Long-time hunting practice banned in county

MARSHALL CO. — A practice that started in the late 1980s will not be allowed in some public hunting areas this year, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources this week.
Bonus antlerless permits — which allow hunters to take additional female deer to keep population down — will no longer be valid in Menominee Wetlands Conservation near Plymouth or Maxinkuckee Wetlands Conservation near Culver.
“This will be a permanent restriction,” said Michelle Cain, a spokesperson for IDNR. “There is enough pressure on the deer population to keep it in check. We don’t allow the additional harvest so the population will stay at healthy levels. We are trying to restrict public hunting areas so they have enough deer to make hunting a viable option.”
These new regulations were supposed to be listed on page 25 of this year’s Hunting and Trapping Guide, but some locations — including Menominee and Maxinkuckee — were not listed by mistake. The IDNR has posted signs at that location to warn hunters of the change.
“The signs (at Menominee and Maxinkuckee) were put up specifically because those locations did not get into the hunting guide like they were supposed to,” said Tom Despot, property manager of the Winamac Fish and Wildlife Area, the facility that is overseeing Menominee.
Despot continued, “Ultimately in the past at the properties we’ve managed we’ve allowed hunters to use their bonus permits because it was hard to regulate. The decision was made this year to limit bonus permits to private hunting areas. The Division of Fish and Wildlife does not feel that there are too many deer in public hunting areas.”
Cain said that all IDNR public properties have changed their regulations to reflect this new restriction.