Gibson County deer hunters part of record breaking year | Sports & Recreation
Hunters in Gibson County took 1,621 deer in 2012 according to figures released by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources on Thursday. 1,058 of those were antlerless deer and 563 were antlered.
Statewide, hunters took advantage of new equipment regulations and extra hunting dates to harvest a record 136,248 deer during the 2012 season, according to data the DNR gathered from designated check stations and from a recently implemented online and phone reporting system.
The total harvest represented a 6 percent increase over the 2011 season’s harvest and topped the previous record of 134,004 deer set in 2010.
“We started down the path to strategically reduce the deer herd in order to balance the ecological, recreational, and economic needs of all Indiana citizens,” said Mitch Marcus, wildlife chief for the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “To meet that strategy, we initiated several regulation changes to make it easier to take antlerless deer. It appears the regulations may be working.”
Key regulation changes implemented in 2012 included making crossbows legal equipment for all licensed hunters during archery season; adding a special late antlerless season in designated counties from Dec. 26 to Jan. 6; extending the urban zone season to run continuously from Sept. 15 to the end of January; and allowing youth hunters in the two-day youth season to take whatever the bonus antlerless quota was in the county where they hunted. Archery season also increased by seven days with elimination of the traditional one-week break between early and late segments.
It also was the first year of a license bundle, which allowed the buyer to hunt in all segments of deer season—except in urban zones—for a total of one antlered and two antlerless deer. More than 56,600 license bundles were purchased in 2012, second only to the resident firearm license.
The total harvest was made up of 45,936 antlered deer and 90,312 antlerless deer. The proportion of reported antlered deer in the harvest (34 percent) is the lowest in Indiana’s history while the antlerless total was the highest.
Switzerland County had the highest reported harvest at 3,506 deer, leading the state for the first time since 2004 and ending a seven-year run by Steuben as the top county.