Indiana Deer News
Deadly Deer Disease Raising Concerns About Hunting Preserves August 22, 2014 Indiana, Indiana Public Media
... Deer farmers have been battling the Department of Natural Resources in court and at the statehouse for eight years over an attempt to ban enclosed deer-hunting areas... At the center of the controversy is a deadly disease that’s spreading rapidly in neighboring states called Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD...

... Indiana has not had a confirmed case of CWD, but has had deer transferred to farms from out of state where confirmed cases had been recorded. Several states in the Midwest, including Wisconsin and Missouri, have had deer test positive for CWD... 

... Federal agricultural officials say they will not restrict the interstate shipment of captive deer — despite disease concerns raised by scientists and six members of Congress...So far, 21 states have issued such bans, fearing the spread of the always-fatal deer ailment, chronic wasting disease...  CWD spreads slowly in the wild, but if "we put it in a truck, we can move disease at 65, 70 mph across the landscape." ...

Panel studies whether to regulate deer preserves August 19, 2014 Indiana, RTV 6 ABC
... The Interim Study Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources ... The 14-member panel was studying CWD and the risk of the disease spreading into Indiana from importing deer for use in high-fenced shooting preserves.  There are four hunting preserves in the state... 

Lawmakers Question Whether Deer Preserves Should Be Allowed August 19, 2014 Indiana, Indiana Public Media 
... Groups such as the Quality Deer Management Association, the Indiana Wildlife Federation and the Indiana Deer Hunters Association want the high-fenced deer hunting industry outlawed, particularly asking for a ban on the import of captive deer from other states.  They say captive deer hunting puts Indiana at greater risk of exposure to chronic wasting disease ...

... Officials at Indiana's Department of Natural Resources have asked four out-of-state wildlife disease experts to testify before the 14-member Agriculture and Natural Resources Interim Study Committee.  One of the experts is among the foremost federal authorities on chronic wasting disease, an infectious brain disease that's always fatal to deer and that's been found in 22 states...

... someone shot the fawn last Saturday afternoon in Marshall County in the 15000-block of Fir Road just north of 15-B road.  They're looking for the driver of a small yellow hatchback compact car, similar to a Ford Focus or Dodge Caliber ... tip line at 1-800-TIP-IDNR. You may remain anonymous...

Summer study session set on captive deer August 1, 2014 Indiana, Indianapolis Star
... The 14-member Agriculture and Natural Resources Interim Study Committee will meet Aug. 19 to discuss and hear testimony about the contentious issues surrounding the captive deer industry... Of particular concern is chronic wasting disease ... 

Bloomington, Officials consider deer hunting in Eagle Creek Park July 21, 2014 Indiana, Indianapolis Star
... While state parks routinely cull deer, including Fort Harrison State Park in Lawrence, animal lovers opposed hunting when the Eagle Creek deer problem was last discussed in 2012. City officials in Bloomington have fought repeatedly over the issue...

Blame the 'hunters' in the captive deer controversy July 18, 2014 Indiana, Indianapolis Star
...  interstate movement of these farmed deer, and with interstate movement, there is a chance that deer with CWD could spread the disease to other states... They want state agriculture departments to oversee their industry. Can you say less oversight? ...

Missouri veto resonates through captive deer hunting industry July 14, 2014 Indiana, Indianapolis Star 
... Nixon vetoed legislation that would have transferred oversight of the state's deer breeders from wildlife officials to Missouri's agriculture department... Many state wildlife agencies are concerned about the risk of spreading disease, especially the always fatal deer ailment known as chronic wasting disease ... Those risks were ­uncovered this spring in an Indianapolis Star investigation ...

Adjusting for smaller deer herd July 13, 2014 Indiana, South Bend Tribune 
... First, the EHD virus that hit the past couple of years has put a major dent in Michiana deer populations. Secondly, Indiana’s aggressive deer reduction plan has worked ... “Historically in the south, the herd rebounds pretty quick after a bout with EHD, but that hasn’t happened in the north ... The northern part of the state, with its hunter density and habitat differences, is showing it takes longer.” ...

Does coyote urine scare deer? July 11, 2014 Indiana, Hunting Indiana ProBoards
... Nope! I put a small pile of grain in front of my camera and a coyote decided to pee on it.  15 minutes later a doe was eating the grain....

Hunting and Forest Regeneration in State Parks July 7, 2014 Indiana, Purdue Agriculture News
...a Purdue Study ...  a 17-year-long Indiana Department of Natural Resources policy of organizing hunts in state parks ... Herbs such as asters, violets and goldenrods increased from about 20 percent to 32 percent cover, and percent cover of grasses rose from 1 to 3 percent. Tree seedlings jumped from about 2 percent to about 13 percent of total plant cover ... research article ... 

Bonus antlerless deer county quotas are set June 30, 2014 Indiana, The Huntington County TAB
... quotas being reduced in 19 counties and increased in four...  63 counties will be included in the 2014 late antlerless season, six fewer than in 2013... "We made an effort in 2012 to begin reducing the deer herd, and that appears to be working," ...

... IWF also adopted a second policy resolution, this one intensifying its long-standing opposition to the shooting of deer in fenced enclosures:  It calls on the state to prohibit the importation and exportation of live deer (cervids) and their carcasses, reproductive materials, and unboned meat...  urges the state to require captive deer operations to erect double eight-foot fences to prevent the escape of diseased animals...

Antlerless quotas reduced in 19 counties June 27, 2014 Indiana, Greensburg Daily News ·
... If a county’s bonus antlerless quota is changed, the new quota usually is left in place for a couple of years to evaluate impact.  “If you change it year to year, you don’t have a good feel for the impact of those recommendations,”  Map

...  The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has shortened deer hunting season in Howard, Miami and Cass counties due to a declining deer population...  determining antlerless quotas is based on a variety of factors like crop damage reports, deer-vehicle collisions and landowner and hunter surveys measuring individual satisfaction level with deer numbers in their county...

Indianapolis, DNR has urban deer hunting plan June 19, 2014 Indiana, South Bend Tribune 
...  the Urban Deer Hunting Access Program... allows approved Indiana communities or public entities to open public land for access by licensed deer hunters. ... Garry Harrington, director of the Rum Village Nature Center in South Bend, said that while South Bend is home to some deer, it does not experience an overabundance...

Mother Goose chases off deer at Raccoon Lake in Parke County, Indiana June 19, 2014



Indiana case inspires laws over captive hunts June 19, 2014 Lewistown Sentinel 
... As chronic wasting disease continues to spread - helped along by the captive-deer industry's brisk interstate trade - deer breeders argue that the current rules are more than adequate... Since 2011, lawmakers in at least 14 states have introduced legislation that would loosen regulations ...  a white-tailed deer with majestic antlers was dying of pneumonia, so sickly that a ranch hand had to poke it with a sharp stick to get it to stand...

Lawmakers take aim at trophy deer trade June 10, 2014 Indiana, USA Today 
... Six members of Congress are urging federal agricultural officials to ban the interstate movement of captive deer, saying a national industry that breeds bucks to be shot as trophies in "canned" hunts isn't worth the disease risks...  the 10,000 deer and elk farmers in the U.S. are shipping an unprecedented number of deer and elk across state lines ...

New Program Aimed At Urban Deer Conflicts June 8, 2014 Indiana, WBIW.com
... The Urban Deer Hunting Access Program was designed to assist communities experiencing problems with overabundant deer to manage those deer through hunting..."Hunting is a highly favored form of management for deer by hunters and many non-hunters alike," said DNR deer biologist Chad Stewart. ... 

Canned hunting among Indiana summer study issues June 2, 2014 Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
... The DNR tried to shut down canned hunting in 2005, but that effort remained in limbo until last year, when a judge in Harrison County ruled against the DNR, though an Owen County judge previously had ruled in favor of the agency.  In an effort to resolve the matter, the attorney general's appeal of the Harrison County ruling argues that denying DNR oversight on a wildlife-related issue creates “a regulation-free environment ...

Bloomington, Parks Board Unanimously Approves Deer Sharpshoot Plan May 27, 2014 Indiana, Indiana Public Media 
... The $31,000 contract will allow Connecticut-based company White Buffalo to kill the deer over a nine-day period sometime between November 15 and February 28... to kill up to 100 deer in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve ...

Captive deer hunting needs to go away May 10, 2014 Indiana, Goshen News 
... the animals are killed by hunters — we use the term loosely — who pay top-dollar for a prized trophy. Indiana has four such preserves, and they’re currently not regulated by wildlife officials. A bill that would have established regulatory guidelines for preserves was defeated this year in the state Senate...

Bloomington, Plans for deer cull moving forward May 4, 2014 Indiana, Herald Times
... The next step, according to Mick Renneisen, director of the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, is happening now, with potential sharpshooters talking to the city parks officials about their proposals. Then, on May 27, the city parks board will meet, and Renneisen is hoping he can recommend a specific firm for the deer cull at that time...

Lawmakers seek review of captive deer industry May 3, 2014 Indiana, San Francisco Gate
 Two Indiana lawmakers are calling for a study of Indiana's high-fence hunting operations and the disease risks ... Indiana lawmakers have spent more than a decade trying to reach agreement on legislation about high-fenced hunting preserves, with no success...

... The leader of Indiana's Senate said he's willing to consider closing the state's borders to live-deer imports in the wake of an Indianapolis Star investigation that uncovered a link between the trophy deer-breeding industry and the spread of disease... ethical concerns associated with North America's $1 billion captive-deer industry ...

... For the first time in at least 13 years, the Bloomington City Council overturned a mayoral veto Wednesday night. The council voted 7-2 to override Kruzan’s veto on an ordinance that adds an exception to city code to allow for sharpshooting deer at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve...

Bloomington mayor vetoes deer hunt plan April 18, 2014 Indiana, Indianapolis Star 
... Mayor Mark Kruzan says he can’t support the proposal and that he also opposed the start of deer hunts in Indiana’s state parks while he was a state legislator ... A letter to Mayor Kruzan from the Center For Wildlife Ethics [PDF]

Kruzan vetoes sharpshooting deer April 17, 2014 Indiana, Indiana Daily Student
... “I simply see the problem created by the killing of animals as outweighing the problem being caused to plants.” ...

... in January 2005, a jury in a federal courtroom heard tales from a now-notorious Indiana hunting preserve of deer being drugged and even a sick deer propped up in a 1-acre pen so a hunter could shoot a $15,000 trophy. ... Bellar ended up spending nine months in a federal prison ...

Bloomington City Council Votes To Allow Deer Sharpshooting April 10, 2014 Indiana, Indiana Public Media 
... will apply only to sharpshooters contracted by the city of Bloomington to restore ecological balance by eliminating part of the deer population...

Bloomington, Council nears vote on deer, discourse at meeting April 10, 2014 Indiana, Indiana Daily Student 
... “When you actually read Dr. Shelton’s article, you see that, actually, the scientific findings in that study do not corroborate Mr. Rollo’s claim that there is an ecological catastrophe in Griffy that is so urgent we don’t have time to explore these nonlethal measures,” ... Sandra Shapshay, assistant professor

... The Bloomington City Council approved amending city code to allow sharpshooters to thin the deer population at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve by a 6-2-1 vote... The no votes came from council members Dorothy Granger and Steve Volan. Tim Mayer abstained. Voting yes were Dave Rollo, Andy Ruff, Darryl Neher, Chris Sturbaum, Marty Spechler and Susan Sandberg.

Bloomington, Public reaction split on proposal to kill deer; council favors plan  April 3, 2014 Indiana, Herald Times 
... The council was considering an ordinance that would allow professional sharpshooting at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve to reduce the deer population. It would amend city code to add another exception to allow the discharge of a firearm within city limits...

Search for source of deadly disease often leads to deer farms March 31, 2014 Indiana, Zanesville Times Recorder
... In April 2012, a tree fell on a fence in Southern Indiana and 20 white-tailed deer bounded through ... One of the deer in the pen had been shipped from a Pennsylvania herd where two deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease ... That buck ... has never been found ...

Team studying differences among Indiana deer March 31, 2013 Indiana, Washington Times
... “Deer in town appear to stay in town, and the deer out of town seem to stay out of town,” said Tim Carter, associate professor at Ball State University and the researcher leading the three-year deer study of fawns in the area... urban deer were more likely to be killed by vehicles, while rural deer were more likely to be killed by coyotes...

Study: Some deer farmers put ethics on line for profit March 30, 2014 Indiana, USA Today 
... a caricature of a deer, this dainty white-tailed buck whose neck slumps under the weight of the gnarled antlers sprawling from its head... In less than 40 years, a relatively small group of farmers has created something the world has never seen before — a billion-dollar industry primarily devoted to breeding deer trucked to fenced hunting preserves to be shot by patrons willing to pay thousands for the trophies...

A troubling industry is born March 28, 2014 Indiana, Indianapolis Star
...  There was so much demand for his deer that he stopped releasing them into the wild about 1980. At first, he said, his neighbors wanted them as pets... "They were people that loved deer and just wanted to have a few deer around."  But they also took pride in breeding deer with big antlers... Miller received $7,500 for Patrick in 1987, when he was shipped to Texas... 

Trophy deer industry linked to disease, costs taxpayers millions March 28, 2014 Indiana, Indianapolis Star
...  X-Factor, an Indiana deer that in his prime was worth an estimated $1 million.  His value as a stud comes not from research and not from the quality of his venison. Instead, his value is in those freakish antlers, the product of more than three decades of selective breeding... CWD's spread roughly coincides with the captive-deer industry's growth ...

What can happen if preserve owners make the rules March 28, 2014 Indiana, Indianapolis Star ·
... a white-tailed deer with majestic antlers was dying of pneumonia, so sickly that a ranch hand had to poke it with a sharp stick to get it to stand. On wobbly legs, it toppled over in a snowy thicket. In the next video clip, it appeared to be propped into a standing position, a branch through its antlers.  A few yards away, a camouflaged hunter crouched in the snow, his rifle at the ready. A cameraman stood behind him filming the action, all part of a service for which the hunter paid $15,000...

Is the rack worth the risk? March 28, 2014 Indiana, Indianapolis Star
 ...  In April 2012, a tree fell on a fence in Southern Indiana and 20 white-tailed deer bounded through the gap, their tails raised like stark white flags.  One of the deer in the pen had been shipped from a Pennsylvania herd where two deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease, a neurological disorder that's always fatal to deer and elk and has been found in 22 states — but never in Indiana...


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Indiana data: The deer population has been trending down in the past few years.  The DNR has 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, 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.
     Deer were hunted to extinction in Indiana by the early 1900's.  In 1934 a 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

Other useful links: 
- Report poachers at 1-800-TIP-IDNR.  More information on the IDNR website.
-  Automated Reporting Information Exchange System, has information on deer-vehicle collisions

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Historic Indiana Deer Harvest, Source IDNR, Click to Enlarge