Chain O' Lakes, Pokagon and Ouabache state parks and Trine Recreation Area are among select Indiana State Park properties that will close temporarily for controlled deer management hunts in the coming weeks.
Each hunt runs two days. The first hunt is Nov. 18 and 19. The second is Dec. 2 and 3. The participating state park properties will close to the general public on the evening before each of the two hunts.
Other participating state park properties are: Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, McCormick's Creek, Prophetstown, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River and Whitewater Memorial state parks, as well as Cave River Valley Natural Area.
These state park properties will reopen the morning after each two-day hunt. All Indiana state park properties not mentioned will be operating under normal hours.
Indiana DNR biologists evaluate which state park properties require a deer management hunt each year based on habitat recovery and previous harvest rates at each park. The state parks are home to numerous natural communities that serve as significant habitat. The deer management hunts help control browsing by deer to a level that helps ensure healthy habitat for native plants and animals.
Only hunters selected from the draw may participate at any site.
Information regarding 2020 state park deer management hunts, including online applications, will be available next summer at on.IN.gov/reservedhunt. The application deadline is usually in mid-August of the year in which the hunts are to take place.
Deer firearms season begins Saturday
Deer firearms season runs from Saturday to Dec. 1. The deer firearms license allows one deer to be taken with that license, and it must be a buck. If a hunter wants to take a doe with a firearm during the firearms season, a bonus antlerless license, resident youth combo hunt/trap license, deer license bundle, or lifetime license is required.
The doe counts toward that county's bonus antlerless bag limit for resident youth, lifetime, and bundle license holders.
DNR offers free admission to veterans
All veterans and active-duty military personnel, and everyone in their vehicle, will be admitted free to DNR state parks, reservoir properties, state forest recreation areas and state off-road vehicle riding areas on Monday, Veterans Day.
This includes admission to Falls of the Ohio State Park's Interpretive Center.
Veterans and military personnel should present ID or evidence of military service where entrance gates are in operation.
Deer hunting licenses on sale
Hunters can buy a deer hunting license online, at a retailer, or over the phone/in-person through the DNR's Customer Service Center 317-232-4200 during normal business hours.
Resident youths must buy a youth hunt/trap combo license, which includes deer hunting privileges.