Bonus Deer Quota Reduced In Dearborn Co.
By Kelcey Mucker
(Dearborn County, Ind.) – Quotas for deer hunters looking to bag extra deer in the fall have been approved, with a change for Dearborn County.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says antlerless deer quotas have been reduced in 19 counties and increased in four. Dearborn County’s bonus quota has been reduced from eight to four for the 2014 hunting season. All other local counties remained at a bonus quota of eight antlerless deer.
When determining the quota, the IDNR considered crop damage reports, deer-vehicle collisions, deer vehicle collisions per billion miles driven, and landowner and hunter surveys that measure individual satisfaction level with deer numbers per county.
“We also look at antlered and antlerless harvest and the promotion relative to each other, and we look at bucks killed per square mile of habitat,” IDNR deer management biologist Chad Stewart said, adding that the purpose of the late antlerless season is to provide additional opportunity for hunters to put extra pressure on the antlerless deer herd.
The new quota figures will remain in place for a couple years so that the IDNR can evaluate the impact.
“If you change it year to year, you don’t have a good feel for the impact of those recommendations,” Stewart said, “We want to see a trend manifest itself over a period before making additional adjustments.”
Stewart says the state began an effort to reduce the Indiana whitetail deer population in 2012. It appears to have been working.
In the late season of 2012, hunters harvested 10,091 antlerless deer during the extended antlerless season, setting an all-time record harvest of 136,249 deer. In 2013, the total harvest of 125,635 deer included almost 6,500 during the late antlerless season.
“With the harvests that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of seasons, this pressure is no longer needed in some counties to get the deer harvest where we want it to be,” Stewart said.