Hunters in Indiana can expect another productive deer season in 2013, the
Indiana Department of Natural Resources is saying, but probably not as
productive as last year’s record setter.
Hoosier deer hunters in 2012 harvested 136,248 deer. The deer harvest record
has been broken in four of the last five seasons, a trend, however, which
DNR deer research biologist Chad Stewart doesn’t expect to continue in 2013.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if it was down a little this year,” Stewart said in
a statement released today. “But I don’t expect the harvest numbers to fall
off a cliff. There will still be plenty of deer out there.”
The 2013 overall deer hunting season began Sunday with the opening of the
urban deer zone season. Archery season starts Oct. 1. Firearms season starts
Nov. 16. For more information on seasons and regulations, visit
Stewart thinks a dip in this year’s harvest is likely because hunters in
2012 harvested a record number of does. As a result, reproduction was
probably down this year compared to previous years.
Stewart emphasized that the DNR has worked to reduce the deer population to
a more balanced level, with changes in hunting regulations which went into
effect in 2012. Those changes included extending archery season, allowing
crossbows for all archery hunters, and creating a “license bundle” saving
“A reduced deer harvest would mean we are making progress,” Stewart said.
The 2013 license bundles give the additional option of harvesting either two
antlerless deer and a buck or three antlerless deer.
Last year’s record deer harvest happened even as epizootic hemorrhagic
disease was reported in 67 of 92 Indiana counties, the DNR noted. The
outbreak killed many deer before hunting season began, especially in
Northern Indiana. This year 15 counties have reported EHD.