INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Seventeen Indiana state park sites will be closing their gates to visitors for a pair of two-day deer hunts later this month. The hunts are scheduled for Nov. 15-16 and Nov. 29-30, with the parks closing the evening before and reopening the next day.
The annual deer hunts began in 1993. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources directs wildlife biologists evaluate the parks and determine where the hunts are needed to ensure healthy habitats for native plants and animals.
Those parks closing for this year's hunts are Chain O'Lakes, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial state parks, along with Cave River Valley Natural Area and Trine State Recreation Area. Only hunters previously selected in DNR drawings can participate.
The agency reported that 1,243 deer were killed in last year's state park hunts. Versailles State Park had the most killed with 205, followed by Brown County with 143 and Chain O'Lakes at 135.
The 2019 hunts killed only 775 deer, the fewest since the first hunt in 1993. More than 1,700 deer were killed as recently as the 2013 hunts.