INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a state agency's authority to order deer reduction hunts in state parks to protect habitat and endangered plants.
Indiana wildlife biologists evaluate which parks need a deer cull based on habitat and previous deer-kill rates. Reducing the parks' deer populations helps maintain habitat for other animals and state-endangered plants.
The Herald-Times reports that the appeals court found in Tuesday's ruling that Indiana's Department of Natural Resources has authority to oversee regulated deer hunts at the state parks.
The Center for Wildlife Ethics had filed a lawsuit in 2017 challenging the DNR's power to permit hunters armed with rifles into state parks and on public land. The nonprofit's attorneys say they will consider appealing to the state Supreme Court.