Indiana’s Deer Harvest Down In 2013; 125,000+ Taken
By Mike Perleberg
(Undated) – The totals are in for Indiana’s 2013 deer harvest, but they aren’t quite as impressive as numbers in recent years.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish & Wildlife released its 2013 deer harvest report Thursday. It showed 125,635 deer were taken by hunters statewide during bow, firearms, and muzzleloader seasons.
That’s the lowest total in five years and about 7.8 percent behind 2012’s record harvest of 136,248. Still, the 2013 figure is good for Indiana’s 8th best season since regulated hunting began in the state in 1951.
Chad Stewart, deer management biologist with the IDNR, said the 2013 figure is about what the department thought it would be before hunters set out last year.
“Down about 8 percent is very similar to what we’re seeing in a lot of other Midwest states, so we’re par for the course,” Stewart said. “We’re still harvesting a lot of deer. The 125,635 shows we’re down but not collapsing.”
The Indiana DNR credits three factors for the decline: a widespread outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in deer, the record harvest in 2012, and new hunting regulations thinning out the herd in some parts of the state.
According to the DNR, the firearms season accounted for 57 percent of the total, followed by archery at 27 percent. The muzzleloader season took eight percent of the harvest, followed by late antlerless with five percent, and youth season with two percent.
Locally, Switzerland County was 3rd in the state in the number of deer taken in 2013 with 3,091. Franklin County was 4th with 2,741 deer harvested in its woods. For the first time in several years, Dearborn County did not crack the top ten, but still accounted for 2,225 deer.
Ripley County saw 1,965 deer taken in 2013. Ohio County hunters reported 906.
The largest harvest occurred in Harrison County with 3,454, followed by second-place Washington County at 3,129.
The full 2013 Indiana Deer Season Summary report is available on the IDNR website at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/fw-2013deerseasonsummary.pdf.