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Indiana Releases Deer Harvest Outlook

From Indiana Department of Natural Resources

-- Favorable weather and a few other factors could combine to produce a record harvest this deer firearm season, which opens Nov. 15.

"We continue to have a healthy deer herd in Indiana," said Chad Steward, DNR deer management biologist. "Hunters can expect to have a tremendous season in 2008. I wouldn't be surprised if we produced a record harvest this year."

Stewart noted that the weather so far this year has been cooler than in recent years past, which should increase deer movement and get more hunters in the field because the weather will be more comfortable for hunting. He said he expects that these two factors could lead to an increased number of deer taken this year.
He also emphasized that EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease), a deer disease that was detected in many parts of the state last year, will hardly be a factor this season.

"The number of counties (with reports of EHD) is down drastically from last year, as are the total number of reports," Stewart said. "In most of those counties, only one or two reports were received. Counties affected over the past two years should recover somewhat this year, and should contribute to more deer harvested by hunters this upcoming season."

Indiana Deer Harvest Trends
-- Deer hunters harvested 124,427 Indiana deer during the '07 season, slightly fewer than the 125,381 deer harvested during the '06 season.

-- Stewart predicted Indiana's overall deer harvest numbers will remain steady;  Indiana's '07 antlered deer harvest (49,375) was nearly identical to the 49,097 harvested in '06. The antlerless harvest of 76,052 in '07 was nearly identical to the 76,284 from '06.

-- The combined '06 archery seasons yielded 26,723 deer, an increase of 38 percent from the 18,911 deer harvested by bow in '02. Hunters using muzzleloader rifles killed 30,740 deer last year, about 56 percent more than in '02.  

-- The '07 firearm season harvest of 80,662 deer was nearly identical to the 80,661 deer harvested in '06.

-- The number of deer harvested in individual counties ranged from a low of 134 deer in Benton County to 3,754 deer in Steuben County. Harvest exceeded 1,000 deer in 62 counties; exceeded 2,000 deer in 16 counties; and exceeded 3,000 deer in three counties.

Did you know?
-- Since 1951, Indiana's wild deer herd has supplied Hoosier kitchens with more than 138 million pounds of venison.

-- Last year 49 percent of the Indiana deer firearm season harvest was during the opening weekend.

Indiana's Top 10 deer harvest counties in 2007 (2006 rank)
1-Steuben (1)
2-Switzerland (5)
3-Kosciusko (2)
4-Franklin (6)
5-Marshall (10)
6-Dearborn (8)
7-Noble (7)
8-Parke (3)
9-LaGrange (11)
10-Washington (4)

Bottom 10 deer harvest counties in 2007
92-Benton (91)
91-Tipton (92)
90-Hancock (88)
89-Marion (90)
88-Blackford (87)
87-Rush (89)
86-Clinton (86)
85-Shelby (85)
84-Boone (84)
83-Hamilton (83)

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