Hunters in Indiana can expect another productive deer season in 2013, but probably not as productive as last year’s record setter.
The deer harvest record has been broken in four of the last five seasons.
But Chad Stewart, deer biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (the DNR), doesn’t expect the trend to continue.
“Last year was a record deer harvest for Indiana,” Stewart says, “We took 136,248 deer and that exceeded all previous years. I think the number will probably go down a little bit this year, but the trends in last year’s harvest told us the herd was on a downward swing, which is exactly what we’re trying to accomplish.
Stewart says the antler deer harvest being down, as well as an increase this year in antler-less deer killing, tends to mean the overall deer population is down.
He says that reducing the deer population to a more balanced level has been the DNR’s goal for years.
New hunting regulations in 2012 worked toward that goal.
“We’re making an effort to balance the deer herd,” Stewart says, “And when you reduce the deer herd in total to achieve that, over time the deer harvest falls off as well.”
Deer hunting season in some urban areas began on Sunday. Archery season starts on October 1st, and this year firearm season starts in mid-November.