IWDHM was founded on the notion that Indiana hunters were disappointed with the direction our deer herd has been going. It did not take long for us to realize that indeed thousands of hunters across the state were upset, and that they felt they had no representation on the issues. Early on we polled our then current members to see what issues concerned them the most. The results of that poll laid the framework for our mission. Indiana hunters were most concerned with extremely high county antlerless quotas. Secondly, the current dates of the depredation tag season were said to be another issue. Thirdly, Indiana hunters wanted a voice, they wanted their concerns heard and recognized. With this information IWDHM got to work. We queried the IDNR and the IDFW on the reasons for high quotas across the state, we asked for information on how the quotas were set from year to year. We also suggested a move of the depredation tag season to later in the year, when fawns of killed does are more likely to survive, having already be weaned. We have attended two FWCC meetings. The FWCC committee is made up of current wildlife groups from across the state and is hosted by the leadership of the IDNR and the IDFW.. Although we were just visitors, as a group must be voted on to become part of the committee, we quickly realized that the concerns of deer hunters were going unheard in this forum. Our attempt to be voted on failed, as some of the current groups felt we were not established as a true wildlife group. The IDNR and the IDFW offered to us ideas on how to become voted in at the next meeting. We have since accomplished those directions, which included, assemble a board of directors, and recruit actual members. We will be attending the next FWCC committee meeting in Jan. 2016, where we will attempt to gain access to the committee. Once a member, we can then express all of the concerns and ideas our members and followers have provided to us.
Currently we are in communications with Indiana elected senators and representatives, laying out our concerns of an underfunded and understaffed DNR. We are working diligently on raising awareness of high bonus quotas, and the unfortunate loss of fawns in the summer depredation season. Long term we are working with the state and the DNR and IDFW on establishing a county deer advisory council, much like Wisconsin established last year. This council would be based on a county by county basis, with all stakeholders openly involved in the management of the white tail deer. Stakeholders would include, hunters, farmers, transportation officials, insurance companies, and non-consumptive users of the wild deer herd. Together, a management plan could be formed based on EVERYBODY'S input, and then forwarded to the DNR and IDFW for approval. We feel this would greatly help the IDNR and the IDFW in forming a statewide management plan, and would take some of the load off the two understaffed government organizations.
None of this is possible without you though, our members. As our membership ranks grow, so does our standing with the IDNR and the IDFW. That's why we encourage you to become a member today for free. Help us grow and help us make a difference.
Preserve for the future!
Indiana Deer Herd Whitetail Management