Switzerland County fourth in deer harvest

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The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has announced its deer harvest statistics for 2015, and again Switzerland County is near the top of all Hoosier counties.

Switzerland County ranked fourth in the state for the deer season, with 2,653 deer taken here. Harrison County led the state for the third straight year, with 3,227 deer.

Overall, Indiana hunters harvested 123,664 deer during the 2015 season. This is a three-percent increase from the 120,073 deer taken during the 2014 season.

The antlered deer harvest was 10-percent higher than the 2014 harvest, while the antlerless harvest was one-percent lower than in 2014.

The overall 2015 deer harvest ranks as the 10th highest in Indiana history. The 2015 antlerless deer harvest ranks 11th highest.

The 2015 season was composed of four statewide segments: youth (September 26th -27th); archery (October 1st to January 3rd); firearms (November 14th-29th); and muzzleloader (December 5th-20th).

A late antlerless season was available from December 26th to January 3rd in 60 counties, with additional date restrictions for counties with “A” designated quotas. Also, hunters could harvest additional deer beyond the statewide bag limits in designated deer reduction zones during the deer reduction zone season which opened September 15th and continued through January 31st.

Firearms season was the most productive, accounting for 72,555 deer, or 59-percent of the total harvest.

Archery season accounted for 32,753 deer, or 26-percent, followed by the muzzleloader season with 10,784 (nine-percent); special antlerless firearms season with 5,105 (four-percent) and youth season with 2,467 (two-percent).

The total number of deer taken with a firearm during the deer reduction zone season was incorporated with the firearms season total, while the total taken with archery equipment was included in the archery season total.

Harvest exceeded 1,000 deer in 58 counties; 2,000 in 17 counties; and 3,000 in one county.

After Harrison with the greatest harvest in descending order were: Washington (2,891), Franklin (2,890), Switzerland (2,653), Noble (2,624), Dearborn (2,559), Steuben (2,523), Lawrence (2,502), Parke (2,390) and Crawford (2,370).

Three counties set unofficial record harvests in 2015. They were Dubois (2,040), Henry (601) and Lawrence (2,502).

Benton County had the fewest deer taken (90), followed by Tipton County (114).

For the first time, all harvested deer were checked in electronically. To view the full report, go to widlife.IN.gov and locate “2015 Deer Report” in the “Hunting and Trapping” panel.

Hunters have harvested approximately 3.5 million deer during 64 hunting seasons in Indiana.