(UNDATED) - The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has introduced an innovative program to help communities alleviate their urban deer conflicts.
The Urban Deer Hunting Access Program was designed to assist communities experiencing problems with overabundant deer to manage those deer through hunting. Communities will be eligible to apply for funding to open public land for access by licensed deer hunters to resolve documented conflicts.
"Hunting is a highly favored form of management for deer by hunters and many non-hunters alike," said DNR deer biologist Chad Stewart. "It is incredibly safe, cost-effective, and efficient. However, it is difficult for communities to take that leap into allowing public hunting because of the perception and opposition of hunting by small and vocal groups of people."
Funding for the project is provided by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Communities or public entities can enter into a contract with the DNR for up to three years with a maximum of $15,000 available per year.
Communities must submit their application by July 31, with a general outline of how the funds will be used. Applications will be scored and ranked, with the highest ranking communities eligible to be awarded the funds.
"Hopefully by providing a financial incentive to open up or expand hunting in their community, we can show that hunting is a logical option to solving deer problems," Stewart said. "And hopefully it will lead to a resolution of conflicts and the start of a long term management program."
For more information, call Stewart at (812) 334-1137.
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