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18 State Parks to Close Temporarily for Deer Reductions

Whitetail Deer 1Select Indiana state parks will close temporarily to allow for controlled deer reductions in the coming weeks.

The dates for the temporary closings are November 17th and 18th, and December 1st and 2nd.

The state parks affected near Marshall County include Indiana Dunes, Potato Creek and Tippecanoe River. Other State Parks experiencing temporarily closures are Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Prophetstown, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake and Whitewater Memorial.

These state parks will close to the general public the evening before each of the two efforts and reopen the morning after each two-day reduction.

Only individual hunters drawn last September and those hunters they listed on their applications may participate. There will be no standby drawings at those parks.

The Indiana Dunes hunt is a firearms hunt. A public standby drawing to fill spots left vacant will take place on the property each morning of the reduction. Indiana Dunes State Park will conduct daily standby drawings at 8 a.m. CST. Potential standby participants can apply on site between 7 and 7:45 a.m. CST but cannot enter the park before 7 a.m. CST.

Eligibility for daily onsite standby drawings is limited to Indiana residents who are 18 years of age by Nov. 17, and have any valid license to take deer in Indiana. Indiana residents who possess an Indiana lifetime license to take deer are also eligible. Participants must wear a hunter orange hat or cap and vest, coat, jacket or coveralls at all times while on the property.

Applications can include up to three individuals. The number of participants drawn will be based on the number of unclaimed spots for each day; it is not a first-come, first-served process. The need for stand-in hunters tends to increase with each hunt day.

Questions about participating in the standby drawings should be directed to the property of interest.
DNR biologists evaluate which parks require a reduction each year based on habitat recovery and previous harvest rates at each park. The state parks are home to more than 32 state-endangered plants and numerous significant natural communities. The reductions help control browsing by deer to a level that helps maintain habitat throughout the state parks for all plants and animals.