2014-12-08 / Front Page

Over Thirty Deer Harvested During Recent Reduction Hunts At MCSP

Staff Report

A recent pair of two-day hunts at McCormick’s Creek State Park (MCSP) were targeted to reduce the deer population at Indiana’s first state park, just east of Spencer.

The recent deer reductions saw 22 deer harvested during the first two days of the hunt on Monday, November 17 and Tuesday, November 18. An additional 11 were harvested during the twoday hunt held Monday, December 1 and Tuesday, December 2.

“Historically, we have seen a larger harvest, but the weather limited the number of hunters who actually participated this year,” MCSP Interpretive Naturalist Sam Arthur said. “The extreme cold of the first two days especially impacted the turnout.”

MCSP management decisions are made based on data collected in the field from various statistical trends observed over time. Decisions require input from trained biologists with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, based on recommendations from the Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

“When the park held its first hunt in 1996, the emphasis was on reducing the number of deer within the park boundaries to increase the overall health of the herd and to promote vegetative recovery from over-browsing by the existing population,” Arthur noted. “At that point there was a visible browse line throughout the property (everything from about shoulder down had been eaten), deer were observably malnourished and many species of historically documented plants were no longer observed.”

MCSP was one of 17 state parks to close recently for the controlled hunts through an application process.

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