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DNR connects hunters, farmers to combat deer


Farmers’ pesky problem hunters’ shot practice

By Mark Wilson



Farmers who need hunters to remove deer or other animals from their property are now able to contact hunters on a list started by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, said Gary Langell, private lands program coordinator for the Indiana DNR.
Hunters must submit an online application between July 1 and Aug. 30 through the online Hunters Helping Farmers program, according to the DNR Web site, and then farmers peruse the list and can decide on which hunter to grant access to their land.

The list of hunters will be made available to farmers and landowners through the DNR starting Sept. 14, according to the Web site. Applicants must be 13 years of age and all state DNR deer hunting regulations must be observed.

There has been a gradual increase in deer populations in Indiana during the past 20 years, said Indiana Farmers Union President Jim Benham.

There isn’t a problem with deer overpopulation. But the problem lies in the distribution of the deer, which have higher concentrations in different areas.

Some farmers are having problems with the animals being on their land, while others are experiencing no problems at all.

“Deer do not spread themselves out evenly across Indiana, so if a farmer is living in an area in which the population is very high, they may be interested in this program,” Langell said.

It’s highly dependent on the area, Benham said.

Benham said the situation is more of a balancing act. Hunters often need places to hunt, and farmers have problems with crop devastation. In the end, both benefit, he said.

“Hunters are finding harder times finding places to hunt, so this is one way where hunters look to hunt,” Langell said.

The program will not only help farmers and hunters with their respective needs, but it will also help farmers become more aware of the hunting pressure needed to maintain
their land.

“There are a lot of landowners who are not aware of the hunting pressure that should be applied on their property if they’re having damage programs,” Langell said.

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