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News from Indiana DNR/F&W
For immediate release: Oct. 3, 1997
For information: Mark Cottingham, Division of Fish and Wildlife, 317/
’97 deer season to resemble last year’s record
Indiana deer hunters can expect hunting to be similar to last year’s
record harvest, according to Indiana Department of Natural Resources
biologists. With more than 123,000 deer taken in 1996, last year’s
harvest was an all-time record harvest.
“We expect to see about the same number of deer harvested this year as
last year,” said Jim Mitchell, deer research biologist for the DNR’s
Division of Fish and Wildlife. “The buck harvest may have a slight drop
this year, but the harvest of antlerless deer should be about the same
level as 1996 or slightly higher.”
Archery deer season began on Oct. 1 and will continue through Nov. 30.
The firearms deer season is Nov. 15 to Nov. 30, followed by the
muzzleloading season for deer from Dec. 6 to
Dec. 21. Deer hunting ends with the late archery deer season from Dec. 6
to Jan. 4, 1998.
Antlerless deer, generally does and immature bucks, accounted for 62
percent of the harvest in 1996 and increased about 7 percent from the
1995 season. Overall the 1996 deer harvest increased by 5 percent.
“Typically, the high deer population areas of the state are northeast
and southeast regions,” Mitchell said. “The counties with high harvest
numbers generally have large deer herds.”
The counties with the highest harvests last year were Steuben,
Koscuisko, Noble, Switzerland, Washington, Franklin, Parke, Dearborn,
Crawford and Marshall counties.
This year’s deer seasons begin with early archery on Oct. 1 through
Nov. 30. The firearms deer season is Nov. 15 through Nov. 30, while the
muzzleloader season runs Dec. 6 through
Dec. 21. Deer hunting ends with the late archery season from Dec. 6
through Jan. 4, 1998.
Bag limit regulations allow a hunter with both an archery license and
an extra archery license to take one buck and one antlerless deer, or to
take two antlerless deer. With a regular firearms license, a hunter may
take one buck. With a muzzleloader license, a hunter may take one deer
of either sex. However, if the hunter has already taken a buck with a
firearms license, then the muzzleloader license only allows for the
taking of an antlerless deer.
In addition, a deer hunter may take up to four antlerless deer through
the bonus antlerless deer program. The program encourages hunters to
harvest antlerless deer, or does, to reduce the state’s deer herd
population and reproduction. When using bonus licenses, a hunter must
observe the bag limits and bonus season dates set for individual
counties. A map detailing these county bag limits and season dates is
published in the “1997 Indiana Hunting and Trapping Guide” available at
retail stores where hunting licenses are sold.
In an effort to reduce deer populations around metropolitan areas, DNR
biologists designated four areas as “urban deer zones” in 1996. The
urban deer zones allow archery deer hunters to harvest two extra
antlerless deer. The zones include Vanderburg County; parts of Allen
County; parts of Tippecanoe County; and Marion County along with parts
of Hendricks, Boone and Hamilton counties. Hunters must still follow
local ordinances on hunting and must still have permission from
landowners when hunting in the urban zones.
For more information on deer hunting in Indiana, contact the DNR
Division of Fish and Wildlife, 317/232-4080