Make your home page

Indiana state parks close for deer hunts

Management hunts of white-tailed deer will close 18 State Parks or Areas today and tomorrow (WISH PHOTO)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A walk in the park will have to wait two days in 18 state properties.

State parks are closing on Nov. 27 and 28 so that deer hunters can cull animals in Indiana’s final deer management days of the season.

The hunts are aimed at preventing damage to vegetation and habitat from an overpopulation of white-tailed deer.

This is the 30th anniversary of the annual hunts.

The first was a single hunt in 1993 at Brown County State Park. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says hunters killed 392 during that hunt.

After a one-year pause, a wider effort started in 1995, with five parks and a total of 1,422 deer.

In 1997, hunters took the largest number of deer, 2,430, across nine parks.

Last year’s hunt at a program-high 22 parks and areas ended with 1,322 animals taken.

This year, 18 state parks or areas are closing to visitors:

  • Cave River Valley Natural Area
  • Chain O’Lakes State Park
  • Clifty Falls State Park
  • Fort Harrison State Park
  • Harmonie State Park
  • Indiana Dunes State Park
  • Lincoln State Park
  • O’Bannon Woods State Park
  • Ouabache State Park
  • Prophetstown State Park
  • Raccoon State Recreation Area
  • Shades State Park
  • Shakamak State Park
  • Spring Mill State Park
  • Tippecanoe River State Park
  • Turkey Run State Park
  • Versailles State Park
  • Whitewater Memorial State Park

The hunts at Clifty Falls and Fort Harrison are for bowhunters only. The rest are firearms-only.

The state park events are popular among hunters. To get a permit, they must apply before the September deadline and then win a spot through a drawing. Because the goal is to reduce the population, each hunter is allowed to take up to three deer, including one antlered animal – none of which count against the hunter’s annual bag limit of 10.

The parks are set to re-open to all visitors Wednesday during their regular hours.