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November Cull Nets 40 Deer At Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

A baby deer. (Stock image)

(Pixabay)

The 54 hunters who participated in Bloomington Parks and Recreation’s Community Hunting Access Program (CHAP) killed 40 deer at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve in November.

Bloomington natural resources manager Steve Cotter says the department’s second CHAP event was a success, although there was no set goal for number of deer killed or areas cleared of deer.

The Department of Natural Resources created the CHAP program to increase opportunities for hunting white-tailed deer and alleviate “human/deer conflicts.” Officials say the program is necessary because “high densities of human dwellings, complex land ownership, perceived safety concerns, and other factors” create logistical concerns for hunting deer in the Hoosier State.

“The whole purpose for the hunt is to allow the native plants within the preserve to get big enough to reproduce,” Cotter said. “And what we've been told is that in order for the plants to recover from the situation they're in now, due to many years of over-browsing, we should try to get down to about five deer per square mile.”

The nature preserve is only two square miles, so the ideal number of deer at Griffy Lake would be 10, according to Cotter. How many there are after the hunt is unknown.

During the 2017 cull, 62 deer were killed and all 1,600 pounds of venison were donated to Hoosier Hills Food Bank. Since November’s cull was a CHAP hunt, participants could keep the meat for themselves.

Julio Alonso, president and CEO of Hoosier Hills Food Bank, said the organization had not received any venison this year.

Griffy Lake’s next deer cull will take place next year.

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