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Indiana Deer Harvest, Collisions With Vehicles Fell In 2016

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says the state's deer harvest fell last year, as did the number of deer struck by motor vehicles.

The department says in its recently released 2016 Indiana White-tailed Deer Summary that hunters last year harvested nearly 119,500 deer in Indiana. That was down 4 percent from the 2015 harvest of nearly 124,800 deer.

“To see a pattern we have to wait awhile," says Indiana Department of Natural Resources Deer Biologist Joe Caudell. "Population fluctuations in any wildlife population is fairly normal.”

The 10 counties with the highest harvests were Harrison, Noble, Franklin, Washington, Steuben, Parke, Dearborn, Lawrence, Switzerland and Greene.

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The agency says deer-vehicle collisions across Indiana numbered more than 14,000 last year, down nearly 9 percent from 2015.

A State Farm Insurance report from September predicted collisions would increase in 2016. The report also ranked Indiana 23rd in the country for the most deer collisions.

“There’s so much statistical noise when it comes to reporting deer-vehicle collisions that a 9 percent drop year-to-year may or may not be significant from the previous year," Caudell says.

The report contains other information on deer hunting, the use of depredation permits, deer-vehicle collisions, and disease surveillance efforts. The entire report is at www.deer.dnr.IN.gov under the "Deer Management" heading.

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