Wednesday, December 06, 2006

INDIANA NEWS: Successful Cull at Indiana Dunes State Park

Rooney's note: Indiana Dunes SP is 3.4 square miles, so the cull translates to 24 deer per square mile removed. Wow! Also note at the end of the article that the park manager states he was impressed with hunters' knowledge of overgrazing problems. This is progress

Hunters remove 84 from herd at Dunes State Park.


Hunters at Indiana Dunes State Park took nearly twice as many deer this year than they did last year.

"It shows us the population has rebounded," said Brandt Baughman, property manager for the park.

Hunters removed a total of 84 deer from the herd during hunts on Nov. 12 and 13 and Monday and Tuesday.

Of the 84 deer taken during this year's hunt, 31 were removed Monday and Tuesday.

"That's a pretty significant number, considering we had 48 over the four days back in 2005," Baughman said.

Hunting is banned in state parks except for when studies show it is necessary because of overgrazing of plants. Hunters must apply to participate and be approved by the state. Baughman said 100 were approved for Indiana Dunes State Park hunts this year.

Baughman said 58 hunters participated in the hunt on Monday and 30 on Tuesday.

"That's not too bad, especially considering many of these hunters were drawn for both hunts," he said. "The first two days were rainy and the second were cold and terribly windy. The real challenge for the hunters was how wet everything is from the extremely wet fall. If it wasn't wet, it was ice."

Baughman said he was impressed with hunters' knowledge of overgrazing problems at the park and their respect for their role in thinning the herd.

"We have these orientations where the hunters come in and they are definitely concerned and want to help," he said. "That's exactly what I saw when they came to the park for the hunts and we really appreciate that."

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