Indiana Deer News

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...

It s official Indiana deer harvest down March 20, 2014 Indiana,  kokomoherald.com
... This decrease will not come as a surprise to most deer hunters throughout the state as many Hoosier deer hunters reported seeing far less deer this year than in years past... The DNR has greatly increased the number of antlerless bonus permits allowed in most counties the last couple of years also. So, really, that is a third reason that the high harvest number seems inflated ...

Deer harvest should prompt rules change March 20, 2014 Indiana, KPC News
...  Because the DNR has never historically admitted making mistakes, opting instead to always put a good spin on failed strategies, they defined the 2012 harvest as simply the sixth biggest in history.  By broadening the sample to include the entire history of deer in Indiana, they benefit from a time when the herd was only being established.  Consider the trend over only the past five years, however, and things are a bit bleaker...

DNR report shows decline in deer harvest March 16, 2014 Indiana, Kokomo Tribune
... regulated deer hunting began back in 1951. Almost 3.2 million deer have been taken by hunters over the past 62 Indiana deer hunting seasons... DNR officials believe three factors contributed to the lower harvest — carryover from the widespread outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) in 2012 and more in 2013, a record antlerless harvest in 2012 ...

2013 total Deer harvest numbers for Indiana March 14, 2014  onyourownadventures.com
... as I expected, the deer harvest numbers were way down this year here in Indiana. I just didn't see the deer that I normally do....

Putnam 27th as deer harvest down but still top-10 season March 7, 2014 Indiana, Banner Graphic 
... EHD, a viral disease transmitted by biting flies, was confirmed or suspected in 67 counties in 2012. It was reported in 23 counties in 2013, with 20 of them taking a hit for the second straight year. EHD is often fatal to deer. "We had a record antlerless harvest in 2012 on top of a major disease outbreak, which tells us there were a lot less deer going into the season," Stewart said. "It was pretty easy to predict the harvest would be down." ...

... A few deer typically starve to death each winter at Fox Island park, Ormiston said. But he and other staff there expect more deer deaths this winter because the deep snow covered up most ground vegetation.  About all the deer have left to eat now are twigs and brush ...

Senate bill attacks deer hunting March 5, 2014 Indiana, KPC News 
... SB52 minimizes the importance of game laws by changing the penalty for violating the majority of them from misdemeanors to simple infractions. ... In opposition to the bill, Jeff Wells, Indiana Conservation Officers Organization, explained ... Reducing the penalty for not obtaining a hunting, fishing or trapping license will likely have an adverse effect on license sales...

Stats show drop in deer March 2, 2014 Indiana, South Bend Tribune
... Biologists say two or three factors contributed to the lower harvest — carryover from a widespread outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), a record antlerless harvest in 2012, and the second season of new hunting regulations aimed at lowering deer densities in some areas of the state... 

Deer harvest down for 2013 February 27, 2014 Indiana, WANE
... The reported harvest of 125,635 deer by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was about 10,600 fewer deer than the record harvest of 136,248 in 2012, a decline of 7.8 percent.... very similar to what we’re seeing in a lot of other Midwest states ...

Winter stressing NWI wildlife February 23, 2014 Indiana, NWI.com 
... A thick blanket of snow on the ground practically for the entire winter in Northwest Indiana is placing the lives of deer and other forms of wildlife at risk by making it more challenging to uncover food.  Local wildlife experts said the effect from one of the most brutal winters in recent memory won't be known until the snow melts or whenever springs decides to arrive...

Reduce Deer Harvest February 23, 2014 Indiana, South Bend Tribune
...  I have spent the last 25 years driving across St. Joe, LaPorte and Marshall counties on a daily basis. I am a lifelong hunter and wildlife lover who actively observes wildlife while on my travels. It has become obvious to me the last three to four years that our deer herd is declining at an alarming rate and I don’t believe the EHD virus has anything to do with the decline.  Hunters cannot kill 8 does a year for very long without decimating the deer population....

Senate Bill 52 - The "Dumbing Down" of Indiana wildlife violations February 7, 2014 Indiana, The Rushville Republican
... most all of the laws protecting wildlife are currently misdemeanors and SB 52 would make them infraction violations. Infractions are not jailable offenses nor do they carry any criminal penalties. Infractions are the lowest level citations, and there is no court appearance required. If they do not respond to the summons the court can suspend their  drivers licenses ...

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette 
... Doug Allman, of the Indiana Deer Hunters Association, has fought against high-fenced hunting for years and said ... “I’m ecstatic. I thought it was going to pass..."  the most recent court ruling would allow the existing preserves to operate in any way they want without oversight...

High-fence hunting bill falls one vote shy in the Indiana Senate February 4, 2014 Indiana, Indianapolis Star 
... A bill that would end a yearslong stalemate and provide a legal framework for high-fence hunting preserves in Indiana failed to advance today in the state Senate, just one vote shy of passing.  But the bill may not be dead. Two senators who were absent because of illness ...

Urban Deer guide offers options to communities February 3, 2014 Indiana, Pharos-Tribune 
... To help local communities better understand deer and available management options, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Fish and Wildlife has put together an online booklet — the Urban Deer Technical Guide [this link will open a large PDF file]  ... 

Fenced Deer hunting January 28, 2014 Indiana, Indianapolis Business Journal ·
... A legislative panel approved a proposal that would allow fenced deer-hunting preserves around Indiana.  A state Senate committee voted 6-1 Monday to advance the bill to the full Senate... sponsored by Sen. Carlin Yoder ...

Canned-hunting bill an unsporting proposition January 28, 2014 Indiana, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette 
... Number 47 is a buck with a yellow tag in his ear who escaped from an Indiana deer farm in 2012... was shipped to Indiana from a breeder in Pennsylvania. After he and other deer arrived at the farm here, it was discovered that the Pennsylvania herd they had been taken from had been infected with chronic wasting disease...

Controlling wildlife touchy matter January 27, 2014 Indiana, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette 
... Warsaw started a deer task force a few years ago and opened parts of the city to urban bow hunting, which Fort Wayne also did. Bloomington, however, has yet to address its deer problem after spending two years studying the issue....While the number of Indiana hunters doesn’t come near the half-million mark seen 50 years ago, hunting has had somewhat of a resurgence, with the number of paid hunting license holders increasing from 232,819 in 2005 to about 274,000 last year... 

Indiana Dunes, Sharpshooters to cull deer herd at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore January 27, 2014 Indiana, NWI.com 
... Sharpshooters contracted by the IDNL will be used for the cull ...  more than 1,000 deer to be culled ... 

Indiana high-fence hunting bill may advance January 16, 2014 Indianapolis Star
... Last year, the head of Indiana’s senate likened high-fence hunting preserves to dog fighting and called them a “slaughterhouse without a roof.”  Today, Senate Pro Tem David Long says he’s going to allow legislation to be introduced that could open the door to allowing farm-raised deer and elk to be hunted behind fences in Indiana...

... at 21 state parks ...  more than 1,700 deer were "harvested" ...

Indiana DNR wants input on deer hunting January 3, 2014 Archery Talk
The IDNR is accepting input and ideas on deer and deer hunting from now thru Feb. If you think the herd is in decline or want to voice your opinions here's your chance ... http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/7373.htm 

 ...  Wildlife officials began explaining back in 2011 that they were going to move from a deer “maintenance” program to “reduction” efforts, hoping to drop the herd by 25 percent. They even provided numerous opportunities for the public to express their concerns, either through open style meetings or online.  Interestingly enough, no one, not even our state’s experts, knows how many white-tailed deer are in Indiana...

Trying to figure out where the deer have gone? December 11, 2013 Indiana,  Indiana .Sportsman
... I talked to the DNR deer biologist on Monday and they said that the deer numbers were up in Henry County ...  they are just saying the deer numbers are up to keep selling us deer tags but they are really satisfying the farmers and insurance company's... I bet thousands of additional deer will be taken with crossbow that never would of been shot. A few will shoot more because of the additional tags available... I agree deer numbers are down but a lot of areas did need a slight reduction...

Evaluating doe permits December 8, 2013 Indiana, South Bend Tribune
...  They’ve hammered the antlerless deer herd for several years through liberalized doe permits and bag limits. The intent was to reduce the number of vehicle/deer collisions and the amount of crop damage farmers have suffered.... Wildlife experts don’t seem to have a handle on how many coyotes are out there ... EHD was less a factor this year, yet it’s going to take a couple of years for areas hit hardest to rebound...

Indiana deer hunters set sights on firearms season November 23, 2013 Houston Chronicle
... In 2012, Hoosier hunters killed 136,248 deer with more than 50 percent of the total coming during firearms season ... The harvest isn't expected to be as high this year as deer populations have leveled and many whitetails in Indiana were hit hard by epizootic hemorrhagic disease, according to the state ...

Deer attractants are illegal in Indiana November 17, 2013 Kokomo Perspective
... deer attractants ... It is legal for the businesses to stock these products on their shelves, and they can be used in the wild. But hunting near them is illegal. These products are considered bait... 

... A deer firearms license costs $24 for Indiana residents, $150 for non-residents... The DNR manages about 350,000 acres of public land — state forests, state reservoirs and state fish & wildlife areas — that are available to deer hunters. Hoosier National Forest offers another 202,000 acres...

Deer In Hoosier Hunters' Sights Starting Saturday November 15, 2013 Indiana, Eagle 99.3 FM WSCH
...  Last year, hunters reported a state record harvest of 136,248 deer. Fifty-five percent those came during firearms season. DNR experts have said that they expect the 2013 harvest to be down from last year...

Deer season alerts drivers November 15, 2013 Indiana, WTHITV.com
... nearly half of all vehicle accidents involving white tail deer happen between the months of October and December... According to State Farm, the confluence of mating and hunting seasons makes November the month with the most deer/vehicle collisions ...

Deer firearms season opens on Saturday, EHD November 15, 2013 Indiana, Chicago Sun-Times
... As to epizootic hemorrhagic disease, reports have come from 31 counties with confirmations in five counties.  “A few areas experienced significant loss, but those areas seemed very localized,’’ Stewart emailed. “I would say that the impact this year is not nearly as significant as the outbreak that occurred last year, where we had much more widespread loss.’’ ...

White-tailed deer neared extinction November 13, 2013 Indiana, Brazil Times
... in 1934, the Division of Fish and Game began to restock the population...  trapping 400 deer in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina...  transported to state and federal properties in the southern hills of Indiana and released...

... The state administered hunts began in 1993 ... Nearly 1,200 deer are expected to be killed during the four days of hunting this year... “I don’t see, short of reintroducing historic large predators like wolves, that we’ll ever be done hunting the deer... Mike Mycroft, chief of state parks and reserves for Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources...

21 state parks to close for deer hunts November 4, 2013 Indiana, WANE-TV
... The Indiana Department of Natural Resources will conduct deer reduction hunts for the 21st straight year at 21 state parks on two days in November and another two days in December... A report on the 2012 reductions can be found at dnr.IN.gov/parklake/files/sp-DeerRMRR.pdf.

Versailles park to close temporarily for deer reductions November 4, 2013 Indiana, Dearborn Country Register
... Select Indiana state parks will close temporarily to allow for controlled deer reductions in the coming weeks, including Versailles State Park.... 

Deer-breeding firm damaged; 2 charged October 30, 2013 Indiana, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Allen County prosecutors allege that two men caused a loss of more than $80,000 to a deer-breeding business in Spencerville by cutting fences and releasing dozens of deer ...

... A white-tailed deer apparently was beaten in the head with a hammer along I-70 this morning drawing sympathy from motorists.  Police received multiple calls ...


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Indiana data: 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 likely declined in 2012 and 2013 as a result of outbreaks of EHD, a viral disease. and a record antlerless harvest in 2012 designed to reduce the population. 
     Deer were hunted to extinction in Indiana by the early 1900's.  In 1934 a restocking effort began, using 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