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Steve Cotter
Natural Resources Manager
Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department

Deer Herd Reduction at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve Rescheduled for Fall 2019

Bloomington, Ind. - The Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department announced today that the deer hunt scheduled to begin at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve this weekend has been rescheduled for fall 2019.

The department received a Community Hunting Access Program (CHAP) grant for $32,500 in June from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Fish and Wildlife to conduct regulated deer hunts by licensed deer hunters at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve over two consecutive hunting seasons. The grant funds allowed the department to hire a certified CHAP hunt coordinator to administer the hunt.

In October, the department contracted with the wildlife management firm White Buffalo, Inc. as the CHAP coordinator for the Griffy Lake hunt. White Buffalo, Inc. has worked with the department to provide expertise and support for deer management at Griffy Lake for more than three years, and is familiar with the challenging Griffy Lake terrain as well as the department's goal of reducing the deer population enough to allow native plants and trees to recover from heavy deer browse pressure.

Although more than 20 deer hunters indicated interest in the Griffy Lake hunt, White Buffalo, Inc. determined that more hunters would be needed to remove enough deer to meet the department's goals. As a result, the department opted to reschedule the hunt for November 2019, allowing White Buffalo, Inc. and the department additional time to recruit its target of 40+ qualified hunters.

"We have worked with White Buffalo, Inc. for many years, and they are one of the leading experts in deer management in the country," said Paula McDevitt, administrator of the department. "We are committed to conducting the CHAP hunt with management practices that meet our high standards for safety and that give us the best chance for a successful recovery of the Griffy Lake ecosystem."

A total of 62 deer were removed from the preserve via sharpshooting by White Buffalo, Inc. in 2017.

"Vegetation studies continue to show the negative impacts deer are having on the size and diversity of native plant life at Griffy Lake," said Steve Cotter, the department’s natural resources manager. "Over the course of the coming year, we will work with White Buffalo to recruit an adequate pool of qualified, conservation-minded hunters who are willing to help us reduce the deer population enough to allow native plants and trees to recover."

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve is open daily from 5 a.m. through 11 p.m.