Chesterton Tribune

DNR: Changes in rules governing urban deer zones are now in effect

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New deer rule changes covering Porter County, formally adopted last fall by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission, are now in effect.

This means that the 2011 Urban Deer Zone season has been extended to Jan. 31, Department of Natural Resource said in a statement released on Thursday.

Here is a summary of additional changes to the Urban Deer Zone:

•The urban deer zone season now lasts from Sept. 15 through Jan. 31. Previously, the urban deer zone ended the first Sunday in January.

•A new urban deer zone license is required and replaces the old requirements of needing an extra archery license, bonus antlerless license, or regular archery license. The resident urban deer zone license is $24 and the non-resident urban deer zone license is $150. Resident youth hunt/trap, lifetime comprehensive hunting, or lifetime comprehensive hunting and fishing license—or those exempt from needing a license—do not need to purchase urban deer zone licenses.

•The urban deer zone in both Lake and Porter counties now includes the entire county.

•Hunters using an urban deer zone license must harvest at least one antlerless deer before harvesting an antlered deer with an urban deer zone license—a.k.a. “earn-a-buck.” The earn-a-buck program only applies to the urban deer zone season.

•Crossbows may now be used during the urban deer zone season.

•The bag limit for the urban deer zone remains the same at four antlerless deer (one per license) or—with the new “earn-a-buck”—three antlerless deer and one antlered deer (one per license). Urban deer zones were established to provide hunters with the opportunities to harvest deer in specified areas in addition to regular bag limits. Urban deer zones are for archery and crossbow hunting only. This provision does not override any local ordinances restricting bow and arrow or crossbow use.

What does this mean for the remainder of the 2011 Urban Deer Zone Season?

Here are some scenarios that should help hunters determine license requirements and harvest regulations for the remainder of the 2011 Urban Deer Zone season, which ends Jan. 31.

•Scenario 1: if a hunter has already harvested an antlered deer in an urban deer zone this season (Sept. 15-Jan. 31), all the hunter may harvest through Jan. 31 would be antlerless deer in an urban deer zone, assuming the hunter has not reached the bag limit for the urban deer zone.

•Scenario 2: if a hunter hasn’t harvested an urban zone antlered deer and has already harvested an urban zone antlerless deer during the 2011 urban zone deer season, the hunter has already met the “earn-a-buck” requirement. The hunter may harvest one urban zone antlered deer through Jan. 31 in an urban deer zone.

•Scenario 3: if a hunter hasn’t harvested any urban zone deer this season, the hunter must harvest an antlerless deer in an urban deer zone prior to harvesting an antlered deer in an urban deer zone.

Urban Deer Zones are Lake County; Porter County; Vanderburgh County; Fort Wayne (the portion of Allen County within the bounds of I-69 and Ind. 469); Indianapolis (all of Marion County; Hendricks County east of Ind. 267; the southeast portion of Boone County bounded by Ind. 267, I-65, and Ind. 32; and the portion of Hamilton County south of Ind. 32); Lafayette (the portion of Tippecanoe County north of Ind. 28); Michigan City (the portion of LaPorte County north of I-94); and Warsaw (the portion of Kosciusko County within the corporate limits of Warsaw).

All other deer rule changes that went into effect on January 1, 2012 can be found at

This information will be summarized and included in the Hunting Guide that will come out later this summer (June/July).



Posted 1/13/2012