Tag Archives: Deer

Teen Killed In Dubois County Hunting Accident

ST. ANTHONY, Ind. — State wildlife officials said a 15-year-old boy died after he was shot while deer hunting in southern Indiana.

State conservation officers said Nicholas Messmer, of French Lick, was wounded while hunting with a family member Sunday afternoon near the Dubois County town of St. Anthony.

READ MORE: Teen Killed In Apparent Hunting Accident – Indiana News Story – WRTV Indianapolis.

NE Indiana hunter dies after fight with deer

ALBION – A northeastern Indiana hunter has died after struggling with a buck he had just shot.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says 62-year-old Paul Smith of Fort Wayne died Monday during a deer reduction hunt at Chain O’Lakes State Park about 20 miles northwest of the city. It says the Noble County coroner says the death was due to a lacerated liver, possibly suffered during the struggle.

READ MORE: NE Indiana hunter dies after tussle with shot buck – 13 WTHR.


More from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

ALBION – Indiana Conservation Officers have closed the investigation of a hunter’s death at Chain O’Lakes State Park after the Noble County Coroner’s office ruled the death was due to a lacerated liver, possibly from an encounter the hunter had with a deer he shot.

Paul J. Smith, 62, of Fort Wayne, died Monday while participating in the deer reduction hunt at Chain O’Lakes.

According to Conservation Officer Erick Bolt of DNR Law Enforcement, Smith called his son shortly after 9 a.m. and left a voice message that he’d shot a buck. When Smith’s son returned the called around 10:30 a.m., Smith told him that after descending from his treestand to field dress and tag the deer, he discovered the deer was still alive. Smith told his son he scuffled with the deer before killing it with a knife.

Cpl. Bolt said Smith called park officials by cell phone at about 12:30 p.m. to request help in transporting a deer to the reduction hunt check-in station.

A park employee who went to retrieve the deer found Smith unconscious and seated against a tree and relayed Smith’s condition to park officials. Chain O’Lakes property manager Sam Boggs and Indiana Conservation Officer Darren Reed immediately responded. Reed was off duty but at the park as a participant in the deer reduction hunt.

Reed and Boggs attempted to revive Smith with a portable defibrillator but got no response. They initiated CPR until EMS first responders arrived and pronounced Smith dead at the scene.

The coroner’s autopsy revealed lacerations on Smith’s liver that were in line with internal bruising.

Deer Rule Hearings

Two important hearings being conducted by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

The Natural Resources Commission will conduct two public hearings on proposed changes to deer hunting rules. The components of the proposed deer rules changes include modifications to the season structure, bag limits, hunting equipment, and licensing requirements.

The proposed rule language and fact sheet can be found at: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2362.htm. Individuals can provide comments at one of the public hearings scheduled as follows:

Monday, July 25
Spring Mill Inn
Spring Mill State Park
3333 St. Rd. 60 East
Mitchell, IN 47446
6 p.m. (EDT)

Tuesday, July 26
Community Building
Miami County Fairgrounds
1029 W. 200 N.
Peru, IN 46970
6 p.m. (EDT)

Submit comments regarding these proposed changes to the NRC at http://www.IN.gov/nrc/2377.htm by clicking on “Comment on Proposed Rule” next to the “Deer Amendments.” The deadline for submitting comments is Wednesday, July 27.

Comments can also be mailed to:

Natural Resources Commission
Indiana Government Center North
100 North Senate Ave., Room N501
Indianapolis, IN 46204

All comments sent to the NRC regarding these proposed rule changes will be provided to its members and DNR staff, and will be publicly disclosed and searchable on the Internet and in a paper docket as part of the final report.

Find an injured or orphaned animal? Read this

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

By “rescuing” an injured or apparently abandoned baby wild animal, you may doing the opposite of what you seek to accomplish, and break the law.

This time of year, thousands of animals are born in the wild. With the spread of suburban areas into their natural habitats, young animals are increasingly born near humans, who are more apt to discover them without an adult animal nearby. When this happens, a few reminders are especially pertinent.

While some baby animals may be orphaned or abandoned, that’s not always true.

Picking up a baby animal that is not orphaned or abandoned is not only usually unnecessary, it can be bad for the animal. It’s also illegal if you don’t have the proper permit or take the animal straight to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Such animals also pose safety and health risks for humans. They may look helpless, cute and cuddly, but they can bite or scratch people who attempt to handle them. Some wild animals carry parasites and infectious diseases, some of which can be transmitted to humans.

“The apparent lack of an adult does not mean a young animal is orphaned,” said Linnea Petercheff, operations staff specialist for the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “Adults often leave their young alone, safe in nests or dens while they forage for food, but rarely do they abandon their young.”

If a bird has fallen out of a nest, it is OK to gently return it to the nest. The best way to make sure an animal is truly orphaned is to wait and check it periodically. If you are unsure, place some strings or sticks across the nest. Place some grass across the top of a rabbit nest that is found with young in it.

If such items are later disturbed, the mother has probably returned. In such a situation, leave the young animal alone. The adult will return after you leave the area.  As an example, rabbits often come to the nest to feed their young only a couple of times a day.

The best way to make sure that a fawn that appears to be alone is truly orphaned is to wait and check it periodically.  Before taking any action, remember the following:

  • If the fawn is not injured, the mother is likely nearby.
  • Leave the fawn alone and its mother will probably come and get it. Deer can take better care of their young than a human can.
  • Human scent on the fawn will not prevent the mother from taking care of it.
  • If you do not see any deer nearby, have someone watch the fawn without being seen by the mother. In most cases, the mother will come back and get the fawn after you leave the area.

If you believe the mother has not returned to a nest or a deer has not come back to feed her fawn, or you know that the mother is no longer alive, call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator listed at: www.wildlife.in.gov.

Remember, state laws prohibit keeping protected wild animals without a permit. Most species of wildlife are protected by law and cannot be kept as a pet. Federal laws also prohibit possession of migratory birds, including songbirds, raptors and waterfowl. It is even illegal to treat wild animals for sickness or injury without a permit.

Wild animal rehabilitation permits are issued to qualified individuals who take in sick, injured, or orphaned wild animals with the intent of releasing them back into the wild.

If you encounter an injured, truly abandoned or sick wild animal, do one of the following for assistance:

  • Check the DNR website, www.wildlife.in.gov and click on “Wildlife Rehabilitation”
  • Call the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife in Indianapolis, (317) 232-4080.
  • Call your DNR law enforcement district headquarters or regional headquarters; contact information is at: http://www.in.gov/dnr/lawenfor/2755.htm
  • Call a licensed veterinarian for immediate assistance with a sick or severely injured wild animal.

Link to press release


Deer Record Falls, Again!

For the third year in a row, Indiana hunters have taken a record number of deer.

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources,  a final tally from Indiana’s 461 check stations for the 2010 deer hunting season showed that hunters took 134,004 deer, up more than 1200 deer over last year and more than 4200 over the 2008 harvest.

Suprisingly, the record harvest came after a slight dip in the numbers of deer hunters.  This year, about 3000 fewer licenses were sold.
The number one county was Steuben, in far northern Indiana.  The tier of counties of Steuben, Noble and Kosciusko ranked first, fourth and second despite despite Steuben and Kosciusko showing declines from 2009.
Read the entire report from the DNR here

New Deer Regulation Package Passes NRC

Yesterday, the second attempt at overhaul of the Indiana Deer Hunting regulations passed its initial hurdle after approval by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission, the body that approves such rules.

After a huge outcry, the initial package was struck down late last year, primarily because it would have chopped up the traditional hunting season into a shorter, more disjointed seasons.

The new rules are very similar, with the significant exception of the deer firearms/muzzleloader seasons essentially remaining as they currently stand.   Archery would be combined into one enormous season and there would be an additional late firearms season in Urban Deer Zones.

The proposed changes are quite lengthy but, in our opinion, there are only a few items that will provoke such outcry as the last attempt.  Perhaps the biggest issue will be the requirement for hunters in Urban Deer Zones to take an antlerless deer prior to bagging a buck.

Grab your popcorn and get ready for the fight to start.

Story Links:


IDNR Summary of the package

PDF diagram of proposed seasons

photo: NASA