The Indiana Department of
Natural Resources is introducing an innovative program to help communities
alleviate their urban deer conflicts: through hunting.
“The Urban Deer
Hunting Access Program was designed to assist communities experiencing
problems with overabundant deer to manage those deer through hunting,” the
DNR. “Communities will be eligible to apply for funding to open public land
for access by licensed deer hunters to resolve documented conflicts.”
“Hunting is a
highly favored form of management for deer by hunters and many non-hunters
alike,” DNR deer biologist Chad Stewart said. “It is incredibly safe,
cost-effective, and efficient. However, it is difficult for communities to
take that leap into allowing public hunting because of the perception and
opposition of hunting by small and vocal groups of people.”
Funding for the project is
provided by the DNR and the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program by
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Communities or public entities can enter
into a contract with the DNR for up to three years with a maximum of $15,000
available per year.
Communities must submit
their application by July 31, with a general outline of how the funds will
be used. Applications will be scored and ranked, with the highest ranking
communities eligible to be awarded the funds.
providing a financial incentive to open up or expand hunting in their
community, we can show that hunting is a logical option to solving deer
problems,” Stewart said. “And hopefully it will lead to a resolution of
conflicts and the start of a long term management program.”
For more information, call
Stewart at (812) 334-1137.