News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

November 5, 2013

Some state parks to close temporarily for controlled deer reductions

Select Indiana state parks will close temporarily to allow for controlled deer reductions in the coming weeks, according to a press release from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Dates for the temporary closings are Nov. 18-19 and Dec. 2-3.

State parks affected are Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Turkey Run, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial. These state parks will close to the general public the evening before each of the two hunting periods and reopen the morning after each two-day reduction.

Only individuals drawn last September and those listed on their applications can participate at Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Harmonie, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial. There will be no standby drawings at those parks.

For Fort Harrison (archery hunt) and Indiana Dunes, Spring Mill and Turkey Run (firearms hunts), a public standby drawing to fill spots left vacant will take place on property each morning of the reduction.

Indiana Dunes State Park will conduct daily standby drawings at 8 a.m. CST. Potential standby participants can apply on site between 7 and 7:45 a.m. CST but cannot enter the park before 7 a.m.

Turkey Run, Spring Mill and Fort Harrison will conduct daily standby drawings at 8:30 a.m. EST. Potential standby participants can apply onsite between 7:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. EST but cannot enter the park before 7:30 a.m.

Eligibility for daily onsite standby drawings is limited to Indiana residents who are 18 years of age by Nov. 18, and have any valid license to take deer in Indiana, including lifetime licenses. Participants must wear a hunter orange hats or caps and vests, coats, jackets or coveralls at all times while on the property.

To participate in the standby drawings, individuals must present photo IDs and their valid filled or unfilled licenses to take deer. Applications can include up to three individuals. The number of participants drawn will be based on the number of unclaimed spots for each day; it is not a first-come, first-served process. The need for stand-in hunters tends to increase with each hunt day.

Questions about participating in the standby drawings should be directed to the property of interest.

DNR biologists evaluate which parks require a reduction each year based on habitat recovery and previous harvest rates at each park. The state parks are home to more than 32 state-endangered plants and numerous significant natural communities. The hunting periods help control browsing by deer to a level that helps maintain habitat throughout the state parks for all plants and animals, according to the DNR press release.

A report on the 2012 hunting periods can be found at dnr.IN.gov/parklake/files/sp-DeerRMRR.pdf.

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