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Third year for increase in Indiana deer harvest

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources

-- Indiana hunters established a record for the third straight year by reporting an overall harvest of 134,004 deer taken during the 2010 seasons.
 
Reports submitted from 461 check stations across Indiana topped the 2009 total by 1,252 deer, a 1 percent increase, and bettered the 2008 total by more than 4,200 deer.
 
"We're seeing a healthy number of deer throughout much of the state, and that is translating into success by our hunters during the hunting season," DNR deer biologist Chad Stewart said.
 
The 2010 total was bolstered by a record 80,997 antlerless deer and 53,007 antlered deer, the second-highest antlered total in the 60-year history of regulated deer hunting in Indiana.
 
The results came despite a slight dip in deer hunting license sales. Hunters purchased 268,485 licenses in 2010 compared to 271,951 in 2009. Resident firearms tags again topped the list at 102,626, making up 38 percent of the license sales.
 
The deer hunting season began in urban deer zones on Sept. 15, followed by a two-day youth only weekend Sept. 25 and 26 and the early archery Oct. 1 to Nov. 28, firearms Nov. 13 to 28, muzzleloader Dec. 4 to 19 and late archery Dec. 4 to Jan. 2 segments.
 
Hunters harvested 86,241 deer in the firearms segment, 26,342 in early archery including urban zones, 17,400 in muzzleloader and 1,684 in late archery. There were 2,337 deer taken during the two-day youth season.
 
Modern era records were set in 29 counties, and another 20 counties showed harvest increases from the 2009 season. Thirteen counties set records for the second straight year.
 
"Hunters are continuing to put up high harvest numbers and see a lot of success in many northern counties," Stewart said.
 
The biggest year over year harvest increases were reported in Montgomery, up 356, Fountain-up 289, LaGrange-up 253, Pulaski-up up 184, and Putnam-up 180. The biggest year over year harvest declines were reported in Harrison-down  311, Brown-down 279, Perry-down 202, Steuben-down 154, and Jackson-down 141.  
 
Harvest totals in the northeast Indiana corridor of Steuben, Noble and Kosciusko counties ranked first, fourth and second, respectively, for the second straight year despite Steuben and Kosciusko both reporting declines from their 2009 totals.
 
Hunters bagged 3,948 deer in Steuben, down from 4,102 the year before but still enough to make Steuben the top harvest county in Indiana for the sixth straight year. Hunters reported 3,578 deer in Kosciusko, followed by Switzerland  with 3,400, Noble  with 3,323, and Franklin with 3,054.
 
The male to female ratio of the overall harvest was 50:50 for the third straight year. Antlered deer and button bucks  made up 50 percent of the total harvest.
 
The complete report for the 2010 season is online at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2717.htm, along with reports from 2000 through 2009.

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