(MITCHELL) - A controlled deer hunt will shut down Spring Mill State Park and Cave River Valley, an area managed by Spring Mill located near Campbellsburg, today and Wednesday.
The parks will be open to the public on Thursday.
The second hunt will be held on Nov. 26-27.
According to Jon Winn, assistant property manager, the first round is today and Wednesday, rather than the traditional Monday-Tuesday, because Monday was Veterans Day.
The traditional Monday-Tuesday schedule returns for the second round on Nov. 26-27. The park will close at 5 p.m. the day before the hunt and reopen on the second day after all the hunters have left the woods.
Hunters will help curb the exploding populations of white-tailed deer in the state.
According to a press release from the Department of Natural Resources biologists evaluate which parks require a reduction each year based on habitat recovery and previous harvest rates at each park. The state parks are home to more than 32 state-endangered plants and numerous significant natural communities.
The reductions help control browsing by deer to a level that helps maintain habitat throughout the state parks for all plants and animals.
Winn says the hunts also keep the deer healthier because the herds are reduced in size.
Most of the time only individuals who applied in advance can hunt at the park. However, this year, Spring Mill will offer a public standby drawing to fill spots left vacant each morning of the reduction. Potential standby participants must apply at Spring Mill between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m., but cannot enter the park before 7:30 a.m. Standby drawings will take place at 8:30 a.m.
Winn says eligibility for those daily standby drawings is limited to Indiana residents who are 18 years of age by Nov. 13, and have any valid license to take deer in Indiana. Indiana residents who possess an Indiana lifetime license to take deer are also eligible.
To participate in the standby drawings at Spring Mill, individuals must present a photo ID and their valid filled or unfilled license to take deer. Applications can include up to three individuals. The number of participants drawn will be based on the number of unclaimed spots for each day; it is not a first-come, first-served process. The need for stand-in hunters tends to increase with each hunt day.
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