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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, October 29, 2017 11:40 am

Cemetery posts signs to deter deer hunters

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indianapolis cemetery that's the burial place for a U.S. president and three vice presidents is trying to keep hunters off its grounds.

At least one hunter killed a deer last year on the 555-acre Crown Hill Cemetery and Funeral Home, which dates to the 1860s. Coyotes, raccoons, foxes, birds and about 40 white-tailed deer can be found on the cemetery's grounds.

Cemetery officials recently placed "no hunting" signs throughout the area to warn off potential hunters.

"Periodically we do have issues with the hunters. Once someone built a deer stand on the north grounds," said Keith Norwalk, Crown Hill's longtime president.

The signs have so far deterred hunters from going onto the grounds this year, cemetery officials said.

"It's an unfortunate situation," Norwalk said. "We have a great responsibility to the families of Crown Hill who visit every day of the week, and so there are liability issues if we have hunters out there with guns and bow and arrows."

Indiana law prohibits shooting a gun within city limits unless it's in self-defense or at a shooting range.

The cemetery partnered with the state Department of Natural Resources a few years ago to monitor hunting in the area.

Cemetery officials said they're looking into changing some of their fencing to reinforce that hunters aren't allowed.

Those buried at Crown Hill include President Benjamin Harrison, Vice Presidents Thomas Marshall, Charles Fairbanks and Thomas Hendricks; author Booth Tarkington; and Eli Lilly, the founder of pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co.