Controlled deer hunts will continue at Indiana state parks following Tuesday ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
The Indiana Department of Natural Rescources has held controlled deer hunts at parks and other public lands for years to manage overpopulated deer herds, which become susceptible to disease and starvation.
In 2017, the Center for Wildlife Ethics Inc. went to court to challenge DNR’s authority to hold such hunts. Among other things, the organization claimed in its lawsuit that DNR violated state law by temporarily closing parks to most visitors during the controlled hunts.
“Indiana law gives DNR the authority to control admission to its state properties and to conduct appropriate management of wildlife resources both within and outside the boundaries of public lands,” Attorney General Curtis Hill said. “I am pleased the court has rightly recognized DNR’s prerogatives in this regard.”
DNR Director Cameron Clark described the court decision as a victory for DNR’s ability to effectively mitigate the adverse effects of deer overpopulation.
“We are pleased the Court of Appeals upheld the trial court ruling and years of rule-making by the DNR,” Director Clark said.