Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Hunters take 85 deer in Dunes State Park cull

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Hunters this year harvested the most deer of the six culls held at Indiana Dunes State Park since 2003 and more than double the number taken in the last cull, held in 2008, Property Manager Brandt Baughman said.

Over the four days and two phases of the cull—Nov. 15-16 and Nov. 29-30—hunters took a total of 85 deer, compared to 42 in 2008, an increase of just over 100 percent.

A day-by-day tally:

•Nov. 15: 61 deer, 105 hunters.

•Nov. 16: five deer, 71 hunters.

•Nov. 29: 15 deer, 78 hunters.

•Nov. 30: four deer, 28 hunters.

Of the 85 deer harvested, around 39 percent were antlered.

Hunters are permitted to take a limit of three deer, one of which may be antlered, and to Baughman’s knowledge at least one hunter did bag that limit. The success ratio for hunter efforts:, Baughman added: 0.3, meaning that three out of every 10 hunter efforts were successful.

Eighty-five deer are the most harvested in the six culls held since 2003: 2009, no cull; 2008, 42; 2007, 63; 2006, 84; 2005, no cull; 2004, 48; and 2003, 65.

Although Baughman emphasized that he is not a deer biologist, the deer taken looked to him to be generally “healthy” specimens. “We didn’t pull any monster bucks out but the overall health of the deer seem to be good. There were no emaciated deer like the ones pulled out of Brown County in the 90s.”

One thing which was different this year—but only at Indiana Dunes State Park—was a pilot program under which there was a stand-by drawing each morning at 9:30 to fill vacancies made by hunters who didn’t show up, after getting a spot in last summer’s lottery drawing. “It went really well,” Baughman said. “Anyone who met the requirements—at least 18 years of age, an Indiana resident in possession of a hunting license, and wearing at least two pieces of hunter orange clothing—got a spot. We didn’t turn anyone away.”

“It’s unfortunate that there were people would couldn’t show up,” Baughman noted. “A lot of people don’t have the luxury of knowing that they’ll be doing in five months.”

According to the Department of Natural Resources, the point of the cull is to keep the park’s deer herd in balance with the resources available to sustain it.


Posted 12/1/2010




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