By 11/14/2014 Read More →

The Story of the Hoosier Whitetail

It's Throwback Thursday! Let's talk about hoosier whitetail deer.

Tomorrow is the opening day of the Indiana Firearms Deer season.  Its the day many Hoosiers live for.  Like deer hunters every where, we will go to bed and dream of antlers that stick above the truck bed.  Many of those same hoosier whitetail addicts would be shocked to know that there was a time, not all that long ago, that there were no deer to be hunted in Indiana.  None.  Given that the Indiana DNR expects us to harvest around 120,000 whitetails this hunting season, who can blame them?  In celebration of the conservation success that is the Indiana whitetail deer, the DNR this week published a brief history of the reintroduction of this icon of the modern wild.

It’s Throwback Thursday! Let’s talk about white-tailed deer.

Hoosier Whitetail deer restoration in Indiana is one of our best wildlife management success stories.


Part Two of our hoosier whitetail deer Throwback Thursday story:

Hoosier Whitetail Part One:

Early 1800s–deer were abundant in Indiana, in fact one settler reported harvesting 937 deer in 12 years (which probably leads to…)

1850: deer scare

1893: unregulated harvest led to the last deer taken in Indiana. No deer for 41 years.

1934-1942: Indiana Division of Fish and Game started restoration efforts. 296 deer purchased for release.

1943: High reproductive rates allowed the herd to grow to 900 deer.

1946: Estimated 2,700 deer

Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife's photo.Part Two of our white-tailed deer Throwback Thursday story:

1951: 1st deer hunting season in 58 years was held for three days in November.

1956: Deer transplant project began for 5 years to help spread the deer herd throughout the state.

1956-1979: Deer population flourished in Indiana.

1980: Deer harvest hovered around 20,000 deer.

1989: Deer harvest approached 80,000. Deer conflicts start to become widespread throughout the state.

Part 3: Throwback Thursday: White-tailed deer restoration success

1993: Deer harvest exceeds 100,000 deer in the state.

1995-2003: Deer harvest hovers right around 100,000 each year, with some years being higher than others.

2012: Deer harvest peaks near 136,000.

So to summarize, in just 80 years, we went from less than 300 deer in the state of Indiana total. To over 125,0000 deer harvested each year! Now that’s what we call success!!! More on hoosier whitetail deer harvest here:…/fish…/files/fw-2013deerseasonsummary.pdfIndiana Division of Fish and Wildlife's photo.Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife's photo.

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Paul Winks

About the Author:

I'm Paul Winks, and I'm proud to join the group at Military Hunting and Fishing. I'm a life long Hoosier, and Purdue Boilermaker fan. I grew up in a hunting and fishing family. My grandmother introduced me to panfish and morel mushrooms at a young age. My uncles took me on my first squirrel and rabbit hunts, and my Dad instilled a love of deer hunting and an appeitite for ginseng. Other intrerests, like waterfowl and turkeys, I picked up on my own. These days, waterfowl and river fishing consume most of my outdoor time, but I do still dabble in small game and deer every year. My two sons are my outdoor companions these days. I've spent a lot of time and effort to teach them the same respect and love for the outdoors that I developed years ago. I also have an entire tribe of grandsons, from first grade down to 2. My hands are gonna be full for years to come. I'm a welder by trade. That ability and desire to build has made me a avid DIY'er. Duck decoys, tree stands, and even duck boats...if I use it, I'm gonna try to build it. Chances are, if you are here, we have a lot of common interests. I look forward to sharing mine with you!
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