12/26/11 With deer season winding down, Indiana conservation officers have been patrolling the rural landscape checking hunters and assisting landowners with various complaints. District One conservation officers serve the seven north-central counties of St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall, Kosciusko, Fulton, Miami, and Wabash. To date, there have been 489 separate hunting violations reported within District One. This is over a 60% increase from last year’s 304 violations. Some of the more common hunting violations this year are hunting without a license (97), hunting without consent of landowner (54), and hunting over a baited area (27).
Though deer season is almost over, there are still plenty of hunting seasons that will carry over into 2012. Hunters have had to work harder this year getting their deer due to the fact that Mother Nature has not cooperated with local farmers. The wet and snowy weather in north-central Indiana had kept a lot of farmers from being able to pick their crops. Because this gave deer a lot more places to hide, Indiana deer hunters will be hard pressed to meet last year’s record deer harvest of 134,004.
In addition to their patrol duties, conservation officers will continue to investigate hunting violations for the next couple of months. Lieutenant John Karris encourages anyone with information regarding the illegal taking of wildlife to contact a conservation officer by calling 1-800-TIP-IDNR. Information leading to charges being filed is eligible for a cash reward. Anonymous calls are welcome. So far this hunting season, nineteen separate TIP cases have been generated in District One and are pending investigation.
District One officers investigated five separate non-fatal hunting accidents this year. Two of the accidents were self inflicted gunshot wounds. One archery deer hunter was mistaken as a game animal and shot in the stomach. Two other deer hunters fell from their tree stands because they were not wearing a fall arrest system.