It’s less certain how much of a role the new hunting regulations played.
“It really complicates things as far as interpretation,” He noted. “It’s not clear if deer numbers were down because of EHD or our management efforts or a combination of both.”
Harrison County had the highest harvest with 3,454 deer. Washington, Switzerland, Franklin, Steuben, Noble, Parke, Jefferson, Lawrence and Orange counties rounded out the top 10.
Harrison County’s total made it one of 10 counties with unofficial record harvests, compared to 35 record-setting counties in 2012.
Steuben, which had been the perennial top county until 2012, reported its lowest harvest total (2,652) since 1997 but still ranked fifth in the state. Tipton had the lowest reported harvest with 91 deer, followed by Benton, Blackford, Hancock, Rush, Clinton, Wells, Howard, Shelby and Marion.
The firearms season accounted for 57 percent of the total, followed by archery at 27 percent. The muzzleloader (8 percent), late antlerless (5 percent), and youth season (2 percent) made up the rest.
Hunters had three options to report their harvest – traditional in-person check stations, online or by phone. It was nearly an even split between check stations (64,740) and the online/phone method (60,895). Last year, just over 60 percent were reported at check stations.
The 20th annual Becoming an Outdoors-Woman is May 2-4 at Ross Camp, West Lafayette. The workshop is open to women ages 18 and older and limited to around 100 participants.
Women may choose their own adventures at an outdoor sports workshop with courses ranging from shotgun shooting to canoeing.
The cost is $185 and includes all equipment, meals and lodging. Women may register at IndianaBOW.com.
The program is designed for women to learn outdoor skills in a relaxed, low-pressure environment. Participants will choose four activities from more than two dozen offerings, including fishing, kayaking, archery, outdoor photography, wild edibles, wildlife tracking, shooting muzzleloader guns and outdoor cooking.
The workshop is for women who have never tried the activities, but have hoped for an opportunity to learn; who have tried them but are beginners hoping to improve; or who know how to do some of the activities, but would like to try new ones.
Jack Spaulding writes “Spaulding Outdoors.” He can be reached at email@example.com.