southern part of the state because of flat topography... Several weeks back a new law was passed allowing Indiana hunters to use high-powered rifles ...

...  After several public meetings and after reviewing thousands of letters and e-mails, the NRC in conjunction with input from the Department of Natural Resource professionals concluded the adoption of high-powered rifles was not in the better interest of the resource or in the interest of the general public... House Bill 1231 legalizes the use of center fire rifles ...

A look at the recent deer rifle controversy April 5, 2016 Indiana, Journal Review Online
... Mike Pence signed HB1231 which legalized several common high-power rifle cartridges for deer hunting on private land ... The DNR concluded last year after many public meetings that deer rifles weren’t a pressing need for this state. A sizable minority with loud voices did want rifles approved but the Natural Resources Commission decided there was no compelling reason  ...

... allows the following high-powered rifles on private land only statewide, with a limit of no more than 10 cartridges (possessed in the field): .243, .30-30, .300, .30-06, and .308...

Some hunters question Indiana allowing high-powered rifles March 26, 2016 Indiana, Washington Times
... deer hunter Dave Holcomb ... concerned about safety with Indiana’s flat terrain and the long distances high-powered rifles can shoot... more concerned that hunters will reduce the deer population too much...

High-powered rifle bill triggers opposition Mardh 24, 2016 Indiana, South Bend Tribune
... hunters for the first time will be allowed to use high-powered rifles when hunting on privately owned property. Historically most Indiana deer hunters have used shotguns since the only other types of allowable long arms were muzzle loaders or rifles that fire handgun-caliber bullets...

Pence signs captive hunting bill  March 24, 2016 Indiana, WildIndiana.com
... Senate Bill 109 codifies the controversial practice of hunting farm-raised deer for money behind high fences following a court ruling in its favor last year. It is effective immediately.  There are currently seven captive facilities  ...

Our Opinion: Close the lid on canned hunts March 23, 2016 Indiana, South Bend Tribune
... It’s not too late for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to veto a bill that has longtime hunting traditionalists and their supporters up in arms.  The bill would allow the hunting of deer and other exotic sheep and goat inside “hunting preserves,” which are large tracks of land enclosed by high fences... 
     Pence signs captive hunting bill March 22, 2016 Indiana, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
...  Indiana's captive hunting industry is officially legal and on the books after Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation into law Tuesday.  Senate Bill 109 codifies the controversial practice of hunting farm-raised deer for money behind high fences ...

Opponents question fairness of 'canned hunting' in Indiana March 20, 2016 Indiana, South Bend Tribune
... The Hoosier Environmental Council, the Indiana Wildlife Federation, the Indiana Deer Hunters Association and the Humane Society of the United States are among the groups who’ve fought the bill...  hopes Gov. Mike Pence will veto the bill ..., gives regulatory authority over the industry to the state Board of Animal Health, which oversees livestock production ...

Local man finds deer in unusual location: a tree March 19, 2016 Indiana, Post Searchlight
... A deer was trapped and hanging in the branches, roughly 16 feet off the ground... theorized the deer became trapped during the flood and was unable to escape before dying up in the tree...

Deer harvest numbers down at Indiana state parks March 11, 2016 Wane... About 800 white-tailed deer were killed at 14 state parks during hunts on Nov. 16 to 17 and Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 ... About 1,000 deer were killed in 2014 at 19 state parks. Nearly 1,300 deer were harvested in 2012 ...

Illegal Sale Of Wildlife Arrest Made In Culver March 3, 2016 Indiana, WBIW.com
... The investigation started after conservation officers were contacted saying Corey's Deer Processing ... were involved in the illegal possession and sale of deer meat...

Pence is to blame for the DNR losing its way March 3, 2016 Indiana, KPC News
... the people in change of protecting the resource cleared the way for high fenced hunting ...  the DNR can’t possibly know what a deer biologist thinks about deer seasons, since under Clarke and Pence we have not had a deer biologist ...  Indiana was the only state I could find that does not have a deer biologist where whitetail deer reside...
     Pence last chance for canned-hunt ban March 2, 2016 Indiana, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
... By legitimizing canned hunting, SB 109 will demean the honorable and far more economically significant hunting industry ... Canned-hunting preserves also increase the risk of chronic wasting disease that could devastate Indiana’s wild deer population...

Greenfield deer poacher sentenced to probation March 2, 2016 Indiana, WISH-TV
... officers found more than 100 sets of deer antlers, 170 bird feathers and 20 animal skulls ... two years on probation after two felony charges ...

After 10 Years, High Fenced Deer Rules Heads To Gov. Pence March 1, 2016 Indiana, Indiana Public Media
... The House approved the bill 61 to 35.  The bill establishes regulations that include minimum fence heights and acreage, and it mandates reporting disease and escape...

Multiple Gun Law Reform Bills Pass Iowa House February 26, 2016 Indiana, Ammo Land 
... HF2279 Hearing Protection Act – Removes ban on gun mufflers... The Senate is working on a bill to remove the ban on Iowa deer hunters carrying handguns while hunting...

... proposed requirements, including that they have a minimum of 100 acres surrounded by fencing at least 8 feet high ...

Potential Changes Coming To High-Fenced Hunting Bill February 15, 2016 Indiana Public Media
... Environmental and conservation organizations have long opposed high-fenced deer hunting, an industry left unregulated by the courts last year.  The likelihood of the General Assembly banning the industry outright this session is essentially zero, but the opposition groups hope to strengthen proposed rules and restrictions...

High powered rifles called into question for deer February 10, 2016 Indiana, The Herald Bulletin
... After public input and much deliberation the Indiana DNR and the Natural Resources Commission decided not to allow high powered rifles to be used for hunting deer in Indiana ...HB 1231 ... which passed the House ... allows the use of high powered rifles on private property...

Senate Passes New Regulations For Indiana Hunting Preserves January 22, 2016 Indiana, Indiana Public Media
... The legislation would mandate minimum fence heights – eight feet – and minimum acreage – 80 acres for the seven existing facilities, one hundred acres for any new facilities...

Bill adding goats, sheep as fenced-hunting targets advances January 19, 2016 Indiana, Indiana Lawyer
...The bill would allow hunting of other animals including elk, moose, reindeer and caribou on hunting preserves that are at least 80 acres if in business in 2015 or 100 acres thereafter.... 

... "This is not hunting. This is shooting livestock," hunter Joel Wieneke said. "Call it what it is. The statute makes them livestock. Don't call it hunting. This is target practice." ... The committee voted 8-1 to endorse the bill ...

Deer Hunting Bill Clears Senate Committee January 11, 2016 Indiana, Indiana Public Media 
... The bill would allow an unlimited number of preserves, all under the authority of the Board of Animal Health. It requires new reserves to be at least 100 acres, fences to be at least eight-feet high, and mandates reporting of disease and escape...

Police say Indiana man was within his rights to kill 3 dogs January 2, 2016 Indiana, WTHR Indian's News Leader
... killed three dogs that threatened deer he's raising as livestock was within his legal rights in killing the dogs... 

Deer numbers languish December 26, 2015 Indiana, South Bend Tribune 
... In Indiana, the statewide deer harvest as of mid-week showed around 119,000 deer harvested... it’s quite possible the Hoosier deer harvest will fall short of the 120,073 deer taken last year and well short of the 2012 record of more than 136,000...

In the end, is a new beginning December 23, 2015 Indiana, Kokomo Herald 
... A declining deer herd in Indiana is real. It’s a fact. But it is not a decimated herd either. We may not be in the hey-day we were in 15 years ago ... 

Bucks Found Poached & Beheaded December 21, 2015 Indiana, Tristatehomepage.com
...  a poached buck near the Duke Energy Power Plant near Princeton. They also reported beheaded bucks in the same area.  " ... they're just shooting them and letting them lay ... call the tip hotline at 1-800-847-4637. 

... Indiana’s deer managers ...  get pressure from farm lobbyists to curtail crop damage caused by our state’s wild ungulates. The money trail is loud and clear.  So what do they do? They up antlerless quotas and even create a special doe only season at the very end, at which time most does have been bred ... Many hunters, including myself, would like to see antlerless deer tags reduced and the late doe season eliminated...

Who's to blame for declining deer numbers? December 12, 2015 Indiana, Kokomo Tribune
... A few say it’s due to previous hard winters and predation. But almost everyone agrees the large increase in antlerless permits made available by our state’s fish and wildlife agency is to blame...

Are our local deer a victim of animal genocide? December 2, 2015 Indiana, KPC News
... the Urban Zone of yesteryear has been transformed into the 2015 Indiana Deer Reduction Zone ... Even among my circle of hunters it’s difficult to visualize our local reduction plan without feeling it to be a sort of deer genocide, so I may just have to purchase a “Coexist with deer” bumper sticker ...

Hunter shot as Steuben deer hunt goes awry December 1, 2015 Indiana, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
...  it seemed like a good idea at the time: placing eight hunters around the perimeter of 50 acres of woods and fields... landed one man in the hospital with a shotgun wound to the face Saturday afternoon...

Deer harvest numbers are online November 19, 2015 Indiana, Rushville Republican
... The harvest total is updated every 24 hours at midnight and posted at deer.dnr.IN.gov. All numbers are raw data and unofficial until DNR Fish & Wildlife biologists verify the data after the deer hunting season ends...

Let’s fix Indiana’s deer hunting woes November 18, 2015 KPC News
... The past two administrations have responded to the decline differently than other states, which has reduced available tags to rebuild their herd... Diseases like EHD have taken a toll in recent years, but disease is not what is killing deer and deer hunting in Indiana. The decline of deer is due to our seasons and tag structure...

Local Conservation Officers searching for deer poacher November 16, 2015 Indiana, ABC 57 News
...  the illegal taking of a whitetail deer at Saint Patrick’s County Park.  The deer was shot around 4:00 p.m. Sunday on a walking trail inside the park... reward ...  call 1-800-TIP-IDNR

Indiana man who sold fake contracts to hunters could face more charges November 12, 2015 WDRB
... Police say a southern Indiana man sold leases to deer hunters allowing them onto private property -- but he didn't own the land...

Things to ponder during hunting season November 12, 2015 Indiana, Muncie Star Press
... Indiana’s wildlife philosophy is that all wildlife are held in a public trust and managed by the state for all citizens... Deer firearm hunting seasons opens Saturday, Nov. 14 and runs through Nov. 29...

Buck Deer Seized After Investigation from Anonymous Tip November 10, 2015 Indiana, WBIW.com
... an investigation into a gunshot early Sunday morning before daylight in Dearborn County... Both males were charged with the illegal possession and taking of a Whitetail deer ...

14 state parks to close in Indiana for controlled deer reduction November 10, 2015 WTHITV 10
... Some state parks in Indiana will be temporarily closing to allow for controlled deer reduction in the coming weeks... [from 1993 to 2014, 32,713 deer have been killed in this ongoing project]

Wildlife regulation ruling flawed November 1, 2015 Indiana, Indianapolis Star
... In a surprisingly broad decision, the court ruled in a 2-1 vote that DNR has no authority to regulate captive-raised whitetail deer and further asserted that the DNR does not have authority over any wild animal that is privately owned...

Bucks on the prowl as gun season nears November 1, 2015 Indiana, South Bend Tribune
... the counties east of us seem to be producing higher numbers of deer,” said southwest Michigan DNR biologist Ken Kesson at Crane Pond in Jones. “Our numbers are down in the southwest corner of the state but we’re trying to push them up by issuing fewer doe permits and let the herd grow.” ... 

Hunting group, DNR team up to feed deer October 30, 2015 Indiana, Chicago Tribune
... Northwest Indiana Quality Deer Management Association and the DNR at LaSalle have joined together to develop some feeding plots of clover and wheat at the site that will grow in time to provide nutritional support for the wildlife area's deer to help them prepare for the harsh winter months...

Hunter Allegedly Used False License To Check 13-Point Buck October 16, 2015 Indiana, Eagle 99.3 FM WSCH
... the 163”, 13-point buck that was harvested in Dearborn County. Police say the hunter harvested the deer then purchased a hunting license with somebody else’s information ...

2015 Trophy Deer Forecast: Indiana October 21, 2015 Game & Fish
... The majority of trophy deer are harvested in Indiana’s hilly southern and northeastern counties... there is a great deal of public hunting ground in state and national forests in those same areas. The Hoosier National Forest south of Bloomington and countless state forests and WMAs like Yellowwood and Big Oaks hold big deer ... 

Hoosiers can help with wildlife studies October 18, 2015 Indiana, South Bend Tribune
...The DNR put out a call for volunteers to position DNR trail cameras on qualified private land properties... In one week, project coordinator Shawn Rossler received more than 300 applications for the 100 or so cameras he has available...  the images will be fed into a computer model that will provide wildlife managers baseline data...

Indiana guide accused of illegally poaching deer October 18, 2015 Indianapolis Star
... an Anderson man who allegedly illegally killed deer and ran a service that guided others on illegal deer hunts...

Park land used for deer hunts in new Porter County program October 8, 2015 Indiana, Chicago Tribune
... The new program is designed so that hunters will help manage the deer populations at Brookdale, in Liberty Township, and on a parcel in Pine Township ... 21 hunters have signed up for the first hunt ... plans to cull deer in the county's lakeshore communities raised controversy a few years ago, no one has voiced opposition to allowing hunting on county park land...

Deer season opens October 1, 2015 Indiana, Washington Times Herald
... . Last year hunters harvested 120,073 deer in Indiana. Bow hunters claimed 34,600 deer. Gun and muzzleloaders were used on 79,000 harvested deer...

State using hunting zones to cut deer-car collisions September 30, 2015 Indiana, Tribune-Star
... In Indiana, about 15,000 collisions between cars and deer were reported last year, down from a peak of more than 16,000 in 2008, before the state began a multi-year effort to reduce the deer population by nearly 25 percent... [resulting in a 6 percent decline in collisions with deer]

Will a trail camera spook deer? September 27, 2015 Indiana, Kokomo Perspective
... I believe human scent is more responsible for spooking the deer around trail cameras when the hunter fails to control the amount of scent left at the camera site. I personally use surgical gloves when I am attaching the camera to a tree and programming it ...

WIBQ
... Currently, four canned hunting preserves are operating in Indiana under a court injunction... This year, a bill (S.B. 442) to ban the practice did not get a hearing... a survey in 2010 found the majority of Indiana voters (80 percent) were against captive hunts of deer, elk ...

... The IIHS also found that the odds that a driver will hit a deer in Indiana are 1 out of 142, above the national odds of 1 in 169...

Indiana Deer Forecast for 2015 September 2, 2015 Game & Fish
... The IDNR has had very liberal limits on antlerless deer in an effort to reduce the deer herd. In some counties it is working and the harvest numbers continue to slide as we see fewer deer to hunt...The acorn mast definitely made this winter easier on the deer ...

From Cecil the lion to Indiana’s deer September 2, 2015 Indiana, Nuvo
... trophy hunters kill approximately 600 lions each year...Canned hunting, a.k.a. high-fence hunting or captive hunting ... There are more than 1,000 captive hunting facilities in the U.S., four of which are in Indiana... The animals are bred to have unnaturally large antlers ... “Last spring 80 percent [of Hoosiers] were against canned hunting.” ...

Is baiting animals ethical? August 24, 2015 Indiana, Hampton County Guardian
... I grew up understanding that using bait to lure in a big buck is not hunting, it is killing... baiting creates an unnatural situation which would not generally occur in the wild...

Man Arrested After Killing Deer Out Of Season August 13, 2015 Indiana, WBIW 
... Indiana Conservation Officers arrested a Tennyson man on charges of illegally taking of a white- tailed deer when hunting season was closed, hunting by the aid of a motor driven conveyance and shooting from a public roadway...

Court Decision Renews Fenced Hunting Debate August 3, 2015 Indiana, Indiana Public Media 
... A June decision from the Indiana Supreme Court struck down a 2005 ban from the Department of Natural Resources. Now, the industry is virtually unregulated... Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Goshen, says ...  “Anybody, frankly, could go out and put a hunting preserve on three acres of land ...

Group starts self-policing program for confined hunting August 2, 2015 Indiana, Indianapolis Star
... The Indiana Deer Advisory Council said its validation program will be similar to the Pork Quality Assurance Plus program. The group will issue annual hunting validations to owners who apply and prove program requirements have been fulfilled...

Indiana data:  About 730,000 deer in 2015 based on harvest data, 700,000 deer in 2014, 730,000 in 2013, and 780,000 in 2012.  The deer population has been trending down in the past few years, especially in the southwest.  The DNR reduced the number of antlerless permits in 2014 to moderate the trend.  In 2011 the Department of Natural Resources estimated anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000 deer in the state, roughly 750,000 which is used as the base for the current estimate.  No formal population estimate when the state announced it planned to reduce the population by 25 percent.  The population declined particularly in 2012, but also in 2013, as a result of outbreaks of EHD, a viral disease. Deer populations in the south rebounded somewhat, but populations in the north have been slower to recover.  A record antlerless harvest in 2012 was designed to reduce the population. A hard winter in 2013-14 also drove the population lower. Does have been 30 to 40 percent of the harvest. Hunting data. Graph of Historic Deer Harvest, Source IDNR, Click to Enlarge
     Deer were hunted to extinction in Indiana by the early 1900's.  The last deer reported was in 1893 in Knox County.  No deer were reported until a 1934 restocking effort, trapping and transporting 400 deer from other states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina. In 1951, Indiana opened selected areas to regulated hunting.  Read the Indiana Star's report on the Trophy Industry  Historic Indiana 

Report poachers at 1-800-TIP-IDNR.  More information on the IDNR website.
Other useful links: 
Indiana Whitetail Deer Herd Management  committed to advocating for the health of our deer herd 
-  Automated Reporting Information Exchange System, has information on deer-vehicle collisions.
- BANDIS, deer management in Bloomington, Indiana. On Facebook

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