Most Wonderful Time Of The Year: Gun Season For Deer Hunters
By Mike Perleberg
Thousands of hunters, like Nathan Lambert of Rising Sun, will return to the woods when Indiana’s firearm deer hunting season begins Saturday, November 18. Photo provided.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Deer hunting is as big a part of the fabric of southeastern Indiana as the Ohio River, snow skiing, high school sports, and church festivals.
Hunters call off work, wake up long before sunrise, trudge into the cold woods, climb into a tree, and wait. It’s all in hopes of bringing home a trophy buck and some meat for venison steaks, chili, and jerky.
Indiana’s 2017 firearm season for whitetail deer hunters opens up Saturday, November 18 and will run through Sunday, December 3. A bonus antlerless firearms season from December 26 through January 7 will allow hunters to take additional antlerless deer in Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Ripley, Switzerland, and many other Indiana counties.
It is estimated that more than 200,000 hunters will hunt in Indiana this year. Many of them have already hit the woods with their bows and crossbows since the bow season began October 1. But gun season tends to flood the woods with hunters.
Last year, the statewide deer harvest was nearly 120,000 deer. Southeastern Indiana should remain a hotbed for hunters. Dearborn, Franklin, and Switzerland counties were each in the top 10 counties for deer harvested.
There are some things hunters are asked to keep in mind this season:
-Be sure you are hunting legally with a current and proper hunting license. Licenses can be purchased online through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/5330.htm.
-Some local deer hunters are being asked to help the IDNR track the spread of bovine tuberculosis in wild deer – first detected in Franklin County in 2016. Deer harvested in surveillance zones in northwestern Franklin County or southern Fayette County during the 2017-2018 season are needed for biologists to collect and test samples of tissue. You can read more about that here.
-There are some new rules for hunters who are using public lands in Indiana. According to the IDNR, rifle cartridges that were allowed in previous years on public land for deer hunting are allowed on public land again this year during the deer firearms season, the reduction zone season in zones where local ordinances allow the use of a firearm, special hunts on other public lands such as State Parks and National Wildlife Refuges, and special antlerless season. Read more here.
-Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry accepts donations of excess or unwanted venison. Find a donation location in your area at www.fhfh.org.