Indiana DNR 21 State Parks to Close for Deer Reductions

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Standby drawings available at 4 parks

Select Indiana state parks will close temporarily for two rounds of controlled deer reduction hunts in the coming weeks.

The first reduction is Nov. 14-15. The second round is Nov. 28-29. The participating parks will close to the general public the evening before each of the two efforts and will re-open the morning after each two-day reduction.

The state parks closing temporarily this year for deer reductions 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.

Each year, DNR biologists evaluate which parks require a reduction based on habitat recovery and previous hunter success at each park. The state parks are home to more than 32 state-endangered plants and numerous significant natural communities. The reductions help control browsing by deer to a level that helps maintain habitat throughout the state parks.

Though the parks have had much success since the first reduction in 1993, a high no-show rate of those drawn and over-selective hunting remain a challenge for the program.
Only individuals and those listed on their applications drawn last September may participate at any park, besides Indiana Dunes, Turkey Run, Fort Harrison, and Spring Mill state parks. A public standby drawing to fill spots left vacant after 7:30 a.m. local time will take place at Indiana Dunes (firearms hunt), Turkey Run (firearms hunt), Spring Mill (firearms hunt), and Fort Harrison (archery hunt) state parks each morning.

To be eligible for the standby drawings, the candidate must be an Indiana resident (or possess an Indiana lifetime license to take deer), be 18 years old by Nov. 14, 2011, and possess any valid deer license for Indiana. You must present a photo ID and any valid filled or unfilled license to take deer. Standby drawings will take place at 8:30 a.m. local time. Potential standby participants can apply onsite between 7:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. local time but cannot enter the park before 7:30 a.m. Applications can include up to three individuals. This is a drawing based on how many unclaimed spots there are for each day. It is not first-come, first-served. Spots will be limited as they are based on the number of no-shows each day. The need for stand-in hunters increases with each hunt day. If you have questions, please call the property of interest.

Information regarding 2012 state park deer reductions, including applications, will be available next summer at


Contact Information:
Name: Mike Mycroft
Phone: (317) 232-4128


Retired2hunt's picture

  Great Job Indiana!  I am


Great Job Indiana!  I am very much for closing these parks to allow the hunting to go without issue.  Why some states allow the park to remain open to the general public I don't know.  Why put the general public or the hunter at risk? 

Second Note - why would there be no-shows to this program unless there were hunters who just prior to the special hunt filled their tags.  If that was the case then I would expect the state would have a communication in place that these hunters would be required to complete so as to allow as much time in advance for communicating to the next hunter in line.  That is common courtesy I would expect from one hunter to another.

Anyhow - great program Indiana and I wish all those chosen for this special park hunt a great success.



Ca_Vermonster's picture

Well, looks like a great

Well, looks like a great chance for some Indiana hunters to get some extra deer meat this fall. Assuming they got their applications in on time and done correctly.  It's also very nice to see a state or town that wants to actually make money, and give state residents a chance at doing their own type of reduction. 

Too many times you see states hiring these so called "professional hunters" or sharpshooters to take out the herd, and paying some disgusting fee to do so.  The way Indiana is doing it, the state and the hunters all benefit.!