The DNR is asking deer hunters for continued help with a disease surveillance program in Franklin and Fayette counties.
State biologists are sampling deer harvested from portions of those two counties for bovine tuberculosis (bTB). But after a slow start to the deer firearms season, the program is running behind. Biologists have collected just 30 percent of the samples needed from hunters to reach their surveillance goal, largely because of inclement weather on the opening weekend of firearms season.
Muzzleloader season for deer starts Saturday, Dec. 9, runs through Christmas Eve, and is an excellent opportunity for hunters to help. DNR will continue to collect samples from deer harvested within this “bTB” surveillance zone through Jan. 7 (excluding several days around Christmas).
The DNR is asking those who hunt in the surveillance zone during muzzleloader and other remaining deer seasons to submit deer for sampling. The preference is for bucks that are 2 years old or older, but all deer will be accepted for testing. The DNR hopes to sample between 500 and 1,200 deer, depending on age.
If the DNR does not reach its sampling goal, the agency may take additional deer for surveillance purposes.
Hunters who submit a deer for testing will be entered into a drawing for one of 10 authorizations to take an additional buck from anywhere in Indiana (with landowner permission) during the 2018-2019 deer hunting season. Hunters who bring the DNR a buck at least 2 years old will receive 10 entries into the drawing. Hunters who bring in does that are at least 2 years old will receive three entries into the drawing. Hunters who bring in yearlings will receive one entry into the drawing. Entries are cumulative — hunters who bring in multiple deer will have an even better chance of winning.
The surveillance zone is the area south of State Road 44 and west of State Road 1 in Fayette County, and in the northwest portion of Franklin County, west of Brookville Lake. See a map at wildlife.IN.gov/9320.htm.
Surveillance involves collecting and testing lymph nodes from the head and neck of deer harvested by hunters and voluntarily submitted for evaluation.
Hunters can bring their deer to a biological check station at the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site maintenance facility in Metamora, 19083 Clayborn St., and to Mustin’s Processing in Connersville, or Hunters Choice in Brookville.
For more information, visit wildlife.IN.gov/9320.htm.
Name: Marty Benson
Phone: (317) 233-3853