Indiana State Parks Will Close for Special Season

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A total of 18 DNR properties will be temporarily closed to the general public, Nov. 13-14, and Dec. 4-5, for special deer reduction hunts.

These include Brown County, Chain O'Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Shades, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Turkey Run, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial state parks, plus Twin Swamps Nature Preserve.

During the special hunts, volunteers assist the DNR in reducing the size of the deer herds, which have grown too large to be supported by the vegetation at these properties.

The goal of the deer herd reduction is to help restore and maintain the ecological balance in the parks and preserve.

The Indiana DNR first began to reduce the size of the deer herds occupying Indiana's state parks in 1993 with a one-day reduction at Brown County State Park. Since then, deer herd reductions have been conducted at 20 of Indiana's 24 state parks. DNR biologists and naturalists now determine the need for a reduction each year on a park-by-park basis.

Hunters who have completed the Indiana Hunter Education Course are given preference to participate in the hunts. The firearm hunts are limited to shotguns, muzzleloaders and pistols. Bow and arrow, rather than firearms, are used at the Clifty Falls and Fort Harrison controlled hunts. Archers who have completed the International Bowhunter Education Program or hold a Hunter Education certificate are given preference in the application process.